The Trek Itinerary

This itinerary was provided by Discover Adventure, our trek leaders, who led a similar trek for Macmillan Cancer Relief in November.

January 17 Friday - We leave Heathrow at 6.30 a.m. for the flight to San Jose.

January 18 Saturday - We drive to the start of the trek at Mount Irazu, an extinct volcano from where we take a twisty track though oak forest and our first taste of cloud forest. Our first camp is beside a tumbling river in Palamo. 6 hours of trekking.

January 19 Sunday - We break camp early for a very tough climb. After leaving the steep track of the Tapanti Forest Reserve we descend steeply to a wooden slatted footbridge over a fast river. The trek continues for two hours through extremely dense cloud forest with bamboo, twisty roots, monkey ferns and huge trees covered in hanging moss. The track is difficult to navigate as it is barely visible, steep and muddy. After a tough section we come out on a good track where we have our well deserved lunch. The next part of the day is equally tough as although the track is even it rises steeply for a couple of hours. After a short downhill section we reach our pretty camp ground set by a pond a river as 2800m. 8 hours trekking.

January 20 Monday - After breakfast in high cloud forest our trek continues through moss covered forest on a good track until we reach a small village set alongside the Pan American highway. We take a bus for a short distance along the highway and then continue our trek down a dirt track to the villages of Cima and Copey, at around 1800m. Our afternoon's trek takes us through farmland of orchards, avocado trees and dairy herds. There are fantastic views over the valley. Our camp ground is located on the edge of the small town of Santa Maria de Dotta, renowned for its quality coffee. 7 hours trekking.

January 21 Tuesday - Today we enter the amazing Los Santos Forest, along a flat track which climbs steeply into the heavily forested mountains. We climb along the Queb Grande up to the high point at 2200m. We then descend to Naranjo and lunch along the babbling Rio St Lucas. Our afternoon's trek takes us further into the forest along overgrown and steep tracks to our camp ground amongst several small forest houses, Cerro Milagro, set at 1500m. 8 hours trekking.

January 22 Wednesday - Today we gradually climb through the forest catching glimpses of many wonderful birds and occasional howler monkeys. After a high point at 1900m we then descend sharply to the Rio Brujo. We wade across the river and climb up a steep, narrow trail on the other side. The afternoon's trek is extremely tough, with narrow, barely visible tracks. After passing through cloud forest into rainforest, crossing several rivers we finish to day passing two wonderful waterfalls before arriving at camp. 8 hours trekking.

January 23 Thursday - Today's trail is slippery and climbs and descends steeply through dense vegetarian. We have to clamber over and under roots and fallen trees and need to concentrate hard where we put our feet. We also need to keep a watch out for wildlife such as the beautifully camouflaged tree frogs, toads and snakes. We finally emerge in a clearing with a farmhouse, set at around 700m which is where we set up camp, San Isidro. The ground is boggy and the facilities limited but the environment is stunning. 8 hours trekking.

January 24 Friday - After breakfast we head for Londres, our finishing point. The track is good but very steep in places and this is the last trekking day, it is also very tough. We may see sloths on route and there are often amazingly coloured birds flying around us. The last section is very hot and humid as we descend in altitude. As we get onto better roads we trek down to the valley floor and the palm oil and sugar cane plantations. We arrive in Londres, just 11 km short of the Pacific Ocean. We then travel by bus to our destination. 7 hours trekking.

January 25 Saturday - A well earned rest on a Pacific beach close to Jaco.

January 26 Sunday - Travel back to San Jose for the flight home.

January 27 Monday - Arrive Heathrow late afternoon.