The Power of Poison – A Family Adventure in Costa Rica

green and black poison dart frogTo commemorate our 10th Anniversary, Reefs to Rockies announces “The Power of Poison”, a fully guided Costa Rica family adventure launching in 2016.  This immersive itinerary provides travelers an in-depth look into the roles of poisons and venoms in the rainforest on Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast.  Participants will travel alongside local expert guides to Uvita and the Osa Peninsula.  Private reserves and Marino Ballena National Park are central to the experience.

Guided excursions will highlight poison’s paradoxical roles in nature.  Travelers will delve into the world of poison dart frogs, bullet ants, scorpions, spiders, snakes, and an array of other rainforest residents.  Guests will also learn about plant poisons and ways in which animals like howler monkeys and sloths counteract these chemical defenses.


Below are some of our sample itineraries, but note that we can customize the perfect Costa Rica adventure that meets your needs.


Sample Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival ~ Upon arrival to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), transfer to Hotel Bougainvillea to spend a relaxing evening after your flight. Hotel Bougainvillea is situated within a beautiful tropical garden setting in a quiet neighborhood less than 30 minutes from the SJO Airport. Overnight at Hotel Bougainvillea. (D)

View of Marino Ballena National Park, Costa Rica.

DAY 2: Uvita/ La Cusinga’s Private Nature Reserve ~ Transfer back to SJO Airport in time for your flight to Palmar Sur and ground transfer to Uvita on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast where you’ll spend the next two nights. The rest of the day is yours to explore the trails in the La Cusinga’s private nature reserve adjacent to the lodge. The reserve protects over 500 acres of primary rainforest and is home to blue morpho butterflies, howler and white-faced monkeys, sloths, toucans, poison dart frogs, and many other tropical species. Overnight at La Cusinga Rainforest Lodge. (B,L,D)

DAY 3: Uvita/ Marino Ballena National Park ~ This morning, set out for a guided marine wildlife boat tour in Marino Ballena National Park. The park was created in 1990 to help protect valuable habitat for the many whale species, including humpbacks that visit at certain times of the year. Dolphins and sea turtles sighting are possible all months of the year. The most commonly seen dolphins on the Pacific coast are bottlenose and spotted dolphins. There will be time for snorkeling during the excursion. Keep an eye out for brightly colored puffer fish swimming among the rocks. Overnight at La Cusinga. (B,L,D)

Playa Uvita, Costa Rica

DAY 4: Uvita/ Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge ~ Today brings a visit to Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge located just north of the beachside community of Dominical. Hacineda Baru’s 815 acres cover a variety of habitats from wetlands and secondary rainforest in the lowlands to primary rainforest on the highland coastal ridge.   There are 7 km of walking trails and 3 km of prisitine beahc just waiting to be explored. While there, get a bird’s eye view of the rainforest during your Flight of the Toucan ziplining adventure. The zipline route imitates the flight of the chestnut-mandible toucan, a common rainforest resident in the area. Overnight at La Cusinga. (B,L,D)

Ziplining in Costa Rica

DAY 5: Uvita/ Osa Peninsula ~ Enjoy a final morning at La Cusinga before your transfer to El Remanso Lodge located in the heart of the Osa Peninsula. El Remanso’s Private Reserve covers 185 acres of tropical rainforest that acts as an important buffer zone to Corcovado National Park. National Geographic Magazine labeled the Osa Peninsula as “one of the most biologically intense places on Earth’. Wildlife are plentiful here. This afternoon, you’ll embark on a hike with Gerardo Orozco Borbón, one of El Remanso’s resident guides and an expert in local flora and fauna. Overnight at El Remanso Lodge. (B,L,D)

Family travel in Costa Rica

DAYS 6-7: Osa Peninsula ~ These two days are yours to enjoy the natural surroundings at the lodge with the local knowledge of your guides. Additional tours including visiting a sea turtle conservation project, waterfall rappelling, kayaking, horseback riding and surfing are available at El Remanso during your stay. Overnights at El Remanso Lodge. (B,L,D)

Howler monkey in Costa Rica

DAY 8: Osa Peninsula/ Departure ~ After breakfast at the lodge, transfer back to Puerto Jimenez in time for your flight to SJO. Connect to your flight home. (B)

NOTE: If you’re interested in volunteering time at a local conservation project during your trip, just let us know. We work with a variety of conservation projects in the Osa Peninsula.

Working with sea turtles in Costa Rica



Meals: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Pricing from $2295 per person based on quad occupancy. Scheduled departures available with small groups of four or more guests. Max group size: eight guests.

Package includes accommodations and meals as listed, private ground transfers between airports and hotels, full-time naturalist guide for duration of trip on a private basis, transfers and entrance fees for guided excursions, domestic flights (SJO – Palmar Sur and Puerto Jimenez-SJO), non-alcoholic drinks, and sales taxes. A donation to support local conservation and environmental education efforts will be made on behalf of each participant.

Exclusions: international airfare, passport/visa fees, taxis, optional activities, gratuities, alcohol, excess baggage fees, items of a personal nature, and travel insurance.

This sample itinerary is a suggested outline.  It can be customized to best suit your travel plans.