Costa Rica Traverse
An adventure high on the wish list of active adventurers keen to take on the challenge of traversing Costa Rica under their own steam. Our crossing takes us on bike, foot, raft and kayak across this spectacular natural wilderness through farmlands, foothills and mountainous regions reaching the peaks of the Central Highlands. The trails are often slippery and poorly defined, with several river crossings. We encounter indigenous settlements deep in the cloud forest and hope to glimpse rare wildlife and birdlife in this pristine tropical rainforest. The views and terrain vary greatly as we traverse the mountainous backbone of Costa Rica. Our journey will take us into the depths of the Pacuare River on one of the world's classic whitewater experiences, for an exhilarating rafting trip with class 2-5 rapids through a series of spectacular canyons. In between the powerful rapids there is time to absorb your superb surroundings and the tropical rainforest. We leave the rapids and gorges behind as we ease our way by sea kayak along a much slower moving section of the river, through banana plantations to our final goal, the Caribbean coast.
|DAY 1||Join San Jose|
|DAY 2||Transfer to the Pacific coast|
|DAY 3||Cycling to Esquipulas|
|DAY 4||Full day of trekking to Naranjillo|
|DAY 5||Trekking and cycling to Santa Maria|
|DAY 6||Cycle across the Continental Divide to Orosi|
|DAY 7||Cycling and trekking to the Reventazon Valley and on to Pejibaye|
|DAY 8||Cycle to the Pacuare River and rafting|
|DAY 9||Rest day on the banks of the Pacuare River|
|DAY 10||Rafting on the Pacuare River|
|DAY 11||Cycle and sea kayak to the Caribbean Sea and transfer to San Jose|
|DAY 12||In San Jose, trip concludes|
MOST MEMORABLE PART: White water rafting & camping beside the river.
K. Nethercott UK
*11 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 8 dinners *airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 12 *expert bilingual guide *private internal transportation *comfortable and central hotels *basic village stay and guesthouses *all group camping equipment (sleeping bags and mats are not included) *rafting gear and instruction *kayaking gear and instruction *mountain bikes (bicycle helmets are not included) *support vehicle on most bike sections
World Expeditions has competitive airfares to get you to the starting point of your chosen adventure. CONTACT US for a full quotation including airfares, stopovers and any additional travel you wish to organize pre or post tour.
World Expeditions hold informative and inspiring info night presentations covering all of our adventures and journeys across the globe. CLICK ON THE INFO NIGHTS AND EVENTS TAB AT THE TOP OF OUR WEBSITE and join us for an informative evening in a location near you!
How to make your booking
You can book your trip online by clicking the 'Book Now' button against your desired departure date. If you prefer to book offline please click here to download a booking form and more information.
Upcoming Trip Departures
All World Expeditions adventure tours are small group departures and therefore places can fill quickly. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you book your trip as soon as possible.
- 29 Mar 2017
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- 19 Apr 2017
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- 17 May 2017
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- 24 Aug 2017
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- 13 Sep 2017
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- 29 Nov 2017
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- 01 Jan 2018
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1 2017 Trip Cost Supplement Note: prices valid up to 31/10/2017. For trips departing after this date, the price will likely increase subject to local inflationary pressures on operational costs.
Now there are 3 ways you can book your next World Expeditions adventure.
You are now able to book your trip online!
First, search our website to find the trip you are interested in.
Then, click the 'Dates & Bookings' tab to check availability. If a trip is available click 'Book Now'.
Please note that in some instances a credit card fee may be applied. If a fee is applied this is made clear during the booking process. To avoid this fee you can pay by direct deposit and by faxing/posting in a booking form.
If you would like to speak with a Reservations Consultant, call World Expeditions on 0800 0744 135 (during office hours 9am - 5.30pm Mon - Fri) or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Complete your details and fax or post to your nearest World Expeditions office along with your non-refundable deposit of £250 per person per trip, or 25% per person for Antarctic, Arctic and Russian Far East tours (or USD$1500 on the Ushuaia or USD$2500 on the Polar Pioneer).
3. in person
You can also take your booking in person to our office or to a World Expeditions office.
Download our booking form so you'll know what information we need to process your booking.
What happens after I book?
Receive your pre-departure information
On receipt of the booking form, we will confirm your booking by phone and our reservation staff will post to you a comprehensive Pre-Departure Kit. This kit will contain all necessary pre-departure information pertaining to your country including visa information, insurance information, a medical and personal details form, comprehensive gear list, discount vouchers for gear, our award winning Responsible Travel Guidebook as well as other information tailored to your adventure.
We can also handle your extra arrangements
World Expeditions is a licensed travel agent and we are able to handle every aspect of your booking from issuing travel insurance, booking your flights, stop-overs and other travel related services. Our reservation staff are eager to help so please do not forget to include any extra arrangements that you may need.
