- Why SYMG?
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Difficulty descriptions are by nature very subjective. The categories below represent generalized distinctions in terrain, level of commitment, time spent at elevation and overall trip duration. Level of commitment refers to the ability to opt out of activities such as peak ascents from a base camp. A committing trip requires a daily mileage to be completed each day.
These trips typically travel on groomed trails at a leisurely pace. You can expect maintained trails, gentle grades and more flexibility in terms of your destination for the day. Hikers will carry mainly the essentials in a light daypack and travel anywhere from 3 to 8 miles depending on the trip or preference.
These include hiking, backpacking, or stock-supported trips that take place mostly on maintained trails to get to camp. These trips hike into a set basecamp and then offer optional destinations with varying degrees of challenge. You can expect modest climbs on uneven terrain. Total distances are often 4-7 miles of hiking per day over 3-4 days of hiking.
These trips include on- and off-trail hiking or backpacking or stock-supported trips. The trails can consist of uneven terrain with modest to difficult climbs and some steep passes (gains of 1000-2000’). These trips are typically 3-5 days in duration but can be longer. For backpacking trips, they can include carrying a fully weighted pack (30-42lbs) and travel 6-10 miles per day.
These trips include on- and off-trail hiking, backpacking or stock-supported trips with uneven terrain and steep grades and passes. These trips are more physically and mentally challenging and usually 7-8 days in duration. For backpacking trips, pack weight will consist of (30-40lbs). Because these types of trips have a required mileage to complete each day, the level of commitment is high. Trips in this category spend significant time at higher elevations and often cover 8-12+ miles per day with average gains/losses of 1,500-3,000’ per day. The most successful people on these trips have some prior overnight backcountry experience.
These trips include on- and off-trail hiking or backpacking on uneven terrain with steep grades. These trips travel 10-12+ miles per day and can vary from 8-21 days in length. Given the mileage and duration, there is an increased amount of physical and mental challenge throughout the trip. Pack weights will consist of 35-45lbs depending on the resupply schedule. Because these types of trips have a required mileage to complete each day, the level of commitment to reach your destination is high. The most successful people on these trips have extensive overnight backcountry experience.
Costa Rica is considered by many one the most beautiful and accessible eco-adventures in the world. World class jungle ecosystems, wildlife viewing, rafting adventures, beaches, highland volcanoes are just some of the fun to be had. There is so much to do in this country that it is hard to see if it all in one trip, but our 7-day adventure is designed to give you a wonderful slice of the people, the diverse beauty and wildlife, and the exciting adventures Costa Rica has to offer.
Equipment: All equipment rentals for included activities are supplied.
Your Cost Includes: All daily guides (1 US based guide and 1 Costa Rican guide, all transportation from day 1 of arrival airport transfers to morning of Day 7 back to the airport, all adventure activities and associated equipment, meals listed above.
Not Included: Flights to/from San Jose, Personal gear, alcoholic beverages, tips for guides (which typically range from 10-20% of trip fee split by the lead US and lead Costa Rican guide), and the 2 dinners listed above. Single occupancy request for hotels upon arrival and return to airport as well as in the lodges
Meals: All meals included from Breakfast on Day 2 -lunch on Day 6. We are on our own for dinner on arrival on Day 1 and dinner upon return to airport hotel on evening of Day 6. Breakfast on morning of departure: Day 7 is included. Local food is quite good and inexpensive..
Preparation: The best preparation for this trip is to read up on Costa Rica and its history, geology, flora and fauna. Physically, walking and moderate hiking will also help on activities and travel fatigue.
Day 1: Arrival Arrival into San Jose, Costa Rica
Your shuttle driver will meet you at the San Jose airport and take you to Bougainvillea Hotel. (No meals included).
Day 2: Jungle Kayaking 6:30 am Pick up from Hotel: We will get picked up in our own private air conditioned mini bus for an exciting drive up and over the mountainous-jungle encased highway before getting to our put-in for a day of scenic kayaking into the Tortuguero National Park. We will be taking breakfast along the way at one of our favorite local restaurants with typical Costa Rican cuisine. Lunch will be riverside prepared by our guides. You can expect to see at any time Caymans, crocodiles, exotic birds, turtles, iguanas, monkeys and if we are luck the mellow 3-toed sloths. After a few hours of kayaking, we'll hit the main canal, finishing off our day with a welcomed open-air jet-boat ride to our lodge. Happy hour includes swimming, a poolside bar followed by dinner at the lodge.
Day 3: Tortuguero NP Kayaking Today we will go with our naturalist guides for a more intimate paddle in the stable sea-kayaks through the more remote canals of the park. Today's morning paddle goes far beyond where the more common motor boat tours take place leaving us with a sense of authentic exploration for an up close view and interaction with Costa Rica's wildlife. Lunch will be taken back at the lodge where toucans and enormous iguanas are a common sight on the lush grounds. After a siesta we will boat over the canals for afternoon hike through the jungle canopy or a stroll through the remote and isolated village-town of Tortuguero. Evening time brings us to the black sand beach and a sunset walk as the sun sets on the Caribbean side of the country. (B,L,D included)
Day 4: River Rafting into Rios Tropicales Lodge Today we are going to leave the Mawamba Lodge via open-air motorboat to the take-out (approximately 2 hours), where our mini-bus will meet us to take us to the River Rafting center. The drive is about 2 hours and we will arrive in time for lunch at the operations center. After lunch, we will safely leave our extra luggage at the center with our rafting guide team and drive to the put in by early afternoon. We will then be in paddle rafts for the rest of the day on the Pacuare River. The Pacuare is a class III-IV river and is considered by all experts one the top 5 scenic rivers to raft in the world! We’ll be arriving to our river-side lodge by evening in time to grab a hot shower and change into dry clothes before our guide’s prepare a fresh Happy Hour on the open-air palapa over looking the Pacuare. Home cooked dinner to follow. (B,L,D included)
Day 5: Jungle Canopy Tour Today is a fantastic layover day with a jungle canopy Zip line course, hiking to waterfalls and swimming holes and just really enjoying a classic Costa Rica experience. (B,L,D included)
Day 6: River Rafting & San Jose Up in the morning and pack up the boats for a long 1/2-day of rafting Class III and IV exciting rapids to our take out. Our bus meets us again for the short drive back to the Operations Center, a shower, lunch and then we'll hit the road back to the capital of Costa Rica where we started, San Jose. (B,L included). Dinner on your own, which we typically take together, but inexpensive cost isn't included.
*Ask us about adding on an additional day to your trip to visit to the famous Arenal Volcano and thermal hot springs of La Fortuna making for an 8-day itinerary.
Day 7: End of Trip. There is an included full breakfast at the Bougainvillea Hotel and free Hotel shuttle to the airport every 15 minutes. Flying in and out of San Jose is very easy with many daily, direct flights.
It seems just like yesterday we were hootin' and hollerin' in the drink of Costa Rica! With truly grateful hearts we say, "Thank you, Ian and SYMG Team for all of your efforts in developing a truly unforgettable experience in Costa Rica!!"
It was our pleasure to get to know you. Perhaps we chat soon as we'd really like to adventure to your 'hood!?
-- Sincerely, Melissa and Matt Davis - Costa Rica Multi-Sport Feb, 2013