38825.jpg

Discover Costa Rica

from $3,749.00

Experience the Costa Rican rainforest, mountains and coast

  • Reviews 79 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely
    1/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    5 - 16
All about the Discover Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is renowned for having proportionately more protected land than any other country, making it ripe for wildlife tourism. What is less known is the marvellous, often bizarre variety of animals from catatonic sloths, screaming Howler monkeys, screeching toucans and nesting Green turtles. Throw in the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines and it is easy to see why so many return.

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.

* All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
* 14 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Arrival and departure transfers

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Unrivaled wildlife viewing — Howler monkeys, caiman and sloths
  • Visit the beaches and waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Verdant rainforest, lush mangroves, lava fields and serene cloud forests
  • Wonderful naturalist guides who will share their love of Costa Rica with you!
  • Relax on idyllic Pacific coast beaches
  • Stay in comfortable eco-friendly lodges and hotels
  • Travel by air-conditioned bus and boat
  • Some departures with specialist bird watching guide
  • Green turtle nesting season: July to October
  1. Day 1 Start San Jose.

    Fly into San Jose airport. Clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are available for all clients. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  2. Day 2 To Tortuguero N.P.

    Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero’s vast network of waterways, canals and swamps is remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge, which is nestled on a small strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the main lagoon. Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum (a donation will be requested at the entrance). Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean. Today’s travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast.Accommodation: Laguna Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  3. Day 3 Boat tour around Tortuguero waterways.

    An early morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active, and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast by the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax this afternoon if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities, or alternatively you can join a second boat trip or follow a short walking trail through the forest.Accommodation: Laguna Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  4. Day 4 To La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano.

    We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived by taking a small boat to the pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of Arenal, passing huge banana, pineapple and sugar cane plantations on the way. Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano until fairly recently when it entered a resting phase, and can no longer be seen spitting ash, smoke or lava. However there is still a lot of geothermal activity in the area and you’ll have the opportunity to visit one of the excellent hot springs this evening. In clear weather there are great views of the volcano from our overnight base in the nearby town of La Fortuna. Today’s travelling time is around five and a half hours including a lunch stop.Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  5. Day 5 La Fortuna Waterfall hike; visit Arenal Volcano.

    Waterfalls are abundant in the region of Arenal and this morning we visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a 65 metre cascade of water plunging into an emerald pool below. A short trail through the rainforest brings us to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to the exit – the hike/climb takes around 20-30 minutes and is within the capabilities of anyone with reasonable fitness. Reward your efforts with a dip in one of the natural pools punctuating the foliage to cool off! Alternatively you could visit the lookout point and wait for the group. After lunch we take a short scenic hike within Arenal National Park, walking through secondary rainforest and passing some of the lava fields from past eruptions. The high vantage points on this walk allow great views overlooking Lake Arenal, and the birdlife is plentiful.Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  6. Day 6 To Monteverde in the Tilaran Mountains.

    From Arenal we travel to the Tilaran Mountain Range in the Central Highlands for our first taste of a Costa Rican cloud forest. The journey provides breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below as we ascend the hills towards Monteverde, a forest-cloaked region whose name literally means ’Green Mountain’. The high altitude supports a complex eco-system where plants thrive, particularly orchids of which there are some 400+ different varieties here. Today’s drive is around four hours — the last 40km of road is gravel and can be bumpy, particularly following heavy rain.Accommodation: Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge or Ficus Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  7. Day 7 Visit Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.

    This morning we have a guided walk in Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the first community-managed reserves in Costa Rica and an area that is world-famous for its biodiversity. To this day the reserve is managed by the Santa Elena High School with funds channelled into protecting the reserve and providing environmental education classes within the local community. Thanks to its high elevation, Santa Elena is bathed in thick misty clouds which support a huge range of flowers, ferns, mosses, vines and orchids. Birdlife thrives in the cloud forest with over 425 species recorded here. Santa Elena is also one of the best places to spot noisy Howler monkeys swinging through the trees!In the afternoon it’s possible to join an optional coffee tour to learn about the importance of this crop to the socio-economic development of the country, or join a canopy tour to get a different view of the forest.Accommodation: Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge or Ficus Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  8. Day 8 To Manuel Antonio.

