Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path

10 days from $4,650 per person*
  • Hike and picnic in the rainforests and whitewater-raft the scenic Pacuare River.
  • Spend the night at a secluded coffee plantation-turned-resort.
  • Give “glamping” a try on picturesque Isla Chiquita.
  • Discover Barva’s dormant volcano and magical cloud forest.
  • Stay at a handpicked selection of premium eco-lodges and estate accommodations.
Request a Quote

Costa Rica has earned its status as one of Latin America’s hottest hotspots, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty left undiscovered. This exciting itinerary takes travelers off the well-worn path and deep into the rainforests in search of experiences other visitors can only dream about.

From San José, the adventure begins on the banks of the scenic Pacuare River, Costa Rica’s best whitewater-rafting spot. Here, you’ll take guided rainforest hikes, picnic amid stunning jungle surroundings, tackle the rapids, and unwind at a secluded eco-lodge. Later, explore the slumbering Barva stratovolcano and the spectacular cloud forests that encircle it on a private tour deep into Costa Rica’s heart before meeting artisans at the Museo de Arte Popular to learn about traditional mask-making and spending the night at the handsome Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort, one of National Geographic’s “Unique Lodges of the World.” Next, head west to Punta Arenas where a private boat will whisk you away to Isla Chiquita, home of a luxurious “glamping” resort. There, you’ll take an incredible one-of-a-kind twilight kayak tour to discover bioluminescent plankton and explore the San Lucas National Wildlife Reserve before settling into a tented suite at the Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort. Costa Rica is a land of many secrets. After taking this trip, the tough part will be keeping those secrets to yourself. ... Show More »

Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 San José
    San José
    • Private Transfer - Airport with Meet & Greet - Vehicle/Assistant/Driver
    • Costa Rica - Welcome Package
    Breakfast
  • Day 2 San José to Pacuare River
    San José to Pacuare River
    • Shared Transfer - San José - Pacuare River [Pacuare Lodge: River Rafting & Breakfast (5 hrs)] -
    • Rainforest Hike - Guide
    • Relaxing after Dinner
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 3 Pacuare River
    Pacuare River
    • At Leisure / Optional Activities (Not Included)
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4 Pacuare River to San José
    Pacuare River to San José
    • Pacuare River: with White Water Rafting & Picnic Lunch
    • Private Transfer - Pacuare River - San José [Finca Rosa Blanca, 3 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 5 San José
    San José
    • Private Tour - Off the Beaten Path - The Volcano and Mask Makers of Barva (with Lunch, 8-9 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 6 San José
    San José
    • Finca Rosa Blanca at Leisure
  • Day 7 San José to Isla Chiquita
    San José to Isla Chiquita
    • Private Transfer - San José - Isla Chiquita [3 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver/Guide/Boat
    • Shared Tour - 1/2 Day Bioluminescence Adventure (1 hr) - Guide/Boat
  • Day 8 Isla Chiquita
    Isla Chiquita
    • Shared Tour - Tortuga Island Discovery (with Lunch, 8 hrs) - Guide/Boat
  • Day 9 Isla Chiquita
    Isla Chiquita
    • Isla Chiquita at Leisure
  • Day 10 Isla Chiquita
    Isla Chiquita
    • Private Transfer - Isla Chiquita - Liberia [4 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver/Guide/Ferry
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: San José

For your added comfort, you will have an English-speaking assistant waiting for you outside of Customs, holding a sign with your name on it. Your representative will direct you to your luggage pickup and will provide you with details on locating your private driver and transportation for your transfer to your hotel.

A welcome package with your vouchers, a country map, and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.

Accommodation: Grano de Oro

Situated on a shady street just off Paseo Colon, San Jose’s main thoroughfare, Hotel Grano de Oro is a true oasis in the heart of the city. Converted from a Tropical Victorian mansion, the 40-room hotel maintains the warmth and comfort of a private home with all the amenities of a fine hotel. Hallways lined with period photographs and original art meander through the building and present lush tropical flower arrangements and luxurious plants at every turn. Service is paramount and the perpetually smiling staff of the Hotel Grano de Oro welcome guests to their “home away from home” time and again. Located 20 minutes from the international airport and 10 minutes from the domestic airport, this San José hotel is ideally located for exploring San José, it’s museums and other local sites as well as for enjoying a host of day trips to the rainforest, volcanoes or experiencing the thrill of white water rafting.

