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DePaul and Safe at Last Coast to Coast Costa Rica Trek

Costa Rica Trek TOUGH
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About the Challenge

Costa Rica has a huge variety of landscapes, climates and environments and it is home to 5% of the planet’s biodiversity - From palm tree-lined tropical beaches to smoking volcanoes, cloudforest, rainforest and mangrove swamps – it all awaits us in Costa Rica! Our coast to coast challenge is an adventurous journey on foot and by raft from the Pacific to the Caribbean Coast! Our route takes us from traditional farming communities through coffee plantations and oak forests, deep into cloudforest and dense tropical rainforest, serenaded by howler monkeys and exotic bird calls. We take in the country’s highest active volcano before our challenge ends with an unforgettable journey by raft and boat to a beautiful tropical beach.

The registration fee for the trip is payable in full at the point of sign up, but do please give us a call on 01722 719042 to discuss the option of paying the cost in two instalments of £225, 28 days apart.

DePaul and Safe at Last Coast to Coast Costa Rica Trek

  • We arrive late afternoon / early evening, transfer to our hotel and relax! Night hotel.

  • After an early morning breakfast and trip briefing, we transfer by bus to a beach near Quepos on the Pacific Coast. Turning inland, we start our trek at Finca Maritima and set off on our adventure across Costa Rica! Our route takes us through palm oil plantations and agricultural land which is predominantly flat, before reaching the foothills of the more remote and forested highlands. Londres, the site of our evening’s camp, is a small farming community on the edge of the rainforest. Night camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   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  • Today we trek from Londres to the small village of San Isidro along good tracks and paths that gradually climb up to the edge of the rainforest. There are several demanding ascents and descents and several stream crossings and it can be quite muddy, but we are rewarded by fabulous views down to the Pacific Coast. We pass through thriving rural communities that provide us with a great insight to life in this part of Costa Rica before arriving at our homestead, where we camp for the night. Night camp.

    Trek approx. 18 km / 8 hours

  • After a good night’s sleep we rise early and head off into the rainforest. Our trail is initially steep with several stream crossings as it takes us into dense vegetation, very different to our surroundings yesterday. Watch out for wildlife such as beautiful tree frogs, some no larger than your fingernail, which are perfectly camouflaged amongst the leaves and vegetation of the forest. It is often quite dark and damp in the dense vegetation of the rainforest as sunlight cannot penetrate the canopy above our heads. The trail is slippery and we have to clamber over and under enormous roots and fallen trees as agile spider monkeys mock our progress from above. We continue until we reach a clearing and our accommodation at Betania in the Cascades area. Night camp.

    Trek approx. 8km / 5 – 6 hours

  • Today is our most strenuous day: a long route on challenging terrain with demanding, muddy ascents and descents. We start early; a steep, narrow and often muddy ascent takes us up to a high ridge in dense rainforest (1765m). Keep your eyes open for the many wonderful birds and the occasional small group of howler monkeys – small but extremely loud! Our track then undulates continuously, climbing to another ridge where we have lunch. Our tracks are narrow with thick vegetation towering up to each side, and we cross several rivers and cascades. Reaching our high point of 1965m, we descend sharply to the Rio Brujo. We cross a stream and embark on a steep climb along a narrow trail on the other side. Following slightly better trails that undulate through the jungle with further stream crossings, the track becomes wider as we make our way further into cloudforest to our farmstead at Quetzal y Tucan. Night camp.

    Trek approx. 17km / 10 – 12 hours

  • Today’s trek takes us through small communities and agricultural land to our camp near the small town of Santa Maria de Dota. We leave this amazing area of rainforest with its huge variety of flora and fauna behind us with mixed feelings; sad to leave such an incredible habitat behind us, but perhaps glad to rejoin less challenging paths! We trek on wider, easier tracks, but there are still several steep climbs before us, which take us to a high-point of 2045m. We then descend towards Santa Maria de Dota. Very picturesque, the town lies in a green valley surrounded by coffee plantations, forested hills and distant mountain peaks and feels very busy after our time in the rainforest. Night camp.

