Wilderness Eco-Safari

Pacific Coast Costa Rica: (IT-CR-HRW08)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/costa_rica_wilderness_eco_safari.aspx

Introduction
Pacific Coast Costa Rica Our new Conquistadores Wilderness Eco-Safari adventure is a progressive trek that will immerse you in the Tropical Forest whilst experiencing an authentic rural Costa Rican way of life and witnessing an outstanding natural diversity and wildlife.  This riding adventure unfolds in the backwaters and surrounding areas of Carara National Park - a true gem harbouring  a wide range of natural habitats and high levels of biodiversity, like no other in Central America.  This ride has been designed for those Equestrians and nature enthusiasts seeking opportunities to encounter tropical wildlife and specially birds.  Amongst the most commonly seen wildlife are birds such as macaws, parrots, parakeets, toucans and mammals such as monkeys, coatis, agoutis, sloths, peccaries, tayras and possibly the elusive jaguarondi.  We comb miles of pristine tropical land and a network of dirt trails in an area which represents the meeting point of Meso-American and South-American flora and fauna, combining a wide range of life zones including Transitional Pre-montane and Lowland Forests.  During this equestrian adventure you will come close to exploring the local Costa Rican rural life following mountain trails, visiting remote villages and discovering pristine natural settings.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations. A total of 2 nights are spent at a hotel in San Jose, 2 nights local guest house, 3 nights farm guest house with shared bathroom, and 1 night at Local Pub.

Description

Night 1 & 8: Hotel in San Jose (Park Inn or El Rodeo)

Night 2 & 3: Guesthouse (Rio Carara Lodge)
Located in a natural corridoror amidst Carara National Park, the Castro-Fernández Nature Reserve and the Turruburares Mountains.  There are no immediate neighbours or electricity which adds to the feeling of seclusion and tranquility, food is cooked typical style in a wood stove. Most of the ingredients used are locally sourced and grown on the property. Accommodation is at the rustic Family home surrounded by spacious corridors with hammocks at Rio Carara Farm which offers 10 hectares with great nature trails, waterfalls and natural pools.

Night 4, 5, & 6: Farm guesthouse (Finca Galán)
Finca Galán is a ecological farm which is being developed and has started offering lodging to selected travelers who enjoy authentic life-changing experiences. Accommodation is in a 3-Bedroom, 2 Bathroom bungalow house perched on a mountain slope at the basin of Cerro Galán on the Turrubares Mountains. There is one bedroom with two bunk beds, one with twin single beds and one with a Double bed. Water is brought to the house by gravity directly from a private natural spring source, cooking is done by gas stove and evening are candlelit. The area is so peaceful and quiet that the only sounds in the morning will be the dozens of singing birds that eagerly await for the first rays of lights at dusk and go to be at night with candles and at the sounds of the tropical forest.

Night 7: Local Pub (Palenque Mata de Platano)
Palenque Mata de Platano is located in Mata de Platano in the Turrubares county. This Costa Rican Pub is located by the Turrubaritos river and serves as rest stop for locals wanting a meal, a beer or a stay. Palenque Mata de Platano offers 4 rooms with ceiling fan, private facilities and have 2 or three beds. The rooms are locted right above the bar and restaurant facilities which will provide a good opportunity to mingle with the locals.

Room Occupancy
Given the limited room capacity, only 1 rider may be confirmed on Single Occupancy and may be guaranteed on a first come first served basis.
Triple occupancy is not possible.


Meals
Most meals are included in this trip from breakfast on Day 2 to lunch on Day 8, as well as breakfast on Day 9. Meals on the first day and dinner on Day 8 are not included. Due to its geographical location and climate, Costa Rica has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables; which when combined with the interplay of native and European ingredients translate into a unique Costa Rican flavour. The basics of the Costa Rican diet are: rice, beans, and tortillas, which consist primarily of corn.
 
The ingredients used by Costa Rican cooks include simple native foods, such as "chayote" (squash), avocados, and the ever present corn. Costa Rican cuisine is also characterized by its' mildness and comes as a surprise to many visitors who might have travelled through Mexico and expect to find the same love spicy chillies in Costa Rican foods. Chillies are used to some degree, however, they are most commonly used in hot sauces with accompany broiled meats and poultry. Tubers, such as sweet potatoes and cassava, commonly known as "yucca" frequently accompany lunch and dinner meals.

In many dishes yucca is often substituted for potato, perhaps boiled and mashed, fried to exquisite crispness to accompany meat and sandwiches instead of fries, or simply boiled and served with butter and garlic. Plantains, a type of banana, are another Costa Rican favourite, and are most often boiled, mashed, stuffed with cheese, or fried to accompany meats or bean dishes. Unlike bananas, plantains are much larger and need to be cooked to be eaten. Costa Rican diet also includes plenty of meats including: Poultry, fish, beef and pork.. do not expect to find any Ecuadorian or Peruvian delicacy!!
 
