Wild Costa Rica
Remote landscapes that show off Costa Rica’s wild side
Reviews 2 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
Group Size Small Group
An absurdly colourful country with the faunal volume turned up – this tour will captivate, offering an earful of the exotic. Capuchin monkeys rustle the dense jungle canopy as Green macaws squawk overhead and an army of leaf-cutter ants patrol the forest floor. Come and discover why the world is ‘wild’ about Costa Rica.
* All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 7 dinners
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Visit the rainforest, cloud forest and coastline of this ecological paradise
- Boat safari’s and nature walks through pristine wilderness
- Corcovado National Park – the ‘most biologically intense place on Earth’
- Comfortable or Premium accommodation throughout in eco-lodges and hotels
- Unrivalled wildlife viewing and birds – visit the habitat of the endangered Green macaw and the Scarlet macaw
- Travel by air conditioned bus, 4WD and boat
- Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 years
- 11 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges (some Premium)
Start San Jose.
The airport transfer from San Jose is normally this afternoon/evening. Clients can arrive at the hotel from around 2pm. Free transfers are available for all clients. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travelers. Accommodation: Bougainvillea Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
To Boca Tapada in the Northern Lowlands; nocturnal wildlife walk.
Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the Northern Lowlands of Costa Rica and our destination: Boca Tapada. Located on the San Carlos River, this area is highly regarded for its tranquillity and beauty. Our eco-lodge is nestled amongst the Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge and has just 15 bungalows, each with a balcony overlooking the large lagoon. The surrounding rainforest and wetlands have been designated as a biological corridor and provide habitat for sloths, Howler monkeys, White-faced Capuchin monkeys and over 500 bird species, of which the endangered Great Green macaw is one and has an important nesting site here. This afternoon is at leisure to settle into the eco-lodge, before joining a night walk on private trails to see a different side to the forest. Accommodation: Maquenque Ecolodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Nature walk through San Carlos Rainforest; afternoon boat safari on the San Carlos River.
After breakfast we set off on a nature walk in the San Carlos Rainforest on one of the trails surrounding our eco-lodge. Our naturalist guide will help interpret the fauna and flora found in this area. There is also a botanical garden and medicinal garden located in the grounds of our eco-lodge, which are very interesting to visit. In the afternoon we take a boat safari on the San Carlos River. During this 3-hour excursion we travel downstream, towards the Nicaraguan border, where there is a chance to stop and visit the small town of Boca San Carlos. During the tranquil boat safari it’s likely to see crocodiles, tortoise, herons, kingfishers and possibly even sloths, monkeys and hawks. Accommodation: Maquenque Ecolodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
To Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve near San Ramon; afternoon nature walk.
From the steamy rainforest around Boca Tapada we transfer to the cooler climate found in the area of San Ramon, where the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve is located. This area is regarded as one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets! Located on land once owned by a former president, this mostly private park offers the chance to visit a serene and peaceful cloud forest with low visitor numbers – it’s common to spot more wild animals than other tourists here. Howler monkeys, coatimundi and an impressive bird list of 258 species are just some of the wildlife found here amongst the mist. This afternoon we enjoy a nature walk in our new surroundings.Accommodation: Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort and Nature Reserve (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
To the Central Pacific Coast; discover the transitional forest of Carara N.P.
Today we travel towards the Central Pacific of Costa Rica – our destination is just moments from Carara National Park and the mangroves of the Tarcoles River, a wildlife haven around the otherwise developed area of Jaco. Carara is a transitional forest where species of dry and tropical forest meet, resulting in a wonderful diversity of fauna and flora – White-faced Capuchin monkeys, sloths, peccaries, agoutis and coatis are just some of the species we may encounter here. As one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks, Carara is a favourite with bird watchers – see if you can spot a Scarlet macaw. Its position in the transition zone means that species of both dry forest and tropical forest are likely to appear. Being located near Tarcoles River and its mangrove system also provides a lot of diversity and there are some of the tallest rainforests in the country found here. With our guide we discover some of the walking trails in Carara today, before continuing to our eco-lodge resting amongst the hills and forests of Cerros de Turrubares.Accommodation: Macaw Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Guacalillo Estuary and Tarcoles River boat safari; afternoon spent on private nature trails surrounding our eco-lodge.
This morning we take part in the Guacalillo Estuary and Tarcoles River boat safari, a tour designed to introduce you to the incredibly bio-diverse mangrove system found in this part of the Central Pacific. One of the largest populations of crocodiles – some measuring up to five metres in length – can also be found here. This mangrove and river system is a very important habitat for birds, with kingfishers, heron, Roseate spoonbills and Scarlet macaw often sighted here. In the afternoon we enjoy a birdwatching walk on the private nature trails surrounding our lodge. Set between the humid tropical forest and pre-montane forest this area has an abundance of bird species which your guide will help locate and identify. Accommodation: Macaw Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Rainforest nature walk at Hacienda Baru; to Puerto Jimenez; 4WD to the Osa Peninsula.
The day begins with a rainforest nature walk at Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge – 330 hectares of wetlands, secondary rainforest in the lowlands and primary rainforest in the highland costal ridge. There are numerous walking trails and 3kms of pristine beach to be discovered. We’ll spend around two hours at Hacienda Baru with our naturalist guide, before transferring to Puerto Jimenez, the largest town on the Osa Peninsula. From here we are met by 4WD vehicles to transfer to our eco-lodge in the wilderness, near the captivating Corcovado National Park. This region is very remote with limited road access. Please note that there is a luggage allowance of 25lbs per person for the 4WD transfer. We suggest that you repack on the evening of Day 6 for your 3 night stay at Luna Lodge. Luggage can be stored with the main vehicle until Day 10. Today’s travel time will be in the region of 6.5 hours. Accommodation: Luna Lodge (or similar)*Premium Hotel*
Discover the 60 acres of tropical wilderness surrounding our eco-lodge in the heart of the rainforest.
Today is free to discover the enchanting and pristine environment of our wonderful eco-lodge in the heart of the rainforest. Luna Lodge is adjacent to Corcovado National Park and is set within 60 acres of private tropical wilderness – from here you’re completely surrounded by nature. The remote beaches of the Osa Peninsula are also major nesting sites for sea turtles (Olive Ridley, Green turtles, Hawksbill and Leatherback). We recommend joining one of the local excursions available directly from Luna Lodge, or simply relax, awaken your senses and discover why the world is wild about Costa Rica! Accommodation: Luna Lodge (or similar)*Premium Hotel*
Full day to discover Corcovado N.P. the most 'biologically intense place on Earth.'
When National Geographic describes an area as ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’ it has to be worthy of investigation! This morning we leave the lodge by vehicle to Carate and then walk on the beach for 30 minutes to our entrance point to Corcovado National Park. This is undoubtedly Costa Rica’s most secluded and tranquil region. Protecting around one third of the Osa Peninsula (some 164 square miles), Corcovado is Costa Rica’s largest national park and encompasses 13 major ecosystems across various elevations, with montane forest, cloud forest, freshwater and mangrove swamps being just some of these. Scientists have recorded half of all of the species in Costa Rica on this peninsula alone. On today’s hike along the parks trails we may see all four of Costa Rica’s monkey species (Squirrel, Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider monkeys), tamandua (anteater), two and three-toed sloths, peccary, tapirs (including the endangered Baird’s tapir) and of course many reptiles, insects and amphibians. Puma and jaguar are known in this area but very difficult to see. With over 500 tree species, the bird count stands at an impressive 365 and the park protects the largest population of Scarlet macaws in the country, which can frequently be seen and heard flying overhead. Accommodation: Luna Lodge (or similar)*Premium Hotel*
To Savegre Cloud Forest, home of the Resplendant Quetzal.
After breakfast we depart towards San Gerado de Dota and Savegre Cloud Forest. This is said to be one of the best places in the whole of Costa Rica to see the beautiful, colourful and notoriously shy Resplendant 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! Accommodation: Savegre Hotel Nature Reserve & Spa (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Free day to discover the walking trails and waterfalls of 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 relax in the grounds of the lodge. For those who are passionate about trekking, an optional tour to Los Quetzales National Park can be arranged to admire the tropical cloud forest and sub-Andean vegetation. Birds that may be seen in this area include hummingbirds, colibri, tanagers and trogons, whilst tapirs, sloths and Squirrel monkeys may also be seen.Accommodation: Savegre Hotel Nature Reserve & Spa (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
To San Jose; end San Jose.
After breakfast we transfer to San Jose Airport where our adventure comes to and end and it’s time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye.
Hotels and Eco-Lodges
11 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges (some premium).
The accommodation chosen is sure to be one of the highlights of this holiday.
In San Jose we stay at the Hotel Boungainvillea, a property with lovely views and lush botanical gardens, yet within easy reach of the city and international airport. The Macquenque Eco-Lodge is our accommodation in Boca Tapada – a wilderness retreat set within the tropical rainforest and bordering the San Carlos River. Our bungalows all have their own balcony. At Villa Blanca we also stay in bungalows, but these come with fireplaces and traditional folklore decoration to fit in with the cloud forest surroundings. Macaw Lodge is an eco-resort that is completely off grid and uses solar power to generate all of its electricity. Made of sustainable wood, it fits beautifully with its forest surroundings.
Probably the biggest highlight of this holiday will be our three nights at the Premium Luna Lodge – nestled amongst the trees, this secluded resort can only be reached by 4WD vehicle and is a real oasis bordering Corcovado National Park and set within 60 acres of its own private, tropical wilderness. After this, we have a further 2 nights at the Savegre Hotel Nature Reserve and Spa, which is a lovely property in the heart of Savegre Valley, with a wonderful collection of trails and gardens full of hummingbirds.
Single supplements are available – please inquire with our office for prices and for more information.
All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 7 dinners are included.
Hotel breakfasts are normally 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 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) with a safari rating of 4.
Driving distances are reasonable and most of the roads that we travel on are of good quality, although there is an unpaved road into Boca Tapada. Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula is the most remote area that we visit on this itinerary – there are very limited road access or facilities in this area and we must access via 4WD on a rough track.
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!