Hero Image
4.9
| 21 reviews

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

6 nights
Moderate

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

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with expert, English-speaking local guides

All accommodation

3 nights in a hotel, 2 nights tree camping and 1 night in a jungle lodge

Meals

6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

All your kayaking and camping equipment

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 10 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.9
| 21 reviews
Best Guides ever!
February 2024
Darleen N.
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
January 2024
Isobel T.
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
January 2024
Isobel T.
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
January 2024
Isobel T.
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
January 2024
Isobel T.
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
January 2024
Isobel T.
Costa Rica 2024
January 2024
Annette B.
Costa Rica 2024
January 2024
Annette B.
Costa Rica 2024
January 2024
Annette B.
Costa Rica 2024
January 2024
Annette B.
Great trip, the guides were lovely and the...
July 2023
Nicole
Great trip, the guides were lovely and the...
July 2023
Nicole
Great trip, the guides were lovely and the...
July 2023
Nicole
Great trip, the guides were lovely and the...
July 2023
Nicole
A superb trip and thank you to Javier, Fern...
July 2023
Peter
This trip is fantastic! First and foremost...
May 2023
Jonathan
This trip is fantastic! First and foremost...
May 2023
Jonathan
This trip is fantastic! First and foremost...
May 2023
Jonathan
This trip is fantastic! First and foremost...
May 2023
Jonathan
This trip is fantastic! First and foremost...
May 2023
Jonathan
Excellent tour, not particularly physically...
April 2023
Claire
Excellent tour, not particularly physically...
April 2023
Claire
Excellent tour, not particularly physically...
April 2023
Claire
Excellent tour, not particularly physically...
April 2023
Claire
Excellent tour, not particularly physically...
April 2023
Claire
What an amazing trip!! This itinerary is so...
March 2023
Lynsey
What an amazing trip!! This itinerary is so...
March 2023
Lynsey
What an amazing trip!! This itinerary is so...
March 2023
Lynsey
What an amazing trip!! This itinerary is so...
March 2023
Lynsey
Great location for some adventure and hosts...
January 2023
Natalie

Sea kayak tropical shores and tangled mangroves, and snorkel amidst coral reefs and colourful fish

Hike through mountainous jungle and virgin rainforest in one of the country's most remote corners

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

Key Information

Day 1

Welcome to Costa Rica

Hiking

2 hrs · 3km

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. Meet your guides and fellow travellers and go on a short walk to a nearby waterfall.

Day 2

Head into the jungle

Host pic.

Hiking

4hrs · 8km · 480m up · 480m down

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. Head back down along a path which winds through a different part of the mountain range, stopping along the way to take in the beautiful views and for a picnic lunch. A full day of trekking will take you back to your hotel in Golfito for a relaxing evening.

Day 3

Piedras Blancas National Park

Hiking

7 hrs · 14km · 470m up · 470m down

An early breakfast will fuel a challenging day, hiking inside the magnificent Piedras Blancas National Park. Head into the Tico-Amazonia mountains along a steep trail through primary rainforest and flatlands, keeping your eyes peeled for the local flora and fauna of this region. Reach your remote camping area situated by the beach and enjoy a well-earned dinner before sleeping in the trees.

Day 4

Kayak and snorkel in Golfo Dulce

Host Pic

Hiking

1-2hrs

Kayaking

2-3hrs

Snorkelling

1hr

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 5

Kayak to Playa Bajo Nancite

Kayaking

3-4 hrs · 7km

Fuel up with some fresh fruit and coffee before heading off for another chance to kayak in Golfito Bay. Back on the water again, you'll sea kayak through the coastal rainforest-lined Golfo Dulce to the beach at Playa Bajo Nancite. Soak up the atmosphere and spend a relaxing evening at a coastal jungle lodge.

Day 6

To Golfito via Zamia Forest

Host Pic

Kayaking

5 hrs · 12km

Hiking

1-2 hrs · 2km · 140m up · 140m down

Begin paddling by the mangroves along the coast, stopping at Cacao Beach. Enjoy a traditional Costa Rican lunch before swapping your kayak for hiking boots and head into the Zamia jungle reserve to learn about the area's flora and fauna. Return to the hotel in Golfito in the afternoon and celebrate the end of this wild adventure with a farewell meal.

Day 7

Goodbye Costa Rica

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

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Rainforest Lodge · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Gallo Pinto – rice with red beans in a bowl, close-up on the table

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, with 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?

Mar y Luna, Golfito, Costa Rica
Golfito

You'll stay at the Hotel Mar y Luna, a 3-star hotel located at the beach of Golfito. The hotel has a restaurant that serves international cuisine and there's also an on-site bar. The bathrooms are private and come with a shower.

Rainforest Tree Camping

You’ll camp at Tico-Amazonia camp, Playa San Josecito, for two nights 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. The remote camp has showers, flushing toilets and a dining area protected from the rain. The tree-tents are set up at 1.5 metres (5 feet) above the ground.

Jungle Lodge, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, Proyecto Aventura
Jungle Lodge

You'll spend one night at a coastal jungle lodge in Playa Bajo Nancite. There are a combination of twin-share and triple-share rooms with en suite bathrooms, and the rooming will depend on the make up of your group.

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. Single rooms can't be guaranteed for the 1 night spent at a jungle lodge, however. See Optional Extras for prices.

This trip has been rated as Moderate

The hiking is through thick rainforest 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 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.

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.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Golfito Airport, Costa Rica

12:00 on Day 1

Ends

Golfito Airport, Costa Rica

Any time on Day 7

Transfers

Transfers from Golfito Airport to your accommodation are included if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 7 – just let your host know your flight details in advance. If you arrive and/or depart outside of these days, then you'll need to make your own airport transfer arrangements. Taxis are available to and from the airport and are inexpensive.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Costa Rica from major airports across the UK, Europe and the US. The most typical international flight route is to arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José.

