Experience the Best of Costa Rica on the 1 Week Essential Tour With Costa Rica Monkey Tours

Experience the Best of Costa Rica on the 1 Week Essential Tour With Costa Rica Monkey Tours

Wow, how to summarise the amazing eight days we spent in #CostaRica! Going with a tour group was a great decision, as it allowed us to experience the best of this magical country's #nature, #culture and #foodanddrink. We did many #active sports such as snorkelling, kayaking and horse riding, but still found time for some #relaxation on the beach too. What a trip!


With so many things to do and places to see in Costa Rica, it can be extremely difficult to narrow it all down. Do you want adventure? Are you looking to just lay on the beach? Or do you want to explore?

This little country in Central America packs a punch when it comes to all of those things and future travelers can end up spending hours on the Internet scouring the best information to plan the perfect trip.

Not everyone has the privilege or opportunity to backpack through a country for a long period of time and it can take what feels like forever to plan the perfect itinerary, especially if you’re here only for a week and want to see the best of the country.

This little country in Central America packs a punch

So to help make your one week Costa Rica planning easier, we bring you a tour company who has already figured out one amazing itinerary so you don’t have to do any of the work!

Costa Rica Monkey Tours

Costa Rica Monkey Tours is a tour company in Costa Rica with that customizes itineraries along with their pre-set itineraries such as the Essential Costa Rica tour.

Each one is designed with the travelers’ needs in mind, making sure they experience the best of Costa Rica. Everything is thoughtfully planned out for you from transportation to lodging to activities.

We joined the Costa Rica Monkey Tours for their 8 day/7 night Essential tour which gives visitors an excellent taste of the country, just enough for them to uncover the beauty of Costa Rica but still leaving them with a well rounded and fulfilling trip.

For those who wish to have a vacation of a lifetime in Costa Rica without the stress and hassle of planning it, take a look at what this one week Essential Costa Rica tour entails and why it may be the perfect one for you.

We also have a special offer just for our readers that you can take advantage of at the end!

Essential Costa Rica Tour

You can watch our video of the whole one week tour with Costa Rica Monkey Tours here. See what all the places we go, all the activities we do, all the hotels we stayed at and the beach we visited are like!

Day 1

When guests land in Liberia International Airport, they are taken to the Hilton Inn Liberia Airport Hotel via complimentary shuttle to rest.

Rooms are beautifully decorated, the ergonomic beds will have you asleep in two seconds and it has a large outdoor pool. Guests can relax at the hotel or take a taxi to explore Liberia.

The beautiful hotel room
The beautiful hotel room

Day 2

The Hilton has a fabulous breakfast buffet that all Costa Rica Monkey Tour guests get to enjoy. Choose from traditional Costa Rican breakfast foods like gallo pinto and fried plantains, make your own waffles or sample the many tasty pastries.

My breakfast. I went for seconds for the danishes!
My breakfast. I went for seconds for the danishes!

After breakfast our shuttle came and picked us up for our first day of adventure at Hacienda Guachipelin. The exciting day consisted of ziplining, horseback riding, white water tubing, and waterfalls.

This canopy tour has 12 zipline cables and there’s also an optional part of the tour where you can rappel down into a canyon, rock climb up and then tarzan swing over.

Canopy tour
Canopy tour

After ziplining, we went down to the stables to horseback ride to our next activity: white water tubing. During our horseback ride, we stopped briefly at a small waterfall along the way.

Then onto white water tubing down a 2.5 kilometer long river with small rapids so you can spin and turn in your tube all while in the middle of the beautiful Costa Rican forest.

horseback riding, waterfall, white water tubing
horseback riding, waterfall, white water tubing

When we reached the end of the river, we loaded back into the truck to have lunch at the restaurant, buffet style with typical food with salad and dessert. At this point our guide decided to take us to our hotel for the night so we can enjoy the hot springs and hot baths there.

We stayed at Hotel Borinquen Mountain Resort in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park with villas and bungalows, each offering exquisite views in a rustic setting.

Our room with a balcony, dresser, two beds and chairs
Our room with a balcony, dresser, two beds and chairs

Hotel Borinquen has their own spa, mud baths, hot springs and pool so we ventured down there in the evening before dinner to enjoy the natural hot springs and slather mud on ourselves.

Pool on top and hot springs on bottom
Pool on top and hot springs on bottom

Day 3

After buffet breakfast at Hotel Borinquen weset off for Monteverde. We arrived at the Sky Tram and Sky Walk in the Monteverde Cloud Forest about 3 hours later. We went on a walk through the five hanging bridges and saw birds and snakes with the help of our guide.

