Odyssey Ride

Pacific Coast Costa Rica: (IT-CR-HRO10)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/costa_rica_odyssey.aspx

Introduction
Pacific Coast Costa Rica
This 8-day itinerary is a shorter version of our Coast to Coast Kaleidoscope Ride, which has been specially designed for the U.S. and Canadian Markets, as well as any other international traveler seeking a week-long riding vacation. This ride features 4-days of intensive riding and discovery in one of Costa Rica’s most renowned riding destinations and scenic regions, including hugely contrasting landscapes, rural communities and awesome habitats with abundant wildlife. During this adventure you will be riding down dramatic river canyons, towards the arid Pacific Coast with its volcanic sand beaches, then on toward the Template Mountain slopes, passing through forested Valleys and ending with two days of relaxation at one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations Arenal Volcano where you will enjoy the volcanic hot-water springs. As you ride, you will be in close contact with one of nature’s finest panoramic displays, visit some quaint rural communities and get involved in the Costa Rican way of life. A truly awesome and unforgettable experience.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent in different locations.

Description
A total of 2 nights will be spent at a hotel in San Jose, 3 nights at a farm lodge, and 2 nights at an ecolodge. You'll have access to a pool at all locations to cool off after a good ride. The accommodations below are usually used during this trip. However, changes may occur without notice, based on availability at the time. Laundry is not available for this trip.

Night 1 & 7: Hotel (Park Inn or El Rodeo) in San Jose
Night 2, 3 & 4: Farm Lodge (La Maravilla or Cerro Lodge (upgrade)) in Orotina
Night 5 & 6: Ecolodge (Arenal Montechiari, Arenal Country Inn, Villas Vista Arenal) in La Fortuna

Park Inn Hotel
This hotel located within walking distance of San Jose’s city center offers 117 comfortable rooms with amenities including air conditioning, WIFI, and TV. The private bathrooms all include free toiletries. An outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and fitness center are available for guests’ use.


Maravilla Lodge
The lodge is part of an estate that encompasses over 1500 acres (a working cattle and plantation Hacienda) which includes its own protected zone (Cuarros) with Premontane and Transitional Forests amongst many other unique features, making this one of our top horse riding locations. Accommodation is in a typically large family owned hacienda house with traditional wood finishing touches.
It has 4 spacious bedrooms located at the corners of the Hacienda house with a hallway in between. Each rooms is wall-to-wall tiled with painted murals, with twin single beds, ceiling fan, fitted closet, wooden ceilings, and has country decorations including two wooden tables, local crafts, and lamps. There is one spacious tiled hot-water shower and bathroom for every two rooms.
Facilities include: A large central hall, fully fitted kitchen, large twelve-seater 'ranch table' dining room. Outside there is a BBQ. There are hammocks along the outsides of the ranch house and mountain trails to explore on foot, as well as miles upon miles of mango plantations. Life at Maravilla Hacienda is friendly, relaxed and informal, get up at dawn and coffee and other drinks will be available to quietly welcome in the day. Even join the sabaneros (cowboys) in the morning milking if you have the mind to.


Cerro Lodge- extra fee
This lodge is an environmentally friendly project located on a farm in Tarcoles (central pacific) just 10 minutes from Carara National Park. This small lodge offers 8 bungalows with private bathroom and its own indoor garden, and a dining area. All this is surrounded by trees, palms, gardens, and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, mangrove forests, and Carara National Park - one of the most important refuges for the Scarlet Macaw; we often see these spectacular red, blue, and yellow parrots as they fly through the valley at Cerro Lodge. We provide daily transfers between the lodge and the horse stables at Maravilla (15 to 20 minutes away). One of the principle goals of Cerro Lodge, is to operate as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. Always looking for ways to reduce impact, they re-use water for irrigation, compost organic garbage, and they have worms that make organic fertilizer from cow manure. They are also hoping to put together a bio-digestor and would like to produce their own electricity in the near future.


Hotel in Arenal
We choose from a selection of 3 different hotels in Arenal depending on availability. The photo above is an example of the type of accommodation, and may be changed. All rooms contain one double or two twin beds with private bathroom.

Room Occupancy
The single supplement fee applies if we are unable to find another rider to share.
Triple occupancy is available at all locations.


Meals
Most meals are included in this trip from breakfast on Day 2 to lunch on Day 6, as well as breakfast on Day 7 and 8. Meals on the first day, dinner on Day 6, and lunch and dinner on Day 7 are not included. Due to its geographical location and climate, Costa Rica has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables; which when combined with the interplay of native and European ingredients translate into a unique Costa Rican flavour. The basics of the Costa Rican diet are: rice, beans, and tortillas, which consist primarily of corn. 
 
