Adventures / Wild Hikes

Kayak, Hike and Tree Camp the Hidden Rainforests of Costa Rica

Trek through lush jungle teeming with exotic wildlife, paddle vivid coastline and fall asleep in the trees

From

Trip Ref #10335

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Kayak, Hike and Tree Camp the Hidden Rainforests of Costa Rica

Trek through lush jungle teeming with exotic wildlife, paddle vivid coastline and fall asleep in the trees

DURATION

7 nights

LOCATION

Costa Rica

ANNUAL LEAVE

6 days off work

SEASON

Mar, Jun-Jul, Nov-Dec

GROUP SIZE

Up to 7 people

MEETING POINT

Golfito Airport, Costa Rica

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Wild camping

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

No previous hiking or paddling experience is required but the fitter you are, the more enjoyable the experience will be

Journey through virgin rainforest and sea kayak tropical shores in one of the country's most remote corners

Swim beneath secret waterfalls deep in the rainforest and snorkel amidst coral reefs and colourful fish

Fall asleep to the calls of monkeys, toucans and frogs while in your tent suspended among the trees

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Christina, December 2021

This trip was a knockout! Pristine natural access and multi-sport adventure with a team that takes care of things so you can focus on your experience. Local team are serious pros and perfect combo of detail-orientation and people-friendliness. The brother team works well - Javier was extremely fast responding and offered to chat with my niece and I beforehand. We did a 1-hour call and it calmed any fears I had about a new company, first int'l trip since covid, and bringing a dependent. He helped us with our pack list a lot. Eric obviously has tons of experience guiding. Perfect vibe - low key and personable but aware of risks and on-top of the plan. I felt lucky we had such a pro for our small group. Beyond his guiding, his cooking was amazing! It created the space each meal that allowed for group chill and connection time. As for the location, we had incredible access to a unique and pristine part of the country that's least visited. Seeing spider monkeys, coati and anteater were highlights. Kayaking the coastline allowed a unique view and bird sightings. Hard to convey everything in one review, so my suggestion... talk to Javier directly and he'll tell you honestly what to expect and how to prepare. Anything else you'd like to add? Our first chill afternoon, we played Banana Grams and enjoying an afternoon rain storm, then Eric made other stellar meal - this time fajitas with chicken, steak, fresh avos and all. He followed up with bananas flambe, lighting the rum on fire and everything. We loved it! Wrapped up that great day with karaoke and a night swim. A great way to wrap 4 days of hike/kayak adventuring together. // One awesome thing Eric did was tell us all to pick 5 songs and add to a playlist. We spent one night during dinner and after listening and guessing who added the song. We had a great time and ended up with a sweet mix as a souvenir that we will all for sure listen to and remember the trip.

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking local guides

Accommodation

4 nights tree camping and 3 nights in a hotel

Meals

Most meals with the exception of a few dinners

Transfers

Transfers within the trip and to and from Golfito airport

Equipment

All your kayaking and camping equipment

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Some meals as described

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Golfito International Airport, Costa Rica

Anytime on Day 1

Ends

Golfito International Airport, Costa Rica

Anytime on Day 8

Transfers

Your international flight will arrive into San Jose, where you will transfer to the domestic airport. It is a short and easy walk of 4 blocks. The airport transfers from Golfito are included on arrival and departure days from the airport to your accommodation. Just let your host know your flight details. If you arrive and depart outside of the set days, you'll have to make your own airport transfer arrangements. Taxi's are available to and from the airport and are inexpensive. The accommodation is only 5 blocks away from the Golfito airport, so if you feel like stretching your legs, you can simply walk.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Costa Rica from major airports across the UK, Europe and US.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 6

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

A classic plate of Costa Rican food traditionally includes rice and beans, salad, fried sweet plantains and either fish, chicken, pork or beef. Some will also have cheese, french fries or grilled vegetables. Gallo Pinto is another classic Costa Rican staple: slow-cooked rice and beans with onions, peppers and coriander (cilantro). This is often part of the Costa Rican breakfast, Gallo Pinto - eggs, fried cheese, sweet plantains and homemade corn tortillas. There'll be plenty of other Latin American and tropical foods available and on the coast you’ll find Pipa Fria: a whole, cold fresh coconut.

Vegetarians and some other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form. Unfortunately due to limited produce options in this part of Costa Rica, it is not possible to accommodate vegan diets.

What is the accommodation like?

Rainforest Tree Camping

You’ll camp in the trees in same-sex, twin-share tents using certified climbing and camping gear and the assistance of a professional climber by your side.

Golfito

You'll stay at the Hotel Casa Roland Golfito, a 3-star hotel located at the edge of beautiful tropical rainforest in the town of Golfito. It features a furnished terrace with a swimming pool and sauna. The bathrooms are private and come with a shower. The Casa Roland Golfito has a restaurant that serves international cuisine for the guests and there's also an on-site bar.

Upgrades

For solo travellers wanting their own space, there is the option to upgrade to a private room and tent if you would like to do so, subject to availability. See Optional Extras for prices.

Day 1

Arrive in Golfito

Fly into beautiful Costa Rica and head to your hotel in Golfito, the most southern port town and located across from the Osa Peninsula on the Golfo Dulce. Explore, relax and get ready for your Costa Rican adventure.

Day 2

The adventure begins

Kayaking

3hrs · 4km

Hiking

2hrs · 3km · 250m up · 250m down

Fuel up with some fresh fruit and coffee before heading off for your first taste of kayaking in Golfito waters. After a quick intro to sea kayaking, you'll begin paddling along the coast, stopping after a short while at the Zamia Forest. Here you'll be swapping your kayak for hiking boots and head uphill through the jungle to be instantly rewarded with some sweeping views of the Golfo Dulce coastline. Paddle back to Golfito in the afternoon and enjoy dinner under your own steam at one of the local restaurants near the hotel.

