Costa Rica is Central America's natural wonderland, a unique showcase of scenery and wildlife. This ecological diversity makes Costa Rica a great destination for nature lovers, and people who want to experience a different culture and engage in a lot of different activities.
In Costa Rica we offer lodge based and camping trips. When you do a trip with us, everything is included from the time you arrive at the airport until you are back at the airport. We've taken care of everything! Your shuttles, ferries, gear, food, lodging, etc is all set. You just need to get here!
Costa Rica Lodge Based Kayak Vacation
January 21 - 27, 2014
Our base for this kayak vacation is Bahía Rica Lodge, located in a calm bay in the Gulf of Nicoya on Costa Rica’s west coast. Here the wakeup call in the morning is from flocks of parrots and howler monkeys. A relaxed atmosphere surrounds Bahía Rica, with common areas for eating and socializing. Bahía Rica is privately owned by a Norwegian couple, whose purpose is to offer an interesting stay in Costa Rica in a real jungle setting. The Gulf of Nicoya is the perfect place to offer this, and at Bahía Rica, the combination of comfort and rustic jungle feeling is balanced.
Our days are spent kayaking around the gulf islands and exploring the shoreline. The calm water in the gulf is perfect for kayaking and provides homes and nesting sites for many birds. Frigate birds, spoonbills, and brown boobies, to name a few, are protected on these islands. Within the biological reserves of southern Nicoya, you can spot anteaters, boa constrictors, ocelots and pumas, herons, caracaras, armadillos, coaties and agoutis.
Day 1: January 21
Arrive at San Jose Airport where you’re picked up to be brought to the lodge. If time allows we do an introduction to the kayaks and a short paddle.
Day 2: January 22
There are many beautiful islands in the area and this day we will explore some of them. We’ll paddle around Isla Jesucita and Isla Cedros. We’ll check out Islas Carretos which are filled with brown pelicans and frigate birds and we’ll see if we can paddle through the “hole in the wall” at Isla Garrobo. We’ll stop for a swim and rest in the shadow of the tall palm trees at the beautiful Playa Langosta. (app. 8 miles)
In the evening we hit the water again for a short paddle to experience the magic of the bioluminescence in the water.
Day 3: January 23
Today we’ll get to know Islas Negritos, two islands that are protected bird sanctuaries. But here we are not primarily looking for birds, we look for Spider Monkeys. On the outside of Islas Negritos on our way to Playa Camaron we’ll keep an extra eye out for Olive Ridely turtles that are often spotted in this area. We’ll stop at the little San Pedro island and do some snorkeling. (app. 10.5 miles)
Day 4: January 24
Rest or explore on your own day. There are many other activities in the area including fishing, horseback riding, jungle walks and canopy tours just to name a few. Or you can just choose to rest and watch the water.
Day 5: January 25
Another full day of kayaking to Islas Pajaros, the islands are protected bird sanctuaries with large flocks of pelicans and frigate birds. Here it is nice to take a dip, and if the water is clear do some snorkeling. We continue to Isla Gitana where we’ll have lunch at the grounds of the hotel that used to be here in the old days (app. 10.5 miles)
Day 6: January 26
We will kayak to the Paquera mangroves - the mangroves offer a unique atmosphere and a variety of birds, crabs, and if we are lucky we may see raccoons and monkeys. After exploring the many canals in the mangroves we will kayak up Rio Grande where we will encounter a different flora and fauna. (app. 9.5 miles)
Day 7: January 27
Hand in equipment and private transport back to San Jose Airport
Please note that we alter the amount of paddling that we do each day based on our guest’s abilities and the weather conditions.
Costa Rica Camping Kayak Vacation
January 13 - 19, 2014
This camping kayak tour starts from the time you arrive at San Jose Airport when you are picked up and brought to your lodge for the evening. The next day we will “gear up” and head out for our trip. The trip is primarily island hopping around the Gulf of Nicoyo. The calm water in the gulf is perfect for kayaking and provides homes and nesting sites for many birds. Frigate birds, spoonbills, and brown boobies, to name a few, are protected on these islands. Within the biological reserves of southern Nicoya, you can spot anteaters, boa constrictors, ocelots and pumas, herons, caracaras, armadillos, coaties and agoutis. After 4 nights of camping we’ll return to the lodge for showers, a bed and fantastic dinner before heading back out to the airport the following day.
Day 1: January 13
Arrive in San Jose. Private shuttle to Puntarenas (1 ½ hour) and ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya (1 hour) to Paquera. Settle in at Bahia Rica. Preparations for the kayak adventure (handing out equipment, adjusting kayaks, dividing supplies etc). Sleep in double rooms at Bahia Rica Lodge
Day 2: January 14
We paddle into the Paquera mangroves and the Rio Grande river while it is high tide. The mangroves offer a unique atmosphere and a variety of birds. We continue to Islas Pajaros, the islands are protected bird sanctuaries with large herds of pelicans and frigate birds. Here it is nice to take a dip, and if the water is clear do some snorkeling. From there we continue to Playa Gigante, and we overnight at Isla Gitana where we set up camp with our expedition hammocks. (Approximately 9 miles).
Day 3: January 15
We continue along the beautiful shoreline up to Playa Blanca, where we cross over to Isla San Lucas. Isla San Lucas is a former prison island and also a national refuge. We’ll walk the trails of the island, and spend some time in the ruins where the guide will give an insight into the history of the prison. In the late afternoon we’ll arrive at Isla Jesucita for a nice barbeque and a good night’s rest in our hammocks. (Approx. 15 miles)
Day 4: January 16
We'll paddle around Isla Cedros and Jesucita and go ashore to do some exploring. On Isla Jesusita is an old cemetery and on Cedros there are some small local communities including a small primary school. We'll e also paddle out to Islas Negritos, two islands that are protected bird sanctuaries. But here we are not primarily looking for birds, we'll also look for Spider Monkeys. The night’s hammock camp will be set up at the beautiful Playa Langosta at Isla Cedros.(approx. 9 miles)
Day 5: January 17
We will kayak to Curú National Wildlife Refuge. This is one of Costa Rica’s first national parks. Here we can encounter 3 different monkeys, Scarlet Macaws, crocodiles, caimans, deer and much more. In the afternoon we’ll paddle over to Playa Quesera, a pristine white sand beach with coral reefs in front. This will be our hammock campsite for the night. (approx. 11 miles)
Day 6: January 18
The well-known Isla Tortuga is of final destination on this trip. We’ll paddle through the “arch” and beach at the beautiful white sand beach. We’ll have a relaxing morning at the beach. After lunch we hit the water again and make our way to Bahia Rica and end our kayak adventure in the late afternoon. (approx. 12.5 miles)
Overnight in double rooms at Bahia Rica Lodge
Day 7: January 19
Leave Bahia Rica in the morning and travel back to San Jose, to catch a flight back home.