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8 Day Sea Kayaking and Wildlife Tours in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

Tropical Safari Holiday in Costa Rica

Come and join Tropical Sea Kayaking Costa Rican adventure where you will get to travel to and explore one of the world's most biologically intense places on earth. Paddle from one place to another in sturdy, high quality sit-inside kayaks, and sight along the coast for dolphins, turtles, and rays (also humpback whales in specific season). Kayak through multiple rivers to view mangroves and birds. Enjoy stay in waterfront eco-lodges, in the midst of the lowland tropical rain forest, home to four species of monkeys, sloths, toucans, scarlet macaws, jaguars, ocelots, coati's, and tons of other wildlife.


  • Birding in Piedras Blancas National Park
  • Lowland tropical rainforest hiking with wildlife sightings
  • Kayak and explore the red mangroves in Rio Esquinas Mangrove Estuary
  • Dolphins, turtles, manta rays (and humpback whales when in season) spotting
  • Services of highly experienced bilingual adventure and naturalist guides
  • Use of SUP boards, snorkeling gear, and top notch kayaks
  • Daily delicious breakfast and airport transfers
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


6 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Dutch, Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 16 participants
Airport transfer included: Juan Santamaría International Airport
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You will be staying in four different locations in hotels and family owned eco-lodges in double occupancy basis. You will be spending your first and last night in Country Inn & Suites (or another similar convenient hotel) in a standard room near the San Jose Airport or in Downtown San Jose. You will spend the second and sixth night in El Chontal Ecolodge in a cabin with private bathroom. You will spend the third night Lapamar Lodge and the fourth and fifth night glamping in Saladero Eco-lodge.

Country Inn & Suites (or similar)

This hotel is conveniently located near the airport, this hotel’s the perfect base from which to start this expedition. You’ll be staying in comfortable rooms with air conditioning, private bathroom, imported plush towels, bedding, and new quality mattresses. The hotel offers a large swimming pool (a second one for small children), sitting areas, and internationally oriented restaurant.

El Chontal Ecolodge

This family-owned, operated, designed and built environmentally friendly rustic eco lodge is right on the beach and serves a perfect landing point after along kayaking stretch. The property’s rustic and quirky decoration and design will certainly make you smile. Doña Azucena, the co-owner, will cook delicious traditional meals for you.

El Chontal Lodge is a lovely little waterfront property with 6 beautifully crafted bungalows tucked away in a tropical setting directly connecting the marvelous Golfo Dulce. In the midst of its lush gardens you will find a large thatch roof pavilion designed as a common area to socialize, play games, or to simply relax in one of the comfortable hammocks. The pavilion also offers a large refrigerator for everyone to use.

All cabins are built with wood harvested from its own rain forest connecting El Chontal Lodge. They come in different shapes and sizes, accommodating couples, families, and groups up to six people per cabin. Each has their own private bathroom, and front porch looking out over the gardens.

Offering lovely gardens teeming with wildlife and exotic birds like the Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, direct access to the Sweet Gulf for excellent kayaking, delicious meals, and comfortable, spacious cabins, this is truly the greatest start to your tropical sea kayaking trip in the Golfo Dulce.

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you are welcomed to the owner’s family house just a stone’s throw away from your cabin or tent, where delicious meals are served in a comfortable open room. Using the freshest ingredients from their own garden, each meal is prepared right on the spot with the utmost care and dedication.

Lapamar Lodge

Lapamar is a beachfront property located off a remote road in the Osa Peninsula. The name Lapamar means literally Macaw Ocean, which is a very accurate description to the constant presence and squawking of beautiful Scarlet Macaws. Completely off the beaten path, only a few locals come to enjoy this secretive location of serene glass like ocean conditions and surrounding mangrove wetland forests, perfect for swimming, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.

In addition, Playa Blanca, the beach where Lapamar is located has been awarded the Ecological Blue Flag (Bandera Azul Ecologica); an award for pristine, pollution free ocean conditions. Lapamar is a family-owned and operated business, located on vast property with a gorgeous ample lawn. While visiting, you may stay in one of the four rustic cabins, which can host up to six guests and all have fans, are spotlessly clean and have private bathrooms.