    Our journey takes a south-easterly turn today as we follow the Pan-Am Highway along the coastline to Manuel Antonio, passing African oil palm and teak plantations on the way. Manuel Antonio National Park consists of a vast marine reserve as well as 1,700 acres of mangrove swamp, primary and secondary rainforest. The forest vegetation stretches as far as the high-tide line and provides a stunning backdrop to the expansive sandy beaches, forested islands and dramatic rocky headlands. Our drive to Manuel Antonio takes around four hours. We spend the next two nights here, normally in a hotel close to the beach and the entrance of the national park. Depending on our time of arrival we should have some time to enjoy various optional activities this afternoon or enjoy the hotels facilities.Accommodation: Villa Bosque Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  9. Day 9 Discover Manuel Antonio N.P.

    A guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park this morning should enable us to have some close wildlife encounters. White-faced Capuchin monkeys play in the trees and are frequently sighted on the beaches, whilst noisy Howler monkeys are usually heard moving through the trees and calling to each other before they are seen. The endangered Titi monkey (Squirrel monkey) are fewer in number but can sometimes be spotted in this area. Iguanas, agouti and two and three toed sloths are also commonly sighted in the national park. Manuel Antonio’s beaches are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the country and we have all afternoon to enjoy them or try one of the optional activities available in this region.Please note that Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays. If your visit falls on a Monday, the timing of this activity will be adjusted so that you visit the park on the previous day, and today will be at leisure to enjoy the many optional excursions of the region.Accommodation: Villa Bosque Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  10. Day 10 To Esquinas Lodge in Piedras Blancas N.P.

    Travel four hours south towards Golfito, a relatively wild and undiscovered region. The dense jungle here has hardly been explored or researched. The next two nights are spent in the beautiful Esquinas Rainforest Lodge set in the heart of primary rainforest and bordered by the newly created Piedras Blancas National Park and Golfito Nature Reserve. The lodge was originally financed by the government of Austria as a project combining forest research, development aid and nature conservation. Most employees are local and profits are used to help with projects in the nearby village. This afternoon we discover our peaceful surroundings and search for the abundant bird and insect life that resides here.Accommodation: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  11. Day 11 Hike on trails in Piedras Blancas N.P.

    Hike through the rainforest this morning with your guide and experience all of the sights and sounds of the jungle. During this activity we are likely to see snakes, monkeys and maybe sloths. This hike can be quite slippery after rainfall but is a real highlight and well worth the effort. This afternoon has been left free for optional activities — delve deeper into the forest on a 10 mile network of trails departing directly from the lodge, or simply relax by the stream-fed pool.Accommodation: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  12. Day 12 To Savegre Cloud Forest.

    Our journey takes a north-westerly turn through San Isidro and up and over the Cerro de la Muerte mountain range to our next destination, the Savegre Valley, located around four and a half hours away from Golfito. The cloud forest of Savegre is said to be one of the best places in the whole of Costa Rica to see the beautiful, colourful and notoriously shy Resplendent Quetzal and we have two nights here to discover the region. These endangered birds rely on the cloud forest for their habitat — the males in particular are striking with a green crest, red breast and tail feathers that can reach a metre in length. A good pair of binoculars will be helpful for quetzal spotting as these birds camouflage themselves well amongst the wet leaves of the forest! After lunch we take a short walk from our lodge into the cloud forest.Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa or Trogon Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  13. Day 13 Free day to discover walking trails in Savegre.

    Today is free to relax and explore Savegre Valley. Bring your binoculars to spot some of the 170 bird species, trek through the tropical cloud forest or simply enjoy the incredible view from the lodge. Your leader will suggest walks for today so that you can discover the tropical cloud forest and sub-Andean vegetation of the area. Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa or Trogon Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  14. Day 14 Visit the village of Copey; to San Jose.

