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18 days

The best of Costa Rica

Enjoy Costa Rica’s unique nature and diverse wildlife in Tortuguero, at Arenal volcano, in Rincón de la Vieja and in Monteverde Cloud Forest. Discover lovely beaches in Sámara and Manuel Antonio.

We support sustainability development in Latin America. For every tour booked with us, we plant 10 trees in Brazil. Read more about the sustainability project here.

The best of Costa Rica The best of Costa Rica
18 days

The best of Costa Rica

Enjoy Costa Rica’s unique nature and diverse wildlife in Tortuguero, at Arenal volcano, in Rincón de la Vieja and in Monteverde Cloud Forest. Discover lovely beaches in Sámara and Manuel Antonio.

We support sustainability development in Latin America. For every tour booked with us, we plant 10 trees in Brazil. Read more about the sustainability project here.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Return flights from the UK to San José (enquire regarding direct flights)
  • Transfer from San José airport to your hotel
  • Minibus: San José – Tortuguero – La Fortuna – Rincón de la Vieja – Playa Sámara – Monteverde – Manuel Antonio – San José airport
  • 14 nights at good hotels, including breakfast
  • 2 nights at lodge in Tortuguero with full board
  • 2 x lunch (days 5+9)
  • 1 x dinner (day 6)
  • Welcome meeting in San José
  • Individual tour, where all excursions take place in small, international groups with local, English-speaking guides. Transfers also take place in smaller international groups
  • ATOL certificate
  • 24-hour manned emergency telephone throughout the tour
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Possibility of daily departure

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Guided walk around San José
  • Excursions in Tortuguero National Park
  • The Arenal volcano and hot springs
  • Walk in Rincón de la Vieja National Park
  • Treetop walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Admission to all attractions mentioned apart from Tortuguero, which is paid locally

The tour in short

Costa Rica is one of the world’s most environmentally friendly and sustainable destinations, and you can look forward to a tour that takes in unique nature, rich and diverse wildlife, beautiful beaches and happy, welcoming people.

The tour begins in Costa Rica’s capital, San José, where you get off to a gentle start at a welcome meeting and meet our local partner.
Then it’s one experience after another, starting with a stay at a lodge in Tortuguero National Park offering rainforest and diverse wildlife, including caimans, sloths, iguanas, turtles and monkeys. From Tortuguero, you drive to La Fortuna and Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where beautiful and majestic volcanoes shape the landscape.
Halfway through the tour, it’s time for relaxation on Playa Sámara’s beautiful beach on the Pacific coast before going on an exciting treetop walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest, which is located at an altitude of around 1,400 metres.
The tour ends in Manuel Antonio, which, besides lovely beaches, is also home to the famous national park of the same name.

Why choose this tour

  • Go on a slightly longer Costa Rica tour, giving you even more fantastic nature and animal experiences
  • See the popular dormant Arenal Volcano and the active Rincón de la Vieja Volcano
  • Experience animal life in the Tortuguero rainforest on a boat trip in the canals with a talented guide
  • Unwind on the lovely, palm-clad sandy beaches at Sámara and Manuel Antonio

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations
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Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in San José

You fly from the UK to Costa Rica with connecting flight(s) along the way. On your arrival in the capital San José, you will be picked up and driven to your hotel. The drive from the airport takes around 30 minutes. No activities are planned after arrival, so you can relax after the long flight or go for a walk around the city on your own.

Day 2: Welcome meeting in San José – guided tour on foot

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the office of our local partner. You will be given a warm welcome and you will attend a short information meeting, where you run through your tour together and get answers to any questions you may have.

After the welcome meeting, a local guide will take you on an exciting city tour on foot, telling you about the history of the country and showing you some of the capital’s main historic buildings and monuments.

The tour ends at the city’s largest market, Mercado Central, which started right back in 1880. The market consists of more than 200 shops, stalls, cafés and restaurants, and you can buy everything from meat and fruit to Costa Rican coffee and local crafts here. You choose whether to stay and have lunch here and perhaps shop for some souvenirs or to return to the hotel. Before heading off, your guide will tell you how get back to the hotel, which is an easy, 10–15-minute walk from here (transportation back to the hotel is not included).

The afternoon is yours to do as you please. We recommend a visit to some of the city’s exciting museums or a walk in the popular Parque Metropolitano La Sabana, San José’s largest city park. Relax on a bench and observe the local Costa Ricans, known as “ticos”, eagerly exercising or enjoying a picnic with family and friends.

Day 3: San José – Tortuguero National Park

Early the next morning, you leave your hotel and head for the Caribbean coast and Tortuguero National Park. Look forward to discovering the fantastic flora and fauna of the rainforest and sailing on Tortuguero’s extensive canal network.

From San José, you drive past large banana plantations, which are an important source of income for the country. You can’t drive all the way to Tortuguero, so when the road ends, you continue by boat along the small canals to your lodge.

After a delicious lunch, you will visit the cosy little village of Tortuguero. You guide will show you around the village and tell you what it’s like to live in such a remote town that can only be reached by boat or by plane.

