Travel to Costa Rica with me!
I am super excited to be hosting a culinary food tour to Costa Rica! April 3-10 with Borton Overseas! We are going farm to table while taking in the sites of Costa Rica on this one-of-a-kind culinary tour.
Here Bonnie, from Borton Overseas recap our trip details and read below for further itinerary details here and sign up for this intimate group trip!
Costa Rica is in Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama, bathed by the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This little piece of land is home to a population of under 5 million people and thousands of animals and colorful bird species. Five percent of the world’s biodiversity can be found within Costa Rica’s borders and great efforts have been made to preserve this rich resource; protected national parks make up almost 25% of the land – more than any other country in the world!
Our trip starts on Sunday, April 3, 2022
Depart from Minneapolis, or your home city, to Juan Santamaria International Airport (Flight details TBA) in San Jose, Costa Rica. At San Jose airport, we are met and assisted with our arrival and board our transfer bus for the interesting journey to our first destination. The transfer takes about 2 hours and traverses through the bustling suburbs of the city to lush mountain vistas and jungles.
On our first night we get to know each other and enjoy a welcome dinner at the Hotel Villa Florencia. Where we will be staying. Hotel Villa Florencia is owned by a local Costa Rican couple with the vision of offering a new and enriching experience for tourism. The hotel was born with the focus of maintaining the essence of being Costa Rican and bringing to life the beauty of the region with memorable hospitality. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, jacuzzi, gym, walking trails, and in-room massage/spa treatments. Meals are taken at the Verolis Restaurant located in the hotel and offer both local and international dishes.
Monday, April 4
After breakfast, we will visit Hacienda Sitio de Mata, where you will enjoy gorgeous views of the Turrialba Valley while you learn how coffee, macadamia nuts, and sugar cane are processed. The hacienda is a unique place full of Costa Rican history and beautiful gardens. A traditional Costa Rican lunch will be served. Return to the Hotel Villa Florencia for dinner on your own.
Tuesday, April 5
This morning after breakfast enjoy a guided walk in CATIE Botanical Garden with its hundreds of plants from around the world. Make sure you taste all the exotic fruits at the end of the tour before we enjoy lunch at CATIE in the Botanical Garden.
Returning to the Villa, you’ll have time to relax, take a swim or a siesta before we complete this tasteful day with a cooking class and dinner.
Wednesday, April 6
After breakfast, we begin the drive down the mountains to the Caribbean lowlands, where different food crops and tastes await our palates. Visit an active Palmita plantation and enjoy a tasting of hearts-of-palm-based foods for lunch. Then, head to a pineapple plantation to enjoy a tour and the sweetest flavors. We will enjoy dinner on our own this evening and stay overnight at La Quinta Sarapiqui Lodge.
La Quinta has 36 rooms in bungalows with concrete walls to ensure privacy. These are surrounded by tropical gardens rich in heliconia’s, gingers, palms and flowering trees. Rooms have private bathrooms, hot water, clean fresh towels, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, a walk-in closet area, hairdryer, safety box, and a beautiful porch facing the gardens with hammocks and rocking chairs, from where you can enjoy the view of the native flora and fauna. This beautiful estate offers 20 acres of walking trails, butterfly and frog gardens, swimming pools, yoga areas, a library, organic gardens, and more. Costa Rica is home to over 850 species of birds and birdwatching at the lodge is spectacular.
Thursday, April 7 = This is our day of adventure.
Morning Optional Tour Choices:
• Floating from Chilamate to Puerto Viejo: This 7-mile journey takes you through the small communities of Chilamate and Puerto Viejo. This trip is especially attractive for bird watchers and tropical forest lovers of all ages. This section does not require previous experience. The journey on the inflatable rafts is calm enough for passengers to bring their cameras, video cameras, and binoculars with them.
• Rafting from La Virgen to Chilamate: This 7.5-mile trip takes you through the communities of La Virgen and Chilamate in Sarapiquí and includes crystalline ponds and agitated rapids. Halfway through the journey on a peaceful pond, passengers can swim and eat the tasty tropical fruits of the season. No previous experience is required.
• Canopy Tour: This amazing experience consists of 12 zip lines located in Hacienda La Linda, from which you can enjoy incredible passages through fields of ornamental plants, an exciting tropical rainforest of 114 hectares, as well as the magnificent Sarapiquí River, which we will cross two times during the trip. During this experience, you will be accompanied by experienced guides, using specialized equipment of the highest quality.
Lunch on your own.
This afternoon we learn about the wonderous cacao plant and every scrumptious stage of the chocolate process! With its origins in Mesoamerica, cacao has a rich and extraordinary history. The discovery of America took it to Europe, transforming it into the product we know and LOVE today. Dinner will be on our own as we overnight again at the La Quinta Sarapiqaui Lodge.
Friday, April 8
After breakfast, we make our way back to the Central Valley, stopping briefly for some pictures at Catarata La Paz waterfall. We will continue to the Green Ark Botanical Garden to awaken our senses before enjoying a delicious farm-to-table lunch in this beautiful setting.
We will be staying overnight at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica with dinner on our own.
This iconic gem is located in the heart of San Jose overlooking the Plaza de la Cultura and the National Theater, perfect for a memorable experience. This 1930’s building, a historical-architectural monument of Costa Rica, features contemporary urban interiors and is located on the Avenida Central pedestrian boulevard, steps from the National Theatre, Gold Museum, cafés, and shops. Facilities include a fitness center and piano bar.
Saturday April 9
After breakfast, we enjoy a guided walking city tour exploring the Central Market.
The Central Market is a must-see sightseeing attraction for those looking for the authentic side of San Jose, Costa Rica. This indoor market opened its doors for the first time back in 1880 and it hasn’t changed much since. Its numerous shops comprise a maze of narrow corridors where shoppers can ponder all sorts of products, like herbs, flowers, meats, authentic meals, apparel, souvenirs, coffee, tobacco, poultry birds, tropical fruits, jewelry, and so much more.
Return to the hotel. Lunch on your own and a free afternoon to explore on your own or unwind at your hotel.
Tonight, we will savor a farewell dinner at Restaurant Silvestre, a must-visit in San Jose while we regale one another with the many adventures and experiences we have shared.
Sunday April 10
Time to go home!
Breakfast and check out.
Group transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for our scheduled flight back to Minneapolis/St Paul.
Sign up for this intimate group trip!