    Visit the village of Copey this morning to step momentarily into the agricultural lives of those living in the highlands of the Central Mountain Range. We take a short walk to the picturesque village where some snacks will be prepared for us with a local family, which is sure to be a memorable touch of Costa Rican hospitality! A two and a half hour journey takes us back to San Jose, where there is time to explore the modern capital.Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  15. Day 15 End San Jose.

    The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it’s time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Free transfers to San Jose airport are available to all clients today.**

wuc_1
Where you stay

Hotels and Eco-Lodges

14 nights spent in hotels and eco-lodges, all with en suite facilities and most with swimming pools.

Accommodation has been chosen for its location: typically wooden lodges set in tropical gardens or eco-lodges tucked away in the heart of the rainforest. We aim to use family run establishments as much as possible. Our list of preferred hotels is below:

In San Jose the comfortable, modern Presidente Hotel has been chosen with easy access to downtown areas of the city.

In Tortuguero, Laguna Lodge combines a number of wooden lodges surrounded by beautifully kept gardens where wildlife often roams freely (look out for sloths and monkeys here!) – please note there are celing fans but no air-conditioning at this property.

Arenal Montechiari Hotel is located within a 10 minute walk of La Fortuna town. Each chalet bungalow is set amidst the tropical gardens where hummingbirds like to gather, and there are wonderful views of the Arenal Volcano.

In the cloud-forest we use the Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge, a comfortable property elevated to have a panoramic view across the forest from the main restaurant area. Rooms are cosy with duvets for the change in climate you’ll notice here. Occasionally we stay at Ficus Hotel instead.

In Manuel Antonio we stay at Villa Bosque Hotel due to its close proximity to the entrance of the National Park which enables easier access to and from the park.

The highlight of this trip will no doubt be your stay at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, a 100% carbon neutral property within Piedras Blancas National Park — wake up surrounded by the sound of birds! This is a unique and simple property, with ceiling fans rather than air-conditioning due to its location in the heart of the forest.

Our final accommodation is Savegre Hotel, located in an ideal position within the Savegre Valley this lodge has plant-filled gardens, multiple walking trails to use and cosy wooden lodges.

Please note that one or several of the named properties might be substituted for similar alternatives in order to secure hotel availability. Please discuss with your Customer Operations Executive if you require more details regarding your specific departure date.

Optional single supplement available, please see Dates & Prices.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style, and lunches and dinners at Tortuguero and Esquinas Rainforest Lodge are also buffet style. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Costa Rican specialities include ‘Gallo Pinto’, a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruit is abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics.

This trip has been graded 1 (Leisurely) with a safari rating of 3.

Driving distances are not very long and most of the roads that we travel on are of good quality. However, the road which leads to the river on the way to and from Tortuguero and the road into and out of Monteverde have poor surfaces and this can result in slow driving times, particularly following heavy rain. There are several included and optional walks on the itinerary which occasionally involve walking on rough paths. These are suitable for most levels of fitness and usually last from two to three hours. During times of heavy rain, trails can be muddy and slippery and extra care should be taken. Many of the areas visited on the trip are hot and humid and there is the chance of heavy rain year-round – this is why Costa Rica is so green!

Please note that Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays. If your visit falls on a Monday, the timing of this activity will be adjusted so that you visit the park on the previous day, and you will have a free day to enjoy the many optional excursions of the region.

BIRD-WATCHING DEPARTURES
For keen birders, we have designated a number of departures that will be accompanied by a specialist bird-watching guide. Walks and visits to national parks will be led with the intention of seeing as much bird life as possible. Please check with our office for the dates and prices.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Highly recommended

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The hatching turtles on Torteguero beach. The whole reason i booked for November and i was not disappointed. The friendliness of the Costa Rican people. Everywhere we went we were made to feel very welcome.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    First Class! Could not have hoped for a friendlier, more knowledgeable tour leader
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take an umbrella and do not forget to take a fleece or something for the Savegre Lodge - it is a tad chilly at times!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Beautiful Costa Rica

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Baby turtles hatching and making their perilous journey from nest to sea. The Resplendent Quetzals! Getting very wet in Monteverdi cloud forest! Visiting a local school and the home of Aurora for a Costa Rican lunch.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing group leader. His knowledge, love and pride for his country Costa Rica shone through.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you love birds, mammals, nature and beautiful scenery book this trip.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

