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Hiking & Trekking Tours

Hiking & Trekking Tours

Costa Rica is said to have a magic appeal to nature lovers. Especially hiking and trekking fans visit our country to discover the unique ecosystems by foot and get into contact with the locals which seem to be one of the happiest populations on earth. This is possible in the numerous public and private nature reserves and national parks, but also getting immersed in Costa Rica’s countryside. Here you may walk without any concern from village to village and enjoy a typical meal in one of the local “sodas” after an exhausting walk with amazing animal observation and tropical vegetation all around. We are glad to create your tailor-made hiking or trekking itinerary and will recommend you our TOP Hiking Highlights of Costa Rica. Many of our staff members are enthusiastic hikers and have documented their favorite routes for our clients.


Cerro Ena Package

Costa Rica > South Pacific > Perez Zeledon/San Isidro de El General

Description

Adventure, culture and beautiful landscapes; all this is waiting for you during the trekking at Cerro Ena-San Jerónimo de Pérez Zeledón in the Talamanca mountains. South-east from the Chirripó mountain, the Cerro Ena is located at 3´132 meters above sea level, surrounded by the protected areas of Chirripó National Park and La Amistad International Park. During your stay in the region of San Jerónimo, you not only hike through beautiful landscapes surrounded by the highest mountains of the country, but you also get in contact with an obliging hospitality. The stay in this village will be an unforgettable experience. The especially friendly people, the amazing mountain views and unique panorama landscapes on over 3´000 metres above sea level will stay in your memory for a long time.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to San Jerónimo, Pérez Zeledón

The closer you get to your destination you will notice the mountain landscape of San Jeronimo. The mountains are partly covered with fog and the air is very fresh. In San Jerónimo, you will first visit the welcome centre of Aturena where you will get a complete briefing for your 2-day trek journey to Cerro Ena. You will meet your tour guide that will accompany you in the mountains for two days.

The night is spent in simple accommodation with families in the village. This is quite a special experience, as one comes into deep contact with the locals. The people here are extremely polite and friendly and fully committed to the rural tourism organization. It is also fascinating to see how almost the entire village is part of your experience. For example, the guides, cooks, local transportation, village accommodations, etc., everyone gets a part of the income from the touristic activity.

Enjoy the evening in San Jeronimo with a hot meal, often with products from the region. The area is famous for the cultivation of various vegetables, coffee, rice, beans and meat. Your guide will share with you the local stories about Cerro Ena.

Travel: 150km / 3 hours (estimated)

Included today: Dinner

Day 2: Advance to Cerro Ena Camp

After a hot coffee and a light breakfast (on request you can also have a strong breakfast), your hike starts. You can discuss the departure time for the hike with your local guide the evening before. We recommend starting around 04:30- 05:00 am so that you have the whole day to enjoy the beautiful surroundings near Ena summit. The steepest climb of the whole hike awaits you already at the beginning. On a dirt road along pastures, you quickly reach a certain altitude. The morning weather conditions allow you to enjoy the first views of the valley of San Jerónimo.

The hike leads you through pastures, secondary forest, and parts with bamboo to a viewpoint inviting to enjoy your “Campesino”-style box breakfast and, with good weather conditions, an excellent view of the Pacific. During the hike, it is quite hard to spot animals although they exist: Capuchin Monkeys, spider monkeys, mountain rabbits, cougars, squirrels, birds like toucans, trogons, thrushes, just to mention some of them.

Enjoy the evening in San Jeronimo with a hot meal, often with products from the region. The area is famous for the cultivation of various vegetables, coffee, rice, beans and meat. Your guide will share with you the local stories about Cerro Ena.

After about 6 hours (depending on the physical condition and hiking experience) you´ll arrive at your accommodation for tonight, the Ena Camp, located at 3´062 meters above sea level and surrounded by the Sabana Cerro Ena - an alpine mountain paradise with moss, lichens, ferns, shrubs and trees able to survive in this harsh climate.

Arriving at the camp, you will be welcomed with a hot drink, coffee, or “Aguadulce” (sweet water - a Costa Rican speciality made from sugar cane) and enjoy lunch and a well-deserved rest. Depending on the energy and the weather conditions, you can climb up the summit of the Cerro Ena in the afternoon or take a different hike in the valley and experience the mysticism of this environment. The area is characterised by a wetland peat bog and cloud forest, magnificent views of the surrounding Talamanca mountain chain and the Pacific and Atlantic coast.

