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Monteverde Rambles
6 day moderate fastwater lodge based trip meeting at Monteverde Costa Rica and disbaning in San Jose:

This trip is currently on hiatus, but is available as a FIT Custom Departure


Monteverde Mountain Alive

Discover the meaning of the Costa Rican phrase "
pura vida"-the pure life- with us.

Monteverde and Cano Negro,
the essence of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an active travelers ideal destination. With vibrant mountain rivers and verdant forest trails the Monteverde and Arenal region combine to offer the perfect setting for our newest trip. We ramble through cloud forests rich with flora and fauna and paddle crystal sparkling rivers with an active volcano as a back drop.
After meeting in San Jose we begin our journey to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Monteverde started as a Quaker community founded by peaceful people who wanted to live in a quiet and friendly environment. The village of Monteverde is nestled on the slopes below the cloud forest where families raise dairy cattle, famous for their delicious cheese.
The mist shrouded privately owned Reserve is home to many varieties of brilliant colored birds, including numerous varieties of hummingbirds, parrots, toucans and the elusive and rare Resplendent Quetzal. Early Mayans believed the quetzal to be the "bird of life" and a symbol of freedom since it was believed that the bird would not live in captivity.

We spend several days here, as there is much to see and do. Along with the Monteverde Reserve there are several smaller reserves that in themselves offer wonderful walking, hiking and exploring choices. Afternoons can be spent enjoying the local butterfly gardens where brightly colored mariposas dance among us, or visiting the small art galleries, artist co-ops and local coffee growers.
We leave Monteverde and head overland to the village of Fortuna and the stunning Arenal Volcano. Looming over the village of Fortuna the volcano is a constant reminder of nature's power and grace. Wehave a variety of river choices including the Rio Fortuna, Rio Penas Blancas and the Rio Arenal. All are quick and lively with verdant vegetation blanketing their banks. These waterways are a haven for a collection of birds including Northern Jacana, Little Blue Heron and Fly Catchers. We paddled at a leisurely pace allowing us to soak in all that surrounds us.
Ramble choices continue to abound here as well. Lava flows around the volcano provide wonderful areas to discover and take in the views of Lake Arenal. We may choose a walk to the Fortuna waterfalls, a pleasant walk through rich pasture land leads us to the edge of the forest and the cascading falls.
At days end we enjoy a trip to the Tabacon Hot Springs. The Rio Tabacon is heated naturally by the near by volcano and is the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset and reflect on a great day.
All to quickly our adventure ends. It is now time to leave the lowlands and return to San Jose and our final farewells.


Monteverde Rambles Itinerary
Where and When to go and How to Get There

Day 1:
We depart from the San Jose International airport at 10:00am and begin our journey to Monteverde. We will travel along the Intraamerican highway to Santa Elena and Monteverde. Along the way we pass fields of coffee and sugar cane. The countryside unfolds in front of us with new sights and sounds. Upon reaching Monteverde we feel as if we are on top of the world. We will have lunch on our own today, and there are many places to choose from including the highly recommended "Stellas". The Monteverde Cloud Forest is a privately owned cloud forest reserve that is home to many varieties of brilliantly colored birds, including numerous hummingbirds, parrots, toucans and the elusive and rare Resplendent Quetzal. Early Mayans believed the quetzal to be the "bird of life" and a symbol of freedom since it will not live in captivity. Monteverde is indeed special, and is a fitting introduction to Costa Rica. We will have the afternoon to visit the butterfly garden, the Children's Rainforest and other sights in the area. We will settle into our lodge, enjoy an evening meal and begin to soak in the new sights and sounds of our surroundings.
Lodging - Hotel Fonda Vela
Note - Lunch is on our own today

Day 2:
We have a full day to explore Monteverde with a local guide surrounded by a medley of ferns and a profusion of blooming orchids. We will leave time for shopping at CASEM, a local handcrafts cooperative and enjoy a cup of fresh roasted coffee.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest lies on the continental divide so we can take advantage of spectacular views of both the Pacific and Caribbean side of the country. To spend time in the cloud forest is truly a magical and educational experience. The forest reveals itself in layers and we are amazed and intrigued how everything is interconnected.
In addition to the cloud forest we will have time to visit the butterfly garden, hummingbird garden and other local areas during our stay. Evening finds us enjoying a well cooked meal with friends and looking forward to yet another day.
Lodging - Hotel Fonda Vela

Day 3:
We plan an early morning departure from Monteverde and head overland through rugged mountains, lush coffee plantations and small villages on our way to Fortuna, and the stunning Arenal Volcano. Looming over the village of Fortuna the volcano is a constant reminder of nature's power and grace.

We have a variety of choices on how to travel from Monteverde to Fortuna, which include, horseback, walking or driving. The horseback and walking option each take about 4-5 hours and brings us through a mix of pasture land and cloud forest as we descend from the mountains down to the Arenal Valley. Views of the Arenal Volcano and wonderful birds are highlights of the day. The third option of driving brings us through the town of Tilaran and around the edge of Lake Arenal. However we choose to travel today rest assured it will be an exhilarating and enjoyable one. At the end of the day we find ourselves at La Catarata Lodge where we will settle in for the next two evenings, now thoroughly immersed in the true fabric of Costa Rica.
Lodging - La Catarata Lodge
Note-The horseback trip is optional and considered strenous. There is an additional charge for horseback riding.