    Trek approx. 19 km / 7 hours

  • An early start sees us driving to the spectacular Volcan Irazu (3432m), the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. We have time to explore the crater rim, with its views over the vivid green lake in one of the craters, and if there is minimal cloud we will be able to see neighbouring Volcan Turrialba. On a really clear day it’s possible to see both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts! We then have a further drive to the start of our trek, which takes us uphill on relatively good tracks though farmland and jungle before a challenging descent takes us on a narrow mud track through rainforest to the banks of the Rio Pacuare. Time permitting, there may be a chance for a refreshing river swim on arrival. Night camp.

    Total drive approx. 4 – 5 hrs; trek approx. 6km / 2 hrs

  • After breakfast we prepare ourselves for a day of rafting! We will be rafting for around 30km (19 miles), which will take about 4 or 5 hours, depending upon the water level. The beautiful stretch of water includes several white-water rapids (grade III – IV; no experience necessary) but also plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the scenery. This is considered one of the best rafting rivers in the Americas, not just because of its exciting waters, but also because of the lush vegetation that surrounds it. There is a chance to swim in the river, and keep your eyes open for wildlife – there’s often a better chance of glimpsing creatures from the river than when walking through the dense vegetation. We will trek up to a waterfall and have a break for lunch during the course of the day, but this will be an exhilarating day that becomes a trip highlight for many. We camp again on the banks of the Pacuare River. Night camp.

    Raft approx. 4 – 5 hours; trek approx. 1 hour

  • After an early breakfast and a last look at the river, we meet our vehicles and have a lovely drive along the beautiful palm-tree-lined coastline towards Cahuita National Park. The final section of our Costa Rica trek takes us, very aptly, along the beach – a wonderful end to our challenge! Our wide, level track turns into a narrow trail which

    winds alongside the white sands of the Caribbean coast. We may see wildlife such as capuchin and howler monkeys and crab-eating raccoons. We reach our hotel in the small town of Cahuita, and for the first time in a week can enjoy the comforts of a hotel! We meet later in the evening for a slap-up barbeque and celebrate our huge achievement. Night hotel.

    Drive approx. 2 hours; trek approx. 12km / 3 - 4 hours

    (Dinner not included)

  • Cahuita’s black-sand beach is within walking distance of the town, and you can swim or surf in the warm Caribbean waters. Slightly further away there are white-sand beaches and coral reefs perfect for snorkelling, and the Cahuita National Park with its diverse wildlife. We have the day free to relax and enjoy our surroundings. Night hotel.

    (Lunch and Dinner not included)

  • We have an early morning drive back to San Jose (approx 5-6 hours) and to the airport for our afternoon flight back to the UK. (Occasionally flights depart in the morning, in which case we’ll drive to San Jose the evening before.)

Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £450 Fundraising target £4,350 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £450 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,774 Airline Taxes £200.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    The tour cost includes:

    • Scheduled flights from London to San Jose and all transport and transfers.
    • All accommodation & camping equipment
    • Most meals including celebration meal (exceptions detailed in itinerary)
    • Discover Adventure leaders and *doctor
    • Support vehicles and local guides, porters, cooks, drivers, etc.


    the tour costs does not include:

    • 2 meals as detailed in itinerary
    • Sleeping bag & sleeping mat
    • Personal travel insurance (to cover personal injury, cancellation/curtailment, lost items etc)
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Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • All food is included except for a few meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is plentiful, generally local in style, freshly-cooked and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we have packed lunches, sometimes meals are buffet-style, other times we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at our hotel, depending on accommodation.

  • Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we are often in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides who have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip; they also have a wealth of knowledge about the region.

    Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but an average-sized overseas group would be led by two leaders and a doctor. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next (where applicable). If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • Clothing

    We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!

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