Note: If you cannot download this Booking Form contact your nearest World Expeditions office on and we will post, email or fax you a copy.
traveller reviews (16)
MOST MEMORABLE PART: White water rafting & camping beside the river.
K. Nethercott UK
Trip of a lifetime! A fantastic way to see the real Costa Rica.
M. Clowes Kent, UK
The whole Costa Rica traverse coast to coast was an unforgettable experience, World Expeditions have found the right balance of mountain biking, hiking and rafting to cover everyone's taste. Although the days were challenging, with the right amount of training you still felt fresh enough at the end of the day to relax and enjoy the company of your fellow travelers.
M. Cross Oxford, UK
Excellent trip. Very challenging but an incredible adventure. Very
Dr. Papadaki London, UK
MOST MEMORABLE PART: rafting in Paquare
O. Savva Cyprus
A great trip in a diverse and captivating country. Tough enough to have to push yourself whilst still being able to enjoy the experience. Glad I booked this trip; raising over £3k for charity in the process.
P. Lancaster Gerrards Cross, UK
Excellent trip. Juan Carlos (our guide) and his team run a very classy expedition. The static camps on the Pacuare are some of the most beautiful places I've ever stayed. The expedition/multi activity nature of the trip was perfect. Don't underestimate how fit you need to be; the terrain is challenging, as is the weather at times!
J. Olday London
The mixture of activities involved in the Costa Rica Traverse ensures everyday is different and brings a new challenge. The knowledge of the guides, especially when wildlife spotting was phenomenal. Our guides were continuously spotting wildlife in the bush and hunting for different plants and insects for us to view and learn about.
Ryan Donaldson UK
Home from an excellent trip...thanks for such an excellent bespoke experience on the Costa Rica Traverse. Out of all the trips we considered before embarking on this adventure I have absolutely no regrets in choosing this one! Memories made for a lifetime. Mow our guide was full of knowledge, banter and determination to get us through the tough days, of which I may add there were many. This is certainly not a breeze in the park and the grading should be respected. That said each and every day, however challenging, was thoroughly enjoyed. I would wholeheartedly recommend this trip to anyone whom wants to experience a true expedition with a real thirst for varied adventure.
Jason A UK
We had an amazing and yes, very challenging trip! The camping was perfect, Memo's food was brilliant. Mike, our guide, was amazing! He knows so much and has so many interesting and crazy stories. He knew exactly when someone needed a bit of help or encouragement. Apart from the US passport control on the way down the holiday was perfect but very tough! I found the most comfortable clothing was lycra cycling shorts or lycra half length gym pants. They dry fast, are cool, no chafing and easy to clean! And protect against the sun. Thank you for organising it all.
The trip was one of the most amazing experiences of my travelling life. The group was fantastic. The guides and other support staff were exceptional. The level of service and quality of what was provided, in terms of food for example, was highly impressive given the environment and basic conditions. The best aspect of this particular trip is the combination of activities - bike, walk, rafting, kayaks. It was never boring, and the variety allowed the saddle sores to calm down in between the rides :-) Not to mention that the idea of crossing a country coast to coast is the added 'wow' factor.
So, tell me - how does one top the Costa Rica Traverse?
Joanna K. UK
The local team ran a first rate operation. Would I do it again? Yes! I would have turned around on the beach and set off to do the full traverse right there and then.
Chris Collier United Kingdom
I have postponed sending this letter until now so as to be uninfluenced by post-trip emotions, as it were. But even 9 months on, I still cannot help but praise this expedition. It was a wonderful mixture of guides & people. The grade was enough to focus you on the task in hand, and to get a real feeling & respect for the land. The kindness & generosity displayed by ALL of the WE representatives on the trip all complimented the experience, turning it away from a regular organised expedition and into something more - something that has fed and quickened soul - and for adventure. Thank you.
Simon Stuart Gloucester, UK
The trip was an amazing experience. As expected it was physically tough but worth every drop of sweat and mud (no blood fortunately). For me personally, I found the heat hard to adjust to. I expected us to benefit from the shade of the rainforest more than we did and I guess going from a Scottish winter to an equatorial country didn't help. Having said that it didn't detract from my enjoyment, just made it harder work. We were also lucky because all 13 of us got on very well and it was a good mix of people. A special mention has to go to the guides and Danny in particular. I remember when we did the Cycling in the Andes that the guides were good but Danny was excellent. As well as being extraordinarily fit and knowledgeable about adventure stuff he was passionate about Costa Rica, it's environment and future. He had a great sense of humour and as if all that weren't enough he and his team were superb cooks. Although this wasn't everyone's idea of a relaxing holiday I came home envigorated and motivated with stacks of energy - apart from having to negotiate Terminal 5 on it's second day of chaos! I've already been on your website looking for the next potential challenge, if only work didn't get in the way.