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  San Jose
San Jose
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Grano de Oro Hotel
Grano de Oro Hotel

Day 2: San José - Pacuare River

You'll be met in the hotel lobby early this morning to begin the transfer to the Pacuare River, enjoying a typical Costa Rican breakfast en route along the way. After driving for approximately two hours, you will reach the river and begin navigating down the Pacuare on an exciting two and a half hour rafting adventure through class II and III rapids to reach Pacuare Lodge by midday. As an alternative, there is also an option for a transfer in to the lodge by road if desired, rather than by rafting. Please let your sales consultant know your preference. Please note: For detailed packing and luggage details & restrictions, speak to your Destination Expert.

Included in your stay is an hour-long guided hike through the rainforest surrounding the lodge, allowing you to get accustomed to your surroundings.

A number of optional (not included) activities are also on offer, including a canopy adventure or spa treatments. Otherwise, you may simply relax at the lodge and enjoy the tropical nature and tranquility of this remote and beautiful place.

After a candlelight dinner, visit the upstairs lounge for a cocktail or refreshment before retiring to a restful night’s sleep.

 

Accommodation: Pacuare Lodge

The Pacuare Lodge is nestled in a rainforest overlooking the Pacuare River, which National Geographic has listed as one of the worlds top ten scenic rivers. Getting to this exquisite eco-lodge is half the adventure, since you arrive and depart as part of a multi-day rafting tour on the Pacuare River. The spacious bungalows on-site contain the following amenities: a canopy king size bed, futon couch, hardwood flooring, private terrace, and a spacious private bathroom adorned with copper fixtures, private alfresco shower with solar heated water, and a nearly 360º rainforest view—all within an area seemingly removed from time and the worries of the outside world, yet just two and a half hours from San José, Costa Rica’s capital city. This property was named one of National Geographic’s Most Unique Lodges in the World.

Note: please ask your sales consultant for the Pacuare Lodge packing and luggage details & restrictions.

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Rainforest Exploration
Rainforest Exploration
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  River Rafting
River Rafting

Day 3: Pacuare River

The day is yours to do as you wish. Spend time exploring the lodge surroundings, or relaxing with a drink in hand at the lounge.

For adventure, a number of optional (not included) tours are available from the lodge. Nature lovers may want to start before breakfast with a daybreak birdwatching tour. Other options are to visit the nearby Cabecar Indian Rancho, for an introduction to the local indigenous culture, or hike to the closest farming community to experience a bit of rural Costa Rican life. Outdoor adventure options include the Canopy Adventure Tour, which takes you gliding between treetop platforms on cables, or Tropical Canyoning, which combines hiking, rock climbing and rappelling. If you prefer the water, you can paddle down a stretch of the Pacuare River in an inflatable duckie. Hikers have several options to choose from: the Bajo del Tigre & Nairi Awari Reserve Hike, which combines visits to the two nearest communities with rainforest hiking; the Cabecar Indian Tour, a more demanding hike to an isolated indigenous home deep in the forest; or the Ancient Trail and Hidden Waterfall Hike, which heads higher into the mountains to a waterfall, taking most of the day.

Accommodation: Pacuare Lodge
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Pacuare Waterfall
Pacuare Waterfall

Day 4: Pacuare River - San José

After another great breakfast, you’ll depart by raft for a day of white water rafting that is more exhilarating than the first day (approximately 3½ hours over class III-IV rapids).

This stretch of the Pacuare River flows through canyons and past waterfalls and virgin rainforest. You’re likely to catch glimpses of varied birds and other wildlife during the quiet stretches.

A deli-style lunch will be served on the riverbank enroute, and you’ll have a chance to change into dry clothes at the private luggage store facilities by the river take-out  before the drive back to your Hotel Hacieda Alta Gracia.

Note: please ask your sales consultant for the Pacuare Lodge packing and luggage details & restrictions.

