You’ll find the Waves and Caves Challenge jam-packed with outdoor adventures including surf lessons, snorkeling, kayaking, canyoning down waterfalls, and even sleeping in a cave overnight! Go off-the-beaten-path and explore some of Costa Rica's hidden treasures while visiting the beautiful South Pacific beaches. Similar to all of our amazing vacations, the Waves and Caves value-packed itinerary can be 100% customized to your budget and needs. Check pricing notes for details. Take Advantage of Green Season Discounts!
The Waves and Caves Challenge offers an epic Costa Rica adventure vacation, jam packed with unique experiences. You’ll start with a trip to tiny Dominical where you’ll go surfing at one of the best surf beaches in the world! While in Dominical you will also go out ocean kayaking and snorkeling along the spectacular mountainous coastline. Next you’ll climb a mountain and spend the night in a cave tucked behind a gorgeous waterfall! In the morning you’ll visit another beautiful waterfall where you can jump in and swim in the cool natural pool below. This trip isn’t for everybody as it takes some endurance to go off-the-beaten-path. But if you’re up for the Waves and Caves Challenge, this may be the perfect itinerary for you! Best of all, this awesome vacation can be 100% customized to meet your budget and preferences.
Number of nights: 8 (customizable)
Per person price from *$1,018
It all begins at San Jose Airport. Our representative will be waiting for your arrival and then provide a private transfer to the nearby Country Inn and Suites for an overnight stay.
The next morning, a transfer will take you through the beautiful inland Costa Rican countryside to the tiny South Pacific surf village of Dominical. This colorful beach town with unpaved roads is famous for legendary world-class surfing available during certain times of year down on the main beach. You’ll stay at the laid-back Hotel Villas Rio Mar about a half mile from the beach and located in the surrounding jungle full of animal life such as monkeys, iguanas, and toucans. The hotel offers a swimming pool, outdoor gym, tennis court, forest trails, and a popular restaurant. Over the next couple of days, you’ll be going on some great adventures in the area including surf lessons, plus a kayak and snorkeling trip through the protected waters of Marino Ballena National Park.
On the fifth day, you’ll head up into the intense green carpeted mountains for an absolutely epic adventure! Your tour guide will lead you on a fairly difficult hike up a mountain and deep in the jungle. The hike will go at your own pace but can be muddy, so be prepared! After a couple of hours (and possibly more), the forest will open up to reveal a spectacular waterfall. Tucked behind the waterfall, there is a cave with a functional kitchen, sleeping mats, and an outhouse with flush toilets. This will be your home for the evening! After you settle in, your guides will take you rappelling down the waterfall covering the entrance to your cave. You’ll also have some free time to explore before dinner. Communing with nature doesn’t get any better than this! In the morning, you’ll hike a little way further up the mountain to another beautiful waterfall with a large pool below. You can jump from the top of the waterfall if you like or follow the path to the natural pool. Eventually, you’ll hike down the mountain and return to Hotel Villas Rio Mar in Dominical.
The next day is yours to explore on your own. You might like to hike down to the beach or just relax at the hotel, enjoying the pool, pool bar, playing tennis, and birdwatching. Or you may be interested in checking the tide schedule at Marino Ballena national park for a walk and swim out on the unique whale tail sandbar, only accessible during low tide.
On the eighth day, we’ll provide a transfer back through the mountains and down into the Central Valley, where you’ll once again stay at the Country Inn and Suites. This hotel, while near the airport, has rooms facing inward around tropical gardens, a pool, and an onsite restaurant. The last day we’ll provide a private transfer back to the airport according to your individual flight schedule.
Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica and on to your airport hotel
We’ll meet you at San Jose International Airport and provide a private transfer to a nearby airport hotel, Country Inn and Suites. Here you can relax, enjoy the pool and tropical gardens!
Country Inn and Suites
Day 2: Transfer to Dominical (B)
A transfer will be provided to take you to Dominical on the South Pacific coast. You’ll stay at the Hotel Villas Rio Mar, located in the jungle near the Baru River.
Hotel Villas Rio Mar
Day 3: Surf Lesson (B)
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to surf, today’s the day! A professional instructor will teach you how to surf, or if you are already an experienced surfer, will teach you some new techniques! After spending time at the beach, you can enjoy the hotel’s inviting swimming pool and pool bar!
Hotel Villas Rio Mar
Day 4: Kayaking and Snorkeling at Marino Ballena (B)
Marino Ballena National Park, with its vast protected shoreline and underwater reefs, is one of the prettiest yet least visited off-the-beaten-path parks in Costa Rica. Today’s tour includes kayaking and snorkeling along the spectacular coastline where jungle covered mountains meet the palm studded beach.
Hotel Villas Rio Mar
Day 5: Diamante Rappelling Overnight Tour (B, L, D)
A transfer will be provided into the interior where you will be led hiking up a jungle covered mountain to a cascading waterfall. Here you‘ll stay overnight in a cave, tucked behind the falls! After stowing your things in the cave, your guide will take you rappelling down the face of the falls to cool off! Later, a hot meal will be provided before going to bed.
Day 6: Waterfall Jumping and then Return to Dominical (B)
In the morning, after breakfast, you’ll hike up to another waterfall where you can jump from the top into a large natural pool below to go swimming (or take the path down to the pool). After trekking back down the mountain, a transfer will return you to Hotel Villas Rio Mar at Dominical.
