Sacred Earth Travel - Sustainable Nature and Adventure Travel


This is a roundtrip combines the most important highlights of Costa Rica in a 8 day itinerary. Active volcanoes, rainforest, jungle canals, cloud forest, wildlife, lowland, mountains and friendly people will give you the best possible overview of the country. A great itinerary for first time visitors!

Type of car: a 4x4 car is recommended during any time of the year. (see below)

Day 1: International Airport - San José City Hotel

After your arrival at the international airport of San José, Costa Rica, you will be welcomed by our English speaking airport guide at the exit of the airport. He/she will hand you over your travel documents, afterwards seat-in transfer to your city hotel.

Overnight at:Hotel Palma Real
Included fees/tours: None
Included meals today: None

Day 2: San José - Poás Volcano - Pedacito de Cielo/ Horquetas

Poas Volcano, Costa ricaYour rental car will be delivered after breakfast, you need a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Diner´s Cub) and your valid national driving license. Then you drive via Alajuela, the second biggest town in Costa Rica, to Poás Volcano (entrance fee USD 15 per person). Your car will be safe in the parking lot. After a short walk, you reach the main crater of the volcano. With a diameter of 1, 8 km, the crater of Poás Volcano is one of the biggest in the world. We recommend visiting this place before 10h00 in the morning because it usually gets cloudy in the afternoon. After visiting this crater, you have the possibility to enjoy an approx. half-hour walk to another crater. On this short trip you’ll be able to observe a lot of nice flora and birds. Back to the car, the real adventure begins, while driving through the most agriculturally productive lands of Costa Rica. Drive south to San Pedro de Poás, turn right and continue to the town of Grecia. Visit their local church which is indeed lovLa Paz waterfall, Costa Ricaely. This burgundy painted house of prayer was built in 1890 entirely out of metal to protect it from the tropical climate and is really admirable. Then you can keep on with your trip calling at the towns of Naranjo and Zarcero until you reach Ciudad Quesada. From here, you continue to Boca Tapada, passing the villages of Aguas Zarcas and Pital.

Overnight at: Pedacito de Cielo **(*)
Total km today: approx. 150 km
Total driving time today: approx. 4 hours
Included meals today: none

Day 3: Pedacito de Cielo/ Horquetas

canoeing the waterways is the best way to observe wildlifeEnjoy a fantastic hike inside an emerald forest - 300 ha of protected area where you will be able to explore the magnificent flora and fauna. There is also a lake that goes drifting 900 meters deep into the jungle. You can use the kayaks to paddle silently through the rainforest - one of the best ways to see animals. Likewise, a variety of tours is run and can be booked for a reasonable price.

Overnight at: Pedacito de Cielo**(*).
Total km today: none
Total driving time today: none
Included meals today: breakfast

Day 4: Pedacito de Cielo/ Horquetas - La Fortuna / Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna - Costa Rica

Drive back to Pital and reach La Fortuna via Aguas Zarcas and Muelle. We highly recommend a hike by the old lava fields of the volcano (entry fee to the national park is US$ 15 per person). From the lookout point, you can enjoy a fantastic view of Lake Arenal. In the hotel, a variety of tours in the region are offered, such as a visit to Ecocentro Danaus with its butterfly garden and the medicinal plants garden or a visit to the La Fortuna Waterfall, where you’ll have the chance to take a refreshing dive.

Overnight at: Hotel Lomas del Volcán***.
Total km today: about 100 km
Total driving time today: about 3 hours
Included meals today: breakfast

Day 5: La Fortuna - Caño Negro - La Fortuna

Wildlife watching in Costa RicaToday we recommend you to visit Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Drive to Muelle and then up to Los Chiles, close to the Nicaraguan border. There are several tour operators offering boat trips from Rio Frío to Caño Negro. This is actually quite an appealing option, because you’ll be able to get an eyeful of the many different birds and may be lucky enough to come across crocodiles, sloths, monkeys and other animals. Return to La Fortuna. Other options are e.g. a visit to the Venado Caves, or horseback riding tours and more.

Overnight at: Hotel Lomas del Volcán***.
Total km today: about 100 km one way, total 200 km
Total driving time today: about 3 hours
Included meals today: breakfast

Day 6: La Fortuna - Lake Arenal - Monteverde

Monteverde Cloud Forest Walklway, Costa RicaBegin your journey driving around the volcano and continue along Lake Arenal. As you drive you’ll soon notice how the beautiful tropical rainforest starts to unfold before your very eyes. You may bump into a coati or a monkey from time to time and, of course, you’ll be able to spot a variety of colourful birds. When the road gets more and more rugged and you can see potholes all around it is a sign that you are close to the village of Nuevo Arenal. Continue to the northern part of Lake Arenal. You’ll find out that this area is windy all year round. Therefore, you’ll be able to admire the wind farm in the horizon – a dazzling vision of a clean energy future! Once in Tilarán, follow the signs to Monteverde / Santa Elena. The last approx. 50km may be in a quite poor condition, especially after heavy rainfalls.

Overnight at: Cloudforest Lodge
Total km today: 100 km on the direct road via Tilarén, or 145 km via Las Juntas or Cañas
Total driving time today: 3 ½ hours on the direct road via Tilarán, 4 1/2 hours via Las Juntas or Cañas
Included meals today: breakfast

Day 7: Monteverde

Today you’ll have plenty of time to take pleasure in the many interesting excursions and tours that Monteverde has for you. We especially recommend a visit to the reserves of Monteverde and Santa Elena. You can also enjoy the hanging bridges of Selvatura or the Skywalk, a system of suspension bridges in the canopy of the cloud forest. Skytrek is an even more adventurous option to observe the jungle, gliding from platform to platform while hanging on steel cables. Santa Elena, the small village close to Monteverde, also offers a butterfly farm, a snake museum, a hummingbird gallery, a cheese factory and much more.

