Ecoscape Nature Tours - 11 hour Highlight Tour

Many versions of the "Highlights Tour" are offered. Also referred to as the "4 in 1" or "5 in 1 Tour" The Ecoscape Nature Tour version was our choice (from their website) and we were not disappointed!

Our tour included a coffee plantation - breakfast, Poas volcano,
La Paz waterfalls, Hummingbird  gallery - snack, Selva Verde Jungle Lodge - lunch, Sarapiqui River Float - lots of animals, Braulio National Park - drive through.

The tour picks people up at various hotels or locations near hotels. For us it was the steps of the Alajuela courthouse at 7:30 am. We were dropped off at the Hampton Inn at 6 pm at night. A $5 taxi ride back to our Pura Vida Hotel. 

Our tour consisted of 6 other people, we were in a long van/shuttle bus that many tourism companies in CR use. We had a driver and a knowledgeable wonderful guide named Ricardo. He was very informative, chatting with the group as we reached our destinations. Explaining the crops and farms along the way. As well as anything else we were interested in.  At every stop he made sure we all saw what we were supposed to. I agreed to seeing bats along the river float because he wouldn't let the boat move until he knew I saw them. (Although I never could spot them - Mark did & said they were very tiny bats).  We were very well feed along the tour, a breakfast, then Ricardo stopped at a road side stand to get a bag of local corn meal & cheese rings (forget the official name). He wanted us all to try a few. Crunchy and not bad. We even had a lovely snack of fried yucca (awesome!!!) sausage, and tortillas at the Hummingbird gallery. Plus a lunch buffet later at Selva Verde Lodge. The cost of the trip was worth the food alone! :) The bonuses of being chauffeured (not getting lost, car rental, gas), educated by a guide (they spot things a tourist would never find or know), and all the park entrance fees etc. We think it is a brilliant option for the money.

Photos from coffee plantation

tree coffee plant
gift shop banana tree
big flower ox cart

Photos from Poas Volcano

poor mans
                umbrella We weren't lucky enough to actually see Poas.
Apparently it is frequently clouded over.
The climate here varies, mostly damper then
areas just an hour away.

The tour does provide plastic bag style rain ponchos if needed for the area. We encountered a very light misty rain.
It was also a lot colder here, a jacket was required during our visit.

The hike to the crater was great, seeing lots of unique flora. Just look at the size of these leaves!

There is a super gift shop here as well!
poas volcano
poas volcano

Photos from La Paz Waterfalls

la paz
                  waterfalls
broken bridge

Photos from Hummingbird Gallery

hummingbird
hummingbird

Photos from Selva Verde Jungle Lodge
cool tree
flower
lizard

iguana
flower flower

Photos from Sarapiqui River Jungle Cruise
This river is near the Nicaraguan border.

The boat drifts past jungle homes and banana plantations.

We saw monkeys, a sloth, a caiman (crocodile) a turtle, iguana, bats, red head wood pecker, various other birds. It was hard to get a good photo of most of the critters, but we enjoyed seeing them.

The boat driver got off the boat and went up a hill and came back with this  cute little blue jeans poision dart frog. Then he set him free back up the hill.
Most poison dart frogs, are active during the day and feed primarily on ants and termites.

frog
birds
turtle

carla & mark river boatOur tour continued back to San Jose through the Braulio National Park. We were getting dropped off at Hampton Inn across from the airport so this meant we also had a nice tour through downtown San Jose. This was the only time we saw San Jose, we were glad we weren't staying there as it just seemed a bit too "hustle & bustle" for us. But we enjoyed our drive through.

We highly recommend this tour for a day while you are in the Alajuela and San Jose area.


Link to Ecoscape Nature Tours

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