Costa Rica 2023

Our hotels

Day 1-6 (Nov. 3-8): Parador Resort & Spa

9RWJ+WM8 Manuel Antonio Norte Puntarenas Province

Nestled within 12 acres of tropical rainforest and sitting high above the coastline overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Parador Resort & Spa boasts spectacular views along with first-class amenities.

Only minutes away from Manuel Antonio National Park, white sand beaches and hiking trails, the Parador is a little slice of paradise that invites you to explore and relax to your heart’s content.

Hotel Amenities

  • 5 pools (one features a swim-up bar)
  • 7 restaurants & bars ranging from sushi and Mediterranean delicacies to local dishes
  • spa with a wide variety of massages, treatments, steam room and yoga classes
  • fitness center
  • entertainment options (incl. mini golf, tennis courts, lush green spaces)
  • self-service laundry + concierge laundry
  • convenience store
  • small currency exchange (no ATM), USD accepted

Click to see amenities on hotel website

Room Amenities
  • TV, wifi
  • mini-fridge, coffee maker
  • hair dryer, iron/ironing board

Day 6-8 (Nov. 8-10): Marriott Hacienda Belen

700 Meters West From Bridgestone/Firestone Heredia Province

Located in Costa Rica’s capital San Jose, the Marriott Hacienda Belen is a true city resort. Let the beautiful mixture of classic Costa Rican Hacienda living with a modern touch inspire you to relax, or take advantage of the location and explore San Jose.

Whether you unwind at the Hacienda with a round of golf or a spa treatment, or you opt for adventures in vibrant San Jose and shop for souvenirs, the Hacienda Belen will surely make it a memorable stay!

Hotel Amenities

  • outdoor pool and jacuzzis
  • 4 restaurants & bars
  • day spa with a wide variety of  treatments, outdoor jacuzzis overlooking resort’s coffee plantation
  • fitness center
  • driving range
  • salon, convenience store, gift shop
  • laundry service
  • currency exchange

Room Amenities

  • TV, wifi
  • mini-fridge, coffee maker
  • hair dryer, iron/ironing board

Our itinerary

Tip: There are 2 beaches nearby:
  • Biesanz Beach on the resort grounds (check hotel map #19, accessed via the path right outside the main building, see #18). The trail may be slippery when wet, so wear appropriate footwear. You can request for a hotel golf cart to drop you off at #18, and arrange pick-up via WhatsApp when ready.
  • Manuel Antonio public beach and shops. The Parador offers a free shuttle for guests to Manuel Antonio. You can reserve a spot on the shuttle bus at the front desk.
    • Shuttle schedule:
      • Departures: 8:10 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 5:15 p.m.
      • Return from Aguas Azules: 8:25 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:20 p.m.
      • Return from Rotonda: 8:35 a.m., 9:25 a.m., 11:25 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:35 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 5:25 p.m.

Day 1: Friday, Nov 3


Arriving guests will be greeted by iE USA staff and gather to board mini-coaches to head to the Parador in Manuel Antonio, which is roughly 3 hours from the airport. The buses will make a stop halfway. Once at the hotel, you will check into your room.

Arrivals before 1 p.m.:

You will have time to relax ahead of dinner at 7 p.m., which will be hosted at 2 of the resort’s restaurants (check your personal itinerary for restaurant info).

Arrivals after 1 p.m.:

You will receive a dinner box upon check-in.

Day 2: Saturday, Nov 4


6-10 a.m.: Breakfast
Breakfast at hotel (La Galería restaurant)

6 a.m.-3 p.m.: Free time/time for excursions

If you have booked one of the additional excursions, please see times below:

  • 8 a.m. -2 p.m.: Tico village bike tour to waterfalls
  • 8:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.: Horseback riding
  • 8 a.m.-1 p.m.: Catamaran boat tour

3-3:30 p.m.: Meet with your RD (check with RD for location)

3:30-5 p.m.: Get to know the Parador (check with RD for loation)

6-7 p.m.: Cocktail hour (Orange Salon with Terraza)

7 p.m.: Welcome dinner (Orange Salon)

Day 3: Sunday, Nov 5


6-10 a.m.: Breakfast
Breakfast at hotel (La Galería restaurant)

9 a.m.-noon: Staff meeting for all staff and LCs (free time for guests)

noon-1 p.m.: Working lunch (all guests are invited to join)