Hotel Villas Rio Mar
Day 7: Beach Day (B)
This day is yours to unwind from all your exciting activities and do whatever you like. You might enjoy just relaxing at the beach or hotel. We’d also encourage you to explore this amazingly beautiful area. Of course, you can always add a planned activity to your itinerary if you’d like.
Hotel Villas Rio Mar
Day 8: Transfer back to the Central Valley (B)
Today we’ll provide a transfer from your hotel at the South Pacific beach area back to the Central Valley where you will once again stay at the Country Inn and Suites near the airport.
Country Inn and Suites
Day 9: Back to reality… (B)
We’ll provide a private transfer for your return to the San Jose International Airport, scheduled according to your flight itinerary.
Can you picture yourself on this amazing vacation? Inquire Now!
This is just a quick stop over for your first and last night at a hotel conveniently located near the airport. Enjoy the Country Inn and Suite’s swimming pool and tropical gardens. View this destination…
Dominical is a small surf village with a big personality! This off-the-beaten-path beach town with its unpaved streets is famous for the awesome surfing found here. Visitors will likely find a lively vibe in the laid-back village fronted by the big-wave beach and backed by striking mountainous rainforest. Dominical is also the gateway to Costa Rica’s remote and beautiful South Pacific area, revered for its raw natural beauty and exotic wildlife. View this destination…
Some animals that live in the South Pacific… (actual images may have been taken in other locations)
Towering mountains join miles of beautiful southern Pacific shoreline, within them many hidden rivers, waterfalls, and occasional caves are waiting to be explored. A visit into these verdant green carpeted mountains may change the way you see things, as you discover unimaginable beauty surrounding you.
This Central Valley airport hotel offers a welcoming tropical vibe and Costa Rican feel. The rooms are wrapped around the swimming pool, lounge area, and surrounding flowering gardens providing a relaxing start or end to your vacation experience. View this hotel…
Set in the jungle along a river just outside the town of Dominical, Villas Rio Mar provides a relaxing hotel for discerning ecotourists. Guests can walk the trails, birdwatch, play tennis, or enjoy the swimming pool and poolside bar, surrounded by lush tropical gardens. The hotel is only a half mile from the town of Dominical, so you can either walk or take a taxi if you’d like to go down to the main beach. View this hotel…
Far from a hotel (both figuratively and literally), this cave may be your most interesting overnight experience yet! Tucked behind a cascading waterfall, you’ll discover an open cave with a functional kitchen, sleeping mats, and outhouse with flush toilets. Imagine falling asleep listening to nothing but rushing water and the sound of the wild surrounding you! View this cave…
Surfs up! If you’ve always wanted to surf but never tried, here’s your chance! And if you’re an old pro, a lesson can add a new twist to your list of techniques. The waves at Dominical are world renowned and your professional surf instructor has plenty of experience. So grab a surfboard and have fun riding the waves! View this tour…
Marino Ballena National Park provides a beautiful place to kayak and go snorkeling! With over 13,000 protected acres, most of it underwater, the park offers public access through carefully planned responsible tours. This is a golden opportunity to paddle along the spectacular palm studded beaches backed by jungle-covered mountains, then break to go snorkeling in the warm tropical waters. View this tour…
This amazing tour begins at the base of a jungle covered mountain. You’ll be hiking up a rough and at times muddy trail through the forest for 2 -3 hours until you reach the waterfall. The cave you’ll sleep in is tucked behind the falls, offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience spending the night surrounded only by the sound of cascading water and nocturnal tropical wildlife. Soon after arriving you’ll rappel down the waterfall and then there will be time to explore on your own. A hot meal will be prepared in the functional kitchen for dinner before you go to bed on the elevated sleeping mats. There are even flush toilets! This truly is a once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience – enjoy! View this tour…
Yes, this is a real picture, and yes, you will go rappelling down the waterfall in front of the cave you will be staying in! View this tour…
The next morning, you’ll hike a little further up the mountain to another beautiful waterfall. This one has a large, deep pool beneath it, perfect for jumping into from the top of the falls! You’ll have plenty of time to swim, jump, and enjoy the natural surroundings of this remote and rarely visited slice of paradise. View this tour…
Your Package Includes: (remember; you can customize any aspect!)
Award-Winning VIP Service
Hotels & Resorts (hotels can be substituted at an adjusted rate)
Tours, Activities & More (tours can be substituted at an adjusted rate)
Transportation (a rental car or other transportation options can be substituted at an adjusted rate)
Meals & Drinks (based on hotel and tour selections)
Low Season 2018 rates start at $1,018 USD* per person double occupancy, $888 USD* pp for triple occupancy, or $1,535 USD* pp for single occupancy for the lodges listed above. High season 2019 rates start at $1,055 USD* per person double occupancy, $898 USD* pp for triple occupancy, or $1,628 USD* pp for single occupancy for the same lodges. Low Season 2019 rates start at $1,004 USD* per person double occupancy, $864 USD* pp for triple occupancy, or $1,527 USD* pp for single occupancy for the same lodges. You can upgrade or downgrade hotels to match your preferences and budget.
*Your vacation will be 100% customized to your needs. After inquiring with us, you will receive an exact price based on your custom itinerary. Please include special requests in the comments section. The rates listed here include current taxes, hotels, tours and transfers as described unless otherwise indicated. Rates may vary based on your travel dates, room occupancy, and type of transportation selected. Green season pricing and offers listed above are for select travel dates only and restrictions may apply. Inquire for details. Prices are subject to change at any time and do NOT include international airfare, travel insurance or any other services that are not expressly mentioned.
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