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Culinary Discovery on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast

(This tour has a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 10)

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Priced From
$3,698 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

Taste Costa Rica's Caribbean Culture and Cuisine.
Visit the Rainforest, Waterfalls, Beautiful Beaches, Turquoise Waters, and Coral Reefs.

Costa Rica is a very popular and welcoming destination located in Central America between Nicaragua and Panamá. This small country is home to approximately 5% of the world's biodiversity. Its National System of Conservation preserves 25% of the national territory. Costa Ricans are very friendly and accommodating people and are also known as "Ticos" and for their "Pura Vida" expression (pure life) which reflects their way of life; they enjoy life as much as they can. San José is the metropolitan capital of Costa Rica and is also considered one of Latin America's safest cities. Being in the center of the country, San José is ideally located for travel within Costa Rica. You will enjoy two nights in San Jose before traveling on to Hotel Le Caméléon in Puerto Viejo. While most travelers tend to visit the Pacific side of Costa Rica for its larger array of lodging options, the South Caribbean of Costa Rica attracts people who search for a laid-back atmosphere and crowd-free beaches. On the Caribbean Coast the rainforest canopy is free from tall buildings that spoil the view. From the shore all you see is a long stretch of sand bordered by evergreen jungle on one side and clear water on the other, all topped with a brilliant blue sky. This experience includes waterfalls, river rafting, snorkeling or ziplines, shopping, hikes and our famous hands-on cooking and delicious authentic local cuisine. All land transportation is included.