Monteverde is one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica with dense, lush forest filled with all sorts of wildlife. After our walk we boarded Sky Tram to ride the gondolas to the top of the cloud forest where we got an amazing birds eye view. On a clear day you could see Arenal Volcano on one side and the ocean on the other.

A collared trogan, a hanging bridge, Sky Tram gondola, and walking on the hanging bridges
A collared trogan, a hanging bridge, Sky Tram gondola, and walking on the hanging bridges

We headed to our next hotel, Hotel El Etablo which we absolutely loved. This beautiful hotel has gorgeous views of the cloud forest and our room had two floors with big windows, a balcony, a large bathroom, a sitting area upstairs and the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.

from  $172

Hotel El Establo

 Diagonal To Escuela Rafael Arguedas, Monteverde, Costa Rica
You may also like

Costa Rica Sky Adventures

Hidden Valley Night Tour

With the rest of the evening to ourselves, we wandered into town to eat at one of our favorite sodas and enjoyed the beautiful cloud forest weather.

First floor of our room, upstairs, the view from our room, outside
First floor of our room, upstairs, the view from our room, outside

Day 4

After a buffet breakfast, we headed back to Guanacaste to go wildlife watching at the famous Palo Verde National Park. This river is one of the most sacred ecosystems in the country as it houses hundreds of animals.

We saw howler and white face monkeys, sparrows, some other birds and bats. After the boat ride we enjoyed a hearty traditional lunch and instead of heading to Guaitil to learn about pottery making, we went to Playa Samara instead.

I had never been to Playa Samara before but heard it was a beautiful beach so I was excited to finally see it! Samara did not disappoint. At first glance it’s not your typical white sand beach but the sunsets are what make this beach spectacular. We were granted with a stunning pink and red sunset and sky.

the sunsets are what make this beach spectacular

We stayed at Hotel Villas Playa Samara which is a resort with a big pool, restaurant, fitness room and various bungalows and villas. Some of their bungalows are literally right on the beach fashioned with hammocks, a separate living room area and kitchenette, perfect for big groups.

We stayed in a modern villa with a spacious room, outside patio area and very nicely decorated bathroom.

Our room, the pool, outside one of the bungalows and the resort seen from the beach
Our room, the pool, outside one of the bungalows and the resort seen from the beach

The resort is a a little far from downtown so we decided to eat at the restaurant for dinner. As you can see, we had a pretty awesome meal!

I got a fried whole red snapper and Yeison got chicken kebabs
I got a fried whole red snapper and Yeison got chicken kebabs

Day 5-8

The next morning we enjoyed another tasty breakfast buffet and relaxed at the pool. After lunch we signed up for the kayak tour that took us to a nearby island to go snorkeling.

Kayak at Playa Samara, the island, and enjoying the waterfalls in the pool
Kayak at Playa Samara, the island, and enjoying the waterfalls in the pool

The next two days of the trip are at the Hotel Villas Playa Samara and you can sign up to do other tours, explore the town or the nearby beaches. Samara is a beautiful beach that has plenty to do, we saw people horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, stand up paddling boarding, jet skiing and swimming.

On the last day the company will have your shuttle ready to take you back to Liberia International Airport.

What did we Think?

Even though there were a couple days where it felt like mostly driving, this itinerary allows visitors to see and do a ton. You get to go on an exciting adventure tour, explore the cloud forest, go wildlife watching and hit the beach.

this itinerary allows visitors to see and do a ton

Other things we liked about this tour:

You still had free time for yourself. We had the evenings to ourselves so we could explore on our own under the advice of our knowledgeable locals

The Monkey Tours guides were very flexible. One of the first things our guide said to us was that he’s here to help us have an amazing trip and to let him know if there’s anything we wanted to do in particular so he can try to arrange it for us

The Monkey Tours guides were very flexible

There is a photographer/videographer with the group during the trip so you don’t need to worry too much about capturing the moment

The value. Considering all the transportation, food, lodging and guide expenses this is a great tour for the price

So even though this is a pre-made package, the beauty of these itineraries is that there’s still leg room to shuffle things around. Stay in beautiful hotels, eat yummy local food and immerse yourself in the magic of Costa Rica.

Loved this story?

Subscribe to our newsletter

to receive new story and activity ideas in your inbox.

Keep inspired By other stories