The ingredients used by Costa Rican cooks include simple native foods, such as "chayote" (squash), avocados, and the ever present corn. Costa Rican cuisine is also characterized by its' mildness and comes as a surprise to many visitors who might have travelled through Mexico and expect to find the same love spicy chillies in Costa Rican foods. Chillies are used to some degree, however, they are most commonly used in hot sauces with accompany broiled meats and poultry. Tubers, such as sweet potatoes and cassava, commonly known as "yucca" frequently accompany lunch and dinner meals.

In many dishes yucca is often substituted for potato, perhaps boiled and mashed, fried to exquisite crispness to accompany meat and sandwiches instead of fries, or simply boiled and served with butter and garlic. Plantains, a type of banana, are another Costa Rican favourite, and are most often boiled, mashed, stuffed with cheese, or fried to accompany meats or bean dishes. Unlike bananas, plantains are much larger and need to be cooked to be eaten. Costa Rican diet also includes plenty of meats including: Poultry, fish, beef and pork.. do not expect to find any Ecuadorian or Peruvian delicacy!!

Breakfast
A traditional Costa Rican breakfast consists of "gallo pinto" (Pinto Rooster), eggs, tortillas and sour cream, with coffee and fresh fruit juice. Most restaurants will offer some international options.
 
Lunch
Typically known as "casado" (Married), includes: rice and beans, one choice of meat (beef, chicken, pork, or fish), salad, fried plantain (a type of banana, very sweet and very tasty).
 
Dinner
Pretty much whatever you like, and fish and seafood here is excellent, well priced, and fresh, as are the fruits and vegetables. Of course Costa Rica produces some of the finest coffee in the world and it's not uncommon to see bumper stickers around proclaiming that "Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee"


Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions if given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
This ride is designed for serious riders who want to discover the most complete possible grounds and scenery. This is achieved by using vehicle transportation (anywhere from 1-5 hours) only when strictly necessary due to the long distances involved between the riding bases. Riders are required to have an intermediate level of riding experience to attend this ride.

Horses
Costa Rican Criollo, Paso, and mixed breeds (Spanish, Andalusian & American Quarter). They range from 14 to 16 hands.

Non-Riders
If you are a non-rider that want to discover Costa Rica whilst travelling with your riding companion, we can organize many activities for you including: White Water Rafting, Zip-Lining, Hiking Trails, Crocodile Boat Safari, Kayaking, Snorkeling,…

Children
The minimum age to join this ride is 12. Children are expected to have a the appropriate riding experience in order to join this ride. When booking a private ride, it might be possible to have children 11 or younger join us (subject to conditions).

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival

Arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José (SJO). Upon arrival you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel near the airport. Overnight in San Jose.

Day 2: Presentation & Build-up ride
Morning transfer to Cien Fuegos Eco-Ranch & Stables, located along the Trinidad river in the Dry Central Pacific Region, the starting point of your riding adventure. After horse assignment and our presentation, you will head towards Hacienda La Maravilla, riding along rolling hills and meadows into the Gallery Forest alongside the Cuarros river – an excellent spot for wildlife encounters! We meander across the river following a country lane passing en route farmland, rural homes and finally arriving at the hacienda grounds. This afternoon, there will be an exploratory ride following the private trails. The next three nights will be at Maravilla House lodge (shared bathrooms) which remote location and attractive scenery will no doubt gives a better feel of typical Costa Rican life and living than anywhere else on the locations you will be visiting.
Riding: ~3 hours in the saddle
Meals Included: B, L & D (EG & LG)


Day 3: Coastal Ride
Today’s ride will take you to the Pacific coast following country lanes and an old ranch trail which lead to Tivives Crag. The Spaniards first started their conquest of the Central Pacific around 1561 right from this very spot! Ride across the Cascajalillo Mangrove Swamps and along the coast. Depending on tide times, lunch will be served at a local café or as a picnic on the beach or back at Maravilla. Again, depending on the tide you climb on horseback towards Cuevas Crag, enjoying unique views of the Pacific Ocean or alternatively, ride along the shoreline towards Guacalillo beach. Follow a country lane back to hacienda Maravilla.
Riding: ~5-6 hours in the saddle
Meals included: B, L & D (BG) (LG)


