Costa Rica – The classic tour
13 days from £1,229* per person Saving you £234 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 greeted at Juan Santamaría International airport and taken to your 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 on your way 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 walk the trails up to the White Magic Waterfall. There’s plenty more to see here: 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 will be waiting at your lodge.
In the afternoon, depart by boat to a nearby trail for a guided hike into the tropical rainforest. You’ll briefly visit the little town of Tortuguero before returning for a sneaky lounge in your hammock until dinner.
Day 4 Tortuguero
Set off for a guided tour of Mawamba Park’s private trails, taking in the butterfly gardens, the iguanas and the frog gardens. In the afternoon, board a canal tour through Tortuguero National Park, a famous nesting site for the green turtle between June and November. Also look out for otters, caimans, howler monkeys, toucans and more.
Day 5 Tortuguero – Arenal
Join a shuttle bus or drive off to San Carlos, with its forests, lakes, crop fields, hot springs and the imposing Arenal Volcano, the most active in the country.
Day 6 Arenal
Today you’re off to the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges for an eye-opening nature walk. Observe the birds and plants of the rainforest up close from a three-kilometre network of forest floor trails and hanging bridges set high up at tree level. On your way around the trail you’ll learn all about this tropical forest environment and its inhabitants. Over 50 species of birds thrive here, making this a true birdwatcher’s heaven. You can get a great view of the Arenal Volcano from here, but you’re about to get much closer.
Arenal Volcano stands 5,437 feet tall, looming over the surrounding green hillsides as well as its visitors. You’ll take a gentle hike along the lower slopes, soaking up the extraordinary views, then follow the trail into the forest to see the area that was destroyed in the volcano’s first recorded eruption in 1968
Day 7 Arenal – Monteverde
Sail or drive over to Monteverde, a town founded in the 1950s by American Quakers. Check into your lodge and get ready to explore the cloud forest tomorrow.
Day 8 Monteverde
Spend your morning in the atmospheric Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, following your guide along sections of the 13-kilometre trail network. There are over 500 species of birds here, including the majestic quetzal and the three-wattle bellbird. The reserve is also home to the largest diversity of orchids in the world.
The afternoon’s free for relaxing – or taking another tour if you’re so inclined.
Day 9 – 11 Tamarindo
After all that hiking, travel by shuttle or car to the North Pacific coast for a relaxing beach stay in Tamarindo.
Day 12 Tamarindo – San José
Time to return to San José to enjoy your final evening in beautiful Costa Rica.
Day 13 Heading homeward
Savour your last breakfast before catching your flight home.
*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