Easy Shuttle

Take it easy and let yourself be transferred in small air-conditioned vans from one exciting place to another, meeting other travelers on the way. After all that action and excitement, relax at some of the most beautiful beaches! 

Duration: 
12 nights/13 days
Country: 
Type: 

Highlights

  • San José
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Rio Celeste
  • Playa Samara

We offer you great itineraries and wonderful places. The activities you choose to undertake will define your adventure in these magical places: maybe you get the adrenaline rush of a lifetime during the Tarzan Swing, or maybe you will be impressed by your visit to an indigenous community, or by discovering the strangest animals and birds on a guided walking tour? The choice is yours: create your own highlights!

 

Itinerary

The Easy Shuttle tour will bring you to some of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica. Choose your type of accommodation and create your own adventure by adding optional activities. And then, just sit back and enjoy the ride!

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO COSTA RICA

San José

Our driver will be waiting for you at the airport to welcome you to our beloved Costa Rica and drive you to your hotel, located in the capital, very close to parks and museums.

PRIVATE TRANSFER AIRPORT - HOTEL
​LODGING, BREAKFAST INCLUDED

In San José we offer:

Optional activities:

  1. San José city walking tour with a local: Local citizens of San José are called “Chepe”. They love their city and like to show you why they are proud to call it their home. They can tell you about buildings, hidden pieces of the Berlin Wall, corky parking lots, and take you to kitsch canteens nestled in the local markets. Our guides speak Spanish and English. Snack included.
  2. The local bar tour : Let our local guide take you to the cantina’s where the Chepe’s go themselves and enjoy some drinks with your new local friends. In every bar 1 drink or shot is included in the price. You can also enjoy a “Boca” or Gallo”, a typical tapa, at one of the bars.

Accommodation:

Standard option: Hotel La Rosa del Paseo

Discover a true treasure, located in the heart of the Costa Rican capital, build in 1910. First, the home of the wealthy coffee farmers, now 80 years later, restored and remodeled, preserving its historical splendor, transformed into a modern-day family hotel.

Superior option: Hotel Presidente

Imagine experiencing San Jose like a local: strolling the downtown avenues, relaxing in the parks and feeling the vigorous energy and buzz provided by the edgy new boutiques, bars and restaurants opening just about every day. At Hotel Presidente, this becomes reality.

DAY 2 - TO MONTEVERDE

Monteverde

Welcome to the mysteriously hypnotizing cloud forest of Monteverde. This is the perfect setting for zip-lining and exploring the tree canopy via hanging bridges.

Monteverde is a breath-taking rainbow–covered valley in the clouds, on clear days offering spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Arenal Volcano.

SHUTTLE TRANSFER SAN JOSE - MONTEVERDE
LODGING, BREAKFAST INCLUDED

Distance San José - Monteverde: 138 km
Duration: 3 hours approx.

Accommodation

Standard option: Cabinas Los Pinos, standard cabina *breakfast included at Stella’s Restaurant*

Cabinas Los Pinos are spaced apart so each can boast a private, intimate setting. Each cabina can accommodate between 2 and 6 people. Landscaped gardens and natural forests surround them. After a day's adventure, relax in the beautiful gardens and enjoy a cup of coffee in your fully furnished cabin. Breakfast is not served at the cabin, but is included at Stella’s cafetaria, which is about 1 km walk and a place where also the locals come.

Superior option: Cloud Forest Lodge, standard room

Cloud Forest Lodge accommodations are designed to create a balance between nature and comfort. The spacious bungalow-style bedrooms are simple and basic to provide a real mountain lodge experience. They are however, very cozy, comfortable and warm to enhance the natural feel of home.
All rooms have a front porch for quiet relaxation, read your favorite book peacefully or take a quiet walk through the butterfly gardens. Outside the rooms they have carefully preserved gardens with local native plant life, animal life, birds and butterflies that interact directly with the guests.