A wonderful trip

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several things stand out. 1. Seeing baby turtles hatch and make it to the sea in Tortuguero NP. 2. The variety of birdlife and their stunning colours. 3. The attempts Costa Rica is making to encourage tourism and protect its natural habitat.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Johnny Villalobos. Such a nice guy, hugely knowledgeable, hugely enthusiastic nothing was too much trouble. He could identify the majority of the native birds along with their call. Up every day by 5am to lead the dawn walks and still around at 8pm in the evening.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Weather. It can be very hot and humid: 30C and 92% humidity, to 6C at altitude in the rain forest. So be prepared for both extremes. Consequently in the rain forests it can be damp and your clothes are damp. 2. Photography. If you are a serious photographer you need 400mm zoom for the birds.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is graded as a 1 Leisurely Trip. A number of the activities are really a 2 - 500 steps down and back to the La Fortuna waterfall, Manuel San Antonio NP some of us walked for 8 hours, a good 5/6 miles of varied gradient tracks. But please note there are gentler options if you wish.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Captivating Costa Rica

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wildlife viewing by boat in Tortuguero Zip lining in Monteverde
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Antonio was extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and organised. He provided an amazing amount of information about the flora and fauna of Costa Rica and his love of the country really shone through. He went above and beyond the call of duty by accompanying us on walks during free time and by always being on hand to answer questions. Antonio's english was exceptional.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When it rains it really rains so take a poncho - that way it covers you and your rucksack. It is difficult to dry things out once they get wet so consider taking some 'proper' trekking clothes that are quick dry material.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We thoroughly enjoyed this trip. There is regular moving about but lots of time to relax and take your time to see amazing animals and take in the atmosphere. The trip is very easy.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Fabulous Costa Rica

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing baby turtles hatch and make their way across the beach into the sea at Tortuguera. Sloths ran them a close second. And then there were the quetzals....
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jorge loves his country deeply and made a great job of showing it to us and telling us about it. Among other topics, I came back very well-informed on the education system in Costa Rica! And his knowledge of birds was wonderful.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Two of the hotels are at quite high altitude and in late November it was wet and cold. Take warm clothes and bedsocks. A walking pole was useful on muddy walks, and decent boots are essential.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus - another great trip.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
January 21, 2021
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
February 2, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
February 4, 2021
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
February 9, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
February 11, 2021
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
February 20, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
February 25, 2021
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
March 2, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
March 6, 2021
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
March 20, 2021
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
March 23, 2021
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
March 25, 2021
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
April 3, 2021
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
April 14, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
April 17, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
April 21, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
April 24, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
July 10, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
July 24, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
July 31, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
August 7, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
August 14, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
September 11, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
October 2, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
October 9, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
October 30, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
November 2, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
November 16, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
November 18, 2021
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
November 23, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
November 27, 2021
Available
$3,749.00
N/A
December 18, 2021
Available
$4,049.00
N/A
December 21, 2021
Available
$4,049.00
N/A
March 13, 2021
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
December 28, 2021
Available
$4,049.00
N/A
January 1, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
January 6, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
January 8, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
January 13, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
January 15, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
January 22, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
January 27, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
January 29, 2022
Available
$4,049.00
N/A
February 3, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
February 5, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
February 19, 2022
Available
$4,049.00
N/A
February 24, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
February 26, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
March 3, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
March 5, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
March 12, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
March 17, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
March 19, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
March 24, 2022
Available
$3,999.00
N/A
March 26, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
April 2, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
April 9, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
April 16, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
April 23, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
April 30, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
May 7, 2022
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
May 21, 2022
Available
$3,799.00
N/A
July 9, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
July 23, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
July 30, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
August 6, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
August 13, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
August 20, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
August 27, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
September 3, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
March 30, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
September 17, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
October 1, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
October 8, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
October 15, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
October 29, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
November 3, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
November 5, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
November 10, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
November 12, 2022
Available
$3,979.00
N/A
November 17, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A
November 19, 2022
Available
$3,879.00
N/A