Culinary Discovery on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ
VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
Round-Trip Airport Transfers
2 nights Hotel Grano de Oro, San Jose
4 nights Hotel Le Caméléon, Puerto Viejo
Breakfast Daily, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners
San Jose Shopping Tour
Waterfalls, Coffee and Colonial Town Tour
River Rafting Adventure
Cahuita Snorkeling and Hiking Tour
Animal Rescue Center
Chocolate and Waterfall Tour
Market Tour & Hands-on Cooking Class
While our tours are designed as soft adventure experiences, walking, climbing stairs, and in rare cases mild hiking may be required. If you have mobility issues, you should speak with one of our culinary travel specialists to determine if this tour is appropriate for your situation.
AVAILABLE DATES
Year-round based on your travel dates. This tour starts on Monday and ends on Sunday.
SAMPLE ITINERARY
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
San Jose Airport transfer | Hotel Check in Hotel Grano de Oro The driver will greet you at the airport and take you to the Grano de Oro hotel, rated by Conde Nast as the top hotel in Central America and the Caribbean. This evening will be on your own to relax. There will be a welcome basket of wine and snacks for you to enjoy. There are no events planned so feel free to enjoy the hotel facilities.
Day 2
Costa Rican Breakfast Typical Costa Rican breakfast will be served each morning. A variety of fresh season items will be featured. Enjoy the Gallo Pinto (typical rice and beans), eggs, delicious tropical fruits and juices. Baked fresh daily breads and breakfast pastry will be served with coffee or tea.
Shopping, Waterfalls, Rainforest, Coffee, and Colonial Towns Tour | Lunch | Dinner If your perfect day in Costa Rica includes coffee, tropical rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, plenty of wildlife, a bit of shopping, and a delicious dinner, then you'll love this full-day San Jose adventure! Experience three different bustling street markets. Escape the city limits to visit waterfalls, rainforests and cloud forest and a coffee plantation. Go across the continental divide and come face to face with butterflies, numerous species of birds plus animals like capuchin (white-faced) monkeys, black-handed spider monkeys, hummingbirds, jaguars, pumas, ocelots and margays. A typical lunch is served before taking a coffee tour where you'll also have the opportunity to purchase their coffee to take back home with you if you wish. Visit the colonial towns of Barva, Grecia and Sarchi, plus the oldest oxcart factory in the country. Enjoy a gourmet dinner with wine in Escazu, the famous city of witches.
Day 3
Costa Rican Breakfast Typical Costa Rican breakfast will be served each morning. A variety of fresh season items will be featured. Enjoy the Gallo Pinto (typical rice and beans), eggs, delicious tropical fruits and juices. Baked fresh daily breads and breakfast pastry will be served with coffee or tea.
River Rafting | Buffet Lunch Picnic | Check-in Le Caméléon After breakfast, enjoy an exciting water run (river rafting) with moderate difficulty. The lush surroundings, abundant bird life and a good number of fun rapids makes this a great introduction to river running. This run is clearly divided in two halves. The first hour is very exciting, with big waves and long rapids. Stop for a first-class typical buffet lunch and enjoy a scenic picnic at the prettiest beach on the river. The second half of the day is more relaxed as the river enters the true lower Caribbean, the surroundings take on a jungle character and the wildlife is more plentiful. At the end of the tour, the exploration center provides you with a nice place to change, shower and relax. You'll be back to your hotel by late afternoon where you will check into the Le Caméléon Boutique beach hotel for 4 nights.
Tropically Infused Dinner This evening, after you check into your boutique hotel, enjoy the freshest of ingredients used to prepare the French Mediterranean, tropically infused cuisine. The priority is to select sustainable and locally grown ingredients whenever possible. Under the expertise of French chef, Francis Canal, this fine dining restaurant is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Enjoy your meal with a bottle of wine.
Day 4
Costa Rican Breakfast Typical Costa Rican breakfast will be served each morning. A variety of fresh season items will be featured. Enjoy the Gallo Pinto (typical rice and beans), eggs, delicious tropical fruits and juices. Baked fresh daily breads and breakfast pastry will be served with coffee or tea.
Snorkeling and Hiking For Hiking and Snorkeling, Parque Nacional Cahuita has the largest system of coral reefs in Costa Rica, including 6 species of coral and a wide range of colorful tropical fishes. Upon arrival, the captain and guide will be waiting for you to take you by boat to the coral reef where you are going to snorkel for two hours in two different points of the National Park. After that we will go back to the beach for a rest and to have a snack with tropical fruits. The little break at the beach is followed by a 1-hour guided hike in this wonderful coastal forest: monkeys, sloths, birds, poison dart frogs, iguanas and other interesting encounters are common sights. (Note: A Caribbean Canopy and Zipline Tour can be selected in place of Cahuita Snorkeling and Hiking Tour if preferred).
Caribbean Style Dinner This typical Caribbean-style dinner features your choice of chicken, fish, beef or shrimp accompanied by rice and beans and local sides. A smoothie with fresh fruits and juices or lemonade will be served.
Day 5
Costa Rican Breakfast Typical Costa Rican breakfast will be served each morning. A variety of fresh season items will be featured. Enjoy the Gallo Pinto (typical rice and beans), eggs, delicious tropical fruits and juices. Baked fresh daily breads and breakfast pastry will be served with coffee or tea.
Animal Rescue Center | Chocolate Lady | Waterfall Today, you'll have a little bit of education on the local animals and cacao, followed by a short jaunt through the jungle to a waterfall. Learn how the center serves as a refuge and rehabilitation place for animals (monkeys, sloths, snakes, wild cats and more) you will also have the opportunity to hold and play with the monkeys living there. A visit to an indigenous family to learn about the production of cacao follows the animal center. We end our day by hiking to a beautiful waterfall where you will have an opportunity to take a swim if you'd like.
La Pecora Nera Dinner with Wine If delicious authentic Italian cuisine served in a delightful open-air restaurant well off-the beaten track on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast sounds like your cup of tea, look no further than La Pecora Nera. The Italian chef Ilario is as charismatic as he is talented in the kitchen, and his recommendations of daily specials are always spot on, but you can't go wrong with anything on the simple yet well-rounded menu. It's romantic yet family-friendly, unpretentious yet undeniably special, and easily one of the top 10 best restaurants in Costa Rica.
Day 6
Costa Rican Breakfast Typical Costa Rican breakfast will be served each morning. A variety of fresh season items will be featured. Enjoy the Gallo Pinto (typical rice and beans), eggs, delicious tropical fruits and juices. Baked fresh daily breads and breakfast pastry will be served with coffee or tea.
Farmer's Market | Private Cooking Class with Local Chef The chef will lead a morning tour through the farmers market selecting and purchasing the freshest of local ingredients for the cooking class. This class will cover the fundamentals of local food preparation and cooking techniques. You will be led in each step of preparing a delicious, all natural, 3-course Caribbean lunch while enjoying the unique Caribbean-style drinks of refreshing Hibiscus or Ginger Iced Tea.
Farewell Sunset Dinner KOKi Beach Restaurant is a concept that captures the essence of Costa Rica and its eco friendly spirit. The restaurant embraces the environment and community in which it lives. Working with principally local materials, artisans and incorporating mostly reused, reclaimed and repurposed elements to create this unique space. This was accomplished by capturing such things as the wood from an abandoned house in Hone Creek, which now serves as tables and seating for the restaurant as well as the decorative entry feature, the bar bodega and decorative elements. Local river stones were used for the building support as well as the unique back bar wall, while the lamps are a combination of carvings by the local indigenous community in Bribri and a local artisan who specializes in beadwork. KOKi Beach is a showcase of local craftsmanship and shows how using the knowledge and traditions of the community one can truly create a modern and environmentally friendly space. Dinner consists of a starter, main course, dessert and beer or wine.
Day 7
Costa Rican Breakfast Typical Costa Rican breakfast will be served each morning. A variety of fresh season items will be featured. Enjoy the Gallo Pinto (typical rice and beans), eggs, delicious tropical fruits and juices. Baked fresh daily breads and breakfast pastry will be served with coffee or tea.
Transfer from Puerto Viejo to San Jose Airport Private air-conditioned van transportation to San Jose Airport will be arranged in time to catch your flight. The drive time is around five hours in the van.
Hotel Grano de Oro
Rated by Conde Nast in 2017 as the top hotel in Central America and the Caribbean, Grano de Oro is the top hotel in Central America and Caribbean. The term "Grano de Oro" is used to refer to the coffee bean, the "Grain of Gold". The founders of this boutique hotel fell in love with the idea that such a small fruit could be so valuable. The original tropical Victorian hotel was built at the turn of the 20th century. The hotel is now a landmark in the city.
Le Caméléon Boutique Hotel
Le Caméléon is located adjacent Playa Cocles, a beautiful sandy beach about 2 miles away from the delightful coastal town of Puerto Viejo. Featuring upscale accommodations adjacent to the beach, this boutique hotel's 23 Rooms encircle a pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens. At Le Caméléon's NOA Beach Club, guests enjoy classic Costa Rican hospitality with cocktail hours, entertainment, and dining. We pay homage to the ever-changing colors of the chameleon with all-white minimalist rooms punctuated by a splash of bright color. One thing remains consistent, however, and that's the comfort and peaceful ambiance of our rooms. We take care of every detail to make your stay the ultimate experience you deserve.
San José, Costa RicaPuerto Viejo, Costa Rica
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or customerservice@epitourean.com to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Generally, you may cancel any tour or getaway package within 30 days of making a reservation, and receive a full refund of any deposit or payments made, as long as the cancellation is made at least 31 days in advance of departure for domestic tours or 61 days in advance of departure for international tours. Cancellations made after 30 days incur a 10% cancellation fee (10% of the deposit amount paid, not the full price of the tour package). Cancellations made 30 days or less in advance of departure for domestic packages (60 days or less for international packages) cannot be refunded due to loss of inventory.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
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