explore Costa Rica
Here is an incomplete and always growing list of excursion options for your retreat. If there is something you want to do in Costa Rica that is not on this list, tell us! We can add it to your initial custom quote or help arrange an a la carte tour for you.
Finca Calma Farm Tour
In today’s fast paced modern world, there’s an increasing need for peaceful relaxation, a place to step aside from the concrete jungle and enjoy the true blessings of Mother Nature. This thirst to enjoy earth’s pure and natural gifts is the driving force behind the paradise we call Finca Calma, the first eco-retreat development by Vida Calma in biologically rich Costa Rica of Central America. This paradise will soon be an off-grid organic farm that will give people a chance to step away from the hassles of the modern world and enjoy the true power of mother nature.
The translation of Finca Calma, The Calm or Quiet Farm, is the prevalent mood over the entire concept, and our first ecologically friendly farm of the Vida Calma projects we are planning. The farm encompasses nearly 400 acres of beautiful rolling mountain pastures running along almost 4 kilometers of the San Lorenzo River, less than two hours northwest of San Jose. Upon completion, the community will contain a limited number of earthbag constructed houses powered directly from our loving mother; solar, wind, and biofuel gas power, along with hundreds of acres of crops, livestock and fish, all while maintaining a very private and intimate atmosphere for everyone.
In addition to the farmland, homes and clubhouse, Vida Calma Wellness Center will serve host to an intimate health retreat center focused around the healing arts of yoga, Thai massage, meditation, energy healing and the ancient medicinal practices of ayurveda.
Don Bosco Sunset Cruise
Don Bosco is a prized 65-foot 2-masted yacht that was commissioned 1957 in Deauville, France by the French as a gift to Spain. She is now fully equipped with state-of-the-art navigation equipment, twin diesel engines, and has all the comforts of today combined with the quality construction, charm and class of this yesteryear vessel. On Christmas Day, 1999, Don Bosco touched Pacific waters for the first time in its history. Now the Don Bosco is anchored off the beautiful Pacific coast of Costa Rica waiting to make your dreams a reality. She is the largest yacht in Playas del Coco at 65 feet and can comfortably sail charters of up to 30 people. The Captain and Crew have been taking visitors and locals out to explore the beauty of the local coast of Costa Rica for over years, your best choice for unequaled experience!
Arenal Volcanic Hot Springs
Thanks to the Arenal Volcano’s geothermal activity, there is a number of natural hot springs throughout the area near La Fortuna. Warm and soothing, these springs offer visitors an ideal way to relax after a day spent exploring Arenal. Each hot spring facility is unique in its own right – some have both hot and cold pools, others have waterslides or swim up bars. Rest assured in the knowledge that wherever you decide to soak, it will be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Our favorite is The Springs Resort and Spa. Their free-form, landscaped pools provide guests with great views of the volcano and a multitude of options. With hot springs temperatures ranging from 83 ˚F to 103˚F and environments that vary from raging waterfalls to tranquil forest experiences, guests can find the perfect pool for their mood and the current weather conditions.
Espiritu Santo Coffee Tour
After welcoming you to the farm, your tour guide will explain the history of the estate, its location, altitude and topography, among other interesting details. The tour is composed of 7 different stations full of unique sights and experiences related to the golden beans. See the plantation, learning the steps to grow and maintain coffee plants. Learn about the benefits of coffee, the pulping, selection, fermentation, and drying processes. Take a tour of one of the largest and most beautiful roasting rooms in the country including details about different roasts and the packing process.
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
La Paz Waterfall Gardens is the #1 Most Visited Privately Owned Ecological Attraction in Costa Rica featuring the best hiking near San José, the most famous waterfalls in Costa Rica, rescued wildlife preserve with over 100 species of animals, and an environmental education program.
Five waterfalls, cloud forest and rain forest, safe hiking trails, aviary with numerous species of birds, toucan feeding, insect exhibit, butterfly observatory, capuchin (white-faced) monkeys, black-handed spider monkeys, hummingbird garden with 26 documented species, hummingbird hand feeding in the mornings and afternoons, serpentarium (snake exhibit), jaguars, pumas, ocelots, margays, tica house with petting zoo and ox cart, ranarium (frog exhibit), orchid exhibit, heliconia exhibit. All of these offered at one place, makes it the best eco park in Costa Rica.
Considered by most to be one of the most breathtaking sites in the entire country, the Poas Volcano sits high above 14,000 acres (5,666 ha) of various habitats and life zones which make up Poas Volcano National Park (Parque Nacional Volcan Poas). Rising up to 8,885 ft (2,708 m), Poas remains one of Costa Rica's largest and most active volcanoes. This fact alone is enough to attract thousands of visitors per year.
Walking just 15 minutes from the visitor's center, the main crater supplies guests with a spectacular view. At almost a mile in diameter (1.6 km), the crater&s rain-fed sulfuric pool still bubbles and emits smoke into the air, reminding you of its imposing activity. Although the last major eruption was in 1910, visitors can still see geysers explode into the air up to 820 ft (250 m) high. Chances of getting wet are pretty remote as the crater descends almost 1,000 ft (300 m) and is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world. Around the huge main-crater is the beautifully blue-green colored Botos Lake (Laguna Botos) and on the opposite side, the von Frantzius cone.
Except for the area around the main caldera, the park is full of dense vegetation and small wildlife. Sightings of the 79 species of birds that have been identified inside the protected zone including the quetzal, emerald toucanet, black guan, sparrow, hummingbird and robin are common. Few large mammals are found inside the park, however, smaller, less conspicuous critters such as marmots, coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, snakes, frogs and a plethora of insects are present. The different zones inside the protected area mainly include cloud forest, mountain rain forest and very humid low mountain forest. Hiking along the Botos Trail you arrive at Botos Lake, a beautiful crater with a diameter of 1,312 ft (400 m) that has a beautiful jade color and is frequented by many of the bird species in the park.
Sarchí Artisanal Shopping
The small and quaint town of Sarchí is famed throughout Costa Rica for its brightly colored, intricately constructed handicrafts. At only an hour’s drive from San José, a visit to Sarchí is the perfect daytime diversion while traveling through the beautiful Central Valley.
Small shops and stands line the road into Sarchí. Vibrant colors painted onto a variety of mediums – wood and stone, to name a few – stand out with easy recognition. It is for these that the town is principally known. Year in and out, both foreigners and locals alike travel to this charming artisan town to purchase goods and souvenirs. Although the panoply of handiwork is far reaching, including rocking chairs and chests, dressers and desks, masks and jewelry, the most well known is the oxcart. Decorated in their entirety, these oxcarts have become something of a national symbol for Costa Rica. Their initial use dates back to over a century ago, when they were the main mode of transporting coffee beans to markets throughout the country. Gradually they came to celebrity, thanks to 100-year-old manufacturers like the Joaquín Chaverri Oxcart Factory, which was built in 1902. Today, they still play a major role in parades and religious celebrations, with nowhere better to find them than Sarchí. Going along with the brightly colored theme of the town, Sarchí’s church is painted pink-and-blue and decorated with small drawings. Built in the 1950s, it is two-towered and sits overlooking the town, just across from the main square.
Zipline Canopy Tour
Zip-lines above the canopy are in many ways synonymous with Costa Rica. Originally introduced during the 1970s, zip-lines have developed into one of the country’s most popular and widespread activities. Composed of steel cables and platforms strung at various heights between trees, they offer travelers a unique means of accessing beautiful and remote natural areas. And although they undoubtedly boost the adrenaline of each and every participant, zip-lines also educate their riders on ecology, botany, and reforestation practices.