Breakfast
A traditional Costa Rican breakfast consists of "gallo pinto" (Pinto Rooster), eggs, tortillas and sour cream, with coffee and fresh fruit juice. Most restaurants will offer some international options.
 
Lunch
Typically known as "casado" (Married), includes: rice and beans, one choice of meat (beef, chicken, pork, or fish), salad, fried plantain (a type of banana, very sweet and very tasty).
 
Dinner
Pretty much whatever you like, and fish and seafood here is excellent, well priced, and fresh, as are the fruits and vegetables. Of course Costa Rica produces some of the finest coffee in the world and it's not uncommon to see bumper stickers around proclaiming that "Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee"


This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience

This Multi-base ride is designed for those riders who are Wildlife and/or Birdwatching Enthusiasts and seek to immerse in a unique natural setting and discover the authentic rural Costa Rica . Riders are required to have an Intermediate level of riding experience to join this ride. And those who do not mind cool showers!

Pace
5.5 riding days with 3-6 hours per riding day

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary (subject to changes)

Day 1: Arrival

Arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San José. Upon arrival you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel near the airport.
Overnight in San Jose.

Day 2: Presentation & Build-up ride
Morning short drive to Eco-Safari Ranch & Stables, located along the Trinidad river in the Dry Central Pacific Region, the starting point of your riding adventure. Following the horse assignment and our presentation, you will take a short ride in our property to ensure you feel comfortable with your horse and you get used to the local riding style and commands. As our horses are trucked to the starting point of the ride, we will visit the local town for any last minute purchases before we start to head to more off-the-beaten path trails. We will reunite with our horses at Lagunas in the Turrubares Mountains lowlands where our Tropical adventure begins riding on trails adjacent to Carara National Park to Galan (12 Km).
Overnight at local Guest House (B,L,D)
Riding: ~3-4 hours

Note: For your main lugggage piece, we recommend bringing a holdall-type luggage which can be more easily handled, as well as another small rucksack (8 Kilo maximum) so you can pack the clothes you will need for the two nights at Hacienda Rio Carara and the night at Pakenque Mata de Platano. All small rucksacks will be carried on the spare horse whilst your main luggage will be transported on 4x4 and will be waiting for you at Finca Galan (on day 4) and then delivered to you on day 8.

Day 3: Explore Carara National Park
Today we will explore the neighbouring Rainforest adjacent to Carara National Park, which in indigenous Huetar language means "River of lizards". Carara is considered a must destination amongst wildlife enthusiasts and professional birdwatchers. Created as a biological reserve in 1978 and considered nowadays to be a biological island because of the dense agriculture and livestock operations around it which go back to the Pre-Columbus era. The 4,700 ha. Carara Biological Reserve occupies a unique position at the transition zone between tropical moist forest and tropical wet forest in the Pacific lowlands. Though most of the vegetation in the reserve remains evergreen and is characteristic of the wet forest life zone, there are a number of species that lose their leaves during the dry season, showing their affinity to the drier climate found north of the reserve. 
Overnight at local Guest House (B,L,D)
Riding: ~4-5 hours

Day 4: Carara National Park - Sur de Turrubares - Monte Galán
After enjoying a hearty breakfast, we will continue following the South Eastern trail adjacent to Carara National Park towards the remote village of Sur de Turrubares - a charming rural community tucked in a hidden Valley surrounded by an amazing tropical forest and beautiful mountains. A area where one can really unplug oneself from the rest of the world. During school time, we may visit the local school and bring some school supplies (guests are welcome to any school materials). After a visit to the local bar (if opened), we will start to ride up towards our next destination Finca Galán. En route, there will be a few rivers to cross as we continue to gain altitude. As we head towards the Turrubares mountains the views become more and more astounding and the breeze cooler, reaching 640 mts of elevation at the end of the day. Tucked away on a hill foot lays  Finca Galán where we will spend the next three nights. During clear days, it is possible to see the Ocean surf hit the coastline. 
Overnight at Finca Galán (B,L,D)
Riding: ~4-5 hours

Day 5: Ride on the Pontenciana Mountains or Lanas & Aguas Calientes
Today we have the option to ride toward the Potenciana Mountains – a ride will be filled with spectacular mountain and distant Pacific Ocean views at the end of the rolling mountains and vallers, as we ride towards the Potenciana Mountains, we will reach higher altitudes which will reveal spectacular views at every turn. We will ride through farm lands and along a mountain trail through premontane and Oak Forest higher up the Turrubares and Potentiana mountains, the only high coastal mountain range of Central-America. As we continue the ascend we will be able to notice the changes in the forest constitution and its characteristics as the lower temeperatures allow for more ferns, moss and bromeliads - a day to enjoy unparalled views of the valleys and Pacific coast line. Depending on weather conditons, if it was rainy and cloudy, we may do a country side ride visiting Lanas Community which sits amongst the Lanas and Tulín river basins. This area is mainly dedicated to cattle raising and the little town is made up by houses dotted along a rural road, with a catholic temple, football field, a primary and secondary school.
Overnight at Finca Galán (B,L,D)
Riding: ~3-4 hours