You will enjoy the fresh and locally prepared meals in the adjacent little cabana. Lapamar is not only a fantastic off-the-beaten path destination; it’s also a location which you may reach by sea kayak, therefore making it a fantastic addition to our multi-day tropical sea kayaking itineraries.

Aside from swimming, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, nature observation is also a great activity for its abundant presence at Lapamar. Not only macaws, but toucans, wood rails, sloths, monkeys and many more species are common in the grounds of Lapamar. Don Alvaro, the owner also leads night hikes to the nearby forest where you spot nocturnal wildlife.

Saladero Ecolodge

Saladero Lodge is the quintessential tropical ecolodge, truly off the beaten path. Nestled on a thin band of level terrain on the edge of the mountainous Piedras Blancas National Park, Saladero is a virtual island, only accessible to touring kayaks or watercraft, no roads or trails lead there.

Staying at Saladero will be an unforgettable experience for any traveler. It will place you steps from the beach and very close to the natural world, enjoying the plants and animals of a primary rain forest and the sea life of Golfo Dulce. The grounds at the lodge are beautifully kept, and an array of birds can be seen and heard throughout the day.

There are a series of trails through the rain forest for hiking and wildlife spotting, quiet coves for snorkeling, and nearby mangroves to explore by kayak. At dusk and dawn, howler monkeys can be heard, and every now and then a jaguar’s grunting call. Even dolphins are seen occasionally from the eco lodge and while swimming in the warm waters.

You will experience glamping at this lodge. Glamping (which stands for glamorous camping) is really the best way to experience the Golfo Dulce jungle by night. Huge sturdy tents on elevated platforms, real beds and real mattresses allow you to enjoy the sounds of the nocturnal animals at nights, and wake up to the songs of the tropical birds, and spectacular views on the gulf!

At the soul of Saladero Ecolodge are the hosts Susan and Harvey who, together with their staff, prepare many of the delicious and nutritious meals served at Saladero. Most of the meals use fresh ingredients prepared using plants and trees from the grounds. They are delightful people who are passionate about preserving the natural and wild state of Saladero.


Tropical Sea Kayaking's eight-day sea kayaking adventure and safari in Costa Rica takes you along the tropical coastline looking for dolphins and turtles, into mangrove river estuaries for bird spotting, stopping at islands and deserted beaches for snorkeling and swimming. You will be staying at unique, family run eco-lodges perfect for hiking and wildlife spotting.

Sample daily itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and optional city tour and stay in hotel in Central Valley

Welcome to tropical Costa Rica! Today has been designated as your arrival day. A Tropical Sea Kayaking (TSK) representative will greet you at the international airport of San Jose (SJO) and take you to a very conveniently located hotel (either near the airport or in downtown San Jose). There, you’ll have the chance to relax and unwind from your International travels.

Depending on your arrival time, you have the option for a self-guided San Jose City Tour. Tropical Sea Kayaking will provide you with a TSK detailed tour document, leading you to your favorite places of interest and highlights. Please note that this is not included in the package, however, a guided tour including transportation can be arranged for on request. No meals are included today.

Day 2: Transfer to Golfo Dulce and introduction to paddling

On this second day of your Costa Rican adventure, Tropical Sea Kayaking will pick you up for your drive along the Pacific Coast and into the Osa Peninsula from where you will be taken to El Contal Ecolodge, peacefully located right on the banks of the Golfo Dulce. After your first tasteful home-made lunch, you head out to the water for your kayaking introduction where after you will hop into your sturdy enclosed kayaks for coastal paddling, leading into the mangrove estuary, while paddling back during sunset.

In the late afternoon, you can rest and relax and enjoy the property’s spacious palapa; a great place to enjoy the surroundings, read, and relax in a hammock. Dinner will be served after you have witnessed the colorful sunset! All three meals are included today.

Day 3: Coastal paddling to Playa Blanca

This morning after breakfast, you will pack up and head out, leaving the Rincon Bay to paddle along the coast of the Osa Peninsula until you reach your next destination: Playa Blanca. This is a 10-kilometer journey passing the mangroves filled Rincon River Estuary, and taking breaks at deserted beaches along the way.

This day, you will get good chances of spotting the green sea turtles, the olive ridley sea turtles, as well as the pantropic spotted dolphins, and the bottlenose dolphins. Eventually, you will reach Playa Blanca (White Beach), home to numerous scarlet macaws, and yours too for the night to come.

There, you will be staying at a classic family-owned property, offering spacious wooden cabins with private bathroom, and a restaurant area for meals, starting with lunch, then dinner, and early breakfast the following morning. This afternoon is at leisure; you can choose to take a siesta, laze in the hammocks, or go bird spotting, swimming, jungle hiking, more kayaking are among many of the options. Dinner will be served after sunset. All three meals are included for today.

Day 4: Crossing gulf and going snorkeling

You are in for an early start to cover the 14 kilometers long stretch to Saladero Ecolodge with good opportunities to spot dolphins! The reason you leave early is to take advantage of the calmest conditions, both weather and water wise. Above all, paddling the gulf at sunrise is simply magical!

Once on the other side of the gulf, you will take a welcoming break at a spectacular beach for relaxing, wildlife spotting, swimming, and snorkeling. From there it’s only a 15-minute paddle to your next destination: Saladero Ecolodge. After settling in, enjoy a delicious, home-made lunch is served where after you will take the afternoon off to relax at this beautiful place.

At 5 p.m., some light appetizers are offered in the lounge area where you can order your drink of choice. Dinner’s served after you have witnessed a colorful sunset looking over the lake! You will be glamping today for a well-deserved night rest. Glamping (which stands for glamorous camping) is really the best way to experience the Golfo Dulce jungle by night.

You will be staying in huge sturdy tents on elevated platforms, with real beds and real mattresses that allow you to enjoy the sounds of the nocturnal animals in the night, and wake up to the songs of the tropical birds, and spectacular views on the gulf! All three meals are included today.

Day 5: Hiking, snorkeling, and river paddling

You will start with a delicious breakfast at an amazing location offering awesome views. Once you’re up for it, you can pick one of the following activities or, do them all!

  • Kayaking - You are in the most protected area of the Golfo Dulce and the waters are very calm.
  • Snorkeling - There is a coral reef only 15 minutes away by kayak with a beautiful shaded beach.
  • Birdwatching - You are surrounded by Piedras Blancas National Park, the least visited park in Costa Rica, and adjacent to the Rio Esquinas so you have the birds that normally inhabit primary rainforest, secondary rainforest, sea shore and mangrove/rivers.
  • Exploring the Rio Esquinas Mangrove Estuary - It is home of the largest red mangroves in the world, explore many of the small channels leading into the mangroves.
  • Swimming - The Golfo Dulce “Sweet Gulf” is salt water but with a large influence from the fresh water rivers. 83 degrees (28 Celcius), calm and crystal clear in the dry season.

Somewhere in between these marvelous nature tours, you will have to squeeze in some time for lunch, snacks and tropical drinks at 5 p.m., and dinner after yet another beautiful sunset. Pretty sure you will enjoy; this is tropical paradise! All meals are included today.

Day 6: Coastal and islands paddling

You will depart this wonderful eco-lodge and national park right after breakfast, as you will be crossing the gulf, this time along the remote coast to spot dolphins and other marine life and the Mogos islands to swim and snorkel, until you reach your take out location in Punta Rincón, at the familiar El Chontal Eco-lodge.

After today’s amazing last paddling session, you will take a rest and enjoy the last home-made lunch of the trip. If time and energy allows, you will squeeze in a visit to Tropical Sea Kayaking nearby organic farm for an educational tour along its gardens, with a focus on the cacao beans, and to learn how chocolate is made, and as a finale, enjoy a tasting of this incredible natural product.

You’ll be back at the lodge in time for some rest and relaxation, cold drinks, and story telling before dinner’s served. The evening is all yours to enjoy your last night in the tropics of the Golfo Dulce. All meals are included for the day.