After dinner and a get-together to share the experiences of the day, we recommend sleeping early in order to save energy for the next day.

Included today: Breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner

Day 3: Cerro Ena Peak and hike near the summit - Descent to San Jerónimo

Today, you will get up early again. The goal is to reach the Ena summit before breakfast, in order to watch the sunrise at 3´126 m asl. If it is not foggy, you can enjoy a view of the Barú Volcano, the highest peak of Panama, the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts.

Afterwards, you will return to the camp, where you will enjoy a typical breakfast with gallo pinto (rice and beans) and eggs. Depending on the time, you can go for a shorter hike, visit other view points or slowly descent to San Jeronimo.

Once back in the village, you return to the family where you spent the first night. Here you´ll be served lunch and can use the showers.

After dinner and a get-together to share the experiences of the day, we recommend sleeping early in order to save energy for the next day.

Corcovado Intense Jungle Trekking -Osa Wild & Leona Ecolodge

Costa Rica > South Pacific > Osa/Puerto Jimenez/Golfito

Description

In terms of natural beauty, the Corcovado National Park is one of the most intense experiences the country has to offer. The jungle trekking crossing the national park will surely enchant you! A good physical condition and perseverance are absolute pre-requisites, as well as the consent to renounce a certain comfort in the accommodation. If you meet these requirements and are ready for the adventure, we would like to welcome you to the Osa Peninsula!

Itinerary

Day 1: Puerto Jimenez - Ecoturístico La Tarde

A Spanish-speaking driver will be waiting for you upon your arrival to Puerto Jimenez. With a 4x4 vehicle, you will be transferred to La Tarde Rural Tourism Project, located 1 hour away from Puerto Jimenez, and only 5 km away from one of the official Corcovado National park entrances called Los Patos. The owner, Eduardo, has been living in the area for more than 30 years, earning his life for a long time as a poacher and gold miner. He made the transition to conservation and tourism thanks to the numerous visitors of the national park and now earns his living with the lodge. Here, you will spend the first night in a tent with private bathroom and a small terrace with a wonderful view of the mountains and forest. With this view of the density of the jungle, you can already guess what an intense experience awaits you.

The closer you get to your destination you will notice the mountain landscape of San Jeronimo. The mountains are partly covered with fog and the air is very fresh. In San Jerónimo, you will first visit the welcome centre of Aturena where you will get a complete briefing for your 2-day trek journey to Cerro Ena. You will meet your tour guide that will accompany you in the mountains for two days.

The night is spent in simple accommodation with families in the village. This is quite a special experience, as one comes into deep contact with the locals. The people here are extremely polite and friendly and fully committed to the rural tourism organization. It is also fascinating to see how almost the entire village is part of your experience. For example, the guides, cooks, local transportation, village accommodations, etc., everyone gets a part of the income from the touristic activity.

Included entrance fees / tours: none

Included meals: Dinner

Day 2: La Tarde - Los Patos - La Sirena

The jungle awakes very early in the morning. Today's hike is about 25 km and it takes about 10 hours depending on the physical conditions of the person, therefore, an early start is recommended. After the last view over the tree tops of La Tarde, the hike goes into the jungle. From here, you will be accompanied by your guide, who will join you all the way to La Leona on Day 4. After an hour and the first 5 km, you will reach Los Patos, one of the official entrances to Corcovado National Park. This first part of the hike can be relatively slippery depending on the precipitation since the soil is very clay-rich.

After the official registration in the national park, you can use the toilets here and fill up your water reserve. This is the last point before arriving at the station La Sirena, where filtered water is available.

Now the hike is in a paradisiac environment. The first river crossing is located very close to Los Patos. We recommend to take off your shoes to avoid wet feet (at least on the first few kilometres) and blister formation as much as possible. The path is wider compared to the first section and the floor is less slippery. After about 12 km you will reach the river Cedral, which is recommended for a break. Afterwards, the path is flat through the jungle, although the physical demands are still high due to the heat and high humidity. The animal observation is part of the hike. All four species of monkeys (howler, spider, capuchin and occasionally the little squirrel monkeys), frogs and various species of birds, such as trogons and owls. With a bit more luck, you may encounter tapirs, ants, or even a puma. Snakes and peccary are also relatively common, so it is important to follow your guide's instructions.