Overnight at: Cloudforest Lodge ***.
Total km today: none
Total driving time today: none
Included meals today: breakfast

Day 7: Monteverde - San José

n the morning, you’ll still have some time to enjoy another optional activity of your choice. Around noon, you should drive back to San José in order to return your car. Note: You have the option to drop-off your car at any other destination on the Pacific Coast (at an extra charge), or you can make a connection with another of our fly & drive programmes.

Note: You have the option to drop off your car at any other destination at the pacific coast or to connect with another fly & drive program.

Total km today: about 160 km
Total driving time today: about 3 ½ hours
Included meals today: breakfast

Package Rate Per Person 2016/2017

DoubleTriple Single
(2 pax)
(1 pax)
01 Nov 16 - 19 Dec 16 US$790 US$625 US$1115 US$1358
07 Jan 17 - 08 Apr 17 US$790 US$625 US$1115 US$1358
17 Apr 17 - 30 Apr 17 US$790 US$625 US$1115 US$1358
1 May 17 - 31 Oct 17 US$738 US$580 US$1038 US$1258


Package rate includes:

• Transfer airport - city hotel on seat-in basis
• Overnight stay at the mentioned hotels or similar in rooms with private bathroom
• Meals as per description
• Rental car with basic insurance as follows:
- 1 pax: SUV Economic 4WD (Suzuki Jimny or similar)
- 2 pax: SUV Compact 4WD (Daihatsu BeGo or similar)
- 3 & 4 pax: SUV Intermediate 4WD Manual (Hyundai Tucson IX35 or similar
• Documentation with information about the country in English

Not included
• Further services (insurances except basic insurance, GPS etc.) for the rental car
• Tips
• Entrance fee to national parks 
• Tours
• Not mentioned meals and drinks 
• Airport departure tax SJO, currently USD 29 per person

Hotels Used for this Itinerary

Pedacito del Cielo Cabanas, Boca Tapada, Costa Rica
Pedacito del Cielo, Bocas Tapada, Costa Rica

Pedacito de Cielo**(*), Boca Tapada

A charming new Jungle Lodge in Boca Tapada at the shore of the San Carlos River.

Official category:


Total number of rooms:



The new Pedacito de Cielo Lodge located in the northern lowlands, 23 km south of the Nicaraguan border and close to San Carlos River has its own private 250ha pristine tropical rainforest reserve. From San Miguel or Aguas Zarcas you drive to Pital, where you will find the intersection towards Boca Tapada. Follow this road for the next 25 km and once in Boca Tapada, follow the signs to the lodge. You need a 4-wheel drive car to reach Pedacito de Cielo Lodge. Besides Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, this is the only lodge in this area, so you can't miss it. (Road Signs)

Transfer time:

From San José about 4-5 hours, from Pital 1 - 1½ hours.

Hotel facilities:

This lodge is run by Costa Ricans and offers a restaurant serving mainly local dishes. Within close proximity of the lodge you can make your first wildlife and flora observations. Hiking through the private reserve into the rainforest at about 2km from the lodge, you can encounter Poison-arrow frogs, monkeys, toucans, green parrots and caimans, as well as an impressive range of plants. You can also do kayaking or boat tours etc on the river near the lodge. A very special experience is a boat tour on the San Carlos River until you almost reach San Juan River, which represents the border to Nicaragua.

Room facilities:

All rooms have private bathrooms and a terrace with chair-hammocks. No hot water yet.

Our opinion:

A real piece of heaven in the jungle with attention to detail and excellent Tico-Service! Recommended minimum stay: 2 nights.

Lomas del Volcan cabin, La Fortuna, Arenal
Lomas del Volcan room, La Fortuna, Arenal, Costa Rica
Lomas del Volcanr canoeing, La Fortuna, Arenal, Costa Rica

Hotel Lomas del Volcán***, La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano, Zona 1

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Number of rooms:



The hotel lies directly at the foot of Arenal Volcano. The huge property on the slopes of Cerro Chato is surrounded by pure nature. You can enjoy a great view of the northern lowlands and the volcano. Driving from La Fortuna towards the volcano, you will find the entrance after 1 km on your left hand side. From there, you have to follow the signs for another 900 m to reach the hotel.

Transfer Time:

3 ½ hours from San José, 2 hours from Tilarán and approximately 3 hours from Monteverde

Hotel Facilities:

This quiet bungalow hotel has a main building with restaurant, bar and reception. At some distance from there, you will find a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. The bungalows are well distributed on the huge property. You can walk on the hotel's own trails to observe birds and sometimes see some monkeys too.

Room Facilities:

All bungalows are built from wood and are very spacious. They offer a private bathroom, fan, air-conditioning, 2 terraces, of which one offers a refrigerator and a coffeemaker. All rooms have garden and volcano view. The glowing lava, however, cannot be seen from the position of the hotel (as per May 2007)

Our Opinion:

A basic and quiet hotel for nature lovers. Offers lots of excursions to explore the area.

Cloud Forest Lodge

Official classification:


Total number of rooms:



This lodge is located in Santa Elena, Monteverde, in the province of Puntarenas.

Transfer time:

Approximately 3 hours from San José, about 3 hours from La Fortuna, about 10 minutes from the centre of Santa Elena.

Hotel facilities:

bar, restaurant, souvenir shop, walking trails

Room facilities:

private bathroom, terrace

Our opinion:

A rustic, simple lodge, perfect for nature lovers and bird watchers!

Sustainable Tourism Certificate:

For further information and booking inquiries please send us and e-mail.