This six-day itinerary onboard the Greg Mortimer will take you to explore the west costline of Costa Rica. Costa Rica is blessed with abundant nature, pristine beaches and immense biodiversity. In Guanacaste, explore a slice of Costa Rica rarely visited by expedition vessels. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Guanacaste Conservation Area and take to the warm waters by kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or snorkel among pristine coral. Hike in wildlife-rich rainforests and venture to volcanic peaks in Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where archaeological sites offer a glimpse into Costa Rica’s ancient past.
About the vessel: The Greg Mortimer is a new and custom-designed ship, at the cutting edge of nautical technology. It features the patented X-BOW™, hydraulic viewing platforms and environmentally friendly virtual anchoring. It has four dedicated sea level launching platforms that provide smoother and safer zodiac transfers. Once you are back from the explorations, you will be able to relax in the Wellness Centre comprising with sauna, spa and gym equipment. Whatsmore, all staterooms have private bathrooms and twin and double-bed configuration options. It has ample storage, international power outlets, daily cabin service, as well as all the necessary amenities.
Departs 15 April to 21 April 2021
Upon your arrival at San José international airport, and use the complimentary airport transfer service provided by Double Tree Cariari by Hilton and transfer to the hotel. The hotel offers a free airport shuttle service departing every hour starting at 4.30 am until 10.30 pm. As you exit the international terminal, the pick-up point for the transfer is located in front of El Malinche restaurant.
After a leisurely buffet breakfast, transfer to Puerto Caldera (2-hours) where your vessel awaits. After boarding, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before participating in important safety briefings. Afterwards, enjoy lunch on board as you sail to nearby Isla Tortuga (Turtle Island), where can snorkel, swim, paddle or relax. The water is teeming with a dizzying array of tropical fish, big pufferfish, turtles, sting rays, white tip reef sharks, and occasionally dolphins. Isla Tortuga we will do our kayak orientation and have our first introductory paddle.
This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure
Bahía Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning 505-hectares along the north-western coast of Costa Rica, the refuge attracts visitors keen to explore the native wildlife as well as enjoying activities such as snorkelling, and hiking. The clear turquoise waters and 2-km powdery sand beaches are ideal for a swimming and relaxing. With an average year-round temperature of 30 ?C, spend a carefree morning snorkelling, swimming, padding or walking along the stunning beach.
After lunch, embark on a shore excursion to Santa Rosa National Park, home to some of the last remaining tropical dry forest in the world. Guanacaste National Park was created to connect Santa Rosa National Park with the high elevation cloud forest of Orosi and Cacao volcanoes, to the rainforests on the Caribbean coast. The overarching strategy being to conserve enough land to create sufficiently large habitats for wide-ranging species such as jaguars and mountain lions while simultaneously a corridor to make allow wildlife to migrate between the dry forest and the evergreen cloud and rainforest.
Visit La Casona Hacienda, the site of the epic battle of Santa Rosa in 1856, now converted to a museum. The building includes exhibits of military paraphernalia and objects from everyday life at a typical Costa Rican hacienda in the mid-1800s.
After visiting the hacienda, hike a short way to the ‘Tierras Emergidas’ lookout, followed by a walk on the “Naked Indian Trail” that forms a loop through the dry forest, along streams and waterfalls where we hope to encounter local wildlife.
Return to the ship, which has repositioned to Cuajiniquil Bay, located in the Gulf of Santa Elena, around the headland south of Junquillal Bay. It’s a beautiful beach that’s perfect for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking – a great way to unwind after your excursion.
**Please note: We will sail to Nicaragua overnight where necessary immigration requirements will be completed
prior to re-entering Costa Rica
From Cuajiniquil, venture to Rincón de la Vieja National Park for a full day’s exploration. Rincón de la Vieja National Park one of the parks in the UNESCO-listed Guanacaste Conservation Area, and where ecological diversity abounds. The national park spans more than 34,000 acres, is home to two volcanoes, 32 rivers and streams, and hosts an
incredible variety of wildlife including rare emerald toucanets, blue-crowned motmots, pumas, various species of monkeys, sloths, tapirs, and jaguars. Vibrant fuschia, the purple guaria morada orchid, Costa Rica’s national flower, laurel and Guanacaste trees are some of the unique plants found in the park.
The park has an active volcano with nine eruption points, scattered array of boiling mud pits and steam vents, and waterfalls. Discover all these natural wonders as you hike though a unique ecosystem of both tropical cloud forest and tropical dry forest
Today you can choose any of these two activities:
Monte Alto Nature Reserve: located around 60-minutes’ drive Carillo is a nature reserve located 480-880 m.a.s.l.. A major attraction of Monte Alto is the orchid path which winds through the forest with tall trees festooned with a vast array of orchids. Around 80 species of native orchids and bromeliads thrive in the reserve, each displaying their own unique shapes and colours. The reserve covers 924 hectares of low mountain forest and humid forest ecosystems that are home to small wildcats and other wildlife and insects including large blue Morpho butterflies, leaf-cutting ants, howler monkeys, agoutis and coatis, as well as over 200 species of birds. In addition to the orchid trail, five other trails can be explored at Monte Alto reserve. One trail leads to a waterfall, another to the Cerro Romo lookout – the highest point in the entire region, from which you can enjoy splendid panoramic views across to the Gulf of Nicoya in the east, the beaches of Samara in the west, and the plains of Guanacaste in the north.
Diria Coffee Tour:
Costa Rican coffee is world-renowned. On this excursion, you will be guided through the full process of coffee production from growing, harvesting, drying, roasting, and packaging. Matambú is the name of the last indigenous community of Guanacaste and this tour offers you the opportunity to meet member of the Matambú community learn about their lifestyle and traditions. At the end of the tour, you will enjoy some snacks accompanied by fresh Diriá coffee
Curú National Wildlife Refuge is the first privately-owned refuge in Costa Rica offering over 3,700 acres of tropical forests, mangrove swamps, and grassy fields sitting right along the coastline. The area is teeming wildlife and hosts one of the most beautiful and protected bays on the Nicoya Peninsula, where we plan to paddle, snorkel and Zodiac cruise. 17 hiking trails wind through the varied terrain of the refuge, where you’re very likely to encounter white tail deer, or catch a glimpse of brilliant red from the plumes of scarlet macaws as they swoop between trees. Arboreal creatures such as coati and monkeys are prolific including the native spider, and howler monkeys
Disembark in Puerto Caldera, farewell your expedition team, and transfer to downtown San Jose or to the airport.