J Dunthorne UK
I don't think my feet have touched the ground since I've returned from Costa Rica so any relaxation achieved on the trip is rapidly disappearing sadly. However, just a quick note to say that it was the most amazing trip I've ever done. Danny our guide was phenomenal - his ability to keep us upbeat and motivated and telling us information on a need to know basis was fantastic - I wish he could be our guide on every trip I do in the future! The rest of his team was also fantastic - the logistics behind the trip were critical but totally seemless as we trudged through the rainforest and up vertical mud slopes in the rain. I was going to go on a Patagonia trek but delighted that I was advised to do this trip - it really was a challenge and I was nervous about my levels of fitness but I realise now that I'm fitter than I thought I was - long may I continue to keep the fitness up although last week I took it easy. Thanks again to WE for their excellent advice to do this trip - I'm so happy I did and have met some great people as a result!
L Chambers UK
The trip was wonderful, thanks! The local operator were very well organised and especially Danny, the lead guide, was the best guide I have ever seen in action. It was a privilege to be guided by such a well-rounded and versatile person - from navigating and motivating the group, to cooking (delicious food) and patching up blisters. And always with a smile on his face.
I am already planning my next trip with World Expeditions - rafting on the Franklin River in Tasmania.
Nick South Africa
World Expeditions is one of the world’s leading adventure travel companies offering ground breaking itineraries on every continent. The company has been operating small group trekking and adventure travel holidays and vacations since 1975.
We are widely recognized for ground breaking Responsible Tourism initiatives. In particular, the award winning Community Project Travel Program helps to improve the living conditions of some of the world’s most remote communities
Today, with offices around the globe, we offer more than 500 stand alone itineraries; small group active adventures and expeditions, cycling and walking tours and cultural journeys. Each itinerary has several scheduled departure dates throughout the season.
Supported by some of the world's most experienced and respected adventurers, including mountaineers Peter Hillary and Tim Macartney-Snape working with us as specialist guides, World Expeditions’ has helped shape the adventure travel industry standards since its inception almost four decades ago.
Our all-inclusive, no hidden extras pricing policy combined with longer, creative itineraries and the use of quality ground services attracts people who have high expectations of their travel experiences.
In 2004, we became the first adventure operator whose product was being distributed on Lonely Planet’s Travel Services section on their website.
World Expeditions is truly global company with offices in London, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as Auckland, Ottawa and Montreal.
Why Travel with World Expeditions?
We own most of our operational bases around the world. This ensures that we can provide high quality trips of exceptional value with no hidden extras. Our trips are all inclusive, so there is little need to pay for anything once your trip commences until it ends. Our hands-on approach and years of experience has ensured a safety record second to none as we’ve pioneered some of the most unique itineraries in the adventure market place today.
World Expeditions has been seriously committed to responsible travel and true sustainability since we began in 1975 when we established our philosophy and stated ideal which was to “take only photographs and leave only footprints”.
Almost four decades of pioneering adventure travel has proved the positive conservation outcomes when travel is managed for sustainability. We believe a responsible, long-term vision can deliver true sustainability and with the participation of all our clients and business partners the challenge is being met and achieved.
An example of this commitment to sustainability has been our efforts to preserve the forests of Nepal. This has involved changing an entrenched culture of burning wood for fuel. World Expeditions has pioneered the change to kerosene as an alternative to wood on all trekking expeditions in Nepal. We do not have camp fires and we strongly discourage trekkers from buying wood-fueled hot showers in lodges along the trail. As a founding supporter of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG) we also lead the way in porter protection by providing a good working wage for all Nepalese staff, food and extra clothing for those working above the tree line, life insurance cover and emergency helicopter insurance. Our efforts were recognized at the World Travel Mart in 2006 when our porter policies received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Mountain Environment category.
Our philanthropic program ensures we ‘give something back’. Our current initiative is Community Project Travel. The concept behind our Community Project Travel range of trips is based on the ethos of “travel with a purpose”. It is a range of small group adventures, each about two weeks in length, whereby participants commit four to five days of their holiday to making a difference to a community in need. A portion of the traveller’s participation fee contributes to the associated material costs of the project. In 2006 our travellers helped to refurbish the Saramthali school in Nepal, collected 7 tonnes of ghost nets from the Arnhem land coastline, helped to build a new school room for the Xo village in Vietnam as well as erect a footbridge for the village of Qelqanqa in Peru so that kids could access the school safely.
In recognition of our environmental policies, we are the only Travel Company ever to be fully endorsed by the Wilderness Society in Australia. In 2001, we received the National Travel Industry’s Environmental Achievement Award, presented by WWF Australia, for our responsible tourism policies.
In addition, we create excellent adventures! Our trips have featured in the world’s most prestigious magazines and newspapers including: OUTSIDE magazine, both National Geographic Adventure & National Geographic Traveler magazine, Wanderlust, The Sunday Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Age, The Sunday Telegraph (UK) plus much more. Use the search widget top left of each webpage to browse our adventures, browse our Regions Of The World or Types Of Adventures pages for details of all our adventures.