Day 4:

Our river choice today is the Rio Penas Blancas. A wonderful river with scenery dominated by panoramic views of Arenal Volcano, lush forests, vibrantly colored birds and the mystery of being in a new place. These waterways are a hven for a collection of birds including Northern Jacana, Little Blue Herons and Flycatchers.

We may want to allow time in the afternoon to enjoy swimming and relaxing in the nearby El Tabacon Hot Springs. After a soaking in the hot springs we will enjoy dinner at Vaca Muca, a local restaurant well known for their fresh and flavorful meals.

After dinner we return to La Catarata for another evening. We have one more chance to watch the volcano put on a show, from low rumbles to hot rocks tumbling down, it is truly a unique experience.

Lodging -- La Catarata Lodge

Day 5:

This morning after a full breakfast of gallo pinto and fresh fruit we are off for a day of
paddling. Our river choice today is the Rio Arenal. The scenery will be dominated by panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano, lush forest, vibrantly colored birds and the mystery of being in a new place. This river is a haven is home to a wide collection of birds.
The end of the day brings us to the small village of Cano Negro. We will settle into our simple cabinas and perhaps opt for a paddle at sunset to enjoy watching the birds return to roost for the evening.
Lodging - Cano Negro Cabinas

Day 6:

We have an early departure planned this morning as we look forward to a day of paddling on the Rio Frio through the Cano Negro Wildlife refuge. A wildlife reserve, Cano Negro, is very remote and provides a haven for a wide assortment of wildlife. We will paddle among wood storks, anhingas, cormorants, ducks, countless cayman, and all five species of kingfishers. River otter, sloths, howler monkeys and an array of other mammals and reptiles also make their home in the refuge.
We plan to take out of the Rio Frio in mid afternoon and begin our journey back to San Jose. our short visit has allowed us to explore this diverse part of the country by canoe and foot.

Our journey ends as it began with a 4:00pm return to the San Jose Airport. If your travel plans differ from this you will be responsible for your own transfers.

Costa Rica Supplement

Travel in a foreign country requires one to be flexible and patient. BATTENKILL CANOE LTD trips are designed for flexible, energetic people who have a healthy dose of curiosity and enthusiasm about our world, and who like to be active. The most important requirements are a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude!
This trip will be enjoyed by anyone who has an interest in natural history, and the outdoors. Although this is not a strenuous trip, it is very active and we suggest you be in good physical shape to better enjoy.
We reserve the right to change the itinerary based on weather, water levels, locations, availability, or additional information from our hosts. We may be compelled to increase or decrease trip prices due to matters beyond our control, such as currency exchange, airfare, taxes or price increases. Gratuities for BattenKill guides and other staff are appreciated, but are left entirely to your discretion.

Emergency Contact
For emergency contact during the trip please contact our office in Arlington at 1.800.421.5268. They will contact the guides in Costa Rica as quickly as possible. Phone service in some parts of the country is limited, but we will return the call as soon as possible.

Single Supplement
If you are traveling alone and request a private room a single supplement of $90.00 will be included in your final billing. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room with another traveler we will try our best to find you a roommate. If that is not possible we must assess a single supplement of 50% of the requested amount.

Deposits and Payments
A deposit of $250.00 per person is requested to confirm space. Your reservation is confirmed immediately with a credit card or personal check. Final payment for your trip is due 60 days prior to the departure date and can be paid by credit card or personal check. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the amount due. BATTENKILL CANOE reserves the right to regard reservations for these tours canceled when the payment of the balance is not received when due.
If you must cancel your trip, notification must be received by BATTENKILL CANOE in writing. If you cancel more than 60 days before trip departure your deposit is refundable less a cancellation fee of 50% of the deposit per person. No refund can be made for cancellations received less than 60 days before the trip departure. If you must cancel, but wish to reschedule for another trip, we will do our best to accommodate you, and if you have any special needs or considerations please don't hesitate to contact us. Trip extensions require a separate deposit, and our same policies apply.

Final Payment
Your balance is due 60 days prior to the departure date and can be paid by credit card or personal check. Please refer to your invoice for the amount due. BATTENKILL CANOE reserves the right to regard reservations for these tours canceled when the payment of the balance is not received when due.

Guaranteed Dates & Small Trip Charge
Since you plan your vacation around our trip, it is our responsibility to run every trip scheduled if four or more persons are on the roster. A number of fixed costs make it more expensive to operate a trip with six members than one with 12. We budget our trips with a nearly full sign up, to enable us to price them at the lowest possible cost.
We will still run your trip if four or more guests are on the roster. However, we will be obliged to add a small trip surcharge if there is a low sign up of between four (4) and seven (7) participants. The small trip surcharge is ten (10) percent of the published price.
If you make your reservations 6 months prior to departure, you will qualify for our Earlybird Discount which guarantees your departure regardless of the number of people on the roster.