Day 3

Head into the jungle

Hiking

3-4hrs · 12km · 350m up

After breakfast, you'll take a quick transfer to the trailhead at the base of Cerro Adams, the highest mountain in the area. You’ll follow a trail that winds up through mountainous jungle, keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way. Arrive at your first tree camping site deep in the jungle, where you'll learn the basics of tree camping before hiking to a nearby waterfall for a dip. Enjoy a traditional dinner prepared by your guide and spend your first night sleeping in the trees.

Day 4

Piedras Blancas National Park

Hiking

5-6hrs · 15km · 250m up · 350m down

As the jungle wakes you'll start your hike back down to the town of Golfito and continue in a private shuttle onto the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge entrance before crossing into its neighbouring park, Piedras Blancas National Park. Make your way deep into this primary rainforest with its stunning diversity of flora and fauna towards San Josecito beach, your second tree camp location. On arrival take a refreshing dip in the calm waters of San Josecito, a welcome reward, then watch the sunset as you camp in peaceful San Josecito BayAfter dinner climb into your tree tent and lay back and listen to the rainforest come alive with the sounds of insects and frogs.

Day 5

Snorkel and kayak Golfo Dulce

Snorkeling

1-2hrs

Hiking

1-2hrs

Kayaking

2-3hrs

With the ocean on one side and the thick rainforest on the other, you'll get to explore both worlds today by kayak and on foot. Enjoy the morning paddling the coastline while capturing stunning views of the shoreline with its magnificent mountainous backdrop. Snorkel amidst the colourful coral reef and tropical fish and you might see a pod of dolphins or a sea turtle or two. Once back on land explore some of the nearby trails close to camp and enjoy your night in the jungle

Day 6

Kayak into Golfo Dulce

Kayaking

3-4hrs

Paddle along one of the most beautiful coastlines of the Piedras Blancas National Park, where forest meets the ocean. You’ll stop for a swim or snorkel then continue your journey towards Golfito. On the way, we’ll be looking for dolphins, whales and sea turtle. Our last campsite is located by the ocean from where we will have the opportunity to enjoy amazing sunsets.

Day 7

Take to the water

Kayaking

5-6hrs · 15km

Board your kayak for the final leg of the adventure. Today we will enjoy and learn about the amazing mangrove forests, of this part of the world, on the way to our finish line in Golfito. Our final destination is a waterfront restaurant where we will celebrate the end of an amazing week with a farewell feast.

Day 8

Back to the airport

After breakfast and final goodbyes with your team, you'll be returned to the airport in time for your flight home.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's Included

Hanging tent
Sleeping bag and mat Climbing gear
Kayak and life jacket

What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Soft duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack 20+ litres 20 litre drybag

FOOTWEAR Hiking shoes or boots (worn in) Strap sandals Footwear for around camp

CLOTHES
Waterproof, breathable jacket
Lightweight fleece Waterproof gaiters Rainhat with chin strap Bandana/buff Sythentic hiking trousers Synthetic shorts Lightweight base layers T-shirts
Underwear & socks
Swimsuit
Sunglasses with strap
Sunhat
Something to sleep in

OTHER
Snorkel and mask
Trekking poles
Stuff sacks
Pocket knife or multi tool
Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
Quick-dry towel
Sleeping bag liner
Alcohol hand-gel
Face mask
Headlamp
Reusable water bottle (x2 litre)
Water treatment See here for a guide on the best water filters for adventurers

OPTIONAL
Earplugs
Energy bars and snacks
Camera

Mask and snorkel for two days

Payable Before Departure

Mask and snorkel for two days

Per Person

Pre/Post-trip accommodation in Golfito (Single, Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/Post-trip accommodation in Golfito (Single, Twin/Double)

Per Person

Private tree tent

Payable Before Departure

Private tree tent

Per Person

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Per Person

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 92kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Tree camping is becoming the new camping craze where instead of sleeping on the ground, you'll spend the night suspended in the air from a tree using certified climbing gear and the assistance of a professional climber. A fully set up tree tent will be about 3m above the ground and you'll have a sleeping and mat for extra comfort.

The hiking can be a bit of a slog uphill and through thick forest at times but there will be plenty of breaks and time to take in the surrounding views, wildlife and enjoy the rainforest. You should however feel comfortable hiking through streams and on uneven terrain.

You really do not need any kayaking experience. Your guide will give you full instructions and a safety briefing at the start. You’ll just need reasonable levels of fitness to handle approx 15km of relaxed paddling on Day 7 but the hours listed include breaks, so there is no rush and plenty of time to rest.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

The water in Costa Rica is generally safe to drink except for that found in remote and rural areas where there's little to no infrastructure. The support vehicle carries large containers of water from which you can fill your bottle.

Average temperatures in and around Golfito vary very little. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot all year with a fair chance of precipitation about half of the year. The warmest time of year is generally early to mid-March where highs are regularly around 34.7°C (94.4°F) and temperatures rarely dropping below 23.2°C (73.7°F) at night.

Absolutely. Anything you don't need can be left with your host at Golfito and collected when the trip is finished.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Costa Rica, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion. Of course, you are free to tip as much or little as you like and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

From

Full Financial Protection

Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.

Covid Refund Guarantee

If your trip is cancelled due to Covid choose from free date changes, account credit, or a full refund.

Similar Trips

From