Highlights of Costa Rica

Get under the skin of this fascinating country on our nine day adventure which takes in Costa Rica's diverse flora and fauna and stunning scenery, including the Tortuguero canals, active volcanoes of Arenal and the mysterious cloud forest of Monteverde. Take part in zip-lining through the tree tops, discover the history of the Costa Rican coffee bean and how some of the best chocolate is made before finishing on a catamaran sea cruise with dinner and some time relaxing on a beach and you have the markings of a truly memorable holiday.

Duration
9 days
Options
Private basis
Start your journey

Trip highlights

  • Visit the 'Venice of Costa Rica'
  • Cruise the rivers and canals of Tortuguero National Park

Welcome and assistance at the International Airport, then transfer to your hotel in San Jose for your overnight stay.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Aurola Holiday Inn or similar

Head north today to one of the most rugged regions in the country. The terrain and high rainfall conspire to create a myriad of waterfalls that can be seen from almost everywhere. You will travel through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, where there is an abundance of flora and fauna, and especially birds, of which 333 species have been observed. From the bus your guide will give you information about this protected area.

Proceed to Guápiles for a delicious breakfast before continuing to the pier, where you will get your riverboat to Tortuguero National Park located on the Caribbean coast. You will see why this park is called the 'Venice of Costa Rica' as you travel along the canals that meander through the dense lowland rain forest.

The land and boat transfer to Tortuguero are on a shared basis. Private transfers are available at an extra cost.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Laguna Lodge or similar

Today there will be a floating tour through the famous Tortuguero Canals. For about 2 hours you will be searching for birds, monkeys and other wildlife.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy by the pool or simply to relax.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Laguna Lodge or similar

After an early breakfast at the lodge take a boat and land transfer to Guápiles. Later, take a scenic drive through the countryside of San Carlos Valley to La Fortuna in Arenal, home of one of the world's most active volcanoes. On a clear day you will have an amazing view of the volcano from your hotel. And in the active period, the spectacular phenomenon of fumaroles coming out of the volcano.

The land and boat transfer to Tortuguero are on a shared basis.Private transfers are available at an extra cost.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Los Lagos or similar

After breakfast at the hotel, get ready for the adrenaline of the zip line! Your tour will start by riding an open-air gondola from the ground up to the observation area for fantastic views. From here, you will zoom down on a zip line track stretching across canyons and in between treetops and the exhilarating adventure of zip lining down the mountainside. This is the most thrilling zip line in the country and returns you to your starting point.

Your next visit is a must in this area, the Arenal Volcano. The tour starts with a drive to the western side of the volcano and once there you will embark on a hike along a trail, which traverses the rainforest and crosses over a large lava flow from 1992. It is possible to observe a great variety of plants, wildlife and magnificent lava rock formations. Once on the top of the lava flow you will have a beautiful view of the Arenal Lake as the hike ends up at a viewpoint, where if the weather allows, you will be able to feel and see the different factors that makes the Arenal an active Volcano.

The tour concludes with a relaxing stop at the mineral hot springs where you will also have dinner. Rest assured in the knowledge that it will be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Los Lagos or similar

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Monteverde Cloud Forest area. This service is a transfer and tour all in one, as you will be crossing the Arenal Lake by boat. During the transfer, you will have the opportunity to observe different kinds of resident and migratory birds that visit this lake. It is a fun and fast way to get to Monteverde.

In the evening the Don Juan Coffee Tour will offer you a chance to sample the local beans and see how they are produced. The tour begins with a brief insight into the wonderful world of coffee followed by the history of Costa Rican coffee. Also enjoy a ride in a typical ox cart. Today you will also get to experience a chocolate and a sugar cane tour. Participate in the chocolate making process and have the opportunity to taste the fruit of the cacao and observe how the small cocoa beans are magically converted into a rich tasting chocolate drink. Then learn about the historical reason why many farmers had sugarcane mills on their farms.Together you will extract the sugarcane the traditional way and then enjoy a glass of pure sugar cane juice as well as a few pieces of the cane itself.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Poco a Poco or similar

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to the Central Pacific Coast. The region is a treasure for biodiversity, attracting nature buffs, eco-travelers and adventure-seekers alike. Better yet, if you visit, you can enjoy the white sand and perfect waters. Without a doubt, Manuel Antonio lies within one of the country's most celebrated spots.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Plaza Yara or similar

After breakfast at the hotel enjoy a tour in the Manuel Antonio National Park. This national park is one of the most famous in the country due to its wide variety of flora and fauna specimens.

Throughout the tour your guide will stop and explain the different nature specimens that can be observed, you can take photographs or just admire the view. One of the highlights of this Manuel Antonio tour is that the park is home to 3 of the 4 existing monkey species in Costa Rica.
(The park is closed on Mondays.)

In the evening set sail towards the horizon and cruise over sapphire hued waves. The catamaran will chart a picturesque course departing from Quepos and gliding around the back of the Manuel Antonio National Park. Your guide will point out notable wildlife and vegetation as you sail by the amazing scenery of islands, cliffs and rock formations. Beverages and snacks are available on board throughout the trip.

After cruising the coastline, your captain will set anchor at Biesanz Bay where you can snorkel or simply rest on board. Here you are most likely to spot parrot-fish, starfish, angelfish and if you are lucky a dolphin! (Water visibility depends of the season).

End today with a delicious dinner.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Plaza Yara or similar

Decide to spend a few more days here enjoying the peaceful surroundings, transfer to the Papagayo Penninsula or return to San Jose for your flight home.

Return transfer not included, the price is dependant on your next destination.

Included

  • Accommodation as detailed with private facilities (in case of early transfer breakfast cannot be guaranteed).
  • Meals included as stated - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Breakfast is usually a Western style buffet in your hotel, while most other meals are taken in local restaurants.
  • Private transportation except on the Tortuguero section and the Lake Crossing which is shared transportation.
  • All entrance fees and government taxes as appropriate.

Not included

  • International flights
  • Optional excursions
  • Tips for the guide and driver
  • Domestic and international departure taxes (approx US$29)
  • Airport porterage
  • Guide except on included tours
  • Transfer from Manuel Antonio to your forward destination
  • Meals and beverages not specified on itinerary