Overnight Rainforest Hike & Adventure - Atlas Obscura
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Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Overnight Rainforest Hike & Adventure

Explore some of Costa Rica's most untouched rainforests, learn about indigenous artifacts from a local guide, and spend a night in the heart of the mountains.

Adventure into the lush Costa Rican rainforest with an expert guide for a weekend of nature, trekking, and ancient archaeology—it's an Obscura Day you'll never forget.

Day 1: Saturday, May 6th

  • At 7:30 am, meet your guides at La Gavilana Herbs and Art (search on Google Maps for directions) for a briefing and to sign a waiver.
  • Hike one hour on a gravel road through the town and around the Lake Arenal, taking in the scenic views. From here, we'll hike another hour on forest and farm roads to reach our Base Camp, located in the rainforest of Alajuela Province.
  • After a short break and time for the bathroom at the Base Camp, we'll head down a hiking trail through the mountains of the national parks towards Maximo's Camp. Depending on the weather and the condition of the hikers, this stretch can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours.
  • We will arrive at Maximo's Camp in the mid-to-late afternoon. Basic trail snacks, like granola, will be provided. Water for drinking will be provided (and purified) from the many streams we'll be crossing.
  • Maximo's Camp is located deep in the mountains, surrounded by untouched rainforest. The area of the camp was once a village that was forced out after the formation of the national park systems. Maximo—the camp's namesake—was the only person who kept his property. The entire area of the Caño Negro basin and Arenal Lake has very rich archaeological history; these mountains were the last refuge for indigenous populations evading the spreading European pressures.
  • Enjoy a late lunch/early dinner cooked on an open fire. Rustic lodging is provided at Maximo's Camp. Food will be prepared on an open fire pit and cold showers will be available.
  • Maximo holds a little exposition of indigenous artifacts and tells countless stories of life prior to the national park system's establishment.
  • Here, you can choose to relax, or wander the area and visit sites in the forest, where you can discover abandoned houses of the former villages. The guide will give a presentation on the recent and distant history of the place.

Day 2: Sunday, May 7th

  • Breakfast will be provided, cooked on an open fire. After breakfast, you'll return by foot to the Base Camp and then back to El Castillo. Expect to arrive around 3 pm.

Details & Expectations

  • Participants must be experienced hikers in good physical condition. Over the two days, you will be hiking approximately 25km round trip (15.5 miles), while taking into consideration differences in elevation and changes in weather. This hike is not easy—come prepared with proper footwear and in good fitness.
  • Bring a set of clothing for sleeping, kept in a waterproof bag to stay dry during the hike.
  • Expect rustic conditions, including sleeping accommodations and bathroom facilities. You do not need to bring a sleeping bag unless you prefer it. Blankets and towels will be provided.
  • Bring bug repellent and a head lamp—there will be the possibility of a night hike.
  • Your tour cost includes all meals and accommodation, as well as an expert guide.
  • The overnight adventure will begin and end atLa Gavilana Herbs and Art in El Castillo.


Email Tomas at info@gavilana.com or reach him at +506 8533 7902 by phone or WhatsApp.

Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.

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