Trekking Itinerary

Sample itinerary for your El Camino de Costa Rica trek
Sample Itinerary

15-Day Itinerary

While every tour is slightly different, the below itinerary is a general idea of what you’ll experience on our El Camino de Costa Rica trekking trips. Our rankings of easy/moderate/hard are based on average elevation loss, gain, and temperature for the day. Your ratings may be different depending on preferences and physical conditioning.

25 Kilometers / Easy / hotel

Day 1: Touch the Caribbean

After an early morning pickup, we shuttle to the Caribbean Coast, ceremoniously touch the ocean water, and start on the trail. Today is for getting in the groove of the trek and keeping your eyes peeled for howler monkeys. Your guides will give you information on the history of the banana trade in Costa Rica as you make your way towards Siquirres.

20 Kilometers / moderate / Camping

Day 2: Begin the ascent

We start heading up and up, but it’s not too steep. We begin entering the Pacuare River area on this day and we’ll start to leave the banana farms behind.

20 Kilometers / Hard / Lodge

Day 3: Explore the indigenous land

Today’s journey requires an indigenous guide to take you through their land. The hiking today is challenging due to the terrain but the jungle scenery and Pacure River area is worth it. We end by crossing the Pacuare and staying at a lodge overlooking the river.

NA Kilometers / Easy / homestay

Day 4: Raft the Pacuare River

The most famous river in Costa Rica and world-renowned, the Pacuare. With the lodge located on the river, we’ll push off from shore and spend the day rafting through jaw-dropping scenery and through exciting rapids.

20 Kilometers / Easy / Casitas

Day 5: Through the sugarcane

Today we begin entering misty sugar cane fields. You will snack on delicious, raw sugar cane as you learn about its history and uses. After the challenge and adventure of days 3 and 4, this day is considered tranquillo (“chill”).

17 Kilometers / Easy / Camping

Day 6: Cross the Pejibaye River

For the start of the hike, you will continue to wander through sugar cane fields with approaching mountains in the foreground. At the end of the day, you will be rewarded by crossing the Pejibaye River with ample time to soak in the clear, blue waters.

25 Kilometers / moderate / Hotel

Day 7: Found our groove

Sugar cane fields transition to coffee fields as we walk picturesque country roads flanked by Poro trees, which bloom with bright orange flowers during the dry season.

20 Kilometers / Easy / Lodge

Day 8: Coffee plantations

We journey farther into coffee plantations as we stroll through rolling hills and breathtaking mountain views. We generally finish earlier than normal, offering time to unwind or continue exploring the local area through smaller trails.

18 Kilometers / Easy / Cabin

Day 9: Hike through Bosque Nobuso

Today you will soak in the beauty of Costa Rica’s cloud forests. This lush, green hike along a stream offers ample opportunity for wildlife. We especially recommend being on the lookout for the majestic Quetzal and elusive Bellbird.

18 Kilometers / Hard / hotel

Day 10: La Cuesta de Enero

La Cuesta de Enero translates to January Costs. This term is used in Costa Rica to note the higher bills the population generally has in January. It is also colloquially used to describe the non-financial dues you pay for an experience. The consistent elevation gain makes this day challenging, but you will have your trail legs by now and it is a worthy cost to pay to reach the highest point on the trail tomorrow.

20 Kilometers / Easy / homestay

Day 11: Highest point of the trail

Take a moment to celebrate all you have accomplished thus far with a snack at the local pulperia. The rest of the day has gently undulating hills and tree-covered roads.

15 Kilometers / Moderate/ Camping

Day 12: Coffee Tour

After enjoying the beautiful views of coffee fields over the past couple days, you will stop for an educational tour and tasting at a local coffee company. This energizer will be just what you need to conquer the final major hill of the trail.

18 Kilometers / Easy / Camping

Day 13: First glimpse of the Pacific Ocean

With the Pacific Ocean now in view, you will experience a mix of bittersweet emotions as you realize how close you are to your goal and the memories you have made along the way.

15 Kilometers / moderate / Camping

Day 14: The descent

During this main descent to the Pacific, you will have the chance to explore rich wildlife areas as you say goodbye to the forests and greet the flat terrain of the coast. The day is considered moderate due to the elevation loss.

25 Kilometers / moderate

Day 15: Touch the Pacific Ocean

A longer day in kilometers, but a great one. For those up for it, we’ll finish with a swim in the Pacific. We say our goodbyes after lunch and Pura Vida!