1-4:30 p.m.: Free time/time for excursions

4:30-7  p.m.: Restaurant dinner at the Marina (transfer via bus)

Day 4: Monday, Nov 6


6-10 a.m.: Breakfast
Breakfast at hotel (La Galería restaurant)

6 a.m.-7 p.m.: free time/time for excursions

  • 6-8 a.m.: Parador Jungle Trails
  • 7:40-10:40 a.m.: Canopy zipline (Group 1)
  • 9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Manuel Antonio National Park tour
  • 6-8 p.m.: “Mysteries of the Night” hike

7 p.m.: Hotel dinner (Orange Salon)

Day 5: Tuesday, Nov 7


6-10 a.m.: Breakfast
Breakfast at hotel (La Galería restaurant)

6 a.m.-7 p.m.: free time/time for excursions

  • 6:50-9:30 a.m.: Mangrove kayaking
  • 6:50-9:30 a.m.: Damas boat tour
  • 7:40-10:40 a.m.: Canopy zipline (Group 2)

7 p.m.: Hotel dinner (Orange Salon)

Day 6: Wednesday, Nov 8


6-10 a.m.: Breakfast
Breakfast at hotel (La Galería restaurant)

10 a.m.: Check-out

10:30 a.m.: Transfer to San Jose

2-3 p.m.: Casual boxed lunch and check-in at Marriott Hacienda Belen

5:30-7 p.m.: Optional activity with RD

7 p.m.: Hotel dinner (Alcazar on the 3rd floor)

Day 7: Thursday, Nov 9


6-11 a.m.: Breakfast
Breakfast at hotel (Hacienda Kitchen)

6 a.m.-7 p.m.: Free time/excursions

  • 10-12:30 a.m. coffee tour
  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. San Jose city tour and shopping

7 p.m.: Farcwell dinner (Foyer of the Alcazar on the 3rd floor)

Day 8: Friday, Nov 10


6-11 a.m.: Breakfast
Breakfast at hotel (Hacienda Kitchen)

9:30 a.m.: Group 1 Transfer to airport (flights departing before 1 p.m.)

10:30 a.m.: Group 2 Transfer to airport (flights departing between 1-2:30 p.m.)

11:30 a.m.: Group 3 Transfer to airport (flights departing after 2:30 p.m.)


Walks and hikes

Nature hike on Parador's jungle trails

duration: 1.5-2 hours

On this two-hour guided nature tour through Parador’s ten acres of lush jungle trails, a certified guide will lead you through fertile secondary rainforest inhabited by a vast array of indigenous wildlife where you will likely encounter brilliantly-hued tropical birds (including toucans, parrots and macaws), our three resident species of monkeys (titi, white-face and howler), two and three-toed sloths, giant iguanas and other native reptiles. If lucky, you might also spot an elusive caucel, a wildcat in the puma family.

*Please note* – although this is a fairly easy trek, it is recommended that participants be in reasonable physical condition.

"Mysteries of the Night" jungle walking tour

duration: 1.5-2 hours

As the sun sets, the jungle awakens to an orchestra of nocturnal sounds, signaling the beginning of a mesmerizing adventure on the Monkey Trail. Guided by the soft glow of lanterns, this night walk offers an intimate glimpse into a world rarely seen by day.

Journey through dense foliage and uncover nature’s secrets hidden beneath the moonlit canopy. From luminous fireflies dancing in the dark to the elusive creatures that prowl the forest floor, every step is filled with wonder. Perfect for curious souls, this tour offers a profound connection to Costa Rica’s vibrant nocturnal ecosystem.

Manuel Antonio National Park tour

duration: 4 hours

One of the nation’s ecological gems and the second most visited nature reserve in Costa Rica; famed Manuel Antonio National Park is a “don’t miss” excursion while visiting our beautiful area. Led by our own professional certified naturalists, this is an easy and relaxing trek over well marked trails and white sand beaches that will introduce you to the varied flora and fauna of our rich rainforests.

Although many of the animals will be clearly visible (including squirrel, white face and howler monkeys, sloths, toucans and more), the guide is armed with a high-powered telescopic lens that will allow you to view resident wildlife obscured by the lush jungle.