Settle in for a private transfer from Pacuare River Lodge to Finca Rosa Blanca outside of San Jose. Approximate travel time is three hours.

Accommodation: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort

The Finca Rosa Blanca Resort is a coffee farm plantation and luxurious inn that crowns the central valley mountain highlands of Costa Rica. Located only a short distance from the San Jose International Airport, it has long offered eco-travelers a luxurious, sustainable boutique hotel experience. Finca Rosa Blanca offers an incomparable lodging experience with three extraordinary Master Suites and Villas and eleven elegant Junior Suites. All of the well-appointed rooms include Jacuzzi baths, King beds with exotic bamboo linens as well as private verandas overlooking the green Central Valley, the volcanoes above, and secluded patios surrounded by tropical gardens and flowers. Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn crowns the Central Highlands of Costa Rica, offering a luxurious and sustainable boutique hotel experience.

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Pacuare River
Pacuare River
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort

Day 5: San José

The Barva Volcano, the sleeping beauty of the volcanoes, is located along Costa Rica’s ring of fire. This beautiful volcanic crater is shrouded in a misty cloud forest and grants lucky visitors with spectacular scenery and wildlife. Your adventure starts by winding through the countryside of the Central Valley, en route to Barva Volcano area, in a 4x4 vehicle. Soak in gorgeous views of the Central Valley before approaching the park gates, a tranquil, hidden gem far from the crowds. Approaching Barva Volcano, you will reach the entrance of the National Park and start your guided hike. Over the next few hours, explore the impressive cloud forest and Barva Lagoon (formerly the volcano's crater). After the climb up to the crater, enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the lake while surrounded by the dense cloud forest. Later in the day, visit the Museo de Arte Popular to learn about the customs and traditions of Costa Ricans from times past; in particular, the 19th century. The museum is found in the former home of ex-President Alfredo Gonzalez Flores, a humble, rustic casita. For lunch, a locally prepared meal will be served ahead of a visit to the town of Barva. A town rich with colonial charm, Barva was first founded by Spaniards in 1561 and its history is deeply rooted in time honored traditions. Notably, Barva is the center of production for colorful Mascaradas. Every August 24th, locals celebrate the patron Saint Bartholomew by parading through town wearing colorful masks of demons, devils and local celebrities while hitting each other with air inflated cow bladders (no, we are not kidding). If you can’t make it to the celebration on the 24th, you can still get a glimpse of how these traditional masks are made with a visit to the Masquerade Workshop Bombi. The mask workshop of Don “Bombi” (short for Bombilla) - a well-known mask maker of the community - is always a tour highlight. His curiosity for masks started when he was just a kid, which has motivated him to make them for over 40 years. Tour the Masquerade Workshop for a behind the scenes glimpse into the process mask making, and their importance in Costa Rican culture before being returned to your hotel.

Accommodation: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Cloudforest of Barva
Cloudforest of Barva

Day 6: San José

At Finca Rosa Blanca - named one of National Geographic Magazine's "Unique Lodges of the World" - you’ll enjoy Costa Rican coffee, the great outdoors and culture in countless ways. Spy volcanoes and cloud forests, or take part rafting and experience the rushing rivers of the Coffee Highlands. Enjoy this ideal destination for honeymoon couples, solo travelers and extended family retreats. The region is one of the oldest in Costa Rica and abounds with coffee, culture, arts and crafts, and old fashioned central open markets. The on-site educational coffee tour and tasting is recognized as one of the best in the country.

Accommodation: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Coffee Fields near Finca Rosa Blanca
Coffee Fields near Finca Rosa Blanca

Day 7: San José - Isla Chiquita

Enjoy a private transfer from San Jose to Isla Chiquita. The transfer begins in private vehicle as you drive to Punta Arenas on the west coast of Costa Rica. Upon arrival to Punta Arenas, you will be driven to a local pier where a private boat awaits to ferry you to Isla Chiquita. Approximate travel time for this transfer is three hours.

Our planet offers privileged locations that feature a mesmerizing natural phenomenon when the ocean lights up during darkened nights. Produced by high concentrations of light-emitting plankton, bioluminescence imbues the waters with a starry effect. On this one-of-a-kind evening kayaking adventure, seek the spectacle of bioluminescence in the waters surrounding Isla Chiquita.

Accommodation: Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort

Blending the exhilaration of camping with the rich comforts and services of a beach hotel, Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort was created to offer travelers and adventure seekers an experience rooted in connecting guests to the land, ocean, cuisine and down-to-earth lifestyle of the Gulf of Nicoya. Isla Chiquita is a little island with a big promise; surrounded by views of the peaceful Gulf of Nicoya and bathed in a cool ocean breeze, it provides a serene “back to nature” getaway. Here, guests can enjoy unique activities and adventures that few have experienced. The 15 premium tents invite guests to unwind and be transported to a state of unparalleled tranquility and bliss, a paradise for nature lovers.

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Bioluminescent Plankton
Bioluminescent Plankton
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Isla Chiquita
Isla Chiquita

Day 8: Isla Chiquita

White sand trimmed by clear blue ocean is Tortuga Island’s signature sight. Considered one of the most beautiful islands south of the Nicoya Peninsula, it can be reached in less than thirty minutes from Isla Chiquita. Enjoy the views, snorkeling, and a-la-carte paid activities like hiking, kayaking, and banana boat rides. This tour includes a light lunch, fresh fruits, snacks, soft drinks and water.

Accommodation: Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort

Day 9: Isla Chiquita

Isla Chiquita is the newest addition to Costa Rica’s portfolio of outstanding natural attractions. The island itself, found in the middle of the Gulf of Nicoya, is an unbound paradise for nature lovers. Surrounded by warm, calm waters, it is the ideal place for beach relaxation but is also host to a range of exciting and informative excursions. In short, whether you wish to simply relax on the shores or head out on fascinating discovery tours, Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort has it all.

Accommodation: Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort

Day 10: Isla Chiquita

Enjoy a private transfer from Isla Chiquita to Liberia, Costa Rica. First, board a shared ferry from Isla Chiquita to Paquera. Upon arrival to the mainland, an awaiting driver and guide will drive you to Liberia. Approximate travel time is four hours.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Grano de Oro: San José

Situated on a shady street just off Paseo Colon, San Jose’s main thoroughfare, Hotel Grano de Oro is a true oasis in the heart of the city. Converted from a Tropical Victorian mansion, the 40-room hotel maintains the warmth and comfort of a private home with all the amenities of a fine hotel. Hallways lined with period photographs and original art meander through the building and present lush tropical flower arrangements and luxurious plants at every turn. Service is paramount and the perpetually smiling staff of the Hotel Grano de Oro welcome guests to their “home away from home” time and again. Located 20 minutes from the international airport and 10 minutes from the domestic airport, this San José hotel is ideally located for exploring San José, it’s museums and other local sites as well as for enjoying a host of day trips to the rainforest, volcanoes or experiencing the thrill of white water rafting.

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Grano de Oro Hotel
Grano de Oro Hotel
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Grano de Oro Hotel
Grano de Oro Hotel

Pacuare Lodge : Pacuare River

The Pacuare Lodge is nestled in a rainforest overlooking the Pacuare River, which National Geographic has listed as one of the worlds top ten scenic rivers. Getting to this exquisite eco-lodge is half the adventure, since you arrive and depart as part of a multi-day rafting tour on the Pacuare River. The spacious bungalows on-site contain the following amenities: a canopy king size bed, futon couch, hardwood flooring, private terrace, and a spacious private bathroom adorned with copper fixtures, private alfresco shower with solar heated water, and a nearly 360º rainforest view—all within an area seemingly removed from time and the worries of the outside world, yet just two and a half hours from San José, Costa Rica’s capital city. This property was named one of National Geographic’s Most Unique Lodges in the World.

Note: please ask your sales consultant for the Pacuare Lodge packing and luggage details & restrictions.

