Costa Rica: Beyond the Guidebooks

The pleasures of pura vida, the “pure life,” are in the wilds of Costa Rica. Your only worries are how many howler monkeys you’ll manage to spot among the trees of Tortuguero National Park and which thermal pool is best for soaking in the shadow of Arenal Volcano. The rest of the details are overseen by your Travel Director, who orchestrates a cadre of carefully selected local specialists and handles everything from checking you into your hotel room to recommending a favorite local restaurant.

costaricaleafNature is an inherent part of your experience in Costa Rica, whether you’re birding for toucans on a hike or traipsing through Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to steal an aerial view from the Sky Walk. Trafalgar, which has been curating travel since 1947, has connected with local characters who can take you far beyond the major attractions and into the heart of Costa Rica.

Meet master chocolatiers George and Julio in the San Isidro de Heredia hillside, home to their chocolate workshop. After being welcomed with a warm cup of chocolate by this French-trained pair, they’ll teach you how the cacao beans that thrive on Caribbean slopes are transformed into scrumptious chocolate bars.

Or perhaps your tastes skew more towards the savory: you’ll satisfy that craving on an exclusive visit to a family-owned plantation exploring how hearts of palm are harvested. Don Gerardo and Doña Nidya welcome you to their humble home in Sarapiquí, where Nidya serves her secret recipe for heart of
palm ceviche.

You’ll meet another hospitable couple at Hacienda Pozo Azul, where Don Alberto and Doña Ana Quintana oversee a network of canopy zip lines and offer peaceful rides around the property on horseback. With your appetite for adventure gratified, a family-style lunch with your friendly hosts lends a taste of native tico favorites like locally raised pork, crisp yucca and succulent pineapple.

From coordinating the porterage of your luggage to arranging privileged access at popular sites, Trafalgar takes care of every detail so your only responsibility is enjoying the journey. Visit our website, found on the back cover, and enter OFFER M13788 to learn more about traveling to Costa Rica and other destinations with Trafalgar.

Be sure to add an excursion to Arenal Natura Ecological Park to spot miniscule frogs, elusive lizards and an array of multi-hued toucans in a canopy
of trees.

Stay Closer to Home

Experience a memorable family vacation without dusting off your passport on a 10-day trip exploring America’s frontier. In Cody, Wyoming, go behind the scenes of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West to browse through Western memorabilia, and enjoy private conversations with the museum’s directors, who describe life on a working ranch. From Yellowstone National Park to the mountain, lake and forest tableaus in Grand Teton National Park, your Travel Director is privy to insider tips — like how to capture the perfect photo at the Chapel of the Transfiguration, a nearly century-old log structure that frames the Grand Tetons beautifully. Your savvy guide directs you to where shots include the chapel’s lovely stained glass windows, as well as the magnificent Teton range.