DAY 3 & DAY 4 - MONTEVERDE - OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Monteverde

LODGING, BREAKFAST INCLUDED

Optional activities

  1. Hanging bridges & Sloth habitat
    Take a calm walk through the canopy and soak up the beauty of this unique cloud forest. The challenge is to spot a sloth climbing by slowly! They hang out in the trees.
  2. ​Zipline, Superman & Tarzan Swing
    Yes, you will scream, and yes, you will think twice before doing it, but once it is over, you will all want to go again. Monteverde is the absolute perfect spot to go ziplining. You will start off with about 10 smaller ziplines so you really get the hang of it before facing the Superman zipline. This is a zipline with a length of 1500 metres! You go in true Superman style, meaning: on your belly, head first. Once you have recovered from flying over the valley, you can swing through the forest in Tarzan style!
  3. Meet the Quakers of Monteverde
    In 1949, after serving time for refusing to fight in the Korean War, four pacifist Quakers from Alabama sought a country where they could embrace their peaceful beliefs and continue to cultivate their dairy farms. Costa Rica had abolished its army in 1948 and had underdeveloped mountainsides that were perfect for their trade. So, in 1950 several Quakers picked up their belongings and moved to Monteverde where they began to farm and live in peace.  These families, along with some of the area’s locals, have established the most eco-minded community in the country. On this exclusive tour, you will get to meet the families of the original Quakers and you will hear their story first hand.
  4. ​Monteverde Reserve Guided Walk
    Discover the tropical rainforest with our experienced guide. This will give you great opportunities to spot mammals, birds and plants, which you would probably not even notice without the presence of our guide. Easy walk of about 3 hours, moderate hills, entrance included.
  5. ​Doña Hermidia Farm
    Hermidia is a very friendly Costa Rican lady with a good sense of humor. She opens the doors of her property and shows how she lives of almost nothing else but what she grows herself. In her backyard you will find: plantains, yuca, papaya, pineapples,  heart of palm and others. At the end she cooks a Costa Rican dish with the things she has picked up in the garden during the tour. You can enjoy tasting the dish in her living room: a regular day at the farm!
  6. ​Finca Life, coffee tour
    Learn all about coffee harvesting and its history related to the development of Monteverde and Costa Rica. This is a sustainable farm which grows organic coffee. In order to do so, they need other trees, plants and animals. And of course you will also get to enjoy a coffee tasting. Entrance included.

DAY 5 - TO ARENAL

Arenal

Today you will transfer to La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano.

La Fortuna (which means The Great Fortune) is home not only to one of the most exciting volcanoes in Costa Rica (Arenal), but also to some of the most beautiful waterfalls, hot springs and indigenous communities.

REGULAR LAKE CROSSING MONTEVERDE – ARENAL // CAR-BOAT-CAR
LODGING, BREAKFAST INCLUDED

Distance Monteverde - Arenal: 137 km
Duration: 3 ½ hours approx.

Accommodation

Standard option: Nepenthe B&B, standard room

A boutique hotel in the mountains of Northwestern Costa Rica. Situated a half-hour from the lively town of La Fortuna they offer a private and tranquil atmosphere with spectacular views of Arenal volcano and lake Arenal.

Superior option: Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge

Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge caters to visitors who seek a welcoming, warm and personalized vacation experience in a family style setting. This is an authentic back to nature property that allows guests to witness the diverse Costa Rican flora and fauna in its natural form. Owned and managed by the Rojas Bonilla family, the old fashioned, rustic and charming Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge is an eco-friendly Lodge with friendly service and sustainable tourism. The lodge is predominantly an ecological farm that has been devoted and has adhered to strict practices in sustainable development along with conservation policies for many years.

DAY 6 - ARENAL - OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Arenal

LODGING, BREAKFAST INCLUDED

We recommend you to plan your time well in Arenal as you can do many activities to explore the local flora and fauna, relax and get to know the local people.

Optional activities:

  1. EcoTermales Hot Springs
    Whatever you choose to do in Arenal, your visit will not be complete without spending a little time resting and relaxing in some of the best eco-thermal hot springs in the world.  Lunch or dinner included.
  2. La Fortuna Waterfall Hike
    Enjoy the magnificent nature an do not forget your swimming gear as you will be able to swim at the waterfall. The distance is only 3 kilometers but we do suggest that you wear comfortable shoes: the terrain is not completely flat and there are some stairs. Also, the high humidity and temperatures can make the walk harder than you would expect.
    What to bring?  sun tan lotion, mosquito spray, towel, flip flops, water.
    Please note that there are no dressing rooms or services in nature.
  3. Visit Maleku Indigenous Community
    Don Alfredo is a Maleku who loves to show you the regular life of this specific indigenous community.  A the beautiful Maleku Rancho he will share his stories and traditions with you. There will also be a small ceremony and the opportunity to enjoy a typical Maleku snack. It is important to understand that all places in the surroundings, like the volcano, the waterfall and the forest are sacred places to the Maleku and so they should be treated with respect.
  4. Guided walk National Park around Arenal Lake
    There are different trails that you can take. You can choose to do them all or just a few. The total length is only 5 kilometers but you should take into account the heat, humidity and the fact that some paths could be slippery. The trails are flat with moderate hills. (see picture)
  5. Kayak on Lake Arenal
    Admire the beautiful scenery and views of the Arenal Volcano while kayaking on the lake.
  6. Cook a typical Costa Rican dish
    Learn to cook a typical dish which you can eat yourself afterwards, so: pay attention!

DAY 7 - TO RIO CELESTE

Rio Celeste

The Rio Celeste becomes blue at a point, called El Teñidor, where two clear-water tributaries merge. Scientists have come up with numerous theories as to where the Río Celeste gets its color. Most recently they have discovered that rocks at the bottom of the river have a mineral coating that includes silicon, oxygen, and aluminum. It is the size of these minerals, as well as the reflection of the sunlight, that gives the water its incredible color, which will blow your mind!

TRANSFER ARENAL – RIO CELESTE 
LODGING, BREAKFAST & DINNER INCLUDED in standard option // Breakfast, lunch and dinner included in superior option

Distance Arenal – Rio Celeste:  82 km 
Duration: 2 hours approx.

Accommodation

Standard option: Tenorio Lodge, standard room, breakfast & dinner included

Built on a property of 17 acres, in the middle of Heliconias gardens, of fruit trees and tropical vegetation surrounding two natural ponds, the Lodge was designed to offer quietness, relaxation, and serenity. There are 12 bungalows with an exceptional view towards the Tenorio volcano. Rooms are spacious and elegant.

Superior option: Celeste Mountain Lodge, standard room, breakfast, lunch and dinner included

The Celeste Mountain Lodge's property spreads across 4 hectares of protected primary forest, set high atop a mountain that affords staggeringly beautiful views - the peaks of both the Tenorio and Miravalles volcanoes curtain the horizon, as do dense jungles, forest, and the Tenorio Volcano National Park.
The lodge's design is modern and innovative, operating with an open-air style that invites in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Neatly manicured courtyards open onto grassy fields, and high wooden ceilings allow in a steady stream of natural light. A small, hot communal pool is bordered by a vibrant garden, providing guests with a wonderful place to rest and relax after a day spent in the forest.

DAY 8 - RIO CELESTE

Rio Celeste

LODGING, BREAKFAST & DINNER INCLUDED in standard option // Breakfast, lunch and dinner included in superior option

Optional activities

  1. Biking around Bijagua
    Discover this nice and peaceful village and its surroundings on bikes. This is an ideal tour for families. You will meet your guide and receive all equipment. The distance is 6 km ( 3,8 miles) and the level is easy. You will bike on the outskirts of the village, near the Bijagua river and also on some quiet streets, passing in front of the school, the church…. (duration: approx. 2,5 hours). Remember to bring water and protect yourself against the sun.
  2. Birdwatching tour
    Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world to spot birds. You will depart early in the morning in order to have the best chances of spotting several birds, like the Ornate Hawk Eagle, Yellow Eared Toucanet, Keel-billed Motmot, just to name a few. Less common hummingbirds, Snowcap and the Purple crowned Fairy are also known to be seen in the vicinity, as well as the black crested coquette.
  3. Rio Celeste Walking Tour
    Alongside the forested trails, you will be able to spot a variety of plant and animal species. You will continue walking until you reach an impressive waterfall, near a place called El Teñidor. Here two rivers come together and the Rio Celeste suddenly turns from green into a remarkable bright blue. It is not physically challenging but you should be in decent shape. 

DAY 9 - TO SAMARA BEACH

Samara Beach

The beautiful coastal hamlet of Samara is a paradise on the Nicoya Peninsula's western shore. Known as one of the prettiest and safest beaches in all of Costa Rica, Playa Samara radiates wonderful white sand in contrast to the aquamarine water.

Samara's laidback vibe allows for rest and relaxation, an almost universal characteristic of the Nicoya Peninsula. Its village offers a number of services: stores, restaurants and a small selection of bars.

LODGING AND BREAKFAST INCLUDED

Distance Rio Celeste - Samara:  156 km 
Duration: 2 ½ hours approx.

Accommodation

Standard option: Giada Hotel, standard room

Hotel Giada is built and decorated in a tropical style, offering charming rooms, each accented with bamboo furniture. All accommodations are complete with AC, a TV, ceiling fan, private balcony and with a variety of bed options. Guests may bask in the warm tropical sun by the pool or soak and relax in the Jacuzzi. When looking for a bite to eat, treat yourself to the delicious restaurant and bar, specializing in pizza and pasta.

Superior option: Leyenda Hotel, suite room

Hotel Leyenda is located just 2 km from Playa Carrillo and just 10 minutes away from Samara. Bordered by palm trees with a rocky hill to appreciate a beautiful panoramic view. It has rich flora and fauna, leatherback and olive Ridley sea turtles nest on its coast and during the months of November to April  humpback and gray whales come visit, looking to mate. Awarded the "Blue Flag" which certifies the high environmental and safety standards.

DAY 10 & DAY 11 - RELAX AT SAMARA BEACH

Samara Beach

Free days to relax or discover the surroundings.

LODGING AT SAMARA BEACH, BREAKFAST INCLUDED

DAY 12 - BACK TO SAN JOSE

Back to san José

In San José your accommodation options on day 12 are the same as on day 1 of the Shuttle itinerary. 

SHUTTLE TRANSFER SAMARA – SAN JOSE 
LODGING AT SAN JOSE, BREAKFAST INCLUDED 

Distance Samara – San Jose: 234 km
Duration: 4 hours approx.

DAY 13 - The end

San José

Unfortunately all good things come to an end. Today we will transfer you back to the airport for your return journey or onward flight.

BREAKFAST INCLUDED

PRIVATE TRANSFER HOTEL - AIRPORT

Prices 

  • Prices are per person based on double occupancy.
  • Prices are in USD and valid until November 30th 2019 . Payments can be made in USD or in EUR. Prices in EUR are subject to changes in the exchange rate. Please contact YŪGEN tours for an up-to date quote in EUR.
  • Prices are not valid during Christmas, New Year, Easter Holy Week – please contact us for a quote if you would like to travel during this time of year.
  • All prices include tax, and are subject to changes in exchange fluctuations, government taxes or levies.  Prices on our website are no “as of” prices but changes may occur before we can adapt the website. Therefor we ask our providers to always confirm the price at the moment we check availability. We ask you to fill out our contact form in order to inquire about availability and to verify if any price changes have occurred very recently.
     

High Season

Valid from Dec 1st 2018 to April 30th 2019
Except Christmas, New Year, Holy Week 

Low Season

Valid from May 1st to November 30th 2019
Except Christmas, New Year, Holy Week

 

STANDARD OPTION
HIGH SEASON
Price per person based on double occupancy: $1520.00

LOW SEASON
Price per person based on double occupancy: $1420.00

SUPERIOR OPTION
HIGH SEASON
Price per person based on double occupancy: $1590.00

LOW SEASON
Price per person based on double occupancy: $1550.00

 

INCLUDED

  • Welcome letter.
  • Private transportation airport – hotel in San José
  • Shuttle transfers
  • 12 nights of lodging with daily breakfast.
  • 2 dinners (+ 2  lunches included in the superior option at Celeste Mountain Lodge)
  • Private transportation hotel in San José - airport
  • Taxes except departure tax from Costa Rica. 
NOT INCLUDED
  • Flights
  • Optional excursions (see price list below)
  • Meals, other than indicated as inclusive in the program description
  • Insurances and visas (if necessary)
  • Tips, beverages and any increase in National Park fees, taxes or levies

 

Optional activities 

Schedules:
M: morning (8:00 am – 12:00 md)
A: afternoon (2:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
N: night (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm)

OPTIONAL TOURS    Schedule
SAN JOSE Walking City Tour with a local, snack & bilingual guide included M / A
  The local bars tour, bilingual guide,1 drink/shot per bar & 1 snack during the tour included  A / N
MONTEVERDE Zipline, Superman & Tarzan Swing  M / A
Guided Hanging bridges & Sloth Habitat  M / A
Meet the Quackers. Coffee and snack included. N
Monteverde Reserve Guided Walk. M / A
Finca Life Coffee Tour. M / A
Doña Hermidia Farm  M / A
ARENAL EcoTermales HotSprings. Lunch or Dinner included A / N
La Fortuna Waterfall Hike.   M
Guided walk National Park around Arenal Lake M
Kayak Arenal Lake  M / A
Typical Cooking Class  M
Maleku Indigenous Community. Lunch included  M
RIO CELESTE  Rio Celeste Guided Walk M
Biking around Bijagua  M
Morning birdwatching tour  M

 

Important information

Travel insurance

  • Considering the adventurous nature of most of our tours and destinations, we recommend to take out a travel insurance, covering for cancellation and curtailment, medical situations, baggage, emergency evacuation.
  • YŪGEN tours does not provide travel insurance

Medical Precautions

  • Check with your local immunization authority, travel clinic, public health facility or personal physician
  • Visit the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION website for up to date information www.who.int
  • You will need HEPATITIS A vaccination when traveling to Latin America. We recommend consulting your doctor well before departure. If he / she recommends certain vaccinations, you may have to receive more than one injection spread over a number of weeks or even months. Moreover, the current guidelines can always change without prior notice and depend on the country your are traveling from.
  • If you are traveling from Panama or certain risk countries regarding Yellow Fever to Costa Rica, you may be asked at the border control to provide proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever.
  • A good anti-mosquito spray (with minimum 25% DEET) is a must. A mosquito net and long sleeves and trousers can also offer extra protection. Malaria, Dengue and the Zika virus, although not very represented, are present in some parts of the country, and in certain seasons. Consequently, it is advisable to protect yourself against this en to consult your doctor well before you travel.

Travel documentation

If you do not have the Belgian nationality, you must inquire at the embassy in your country. The following is valid for people with Belgian nationality:
• An international passport, valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
• A visa is not required if you stay in Costa Rica for less than 90 days.

Flights

  • Flights are not included in the price of the tour. You are free to choose your flight dates, route, price and airline company.
  • If you opt for flights with a stopover or transfer in the United States of America, please note that you must complete a VISA WAIVER. You can do this up to a minimum of 72 hours before arrival, and this on the website of ESTA. The permission is valid for 2 years and costs approximately 14 USD per person.
  • Before booking your flights, please contact YŪGEN tours first to check whether our local partners are not fully booked on the desired dates.
  • All our tours start in San José. It is therefore recommended that you fly to San José, more specifically to the Juan Santamaría international airport, located near Alajuela. We will ask you to sent us your flight details so we can arrange your transfer to the hotel in San José from the airport Juan Santamaría.
  • When you leave Costa Rica you have to pay the so-called departure tax, which is about 29 $ per person and must be paid in dollars or colones at the counter in the airport.