Get your feet wet…

Island Adventures: Catamaran boat tour

duration: 4-5 hours

A tranquil voyage on a beautiful 85-foot catamaran sail boat through the region’s jeweled Pacific waters.

Marvel at the scenic vista that showcases rainforest dramatically hugging the sea, a scattering a small uninhabited island and the ¨cityscapes¨ of Quepos and Manuel Antonio. Dolphins and whales might also be sighted in these waters at varying times throughout the year. Snorkel off the side of the boat and explore the aquatic wonders lurking beneath the sea.

Fruit punch, water, and lunch are served aboard.

Damas Island Boat Trip

duration: 3.5-4 hours

The mangrove is the only tree in the world which survives in salty water. As the meeting point between ocean and land, this mangrove region is amongst the most bio-diverse environments on earth. It is home to numerous species of wildlife, including rainbow boa, crocodiles, anteaters, opossums, water birds such as the pink spoonbill, herons, white ibis, white-headed eagle, and others. And of course, our ubiquitous monkey population, who regularly board the boats cruising down the estuary.

This is a safe, fun, informative tour for anyone who wants to experience another side of nature’s bounty. Only a 25-minute drive from Parador Resort & Spa, this is a convenient and highly recommended excursion.

Mongrove kayaking

duration: 4 hours

Journeying down the mangrove estuary in your own kayak gives you a bit more freedom and an opportunity to venture deeper into the smaller tributaries where the larger boat cannot go.

You will experience the fertile mangrove eco-system and its resident wildlife.

A fun and highly informative adventure with fairly easy paddling (but still requires some exertion).



duration: 1 hr 15 mins (flight times: 15 or 30 minutes)

An unbelievably unique experience: Lift off from the beach and observe the natural beauty of Manual Antonio’s coast from the heights before you descend into the warm waters of the Pacific.

Jet ski tour of Quepos coast line

duration: 2 hours

Feel the adrenaline flow through your body while you search for exotic marine life and enjoy the breathtaking views of one of Costa Rica’s most stunning coastlines. Often spotted are dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans, mantas, boobies, flying fish and at the right time of year, even whales!

Glide through the warm pacific waves with the opportunity to enjoy Manuel Antonio national park from a completely different perspective. You will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in Biesanz Bay, all equipment will be provided.

A different way to explore Costa Rica

Local village & waterfalls by bike

duration: 4 hours

Enjoy a guided bike tour of the small rural town of Portasol about 30 minutes from Quepos. Learn about local sustainability efforts that are vital parts of communities and get a real insight into the rural life of the locals.

You will also travel to a small farm for a short walk to a waterfall to enjoy swimming and a typical local snack.

For the afternoon tour, we recommend completing the day with a visit to Matapalo Beach, just 15 minutes away to watch the sunset.

Horseback riding to waterfalls

duration: 4 hours

Enjoy a scenic horseback trek through the fertile hills and tranquil countryside outside Villa Nueva about 30 minutes from Parador Resort & Spa.

Twisting trails and lush rainforest lead you to a river, along which you will ride for about 1 ½ hours. A quick hike will end at two spectacular waterfalls where you can swim in a calm pool beneath the natural torrent and enjoy some snacks. Back on the horses for another hour and then off to enjoy a traditional Costa Rican lunch great half-day trip.


"More adrenaline" canopy tour

duration: 5.5 hours

After a scenic drive and a stop at a butterfly farm, you will be on top of the world as you traverse the highest points of the rich rainforest canopy in this galvanizing adventure tour.

Suspended by heavy cables, you will also dangle from treetops in a Tarzan-like swing, rappel from aerial platforms to the ground below and gaze upon the breathtaking nature vistas around you.

The course features 18 platforms, nine cables, two rappel lines, one aerial swing and one suspended bridge.

Round of golf

Enjoy a round of golf at a spectacular 18-holes championship golf course that is known for its exceptional scenic beauty and climate.

Certified as a wildlife sanctuary, this golf course is the first and only course in the central valley open to the public.

Surrounded by colorful gardens, majestic trees and vast lakes, the greens present a surface that is smooth and fast, and without a doubt, will be a challenge for the players. Each hole offers an average of 4 or 5 tee positions for various levels of play, which makes the course a challenge for professionals, while being friendly and enjoyable for the less experienced. Dress code applies.