Day 7: Flight to San Jose

This morning after breakfast, the lodge’s family will wave goodbye as you will leave for the airstrip in Puerto Jimenez where your pilot awaits for your domestic flight back to the Central Valley. Tropical Sea Kayaking's driver will take you to a familiar place to enjoy your last afternoon and evening in Costa Rica (unless you decide to extent your trip). Breakfast is the only meal included today.

Day 8: Transfer out to airport

Enjoy your last Costa Rican breakfast of this trip, and perhaps some downtime at the pool. Your driver will pick you up and take you to the airport in time to catch your flight out. Breakfast is the only meal included today.

Please note that the following itinerary should be seen as an approximate guide only. You are on an expedition and the weather conditions, currents, and tides can cause alterations and delays to your itinerary.

Included excursions

  • Bird watching (guaranteed sightings of the scarlet macaws)
  • Coral reef snorkeling at a remote beach and at the Mogos Islands
  • Crocodile viewing (guaranteed sightings)
  • Hiking jungle safari trails into the Piedras Blanca National Park
  • Paddling through three different mangrove and wildlife safari rivers
  • Spotting dolphins, turtles, and sting rays
  • Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) at two different locations
  • Visit to organic plantation and chocolate farm


This adventure will take place in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. During the eight days, you will be visiting Central Valley and/or downtown San Jose, Rincon de Osa (Golfo Dulce), Playa Blanca (Golfo Dulce), and Saladero (Golfo Dulce).

Golfo Dulce

The Golfo Dulce is a tropical fjord protected by an untouched peninsula, and surrounded by two national parks. Golfo Dulce, translates to sweet gulf, teems with marine life and with its unique enclosed geo-morphology it presents calm, if not glassy ocean conditions; it’s a true tropical sea kayaking paradise!

To add awe and wonder to this location, Golfo Dulce is a preferred birthing location by northern humpback whales and whale sharks, and home to bottle-nose and spotted dolphins. As if that is not enough, the undiscovered location is completely of the beaten path and away from crowds. Even when all other tourist hot spots in Costa Rica are saturated with travelers, you will find yourself in the untouched nature and pure solitude of the Golfo Dulce.

Piedras Blancas National Park

Flanking the northeast of Golfo Dulce, you will find the Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas; Costa Rica’s newest and least visited national park. The park’s 14,153 hectares (35,000 acres) consist mainly of steep slopes covered with primary rain forests and level terrain grasslands or secondary forests in various stages of regeneration.

The Esquinas, Sardinal and Bonito Rivers flow through the Piedras Blancas and into the park’s 1200 marine hectares, which are rich in mangrove forests and coral reefs. Piedras Blancas is also rich in wildlife, from the elusive jaguars and tapirs, to the more common agouti, coati, capuchin, spider and howler monkeys, and even the endemic Golfo Dulce poison dart frog. Birds also come in great variety in the park; curassows, woodpeckers, macaws, toucans, wood rails as well as over 300 other species!


You will be provided breakfasts everyday and three nutritious, delicious, and home-made meals during your trips in the Golfo Dulce. At each location, Tropical Sea Kayaking offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, prepared with organic, fresh, and nutritious ingredients locally grown and/or from eco-lodge's own gardens.

Tea, coffee, and fresh fruit drinks offered at each meal. In between meals, you will be offered fresh fruits, snacks, and appetizers, too! There is no chance you'll get hungry on these trips. Please note that Tropical Sea Kayaking also caters to anyone with dietary and/or food restrictions.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • All activities that are part of itinerary
  • Highly experienced adventure and naturalist guides
  • Single/double sit-inside kayaks including top notch paddles, PFDs, spray skirt
  • Use of stand up paddle boards
  • Use of snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins)
  • Skilled and professional adventure and kayak guide service
  • Jungle safari hiking trails
  • Organic plantation and chocolate farm visit
  • Domestic flight from Golfo Dulce to San Jose
  • Travel package including Costa Rica information and packing list
  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 meals daily at all locations in the Golfo Dulce
  • All ground transportation
  • Airport transfers
  • 7 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • International flights to and from Costa Rica
  • Insurance of any kind, including travel or mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Alcohol and personal items (an equipment list will be provided)
  • Guide gratuities (optional)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport Airport transfer included: Juan Santamaría International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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