This is a very humid tropical rainforest, the flora is as diverse as the rest of the country: Kapok trees, huge rubber trees, mushrooms, bromeliads, heliconias and much more inspire the eyes of plant lovers.

Arriving at La Sirena station after a long, first day of hiking in the jungle is heavenly. The station is actually located in the middle of the jungle. The accommodations are arranged on two platforms renovated in 2017, each of them with about 20 bunk beds for the guests. So you will sleep side by side with other travellers. Sufficient common showers, toilets and sinks are available. You can manually wash your clothes and shoes, although the high humidity makes it difficult to dry them. At the front desk, you can store your valuables in payable lockers (currently about 4 USD per day). A small shop provides you with energy drinks, sodas and coffee. Alcohol is not allowed in the national park. The buffet-style meals are served at fix times. Although the variety of the ingredients is limited by the remoteness of the place, we consider the food good, especially regarding the freshness, variety and the size of the portions.

At 8 pm, electricity is shut down, so up from about 8:30 pm, the night rest starts, if you can call it that, considering the concert of the cicadas, frogs and nocturnal birds ... and well, you might also be able to listen to the sounds of your bunk bed neighbour...

Included entrance fees / tours: Corcovado National Park Entrance fee

Included meals: Breakfast, box lunch from the hotel, dinner

Day 3: Surroundings La Sirena

The howler monkeys concert starts at 04:00 am. In order to see animals, it would be a good idea to have a first walk with your guide before breakfast. Generally, the trip leads to the Sirena River mouth where rare animals (such as tapirs, crocodiles, or anteaters) may be seen. Return to the station for breakfast.

Afterwards, you will discover the relatively flat and well-developed hiking trails around Sirena Station. You will receive much interesting information about the flora and fauna. The relaxed hike gives your muscles the chance to rest after the long hike the day before. The chance to see animals here is especially great since the forest at the station is less dense and there is fresh water in abundance.

In the afternoon, you will start for another tour with your guide, this time along the "Río Claro" hiking trail that after a few pleasant ascents leads down to the river of the same name. If the water level permits, you can refresh yourself here with a dip in the river. Afterwards, you continue along the beach where you may enjoy a nice sunset.

From a nice porch at the station you can enjoy the view of the jungle, and with a little bit of luck spot some animals. Tapirs, monkeys or toucans sometimes come close to the lodge.

Included entrance fees / tours: Corcovado National Park entrance fee

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner in La Sirena

Day 4: La Sirena - La Leona

Today, you hike to the southern exit of the Corcovado National Park, La Leona Station. The hike is 19.5 km, and the estimated time is about 6 hours. The departure time is planned according to the tides (before or after breakfast), as Salsipuedes point must be crossed during low tide. Your tour guide will advise about the tide conditions and recommend the departure time.

The hike to this critical point is around 3-4 hours and leads partly on the edge of the forest, along impressive rock formations and the beach, where the loose sand can be a challenge to walk. The hike is generally less strenuous and a little shorter than the walk on day 2 to Sirena, but, you should not underestimate the surroundings (mostly along the beach), the strong sun, and the loose sand. A box lunch is included during this hike. Your destination today, La Leona Ecolodge is located next to La Leona Corcovado National Park Station. Your guide leaves you here. You stay another night, this time with more comfort and privacy (private bath, restaurant, bar and tropical garden with hammocks to relax).

Included entrance fees / tours: Corcovado National Park entrance fee

Included meals: breakfast, La Sirena box lunch, dinner

Day 5: La Leona - Carate

After breakfast, the journey continues. You can decide if you want to stay more nights at La Leona or if you wish to continue today.

Note:

To travel from Carate to Puerto Jiménez, you can take a private transfer. There is also the possibility to continue with a public "truck" (with wooden benches). It departs either in the morning or in the early afternoon (schedule without guarantee), tickets must be purchased on the spot. It is recommended to be there at least 30 minutes before departure. Costs are about 10 dollars per person, driving time about 2-2.5 hours, as the truck makes several stops along the way.

Included entrance fees / tours: None

Included meals: Breakfast

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Address

Apdo 799 – 1007
San José, Costa Rica

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