Costa Rica – Coffee, birding & beaches
12 days from £845* per person Saving you £134 per person*
This itinerary isn’t set in stone. Pick, mix, swap however you like – your trip will be totally tailor made for you.
Day 1 Arrival
You’ll be welcomed at Juan Santamaría International airport and taken to your San José hotel.
Day 2 Doka Coffee Tour – Poás Volcano – La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Kick off your holiday with a guided tour of three of the area’s most fascinating attractions.
On the way you’ll drive through the city of Alajuela, passing the Agriculture Monument, the Monument to Juan Santamaría and the famous Mango Park. Your first stop is Doka, a third-generation coffee plantation, where you’ll learn how coffee is picked, milled, ground and roasted.
Continue to the Poás Volcano, one of the most spectacular in the country, with its enormous crater measuring one kilometre in diameter and 314 meters deep. Watch out for the blue sulphur pools and rising steam as you hike up to the Botos Lagoon.
The last stop is La Paz Waterfall Gardens, where you can follow the trails up to the White Magic Waterfall. There’s plenty more to see: a butterfly observatory, hummingbird gallery, serpentarium and bird house.
Day 3 San José – Tortuguero
It’s an early start from your hotel today, starting with a bus ride through Braulio Carrillo National Park. Board a boat at Caño Blanco pier and drift off into the Tortuguero waterways. Lunch with a cocktail will be waiting at your lodge. (There’s also a hammock with your name on it.)
In the afternoon, stroll around the picturesque town. Tortuguero was originally founded by carpenters, fishermen and marine turtle hunters. Nowadays, these same residents defend and protect turtles and other animals. Look out for the colourful Caribbean wooden buildings as you explore its tiny centre.
Day 4 Tortuguero
In the morning you’ll follow a guided walking tour through the Tortuguero trails. Spend the afternoon floating along the network of canals in Tortuguero National Park, admiring the birds, monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and caimans from an open-topped boat. Keep your eyes peeled for the endangered species that also call the park home, such as manatees, tapirs and jaguars.
Day 5 Tortuguero – Turrialba
Today you’re driving to the awe-inspiring Turrialba Valley, a rich agricultural territory of coffee, macadamia and sugar cane plantations, as well as verdant forests and biological corridors that allow the indigenous animal and plant life to thrive. You’ll end your day at your hotel in Turrialba.
Day 6 Turrialba
You’ve got the day free to spend however you choose. If you want to get out and about, try rafting on the Pacuare River or go canyoning in nearby Calle Chirraca – abseiling down waterfalls, ziplining, crossing a 132-foot hanging bridge. Are you game?
Day 7 Turrialba – San Gerardo de Dota
Continue to San Gerardo de Dota, part of a protected conservation area near the Cerro de la Muerte, one of Costa Rica’s highest peaks. This region is the primary habitat for the elusive resplendent quetzal, as well as many other bird and flora species. Take your time to explore the sights and sounds of the dense forest in peace.
Day 8 San Gerardo de Dota
Choose your own activity for the day.
You could get acquainted with the private nature reserve on your hotel doorstep – all 988 acres of it. It’s a tranquil place whose biodiversity attracts international visitors. Follow one of the six trails with a naturalist guide.
Alternatively, join an early morning birding tour or a guided hike up to the dramatic Savegre River waterfalls.
Day 9 – 11 Dominical
Continue your Costa Rican adventure with a three-night stay in the beach-front town of Dominical, a top surfing destination. This unspoiled spot is perfect for a quiet beach day or for trying out the fresh seafood in a low-key restaurant.
While you’re here, check out the popular whale and dolphin boat tour at Marino Ballena National Park, seeking out humpback and pilot whales, plus three species of dolphin. You can also snorkel around the coral and rock reefs and view the Costa Ballena coastline from your boat.
Close by is the Finca Ibis, a sustainable farm run by Don Güelo and his family. It’s a great opportunity to spend some time with a local family and enjoy a tasting menu of local dishes made with their farm produce.
Day 12 The adventure ends
Enjoy your last Costa Rican breakfast before going back to Juan Santamaría International airport for your flight home. Come back soon.
*Prices are based on private arrangements (not lower priced escorted tours with set dates). Quality three star accommodation is quoted here (unless mentioned otherwise), with breakfast included and other meals where mentioned. Mostly private transfers with an English speaking driver/guide and all activities mentioned, with top guides, are included. Domestic flights and transport all included from Day 1 to end point. Can be tailored to your needs, so prices could be lower for budget arrangements or higher for luxury.
International flight is not included