After dinner, you can relax to the sound of the jungle’s nocturnal animals and insects.

Accommodation:
Day 4: Boat safari on Tortuguero’s canals

Today, an exciting boat trip on Tortuguero’s network of canals awaits. Together with a skilled guide, you will experience the park’s diverse flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to see sloths, caimans, turtles, iguanas, tapirs and several different kinds of monkeys, including spider monkeys, howler monkeys and capuchin monkeys.

Lunch is served back the lodge, and the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. You can even explore the rainforest or the beach. There is also a pool at the lodge where you can take a refreshing dip and read a good book.

Extra excursions can be purchased at the lodge.

The word Tortuguero comes from the Spanish word “tortuga”, which means “turtle” or “tortoise” in English. The national park is named after the many sea turtles that return year after year to lay their eggs in the sand. During the period from February–July, you may be lucky enough to witness the green sea turtle, the leatherback sea turtle, the hawksbill turtle and the loggerhead turtle on the Caribbean coast at Tortuguero National Park.
The turtles usually lay their eggs when the sun has gone down, so you may only go on the beach with an experienced guide in the evening. The turtles are easily frightened when they come out of the water, so you have to stand still and not use a torch or flash on your camera.

Accommodation:
Day 5: Tortuguero National Park – La Fortuna

From the unique nature of Tortuguero National Park, the tour continues to more scenic nature at La Fortuna and Arenal volcano. Just as when you travelled to Tortuguero, you will be transported first by boat and then by bus to the town of Guápiles, where a stop is made for lunch (included).

You arrive in La Fortuna in the afternoon, where the rest of the day is spent at your leisure.

La Fortuna is located at the foot of the beautiful cone-shaped Arenal volcano, which was inactive for more than 400 years until a violent eruption one day in 1968, which caused mass destruction and buried several small villages. However, the volcano has remained calm since 2010 and is described as a dormant volcano that is safe to visit.

Accommodation:
Day 6: Walk at Arenal volcano and a visit to the hot springs

Enjoy a peaceful morning in La Fortuna. No activities are planned until the afternoon, when you will be going on a small walk at Arenal Volcano and visit the hot springs.

You will be picked up from the hotel and driven to a private reserve close to Arenal Volcano, Here, you will walk to a vantage point affording a fantastic view of the volcano, Lake Arenal and the green lagoon, Laguna Verde. Your guide will tell you some fascinating facts about the volcano and the area’s special flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to see monkeys, sloths and exotic birds such as toucans and peacocks.

Then it’s time to relax in the hot springs, which are naturally heated by the volcanic activity in the area. Look forward to a natural wellness experience in the scenic surroundings. Remember to bring your swimwear!
When darkness falls, it’s time for a large buffet dinner (included), and we guarantee you won’t go to bed hungry! After dinner, you will be driven back to your hotel.

Accommodation:
Day 7: La Fortuna on your own

Today, you get to spend time on your own in La Fortuna. We recommend a visit to the scenic La Fortuna waterfall, situated at the foot of Chato volcano. From La Fortuna, you can take a taxi to the car park, from which there is around a 20-minute walk to the waterfall through lush rainforest. The waterfall springs from the Tenorio River and ends in a 70-metre drop. If you wish, you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the lagoon under the waterfall, so remember your swimwear!

La Fortuna is surrounded by beautiful nature, and the range of activities is extensive, so you won’t get bored.  You can choose to purchase excursions from home or explore the area on your own.

Day 8: La Fortuna – Rincón de la Vieja

From La Fortuna, the tour continues to the volcanic national park Rincón de la Vieja – a drive of approx. 5 hours.

Rincón de la Vieja National Park covers an area of 14,084 hectares and is one of the most unspoilt and least visited areas of Costa Rica. The park is named after its main attraction, the active 1,895-metre-high Rincón de la Vieja volcano. Loosely translated, Rincón de la Vieja means “the old lady’s corner” and refers to a myth about a woman who lived in the area and had healing powers.

Day 9: Walk in Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Early this morning, you will go on a 3 km hike in the sector of the national park called Las Pailas. Remember to wear good walking shoes, as the surface can be very uneven.
In the dense tropical forest, you will experience beautiful waterfalls and impressively diverse flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to encounter monkeys, coati, armadillos, lizards, iguanas and many different tropical birds. You will also see the Costa Rican national flower, the Guarianthe Skinneri orchid.

The main attraction, however, is the huge cone volcano, Rincón de la Vieja, which consists of nine contiguous craters, including Santa Maria, which has the highest peak of 1,916 metres. The craters are the most active in the Guanacaste mountains, and you will see the Von Seebach crater emitting gases and steam.
The powerful geothermal activity can be experienced throughout the park in the form of fumaroles, hot springs and bubbling mud.
Before the tour ends, you will enjoy a packed lunch in the park’s beautiful surroundings.

Back at the hotel, you have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure. You can choose to relax by the lodge’s pool or explore the area on your own.

Please note that the national park is closed on Mondays.