Value Vouchers
In the event that we discount a trip on which you are booked, we will automatically extend to you a courtesy voucher representing the value of the promotional discount. You may apply the discount certificate to any future BattenKill trip. You may combine discounts, however the maximum is 20% off any one trip.

Airline Reservations
If you would like BATTENKILL CANOE to make your airline reservations. We can book with all the major carriers and would be happy to assist you with your travel plans.
While airport transfers are not included in your trip price we will attempt to meet all arriving flights on Day 1 of your trip. Transfers are based on the availability of our staff and van at the time. If you are arriving prior to Day 1 of the trip, we will make every effort to meet your flight, but again this will be dependent on staffing and van availability. Transfers can be confirmed by our Vermont office prior to your departure. Airport pickups will be coordinated by BattenKill Canoe, Ltd a day or so before your trip.

    * Services of BATTENKILL CANOE LTD for predeparture information and guide services to help you get the most out of your expedition.
    * Round trip airfare from the gateway city if designated.
    * All ground transportation within Costa Rica.
    * Lodging accommodations and all meals beginning with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 6. Except where noted they will be on your own.
    * Fully escorted, exclusive BATTENKILL CANOE tour of Costa Rica.
    * Round trip transportation from hometown to gateway city.
    * Airport transfers
    * Tips to drivers and guides.
    * Departure taxes and other government fees.
    * Items of personal nature such as laundry, phone calls and beverages.
    * Cost of delays including delays due to bad weather, canceled or delayed flights or delays on other modes of transport, sickness or other situations for which BATTENKILL CANOE or its agents cannot make provisions.

    A U.S. passport valid beyond your anticipated date of return to the U.S. is essential. Holders of foreign passports must check with the Embassy of Costa Rica for details. Our office may be able to assist you.

Health Requirements
No immunizations are required at this time. We recommend that you contact your personal physician or local health board for their advice, and make your own decisions. Potable water will be provided at all lodging locations.
Malaria is a concern when traveling in any Central American country. The Center of Disease Control does recommend taking malaria medication when traveling to a country with known cases of malaria. We suggest you contact your personal physician in regards to these medications. We are happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have in regard to health requirements while traveling with us.

Bringing the Kids
We believe that sharing an adventure with your kids or grandkids is a life-enhancing experience. Children twelve years of age or older are welcomed on all trips. Special arrangements must be made for all children 7-12. Regular discount is 25% off the trip price for folks under 18 years old.

The currency unit is the Colon. Prices in Costa Rica are quoted in colones and money may be exchanged after arrival. We may be compelled to increase or decrease trip prices due to matters beyond our control, such as currency exchange, airfare, taxes or price increases.

An application for short term trip insurance is included in this packet. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU OBTAIN THIS INSURANCE, which reimburses you for nonrefundable costs and deposits should you have to cancel your trip. It also provides medical expenses, emergency assistance, and accidental death coverage.


  • *Passport (carrying a photocopy of your passport is also a good idea--just in case)
    *Three changes of lightweight cotton or cotton mix clothing--pants and short sleeve tops for off river and evenings
    *Lightweight long sleeve shirt and pants for cool evenings and/or sun protection
    *Lightweight sweater or pile top
    *Lightweight rain jacket for cool evenings and the occasional rain shower
    *One pair of comfortable walking shoes
    *Wide brimmed hat
    *Sunglasses with security strap
    *Insect repellent
    *Lip balm or chapstick
    *Water bottle
    *Personal toiletries
    *Personal medications
    *Personal first aid kit
    *Flashlight with extra batteries and bulb
    *Small hand towel
    *Camera and film
    *Day use backpack
    Additional Clothes for Paddling
    *2-3 pairs of shorts
    * 2-3 t-shirts or comfortable paddling tops
    *Swim suit
    *Light weight paddle jacket and rain pants for rain and/or sun protection. Preferably nylon or other fast drying material.
    *Canoe shoes that can get wet for paddling such as sandals or booties. Avoid sandals that have velcro straps. The velcro straps do not do well in muddy conditions
    Optional Gear
    *Collapsible umbrella
    *Field guides, bird books, and travel books
    *Journal notebook, pen and a good book to read
    *Extra eye glasses, sunglasses and security straps
    *Ear plugs

This list is intended to be skeletal, and we anticipate you will have your own ideas of what is "necessary." In general bring half the clothes you think you will need and twice the film. Getting wet is always a possibility when canoeing, and river clothing has to keep you warm even when wet. Try to avoid cotton. The problem with cotton is that once it is wet it absorbs water and does not dry out quickly. During our travels we will be staying at places where casual clothing is acceptable. Long pants, short sleeve shirt or blouse and shoes or sandals are our common form of dress. Remember shorts are not generally recommended except for sports use.





Contact Us
BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.
800.421.5268 or 802.362.2800 fax--802.362.0159

©2002 BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.. All rights reserved