Explore San Jose

San José city tour & shopping

Discover the capital of Costa Rica! Visit the magnificent National Theater, an architectural jewel and cultural symbol with a rich history. On this tour, you will also discover Costa Rican heritage at the National Museum, a former military fort turned into a museum, that showcases the country’s peaceful tradition.

At the Central Market, participants will find authentic Costa Rican souvenirs.

Coffee plantation tour

Learn about Costa Rica’s most treasured agricultural product on this excursion to the north of San Jose.

An emerald sea of coffee trees that cover the rolling landscape as far as the eye can see and a cup of freshly roasteed coffee will let you wander into the world of Costa Rica’s most famous crop.

FAQ’s & Helpful info

What do I need to prepare ahead of the trip?
  • Bring the correct travel documents. U.S. citizens and permanent residents do not need a visa to visit Costa Rica but please review your airline’s website for any travel requirements.
    • Review the recommended packing list (will be sent to you a couple of weeks ahead of departure).
    • Exchange currency.
    • Get travel insurance (optional).
    • Download WhatsApp and get a temporary international data plan for the duration of the stay.
    What will the weather be like?

    In November, the average temperatures in most regions range from the mid-70s to low 80s°F. Coastal areas along the Pacific (like the Manuel Antonio area) may see temperatures from the high 80s to low 90°Fs.

    Since November is the tail end of the rainy season, rain may occur. While it might be heavy at times, it is not as extensive as the months prior.

    What is the dress code? What clothing items are recommended?

    With average temperatures ranging from mid-70s to low 90s in coastal regions like Manuel Antonio and quickly changing weather (including heavy rain), we recommend layers.

    Please bring comfortable walking shoes. Costa Rica has beautiful terrain for you to explore with ground that may be wet at times.

    Most of our meals are in a relaxed, casual setting. Some of the restaurants are in a nicer location, so feel free to bring a set of “nice clothes” to wear for dinner those evenings. Semi-formal or formal attire is not needed.

    If you would like to go golfing, please note the following dress code: shirt with collar (e.g. polo shirt), pants or shorts for men, skirts for women, closed shoes suitable for golf. Not permitted: shirts without collars or sleeves, blue jeans, bathing suits, sandals, shorts for exercise or sweatshirts.

    Do I need to bring Costa Rican Colón (CRC) currency?

    Credit cards are widely accepted but you might not be able to use them everywhere. Be aware of fees for using your credit card abroad. Many places also accept US dollars. It is recommended to bring smaller bills ($20 and lower ammounts). We suggest exchanging an appropriate amount based on what you would typically spend when on vacation. Note that currency exchange will also be available at both resorts.

    What meals are included?

    Hotel breakfasts as well as all dinners listed on our itinerary are included.

    The mini bar in your room is a private expense paid by the individual room occupants on check-out.

    Are there special rules about smoking?

    Please note that smoking in enclosed public places and near entrances and exits is prohibited in Costa Rica. Smoking must be done outside as long as it does not impact others.

    Who will I share a room with?

    If you are a solo traveler, you will receive an email with information about who you will be sharing a hotel room with.

    Will I receive details about meeting times, locations, etc. ahead of time?

    Yes, the itinerary will include most of those details. Our travel guide also knows the itinerary well and will be able to answer questions, or provide guidance.

    How does transportation work during the trip?

    Transportation to and from all activities on our itinerary will be provided. If you book one of the excursions we list, transportation is also included.

    If you opt for free time and do not want to use the provided transportation, please arrange your own transportation as needed. Uber is available in larger cities like San Jose.

    What should I know about Costa Rica?

    Here are a few things to know about Costa Rica:

    1. Wildlife is everywhere. It is not uncommen to see a sloth trying to cross the road or monkeys sitting above your head when you are at a restaurant. It is best to observe and not engage.

    2. Tipping is optional. While it is not expected, it certainly is appreciated and many restaurants will include an automatic 10% tip in your final bill.

    3. Costa Rica is eco-concious. Residents are passionate about protecting the country’s incredible natural resources.

    4. It gets dark by 6 p.m. every day since Costa Rica is only 8-12 degrees from the equator.

    5. The weather can change in an instant. Be sure to layer. Raincoats will be provided in Costa Rica.

    6. Tap water is safe to drink in most places.

    7. Set your clock to Tico time. Things may take longer than expected, for example getting to a location or eating at a restaurant. Take your time and enjoy!