Day 6: Non-riding Day (Day at Leisure or to join optional activities)
Today will be a rest day for our horses and will also be a great opportunity to experience the real and rural Costa Rica! You may choose to take a guided nature walk through the Rainforest, help with farm work activities or just relax on the hammock! You can part take in our farm work and learn about the seasonal crops produced, the cultivating techniques and challenges local farmers need to endure to grow, harvest and sell their produce.  Amongst the crops produced in this area are corn, sweet potato, cacao, beans, yucca and sugar canes.
Overnight at Finca Galán (B,L,D)

Day 7: Ride from Galan through Delicias & San Gabriel to Mata de Platano 
After a hearty breakfast, we will start to descend the Turrubares mountains and head towards the Pacific coast lowlands, following a dirt road through we reach the cattle raising lands in the villages of Delicias and San Gabriel and then on mountain farm trails to finally reaching the Turrubaritos river which we cross on a few ocassions and ride along as it meanders its ways down towards the coastline and into the Pacific Ocean, we stay spend the night on the river edge in the village of Mata de Platano. Brind some swimming clothes at hand to enjoy a dip in the river swim holes and cool off!
Overnight at Palenque Mata de Platano (B,L,D)
Riding: ~4-5 hours

Day 8: Ride from Mata de Platano – through Fila Negra to Playa Hermosa on the Pacific Coast
Our final ride will take us across the Turrubaritos river which joins with the Tulín river before finally folking into the Pacifci Ocean, we will ride up through Fila Negra mountain ridge with incredible views of the coastline and then down on the lowlands ending at PLaya Hermosa on the Central Pacific Coast which is about 3 miles (5km) south of Jaco and is one of the best surf destinations in the country for its consistent wave break throughout the year. After riding along the beach, we farewell our equine friends, enjoy sometime by the beach under the shade of the Wild Almond trees where we will meet our vehicle to head back to San Jose or alternatively continue to Manuel Antonio for your beach extension (at extra cost). Our equine friends will be trucked to our ranch. 
Overnight in San Jose (B,L)
Riding: ~4-5 hours

Note: Should you want to extend your trip in Costa Rica we are happy to tailor-make the rest of your vacation or suggest some great add-on such as 3D/2N Tortuguero Jungle Canals, 3D/2 N Arenal Volcano or some nights at the beach at leisure in the Central Pacific coast.

Day 9: Departure / Flight Home.
Morning at your leisure and transferred to the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in time for your flight back home and we say our farewells.
Meals included:  B

** IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a sample ride dossier, planned several months in advance. The ride can be operated in different order other than as described above. Arrangements (routes or facilities) are subject to variation by the outfitter depending on local conditions. All riding times contained in our itineraries are based upon riding at a slow/moderate pace throughout.


Rates and Dates for Wilderness Eco-Safari

Rates include:

Accommodations (2 nights SJ hotel, 2 nights local guest house, 3 nights farm guest house with shared bathroom, and 1 night at Local Pub), meals specified in the itinerary, 5.5 riding days with bilingual guide, ponchos and horse bags, entrance fees, one litre of water a day, transfers from/to the airport

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20199 day trip, AP except in San Jose$2195
    • Single supplement$395
      Solo rider supplement$1770

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2019 Transfer from San Jose airport any time, included first and last day

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 01/22 - 01/30 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 02/12 - 02/20 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 03/19 - 03/27 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 04/16 - 04/24 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 05/07 - 05/15 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 07/24 - 08/01 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 08/14 - 08/22 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 12/04 - 12/12 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 01/01 - 01/09 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /6 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Dinner on night 8 and meals in San Jose, Airport departure fee ($29 per person, pay on departure), Gratuities for guides, drivers and service providers, Personal and/or medical expenses, extras at hotels (phone calls, room service, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.)

Other Info
Meeting: San Jose
Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport
Transfer: San Jose Inernational Airport or hotel

Climate:

Alajuela area

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

82

83

85

85

83

82

82

82

81

80

81

81

Average Low Temperature (°F)

63

63

64

65

65

64

64

64

63

63

63

63

Average High Temperature (°C)

28

28

29

30

28

28

28

28

27

27

27

27

Average Low Temperature (°C)

17

17

18

18

18

18

18

18

17

17

17

17

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

0

0

1

5

16

19

14

17

21

22

11

3

Source: NOAA

 

 

Seasons

Almost ideal year-round for visitors, the climate is moderate up in the highlands, whilst at the lowlands and coastal areas can range from the low 70's to the high 90's degrees Fahrenheit.

 

There are 2 main season: summer, which is usually dry and lasts from December to May, and winter, also known as the rainy season and usually running from the end of May to November.

 

The heaviest rainfalls usually occur in September and October.

What To Bring: