Costa Rica Wildlife Walk

from $5,679.00

To judge Costa Rica purely on its natural bounty would be a mistake. Costa Ricans, known as Ticos, are warm, friendly people whose kindness is as integral to their country as the rainforest.

  • Reviews 19 Reviews
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 16
All about the Costa Rica Wildlife Walk.

This exciting holiday explores Costa Rica’s most dramatic contrasts: cloud forests, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls and the Pacific coast. You’ll be amazed at the amount of wildlife you’ll encounter. From quetzals and tree frogs to agoutis and iguanas, each day is memorably different.
Our local guides have an expert knowledge of Costa Rica’s flora and fauna and are passionate walkers. With them, our tour is even more remarkable as we learn about Costa Rica’s unique natural inheritance. Walking on forest paths and some country tracks, you’ll spot wildlife along the way with agoutis and coatis scrambling across the path in Monteverde and monkeys swinging through the trees at Rincon de la Vieja. Awe-inspiring panoramas abound with balcony views to the distant Pacific Ocean and sweeping vistas over Lake Arenal and to the magnificent volcano.
The hotels you stay in are typically mountain lodge style with separate small buildings or bungalows. All have beautiful tropical gardens and swimming pools. Highlights include Arenal, where you look out at the volcano and Bosque del Mar on Playa Hermosa. Lunches are a mix of picnics and local restaurants, whilst dinners are taken in the hotels. One evening is spent at Eco Termales in Arenal where dinner is enjoyed after relaxation time in the hot springs!
This varied walking holiday is mainly on jungle trails and country tracks. Rainforest trails can be slippery and steep in sections, so walking boots are essential.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 11 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of 3 and 4* hotels
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners
  • Services of an experienced walking guide
  • 2 boat trips (days 5 and 6)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Arrival & departure transfers (at designated times)
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Supplement (available on request – inquire for supplement)
  1. Day 1 Day 1: Arrive in Costa Rica

    Arrive at your hotel in Santo Domingo, just outside San Jose.

  2. Day 2 Day 2: Monte de Barva 12km/7.5mi/3.5hr

    Today we head to Monte de Barva, a private property in the mountains where we explore forests with views over the Central Valley. Our walk ends with a typical Costa Rican lunch cooked on a wooden stove. We return to the hotel via the town of Barva, one of the oldest settlements in Costa Rica, famous for its colonial architecture and its dedication to retaining its culture. There’s time to explore the hotel gardens and have a swim before dinner.

  3. Day 3 Day 3: Monteverde Cloud Forest 12km/7.5mi/3hr

    It’s on to Monteverde, where we follow a forest trail through soaring ridge oak decked with bright orange clusia, in search of the resplendent quetzal, then onwards through the emerald forest canopy to the Continental Divide where the Caribbean and Pacific meet. Our next 2 nights are spent here.

  4. Day 4 Day 4: Canitas Cebadillas 15km/9.5mi/3.5hr

    Walking through lush pastures with balcony views over curving Nicoya Peninsula, we soon reach the hamlet of Canitas. A gradual climb through forest then brings us to the pretty mountain village of Cebadilla. Before dinner, we take a fascinating evening stroll through the cloud forest spotting tree frogs and hummingbirds.

  5. Day 5 Day 5: To Arenal Volcano 18km/11mi/5hr

    We wind through farmsteads bright with blue-flowered St Lucia trees overlooking the western shore of Lake Arenal. We’ll pass cattle ranches, stud farms and dairies before continuing along the shore, spotting scarlet tanagers flitting through the reeds. We then take a boat to the western side of the lake for superb views over Arenal Volcano.

  6. Day 6 Day 6: Cano Negro Boat Tour

    Today’s tour takes us first by road then by boat through the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge close to the Nicaraguan border. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise and is also home to a number of endangered mammals and reptile species – look out for caimans, turtles and tapirs.

  7. Day 7 Day 7: Exploring Arenal and La Fortuna Waterfall 9km/5.5mi/5hr

    Today we visit the Arenal butterfly and frog gardens and stop off at an indigenous Malecus village. It’s then on to the famous La Fortuna Waterfall before continuing on to relax in the hot springs at Eco Termales!

  8. Day 8 Day 8: Rincon de la Vieja National Park 8km/5mi/3hr

    We move onwards to Rincon de la Vieja, beginning our walk through rainwood and Spanish cedar, maybe spotting turkey vultures flitting above us. We reach Las Chorreras and Victoria Falls, a 35m high torrent thundering through a verdant gorge. There’s time for a paddle before going on to our hotel for dinner. We spend two nights here.

  9. Day 9 Day 9: Blue Lagoon Thermal Springs 10km/6.5mi/3hr

    Look out for toucans and white-fronted amazons, as we descend to La Cangreja Waterfall. Its blue lagoon is so inviting we have to take a dip before our picnic. Then we walk through woodland, where violet guaria morada (Costa Rica’s national flower) grows, to Las Pailas, an eerie landscape of bubbling mud and geysers.