Day 10: Rincón de la Vieja – Playa Sámara

After some adventurous days in Costa Rica’s impressive scenery, the tour heads to the Pacific coast to the cosy little holiday resort of Sámara. Here, you can look forward to unwinding, feeling the sand between your toes and splashing about in the warm waves on the stunning Playa Sámara beach.

The drive to Sámara takes around 4 hours.

Day 11: Playa Sámara on your own

You have the day to yourself in Playa Sámara to relax by the hotel pool or laze on the wide sandy beach where swaying palm trees serve as natural parasols.

You can also stroll down the town’s high street and soak in the bohemian atmosphere.

If you want to be active, you can purchase a kayaking trip or a snorkelling trip to the nearby island of Chora, where a fabulous beach and colourful fish await you.

Sámara offers a good selection of shops, bars and cosy restaurants, where, among other things, you will find an array of seafood dishes.

In the evening, a beautiful sunset awaits you over the Pacific Ocean.

Day 12: Playa Sámara – Monteverde

From Sámara, the tour continues up into the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range, heading for Monteverde Cloud Forest. Monteverde is located at an altitude of around 1,400 metres, and the low cloud, which is almost trapped by the trees, provides moisture and thus life to the fantastic biodiversity of the rainforest and helps give the area its mysterious appearance.

The drive to Monteverde takes around 4 hours.

Accommodation:
Day 13: Treetop walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest

Today, you will go on an excursion and experience the cloud forest from above. An experienced guide takes you on a 2.5 km walk on hanging bridges in the tree tops. From here, you can study the enormous trees covered by moss, ferns, orchids and a lot of other plant species up close. The cloud forest is also a mecca for birdwatchers, as it is home to more than 400 different species, including the rare resplendent quetzal and a lot of different hummingbirds. The guide will tell you about the area’s many different plant, animal and insect species.

After a couple of hours, you will be driven back to your hotel, and the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. You can explore the area on your own or purchase an extra excursion.

Day 14: Monteverde – Manuel Antonio

Your tour ends in the small town of Manuel Antonio, located on the Pacific coast in western Costa Rica. Relax by the beautiful beaches and digest all that you have seen and done on your tour in scenic surroundings.

Manuel Antonio is also famous for its national park of the same name. It is Costa Rica’s smallest national park, but one of the most beautiful and popular. The park consists of lush green rainforest extending all the way to the paradisical sandy beaches and the turquoise-blue sea. In the park, you may encounter raccoons, iguanas, sloths, coati and several different kinds of monkeys.

The drive to Manuel Antonio takes around 5 hours. After arriving at your hotel, you have the rest of the day to yourself.

Days 15-16: Manuel Antonio on your own

The next couple of days in Manuel Antonio are yours to do as you wish.

It goes without saying that we recommend that you visit Manuel Antonio National Park on one of the days and experience its impressive flora and fauna. Ideally, you should head off early in the morning, when there are fewest visitors and the greatest chance of seeing the wildlife. The park has marked paths of varying degrees of difficulty, and it is easy to find your way around in there. You can also purchase a guided tour of the park if you would like to know more about the nature you are seeing.
Remember to bring your swimwear, water and possibly a packed lunch, and spend a few hours at the fantastic beaches inside the park. Manuel Antonio Beach has been voted one of the most beautiful in the country.
Please note that the national park is closed on Mondays.

Outside the national park is another beautiful beach, Playa Espadilla, where you can also swim and snorkel or just relax in the shade of the leafy trees and enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean.

The town of Manuel Antonio has several shops and cosy restaurants where you can enjoy your dinner as the sun goes down over the Pacific.

Day 17: Manuel Antonio – San José – departure day

Your tour to Costa Rica is drawing to an end, and you will be picked up and driven back to the airport in San José. Your journey home to the UK begins here, with connecting flight(s) along the way.

Day 18: Arrival back home

You arrive in the UK after an unforgettable holiday in Costa Rica.

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Corcovado National Park, 3 nights

Dream of experiencing Costa Rica’s largest and most biodiverse national park, boasting unique nature and a wonderful abundance of wildlife? In that case, you should extend your holiday to include this tour to the jewel in the crown of the country’s national parks: Corcovado National Park.

The scenic national park is located in south-western Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula, considered to be one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Here, you will find a unique ecosystem and diverse wildlife – both on land in the national park and under water by the island of Caño. The park houses one of the world’s largest populations of the scarlet macaw, and you may also see monkeys, tapirs, sloths and anteaters. If you’re extra lucky, you may also see some of Costa Rica’s rare cats such as the jaguar and the puma.

During your time at Corcovado National Park, you will stay overnight in Drake Bay, which is located on the northern part of the Osa Peninsula. Drake Bay is the perfect base for your exciting excursions in the area, as the remote town with just a few hotels and lodges is close to both the national park and the sea. Here, you can really enjoy the sound of the roaring sea and the birds chirping.

Accommodation:
Single room supplement £860
Special offers for groups of 6 or more. Request a quote today for more info.
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