Day 4: La Mariana Estate & Countryside
This morning you have an exploratory ride of the hacienda’s 1000 acres and its private reserve, riding through rolling hills and savannah’s towards the Transitional-Dry Forest and the lush Gallery Forest. Here, the terrain is picturesque, predominantly flat with gentle slopes and forested valleys. As you ride over the higher areas you will be able to gain excellent views of the Pacific Ocean and perhaps spot some of the local area’s wildlife too. Back at the hacienda in time for lunch and relax. This afternoon there will be an optional ride in the Southern part of La Maravilla Hacienda. After a few gentle hill climbs you may experience an Ocean view sunset – the Pacific coast has the reputation for being amongst the world’s top best places to experience this beautiful event.
Riding: ~3-6 hours in the saddle
Meals: B, L, D (BG) (LG)


Day 5: Machuca River Canyon Ride
Your final ride in the Central Pacific will take you to the Machuca River basin, passing Cascajal village, you will ride into the area where this river canyon broadens onto the plains. Heading towards the Jesús María River basin, allowing exploration of the plains and forested valleys along the Machuca River Canyon, where the land is very fertile and most commonly used to cultivate melons. Afternoon you will take a 3 1/2-hour transfer by vehicle to the Northern Region home to Arenal Volcano which last erupted in 1968 and remains one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Overnight in Arenal.
Riding: ~4-5 hours in the saddle
Meals Included: B, PL, D (BG)


Day 6: Nature walk at the base of Arenal Volcano & Visit to thermo-mineral Hot-water springs
This morning you will be picked up and take a short 25-minute drive to El Silencio farm at the base of Arenal Volcano. You will take a 2 ½ guided nature walk  towards Arenal Volcano and the lookout point. As you walk through the forest, you have the possibility of spotting 3 species of monkeys, sloths and a wide variety of birds, including the Toucan. The walk ends with a refreshing beverage and providing there are clear sky conditions, you may enjoy a magnificent view of Costa Rica’s most active volcano, which has been on constant activity since 1968. Later on you will enjoy free time at the beautiful Arenal hot water springs and gardens - an excellent complementation to your riding adventure! These thermo-mineral waters, which some people claim to have healing powers,  will help you to leave feeling relaxed! Overnight in Arenal.
Meals Included: B & L

Day 7: Morning of leisure & free afternoon
This morning will be at leisure for you to relax , enjoy the swimming pool or take any of the optional adventure. Arenal area is a true adventure lovers heaven and offers great opportunities for exciting adventures that will perfectly complement your riding vacation! From Skytrek (zipline) and Tram tour; Waterfall Rapelling and Canyoning; Canoeing; Mountain Biking, to Kayaking on Lake Arenal, you will be certain to find a suitable addition to your equestrian adventure! All these adventures are available at an extra cost and can be booked in advance to guarantee your space. This afternoon at around 1 p.m. you will take a shuttle transfer (regular pooled service) back to your San Jose hotel. Overnight in San Jose.
Meals included: B

Day 8: Flight Home
Morning at your leisure and transferred to the Juan Santamaría International Airport in time for your flight back home and we say our farewells.
Meals included: B


Keys: (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner, (TG) Transfer Guide,  (EG) Equestrian Guide, (LG) Local Horse Master/Guide.

Important Note: This is a sample ride dossier, planned several months in advance. The ride can be operated in different order other than as described above. Arrangements (routes or facilities) are subject to variation by the outfitter depending on local conditions. All riding times contained in our itineraries are based upon riding at a slow/moderate pace throughout.
 


Rates and Dates for Odyssey Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations for 7 nights (2 nights at a hotel, 3 nights at a farm lodge, and 2 nights at an ecolodge), meals as indicated, equestrian guides, 4 riding days, ponchos & horse bags, entrance fee to hot water springs, 1 litre of water per person per day, transfers from/to airport

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20198 day trip, AP except in San Jose- La Maravilla Lodge$1595
    • Single supplement$225
      Solo rider supplement$915
      Triple room occupancy discount, pp($95)
      Child (up to 11 years old) Discount($195)
  • B
    20198 day trip, AP except in San Jose- Cerro Lodge Upgrade$1865
    • Single supplement$335
      Solo rider supplement$1035
      Triple room occupancy discount, pp($75)
      Child (up to 11 years old). Discount($245)

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 Transfer from San Jose airport/ hotel any time, included first and last day $0
2019 Non-rider discount $-310