  10. Day 10 Day 10: Santa Rosa National Park 10km/6.5mi/4hr

    Today we walk through Central America’s largest protected dry forest. We may spot coatis, tapirs and iguanas as we descend to continue along the Indio Desnudo Trail – there are superb photo opportunities here! Then it’s on to Playa Hermosa where our final two nights are spent overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

  11. Day 11 Day 11: Free Day

    Bosque del Mar is on Playa Hermosa, a blue flag beach and is the perfect end to our tour. There’s the option to stay on here for extra nights.

  12. Day 12 Day 12: Leave Costa Rica
Where you stay
Hotel Bougainvillea
The Bougainvillea Hotel is in Santo Domingo, just 25 minutes from San Jose international airport and about 15 minutes from the centre of San Jose. The hotel is built in extensive gardens where you can take a stroll and start your discovery of all the flora and fauna Costa Rica has to offer. Headwater customers are allocated the spacious mountain view rooms and the hotel facilities include pool, sauna, fitness centre and gift shop.
Hotel Poco a Poco
The well appointed 4* Hotel Poco a Poco has a picturesque setting in the centre of Monteverde, and not far from the frog pond.. It comes with a heated pool and superb spa facilities. Headwater customers stay in the spacious Quetzal rooms which all come with views to the village and surrounding forest, as well as coffee maker and free wifi.
Arenal Observatory Lodge
The Arenal Observatory Lodge is one of the most historical hotels in Arenal in that it was originally the observatory lodge for the scientists that first came to study the volcano in 1987. The lodge is surrounded by hectares of parkland and it is the only hotel in Arenal that is within the Arenal National Park. The best thing about the lodge is the balcony views of Arenal that you get from pretty much every bedroom window, the pool and the restaurant. The volcano is just 1.7 miles from the lodge but the hotel is perfectly safe as the gorge of the Agua Caliente River separates it. Nowadays however, its strategic position makes the hotel a great place to experience the volcano. The view is ever present when you are in the pool, strolling through the gardens or having breakfast in the restaurant. The lodge is made up of a number of different rows of rooms that all have their individual entrances. The majority of the rooms that were added on after the lodge became a hotel are in the Smithsonian style. Headwater customers stay in these. They each have 2 queen size double beds and many also have a chair, table and decking with patio furniture. Others have large floor to ceiling windows from where there are great views over Volcano Arenal when you draw the curtains in the morning. They are all en-suite with shower only. The restaurant is located opposite reception and this is where both breakfast and evening meals are taken. The hotel also has a large swimming pool as well as an outdoor Jacuzzi. There are a number of way-marked trails through the gardens that you can follow if you fancy a stroll.
Hacienda Guachipelin
The Hacienda Guachipelin is located right on the edge of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. The lodge started up as a cattle ranch, and is still owned by one of Costa Rica’s most famous horsemen, Don Tomas. The lodge is made up of five separate rows of rooms each with a veranda. All rooms are en suite with shower and have 2 queen size beds as well as a table and chair. They are reasonably spacious and are all built in traditional Latin American style.
Bosque del Mar
The Bosque del Mar hotel is a beachfront property on the grey sand Playa Hermosa (beautiful beach). The hotel is set in beautiful gardens and surrounded by tropical forests. Rooms here are spacious and all have terrace or balcony with views of the garden or pool. Some rooms make you really feel you are part of the gardens as the structure of the building has been done in such a way to avoid cutting down trees where possible to cause less environmental impact.
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners included. Lunches are a mix of picnics and local restaurants, while dinners are taken in the hotels. One evening is spent at Eco Termales in Arenal where dinner is enjoyed after relaxation time in the hot springs.

Classification: Guided

This varied walking holiday is mainly on jungle trails and country tracks and includes some wildlife spotting and opportunities for photography along the routes. Rainforest trails can be slippery and steep in sections, so walking boots are essential. The distances of the walks range from 8km to 18km and take between 3-5 hours. On days 5 and 6 there are boat trips included for superb views across to the Arenal Volcano on day 5 and of the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge on day 6. During the trip there are also opportunities for swimming (if you want to).

Costa Rica

Holders of US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica – we suggest you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them.

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements, however, if you have traveled to a country at risk of Yellow Fever prior to arriving in Costa Rica you will be required to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate with you. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Overall Rating
Reviewed On 04/07/2018

Ms Gale

Very well organised holiday, brilliant guide, nice small group and lovely hotels. Next time would prefer to be offered a direct flight rather than battle through Newark!

Reviewed On 16/04/2018

Mr Wall

Walking in Costa Rica was a great destination. Excellent Guide and lovely people.Fabulous variety of contrasts throughout the country.

Reviewed On 20/03/2018

Mr Creamer

The country, people and welcome were superb. We could not have been looked after better.

Reviewed On 20/02/2018

Mr Christy

A well-organised trip to a very beautiful country with stunning wild life; clean and comfortable facilities at all times; walks very enjoyable and led by an expert and experienced guide.

Reviewed On 20/02/2018

Dr Loken

This was a really exceptional holiday for us. Our guide was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about all the wildlife we encountered, and the history of the country, that we learned so much from him. In addition, the quality of the hotels, the variety of the walks, and the extra touches (like fresh fruit waiting for us at intervals) made it very special.


Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
January 23, 2021
February 6, 2021
March 13, 2021
April 17, 2021