Internal domestic flights from San José down to Golfito (GLF) need to be booked separately. They operate from the Domestic Terminal at SJO, located just a short walk from the International Terminal.

The domestic airline flying between San Jose and Golfito is Sansa Airlines. You can book your domestic flight eight weeks in advance. There are three daily flights available, they take 55 minutes and cost around USD150. The total travel time, including getting to and from airports, is around four hours. If you are planning to arrive on Day 1, please book one of the flights that leaves San José before lunchtime.

Another option would be to travel from San José by public bus with Tracopa Bus. The journey takes six hours and costs around USD15.

If you are considering to organise a private transfer from San José to Golfito, please contact your host. If you are planning to spend a night in San José, you can book a hotel with your host. Please check Optional Extras for more info.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's Included

Tree hanging tent
Sleeping bag and mat
Climbing gear
Kayak, paddle, 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)

  • Water shoes (for kayaking in, and getting wet regularly)

  • Comfortable, dry footwear for around camp

CLOTHES
Waterproof, breathable jacket
Waterproof gaiters
Rainhat with chin strap
Bandana/buff
Sythentic hiking trousers
Synthetic shorts
Synthetic T-shirts
Lightweight base layers
Underwear and 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
Headlamp
Reusable water bottle (x2 litre)
Water treatment - see our guide to the best water filters for adventurers

OPTIONAL
Earplugs
Energy bars and snacks
Camera

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Guided trip in Corcovado national park one day from Puerto Jimenez to Sirena ranger Station by boat

Payable Before Departure

Guided trip in Corcovado national park one day from Puerto Jimenez to Sirena ranger Station by boat

Per Person

Two nights in Puerto Jimenez

Payable Before Departure

Two nights in Puerto Jimenez

Per Person

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

Payable Before Departure

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

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Golfito Hotel Nights Only)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Golfito Hotel Nights Only)

Per Person

Private Tree Tent (Camping Nights Only)

Payable Before Departure

Private Tree Tent (Camping Nights Only)

Per Person

Susan M.(April 2024)
Amazing

Amazing trip, very well looked after and guided by Javier and his team. 10 out of 10. Great mix of activities and accommodation. Fantastic opportunity to make wonderful memories. Excellent value for money If you’re thinking of booking this trip then I’d say book it you won’t regret it.

Lynn F.(April 2024)
Wow what an adventure and

Wow what an adventure and trip we have had. It has been amazing and led by an amazing host Javier and his team. Such expert advice, sights to see and we felt well supported. You can see and hear the teams enthusiasm and knowledge for thier country. I felt well suppirted kyaking, especially since I have not been kyaking before. We had such wonderful food and the odd cocktails in the jungle. The trip was well worth the money, and I'd say follow the packing list. Also, take some long sleeve tops, which can be used for kayaking, as it's very hot out on the Ocean. Thank you Javier and Much Better Adventures for this experience

Darleen N.(February 2024)
Best Guides ever!
Best Guides ever!

Javier and Fernando were amazing. They thought of every detail and took amazing care of us. The food was incredible. It was a great adventure making memories for a lifetime. Thank you!!

Joshua P.(February 2024)
Amazing experience!

Absolutely phenomenal experience al around. Javier and Fernando were amazing guides. Great balance and mix of activities to make for this great experience! 10/10!

Julia G.(January 2024)
Trip of a lifetime!

This is a fantastic trip! Hiking & camping in the jungle was an amazing experience, as was the kayaking. It was all such a brilliant adventure. Javier and the team looked after us so well, they were so welcoming and did everything to make the trip as comfortable and fun as possible. It's true what is advised that the fitter you are the easier it will be. Plus there was always a cold beer or cocktail waiting for us at the end of the day after all the activities. I can't recommend this trip highly enough to those with an adventurous spirit!

william f.(January 2024)
It was a fantastic, well-planned,

It was a fantastic, well-planned, unforgettable experience.

Isobel T.(January 2024)
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!
1st time MuchBetterAdventure user whose returned to travelling solo after many years!

Absolutely incredible trip! So we'll organised and loads of surprises along the way too! Treks and kayaking tough but so well supported and with a group of 10, with a nice team building activity to start, it encouraged you to push yourself! I would definitely do it again!

Annette B.(January 2024)
Costa Rica 2024
Costa Rica 2024
Costa Rica 2024
Costa Rica 2024
Costa Rica 2024

Wow what an adventure. We started as strangers and very quickly became great friends. The scenery was breathtaking, the activities were great fun and the food was amazing. Javier and his team were outstanding and made everything work like clockwork. The weather hot and humid but a daily downpour kept us fresh! This adventure had a bit of everything. Would highly recommend it and Much Better Adventures as your adventure team

Christie E.(December 2023)
Feel Wild and Free

The guides were fantastic. Food delish! It was great to see parts of the jungle that are too remote to easily access. The hikes were challenging - uphill, hot, and fast-paced on slick or rocky terrain. Kit list helpful - bring hiking boots, closed toe shoes for camp (trainers with good traction) and water shoes (river walking and kayaking with landing on rocky beaches. Sandals with straps (like Tevas) are not hearty enough. Ankle support needed in all areas. For the full day at the tree camp, ask to be back well before sunset to enjoy trails and nearby snorkeling. Most days have ample time to enjoy the juices, wildlife (including bugs), and people. Bring books and games in waterproof bags - even on the kayaking trips. Treat yourself to a solo room - one of the two beds at Mar y Luna is more of a cot.

Nicole(July 2023)