ACCOMMODATION: A total of 2 nights will be spent at a hotel in San Jose, 3 nights at a farm lodge, 2 nights at an ecolodge, and 2 nights at a rustic cabana. You'll have access to a pool or the ocean at all locations to cool off after a good ride. Wifi is available at accommodations in San Jose, Cahuita and Arenal.
Depending on availabilities:
Park Inn Hotel in San Jose - Nights 1 & 9
This hotel located within walking distance of San Jose’s city center offers 117 comfortable rooms with amenities including air conditioning, WIFI, and TV. The private bathrooms all include free toiletries. An outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and fitness center are available for guests’ use.
Maravilla Lodge in Orotina - Simple accommodation nights 2, 3 & 4
The lodge is part of an estate that encompasses over 1500 acres (a working cattle and plantation Hacienda) which includes its own protected zone (Cuarros) with Premontane and Transitional Forests amongst many other unique features, making this one of our top horse riding locations. Accommodation is in a typically large family owned hacienda house with traditional wood finishing touches.
It has 4 spacious bedrooms located at the corners of the Hacienda house with a hallway in between. Each rooms is wall-to-wall tiled with painted murals, with twin single beds, ceiling fan, fitted closet, wooden ceilings, and has country decorations including two wooden tables, local crafts, and lamps. There is one spacious tiled hot-water shower and bathroom for every two rooms.
Facilities include: A large central hall, fully fitted kitchen, large twelve-seater 'ranch table' dining room. Outside there is a BBQ. There are hammocks along the outsides of the ranch house and mountain trails to explore on foot, as well as miles upon miles of mango plantations. Life at Maravilla Hacienda is friendly, relaxed and informal, get up at dawn and coffee and other drinks will be available to quietly welcome in the day. Even join the sabaneros (cowboys) in the morning milking if you have the mind to.
Cerro Lodge in Orotina - Optional upgrade accommodation nights 2, 3 & 4
This lodge is an environmentally friendly project located on a farm in Tarcoles (central pacific) just 10 minutes from Carara National Park. This small lodge offers 8 bungalows with private bathroom and its own indoor garden, and a dining area. All this is surrounded by trees, palms, gardens, and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, mangrove forests, and Carara National Park - one of the most important refuges for the Scarlet Macaw; we often see these spectacular red, blue, and yellow parrots as they fly through the valley at Cerro Lodge. We provide daily transfers between the lodge and the horse stables at Maravilla (15 to 20 minutes away). One of the principle goals of Cerro Lodge, is to operate as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. Always looking for ways to reduce impact, they re-use water for irrigation, compost organic garbage, and they have worms that make organic fertilizer from cow manure. They are also hoping to put together a bio-digestor and would like to produce their own electricity in the near future.
Hotel in Arenal - Nights 5 & 6
We choose from a selection of 3 different hotels in Arenal depending on availability. The photo above is an example of the type of accommodation, and may be changed. All rooms contain one double or two twin beds with private bathroom.
Cabanas in Cahuita - Nights 7 & 8
We choose from a selection of different cabanas in Cahuita depending on availability. All rooms contain one double or two twin beds with private bathroom. There is also WIFI available.
Most meals are included in this trip from breakfast on Day 2 to lunch on Day 9, as well as breakfast on Day 10. Meals on the first day and dinner on Day 9 in San José are not included. Due to its geographical location and climate, Costa Rica has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables; which when combined with the interplay of native and European ingredients translate into a unique Costa Rican flavour. The basics of the Costa Rican diet are: rice, beans, and tortillas, which consist primarily of corn.
The ingredients used by Costa Rican cooks include simple native foods, such as "chayote" (squash), avocados, and the ever present corn. Costa Rican cuisine is also characterized by its' mildness and comes as a surprise to many visitors who might have travelled through Mexico and expect to find the same love spicy chillies in Costa Rican foods. Chillies are used to some degree, however, they are most commonly used in hot sauces with accompany broiled meats and poultry. Tubers, such as sweet potatoes and cassava, commonly known as "yucca" frequently accompany lunch and dinner meals.
In many dishes yucca is often substituted for potato, perhaps boiled and mashed, fried to exquisite crispness to accompany meat and sandwiches instead of fries, or simply boiled and served with butter and garlic. Plantains, a type of banana, are another Costa Rican favourite, and are most often boiled, mashed, stuffed with cheese, or fried to accompany meats or bean dishes. Unlike bananas, plantains are much larger and need to be cooked to be eaten. Costa Rican diet also includes plenty of meats including: Poultry, fish, beef and pork ... We can cater to most dietary restrictions if given prior notice.
A traditional Costa Rican breakfast consists of "gallo pinto" (Pinto Rooster), eggs, tortillas and sour cream, with coffee and fresh fruit juice. Most restaurants will offer some international options.
Typically known as "casado" (Married), includes: rice and beans, one choice of meat (beef, chicken, pork, or fish), salad, fried plantain (a type of banana, very sweet and very tasty).
Pretty much whatever you like, and fish and seafood here is excellent, well priced, and fresh, as are the fruits and vegetables. Of course Costa Rica produces some of the finest coffee in the world and it's not uncommon to see bumper stickers around proclaiming that "Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee".