Costa Rica Adventure | EF Ultimate Break
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Costa Rica Adventure

10 Days  •  4 Cities 362

From $2179 with flightsPayments as low as $78

Travel Styles:

Why Go?

Pura Vida. The unofficial motto of Costa Rica translates to “the simple life.” But it’s less about going off the grid, and more about living a life jam-packed with rainforest hiking, whitewater rafting, ziplining above the clouds, and splashing around coral reefs under the waves. Pura vida is an always optimistic outlook fueled by delicious Mesoamerican-inspired cuisine, the freshest coffee, and the occasional guaro sour cocktail. If you’re looking for all that and a little quality face time with sloths, monkeys, and dolphins, this is the trip for you.

Top Highlights

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Explore the biodiversity and wildlife of Costa Rica

What's Included

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Our safe travel promise


You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.

Click here for examples of where you'll stay.


Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:

  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.


Day 1: Fly to San José

Welcome to San José, Costa Rica, the cultural and political capital of this vibrant, thriving nation. Crack open a coconut and crank up the calypso music, you’re about to get tropical for the next 10 days.

Today's Highlights:

  • Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
  • Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
  • Explore the area as you meet up with your fellow travelers, arriving one-by-one.

Day 2: Travel to Arenal Region, Kayak Lake Arenal, & Welcome Dinner

The rainforest is filled with secrets and today you get to be its closest confidant; Travel by bus to the Arenal region of Costa Rica, a quaint tropical town known for it’s not-so-quaint andesitic stratovolcano. Keep your eyes and ears open as you explore all of Arenal’s mysterious landforms, wildlife, and waters.

Today's Highlights:

  • Travel by bus from San Jose to your next Costa Rican destination
  • Kayak the pristine waters of Lake Arenal and take in volcanic views of the surrounding dormant magma-makers
  • Enjoy an included Welcome Dinner in Arenal at a local spot

In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy some local cuisine with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.

Day 3: Free Day in the Arenal Region or Optional White Water Rafting, & Evening Hot Springs

Wake up and smell that fresh jungle air. They don’t make it like that back home, do they? After a full first day in the Arenal region, take the day to swim, explore, and enjoy the beautiful volcano-lined skyline of inner-Costa Rica on your own schedule. If you need a little adventure before you relax, spend the day on the Sarapiqui rapids with the optional White Water Rafting excursion before joining your group in some natural hot springs to cap off the night.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Enjoy a free day in the Arenal region
  • For an additional cost, traverse the rapids of Sarapiqui with the White Water Rafting optional excursion
  • Kick back and soak in the springs with an included natural hot springs experience this evening

Free Time Suggestions

Orchid hunting: Admire the crazy-vibrant flora of the Arenal Region, including nearly 500 breeds of orchid.

Imperial: Help yourself to an Imperial or two, a tasty lager beloved by beer drinkers across Costa Rica.

White Water Rafting the Sarapiqui River(extra cost)

Give your legs a break during an adrenaline-pumping Sarapiqui River adventure. Hop in a raft with a local river guide, and work together to navigate the rapids. Experience the rainforest from a whole new perspective.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 4: La Fortuna Waterfall, Travel to Monteverde & Optional Night Hike

Today is full of highs and lows… geographically, of course. Before taking to the cloud forests of Monteverde, spend your morning at one of Costa Rica’s most sought-after natural wonders: La Fortuna Waterfall. See La Fortuna up close and personal as you hike to the base and cool off with a plunge its famous pool. Once you’ve had your La Fortuna fill, hop on the bus to Monteverde, a jumping off point for Costa Rica’s surreal cloud forests. The fun continues!

Today's Highlights:

  • Hike to the base of La Fortuna Waterfall, one of the most spectacular sights in Central America.
  • Cool off with a swim in the waterfall’s plunge pool
  • Board your bus bound for the village of Monteverde—founded as a Quaker farming settlement, now the go-to hub for Costa Rican adventure seekers.

Monteverde Night Hike(extra cost)

Hit the trails when the sun goes down. Follow your guide to see Monteverde after-dark, and listen up as they point out nocturnal critters like armadillos, silky anteaters, and even cute little kinkajous.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 5: Explore the Santa Elena Cloud Forest

Today, you’ll experience a whole different rainforest habitat: the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. High altitude and moisture (12 feet of rain per year) combine to make this a one-of-a-kind ecosystem—oh, and did we mention there’s ziplining?

Today's Highlights:

  • Find out what clouds are really made of as you walk through them—yes, through them— in the densely vegetated, misty trails of the Costa Rican rainforest.
  • Soar high above the rainforest canopy, zooming from one platform to the next at speeds of up to 60 mph on a zipline.
  • Return to Monteverde as the town turns up for the night.

Day 6: Beach Day in Puntarenas

After a day of adrenaline in the heart of the jungle, you could use some time to lay on a beach and bask in the sun. Today you’ll trade leafy rainforest greens for sandy scenes as you head from Monteverde to Puntarenas for a little beachside R&R at Playa Mantas.

Today's Highlights:

  • Let the lush scenery blow your mind as you travel via bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas.
  • Take that Pura Vida attitude out to sea with some stand-up paddleboarding at the beach.

Day 7: Explore Manuel Antonio National Park + Beach Time

There’s two kinds of people in the world: beach people and mountain people. Oh, and swamp people—but we won’t get into that now. The breathtaking Manuel Antonio National Park somehow has both mountains and beaches. See Costa Rica’s most beautiful, most visited national park today up close and personal.

Today's Highlights:

  • Trek through cliff-side rainforest and soak up the sun at the two main immaculate white-sand beaches of the park: Espadilla Sur Beach and Playa Manuel Antonio.
  • Keep an ear out for howler monkeys, the only land animal louder than your 8am Calculus professor.
  • Spot other amazing animals like capuchins, coati, iguanas, and dolphins.

Day 8: Free Day in Quepos + Optional Catamaran Cruise

Quepos may be small, but it makes up for it in spirit. Today is yours to explore the tiny town, consider grabbing a Guaro Sour (the national drink made from distilled sugar cane), or heading down to the docks to hear the fishermen swap sport fishing stories.

Free Time Suggestions

Soda: Chow down at a soda—you heard that correctly. Costa Rican lunch cafés are called sodas, and they’re an absolutely delicious way to eat authentically and affordably.

Costa Rican Catamaran Cruise(extra cost)

Cruise on a catamaran through the Pacific Ocean, kick back and admire the coastline, and try and spot manta rays, reef sharks, sea turtles, and even dolphins in the crystal clear waters.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 9: Travel to San José via Sarchí + Farewell Dinner

On your way back to San José, stop for a guided tour of a coffee plantation. Toast your trip goodbye with your Farewell Dinner, then time for dancing, drinks, or heck, maybe even creating a detailed scrapbook to commemorate your time in paradise.

Today's Highlights:

  • Stop off for a coffee plantation tour on your way back to San José.
  • Watch as the little red berries become morning buzz brew right before your eyes, then sample the freshest coffee of your life.
  • Return to San José and enjoy an included farewell dinner with your new travel BFFs

Farewell Dinner

Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.

Day 10: Fly Home

¡Adiós, amigos!

Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, make sure to take one more group photo and grab that final drink. But this isn’t goodbye because you can always get the gang back together for another trip soon. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, we have a couple ways to keep your vacation going.


1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

  • Pura Vida in Costa Rica!


    Traveled Mar 2020

    WOW! That’s all I can say about this EF trip. It’s way more special than how they describe it in the itinerary. Literally the best 8-10 days I have spent with a group of strangers; who eventually turned into life-long friends. Victor is the BEST at what he does and gives you all the cultural insights as well as telling you all the hot spots to go to at each ... See more


      Jazmine Almeida

    Traveled Jul 2021

    This trip was AMAZING!!! Literally the best tour guide Olman!! So much to do and Costa Rica was breath taking! So beautiful and so much greenery and saw monkeys and sloths! Left with so many friendships!! Loved this trip!

  • Amazing trip or should I say Pura Vida!

      Urickya Gibson

    Traveled Jul 2021

    The Costa Rican people are so friendly, patient, and understanding. I will say, be prepared for the long bus rides and I suggest bringing a blanket and neck pillow. I definitely suggest going out to eat or party in Jaco! Pura Vida!

  • Amazing ! Take this trip 100%!

      Cody Ferrell

    Traveled Jul 2021

    Costa Rica was such an amazing place to visit. This trip has everything you expect and then some! This was my 3rd EF trip and probably my one of my favorites. I definitely recommend to do all of the excursions you won’t regret it! All of the hotels were super nice and our tour director Jonathon was amazing. I 100% recommend asking for Jonathon as your tour d... See more

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