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Pacuare Lodge
Pacuare Lodge
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Pacuare Lodge
Pacuare Lodge

Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort: San José

The Finca Rosa Blanca Resort is a coffee farm plantation and luxurious inn that crowns the central valley mountain highlands of Costa Rica. Located only a short distance from the San Jose International Airport, it has long offered eco-travelers a luxurious, sustainable boutique hotel experience. Finca Rosa Blanca offers an incomparable lodging experience with three extraordinary Master Suites and Villas and eleven elegant Junior Suites. All of the well-appointed rooms include Jacuzzi baths, King beds with exotic bamboo linens as well as private verandas overlooking the green Central Valley, the volcanoes above, and secluded patios surrounded by tropical gardens and flowers. Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn crowns the Central Highlands of Costa Rica, offering a luxurious and sustainable boutique hotel experience.

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort
Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort

Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort: Isla Chiquita

Blending the exhilaration of camping with the rich comforts and services of a beach hotel, Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort was created to offer travelers and adventure seekers an experience rooted in connecting guests to the land, ocean, cuisine and down-to-earth lifestyle of the Gulf of Nicoya. Isla Chiquita is a little island with a big promise; surrounded by views of the peaceful Gulf of Nicoya and bathed in a cool ocean breeze, it provides a serene “back to nature” getaway. Here, guests can enjoy unique activities and adventures that few have experienced. The 15 premium tents invite guests to unwind and be transported to a state of unparalleled tranquility and bliss, a paradise for nature lovers.

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Isla Chiquita
Isla Chiquita

Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard): Global Location

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Beth D. — May 22, 2018 — Central America

    Our Trip to Costa Rica couldn't have been more perfect! Everything and everyone was on time and ran smoothly. We will definitely use Kensington Tours again!

  • Robert H. — April 07, 2018 — Central America

    A superb trip from beginning to end. All of our guides were were on time and thoroughly knowledgeable. Everything flowed smoothly.

  • Karen P. — March 10, 2018 — Central America

    Best trip ever! Everything was coordinated so well and thee excursions were awesome. Our drivers were not only polite but educational. Our accommodations fit our family perfectly and our consultant was outstanding.

  • Robert Z — November 07, 2017 — Central America

    Sarah Roberts was fantastic, very available and responsive. Drivers and guides were all top rated, knowledgeable, friendly, and patient. The Springs hotel in La Fortunate was great!

  • Natalie D — November 07, 2017 — Central America

    The trip was amazing. The itinerary worked out great. Kensington has always made an effort to have a representative meet with us upon arrival and go over the itinerary and discuss any matters we had questions about.Fabian was a very nice man and was attentive after our meeting. Our primary driver was Javier who was always pleasant and a joy to be with. Our primary guide was Marcos Jimenez. He was an excellent ambassador for Kensington and represented you very well. He was the consummate professional and was always very attentive and accommodating with us. In its entirety, Kensington organized a great trip that I would recommend to anyone. Thank you again for all of your help in planning this adventure.

  • Angela C — November 07, 2017 — Central America

    We were lucky to have Victor as our guide in Arenal. He was fantastic. We learned so much from him. His enthusiasm was contagious.

  • Jean V — November 07, 2017 — Central America

    Brandi Merchant is fantastic!!!! Her patience with my many questions and attention to detail, coupled with her warm, personable manner is just the best!

  • Cecelia B — November 07, 2017 — Central America

    The experience exceeded my already high expectations. The guides were excellent: personable, knowledgeable, helpful, and fun to be with.

  • Robert Riordan — May 23, 2017 — Central America

    The guides were key. Very knowledgeable and fun. They were very attuned to the level of exertion we could handle. Thanks to your eagle-eyed guides, we saw such a diversity of plants, birds and animals -- which we could never have spotted on our own. Great memories!

  • Angela Watson — May 23, 2017 — Central America

    We had a wonderful time on our trip to Costa Rica. Our guides Francisco and Bernie both exceeded our expectations. They were able to answer any question we had on subjects that ranged from culture and customs to environment, ecology and much more. During our afternoons in the rainforest we were able to see a multitude of birds, two toed and three toed sloths, Congo and Capuchin monkeys, eyelash vipers, and all of the rainforest scenery. We came away with an understanding of the forest and its inhabitants and real respect for our guides who work hard to preserve the natural beauty of their country through preservation and ensuring responsible tourism. We couldn't be happier with any portion of our trip. It really was wonderful.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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