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2019 07/25 - 08/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Expired
A 2019 07/25 - 08/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Expired
A 2019 08/22 - 08/29 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Expired
B 2019 08/22 - 08/29 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Expired
B 2019 09/12 - 09/19 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Expired
A 2019 09/12 - 09/19 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Expired
A 2019 10/03 - 10/10 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2019 10/03 - 10/10 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2019 11/07 - 11/14 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2019 11/07 - 11/14 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2019 11/21 - 11/28 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2019 11/21 - 11/28 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2019 12/07 - 12/14 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2019 12/07 - 12/14 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2019 12/26 - 01/02 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2019 12/26 - 01/02 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2020 01/23 - 01/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2020 01/23 - 01/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2020 02/20 - 02/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2020 02/20 - 02/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2020 03/19 - 03/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2020 03/19 - 03/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2020 04/16 - 04/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2020 04/16 - 04/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2020 05/21 - 05/28 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2020 05/21 - 05/28 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2020 06/11 - 06/18 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2020 06/11 - 06/18 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
B 2020 07/16 - 07/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2020 07/16 - 07/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP except in San... 2 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: ** other dates by request with minimum of 2 riders

Rates do not include:

Some meals (all meals on Day 1, dinner on Day 6, and lunch and dinner on Day 7), alcoholic drinks, extras at hotel, gratuities for guides, drivers and hotel staff, personal and/or medical expenses, extra or optional tours

Other Info
Meeting: San Jose
Airport: Juan SantamarĂ­a International Airport (SJO)
Transfer: San Jose International Airport or hotel

Climate:
                                                    Alajuela area
 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

82

83

85

85

83

82

82

82

81

80

81

81

Average Low Temperature (°F)

63

63

64

65

65

64

64

64

63

63

63

63

Average High Temperature (°C)

28

28

29

30

28

28

28

28

27

27

27

27

Average Low Temperature (°C)

17

17

18

18

18

18

18

18

17

17

17

17

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

0

0

1

5

16

19

14

17

21

22

11

3

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Almost ideal year-round for visitors, the climate is moderate up in the highlands, whilst at the lowlands and coastal areas can range from the low 70's to the high 90's degrees Fahrenheit.

There are 2 main seasons:
- Summer, which is usually dry and lasts from December to May
- Winter, also known as the rainy season and usually running from the end of May to November

The heaviest rainfalls usually occur in September and October.

What To Bring:
Recommended List
- Riding gloves
- For your safety we strongly recommend you to bring a riding helmet with a shade-rim to give you extra protection by blocking the sun from your face and neck
- Riding boots or hard-soled shoes and boots
- Rain gear (e.g. raincoat or a poncho)
- Long riding trousers or jeans
- Chaps
- Comfortable clothes of a light material, preferably cotton. T-shirts and shorts are acceptable in San José (during the day, if planning to go out in the evening trousers are highly recommended as some restaurants will not admit you in shorts or sandals).
- Loose-fitting long-sleeve shirts and trousers are recommended during forest explorations or if you take any day trips out to smaller towns, where immodest attire is frowned upon. (Jeans tend to be more uncomfortable during long walk although better for horse riding)
- Pack a light sweater or jacket for San José's cool nights and early mornings and for trips up volcanoes, Monteverde, etc
- Sturdy shoes or hiking boots are essential if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing and hiking.
- Waterproof hiking sandals or other footwear that lets your feet breathe are good for strolling about town, and also for beach walking, fording streams, and navigating the myriad mud holes you'll find on rain forest and cloud forest trails.
- Insect Repellent
- Sun screen lotion (spf-15 or higher)
- A small notebook and pen
- Binoculars & camera
- Any medication you may require, please consult with your G.P. for health advise.
- And but overall a great adventurous spirit! IMPORTANT: *** Please double-check the expiry date of your passport. ***

The tone here is casual wear - it is not necessary to dress up to go to dinner. Comfortable lightweight is best. In the higher elevations, San Jose, the volcanoes, or Monteverde, temperatures are cool and sweaters or light jackets are suggested.

We recommend for women to ride in leggings with a big shirt over them. The leggings are not too hot, and they dry out quickly if they get wet.

Sensible precaution
Almost all encounters with noxious insects & plants can be avoided by watching where you walk and sit, by not touching non-recognizable insects, plants, etc. by tucking pants in your socks, by using an insect repellent, by spraying shoes and ankles to avoid bites, by always following tour guide's instructions to the letter, and finally, avoid using perfumes, after-shave, or other scents that will attract insects.  Please leave your valuables at home.