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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


Trip Ref #10335

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

6 nights
Costa Rica
5 days off work
Nov-Mar | Jun-Jul
Up to 10 people
Golfito Airport, Costa Rica

Hotel · Wild camping · Rainforest Lodge



Based on 13 reviews

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

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

Day 1

Welcome to Costa Rica


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


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


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







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


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


5 hrs · 12km


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.



Expert, English-speaking local guides


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


6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners


Transfers within the trip and to and from Golfito airport


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

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share




Day 2

Hotel · Twin share




Day 3 – Day 4

Wild camping · Twin tent




Day 5

Rainforest Lodge · Twin or triple share




Day 6

Hotel · Twin share




Day 7




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, 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?


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

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.


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.

The Area




Golfito Airport, Costa Rica

12:00 on Day 1


Golfito Airport, Costa Rica

Any time on Day 7


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?

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

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

Waterproof, breathable jacket
Waterproof gaiters
Rainhat with chin strap
Sythentic hiking trousers
Synthetic shorts
Synthetic T-shirts
Lightweight base layers
Underwear and socks
Sunglasses with strap
Something to sleep in

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
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
Reusable water bottle (x2 litre)
Water treatment - see our guide to the best water filters for adventurers

Energy bars and snacks

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

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 (Hotel Nights Only)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Hotel Nights Only)

Per Person

Private Tree Tent (Camping Nights Only)

Payable Before Departure

Private Tree Tent (Camping Nights Only)

Per Person

- Nicole(July 2023)

Great trip, the guides were lovely and the snorkelling is amazing! The trekking was a lot more challenging than expected but the views from the top were brilliant.

- Peter(July 2023)

A superb trip and thank you to Javier, Fernando, Laura and Zoe for all their hard work in making it a wonderful experience. The activities are reasonably challenging and you will be tired at the end of each day but also have a great deal of satisfaction. There are a few steep inclines hiking so it is important to know your fitness level when doing these. Highlights include the superb views, Tarzan swing, seeing all the wildlife ( so cool having bottle nosed dolphins coming within ten feet of our kayaks) and a lovely group dynamic. I'd highly recommend this trip, especially to hear Fernando's plant knowledge and Laura's historical knowledge of the area. Both are very proud of their area👍

- Dan(July 2023)


- Abigail(July 2023)

An amazing experience. Experienced and knowledgeable and guides providing reassurance and support throughout, especially during the challenging activities. The group was a mix of nationalities and ages making for a varied but similar minded group of people. Kit list was very useful. Good sustainable ethos reflected by guides. H&S was sufficient throughout. I haven't seen another tour including tree tent camping, never mind the 3 course meals and cocktails served at the jungle camp! What an experience to be immersed in the jungle. A good level of fitness and sense of adventure is definately recommended to get the most out of this fantastic tour.

- Jonathan(March 2023)

This trip is fantastic! First and foremost if you have never done a Much Better Adventures trip, this was my second and the other travellers have been a great bunch both times. Regarding the trip itself, the location of Golfito is incredible and authentic - international tourism hasn't hit the area yet. The rainforest is great for hiking and nothing uber challenging. As long as you can walk for a few hours a day in the countryside you're fine - only one day has some steepish inclines. When hiking we weren't blessed with seeing too many animals (maybe we were just unlucky or maybe the reason why the area isn't so touristy is because other areas are home to a greater abundance of wildlife?). However, we did see toucans, macaws, iguanas, other birds, small mammals and flashes of monkeys. When staying at the hotel accomodation is basic but more than sufficient and importantly has AC! When in the jungle the tree tent is an incredible experience just simply because of the basecamp location. Waking up in the jungle on the beach with the views... Wow. The kayaking is great and you don't need to be experienced - the days at sea slightly better than the day within the bay as you have the opportunity to snorkel and see fish, even saw dolphins and jumping rays! For convenience / weather the itinerary wasn't followed exactly and included a day or two less in the jungle and one or two more in accomodation which may or may not suit your taste. Overall I really enjoyed seeing an authentic Costa Rica this way and had a great time and as a pointer you'll get the most out of the trip by doing it in the dry season for sure! Special mention to guides Javier and Fernando by the way for their knowledge, friendliness, cooking abilities and making the trip great fun! Pura vida. If there wasn't so many other Much Better Adventures trips to do I'd definitely go back.

- Claire(March 2023)

Excellent tour, not particularly physically challenging. Beautiful scenery, stunning beaches and very knowledgeable and experienced guides. Suggest bringing UV protective clothing for kayaking in dry season, including gloves to protect from the sun.

- Lynsey(February 2023)

What an amazing trip!! This itinerary is so undersold on the website and I cannot recommend it enough! Javier, Fernando and Laura were amazing guides who looked after us so well and were so flexible with us. Javier is such an interesting guy, so many fun stories and clearly incredibly passionate about his work, he honestly couldn't have done more for us. Fernando was our trekking and kayaking guide, he was so knowledgable on plant and wildlife and took us on hikes away from the standard trails, machete in hand, which was fantastic. Laura, is the sweetest person and walking history book, she was able to answer all of our history and cultural questions on Costa Rica and then some! They perfectly complemented each other and were the ultimate hosts! The trip was the perfect balance of active and chill out time. The highlight for me was the camping nights, we were camped on the beach surrounded by the jungle, with wildlife all around us and barely a sign of civilization in sight, it was truly surreal. Pura vida!!

- Lynsey(February 2023)

Amazing trip, well organised and informative. Need a fairly good level of fitness as the hikes are steep and the kayaking can be challenging depending on the conditions in the bay.

Would do it all again tomorrow if I could!!

- Natalie(December 2022)

Great location for some adventure and hosts were great

- William(November 2022)

Incredible trip!! A great balance of jungle trekking and sea kayaking with also time to enjoy your beautiful surroundings! Top marks from me, and a special shout out to the incredible team and guides.

Golfito and Piedras Blancas are hidden gems. Natural beauty that holds its own against, or beat, any national parks in Costa Rica - without the tourists!

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 2023 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. Your fully set up tree tent will be about 1.5m above the ground and you'll have a sleeping and mat for extra comfort. As you will be sleeping in the rainforest, there is always a chance to experience some humidity in your tree tent. Make sure to bring a change of clothes and good dose of adventure for this wonderful experience of sleeping amongst nature!

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 70% 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 for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

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.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.


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