Essential Costa Rica Wildlife

A classic Costa Rica tour covering all of the country’s main highlights including a trip to a coffee plantation, Tortuguero, the Arenal volcano, cloud forest and the beach!

Places you visit: Central Valley – Tortuguero – Arenal – Monteverde – Manuel Antonio

five star trustpilot logo

” Fantastic company with great personal touches. Would definitely recommend to a friend.”

Charlotte, June 2018.

john white background square small

Have a question?

Speak to someone who has been to Costa Rica on +44 208 191 7772 or send an enquiry.

Tour Itinerary

View a day by day summary below or

Day 1: Arrival to San Jose

view of finca rosa blanca in costa rica with a rainbow

On arrival to San Jose you will be met by your friendly English speaking driver guide who will help you with your luggage and welcome you to Costa Rica. They will take you by private transfer straight to your hotel in the Central Valley just outside the city (about 30 minutes depending on traffic). The rest of the afternoon and evening is at your leisure.

Meals Included: None today

Suggested Accommodation: Finca Rosa Blanca

Day 2: Coffee Tour

picking coffee on finca rosa blanca coffee tour in costa rica

Today you will have a guided tour of an organic, shade grown coffee plantation. This fantastic tour is the perfect way to learn about all aspects of coffee production from growing to harvesting, drying, roasting and then packing. Your guide will show you how the coffee beans are grown and you will also visit the “Beneficio” where the beans are sorted, dried and processed. After this continue to the roasting and packing house full of the wonderful aromas of fresh coffee! After the tour enjoy a tasting with homemade biscuits.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Finca Rosa Blanca

Day 3: Journey to Tortuguero

tortuguero jungle canals in costa rica

Private transfer from your hotel to a town called Guapiles through the Braulio Carillo national park. After about 2 hours driving you stop for breakfast. From here continue by bus past tropical fruit plantations until you get to the river where you board a boat for the final part of the journey, a two hour trip down the river – keep your eyes open for caiman!  After lunch at your lodge you will have a tour of the nearby Tortuguero village and turtle museum. You will also have some free time to explore independently before returning to the lodge for dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Suggested Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

Day 4: Exploring the jungle canals by boat

tortuguero jungle canals boat tour in costa rica

This morning enjoy a guided visit to the Mawamba Park where you will find two butterfly gardens, a frog garden and an area for river turtles. Your guide will teach you about the different species of local wildlife and the conservation efforts made to protect them. After lunch you will take a boat trip along the canals of Tortuguero National Park. Spend the afternoon spotting caiman, several types of monkeys, hundreds of species of birds, sloths, river turtles, many different lizards and sometimes even Jaguar (although they are extremely rare!)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Suggested Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

Day 5: Tortuguero to Arenal

arenal volcano tour in costa rica

After breakfast depart the lodge by boat. You will be taken by to the dock where you will have time to use the facilities before setting off back to Guapiles in time for lunch. After lunch you will be taken by private transfer to your hotel in Arenal (about a 2 hour drive). After checking into your hotel the rest of the afternoon and evening is at leisure to relax by the pool!

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch

Suggested Accommodation: Arenal Springs

Day 6: Arenal Hanging Bridges

hanging bridges tour arenal costa rica

A unique way to experience the primary rainforest up close from the tops of the trees. A total of 16 bridges the longest of which is 97 metres form a nature trail of 3.2km across the forest canopy.  Your naturalist guide will teach you about this unique eco system and point out the huge variety of flora and fauna that can be found in the reserve. There are impressive views of the volcano and Arenal lake so don’t forget to bring your camera!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Arenal Springs

Day 7: Arenal Lake Crossing to Monteverde

belmar hotel facade in monteverde costa rica

Start your journey to Monteverde with a private transfer to the shores of Lake Arenal (about 15 minutes). From here you will board a small boat to take you across to the other side of the lake (about 1 hour). This is a scenic trip with great views of the surrounding landscapes. After the boat trip you will be taken by private transfer the remainder of the journey to your hotel in the Monteverde cloud forest region (about 2 hours 15 minutes). Evening at leisure.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Belmar Hotel

Day 8: The Santa Elena Reserve

resplendent quetzal in monteverde reserve costa rica

Santa Elena is a lesser explored cloud forest reserve and has less crowds than the Monteverde reserve. The reserve is managed by the local community and the income from the entrance fee is used to help protect and maintain the fragile eco system and promote better environmental education in the local schools. Experience the silence and tranquility of the forest as the clouds drift in and out creating a unique mysterious atmosphere. Your naturalist guide will lead you through the hanging vines pointing out different flora and fauna on the way.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Belmar Hotel

Day 9: Monteverde to the Pacific coast

view from the pool at the parador hotel in manuel antonio costa rica

You will be picked up at your hotel in the morning after breakfast and taken by private transfer to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast (between 3 and 4 hours) where you will be dropped at your hotel. There are local restaurants along the way that your driver can recommend should you wish to stop for lunch or a comfort break. After check in the rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax by the pool and enjoy the view!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Parador Resort & Spa

Day 10: Manuel Antonio National Park

manuel antonio national park beach costa rica

Manuel Antonio is the nation’s smallest, but arguably the prettiest national park. With thick jungle emerging onto white sand beaches, it is a picture perfect tropical paradise. Your guide will lead you on an informative walk along the trails as you look for wildlife. All four species of monkeys can be found in the park, one of the only areas in Costa Rica where this is possible, along with lots of other wildlife. After the walk enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea before returning to the hotel by lunch time.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Parador Resort & Spa

Days 11 & 12: Free days at leisure on the beach

woman having a massage at the parador hotel spa costa rica

End your trip relaxing by the hotel pool, taking a trip to the beach, or indulging in a spa treatment. For the more active kayaking excursions, catamaran tours, horse riding and river rafting are all available. Please let us know if you would like us to arrange any additional excursions.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Parador Resort & Spa

Day 13: Departure

plane flying into the sunset

Check-out and private transfer from your hotel to the airport for your return international flight. End your trip here or extend to visit the Osa Peninsular! Call one of our specialists on 0208 191 7772 to start planning your perfect trip!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Remember this trip can be customised to your particular tastes and interests!

Our Suggested Accommodation

This trip can be customised to your style of travel and preferred standard of accommodation. Below is our suggested accommodation for this trip.

Tour Inclusions

  • All accommodation
  • All internal flights
  • All tours as specified in the itinerary
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary
  • All transfers and transportation
  • All national park entrance fees
  • All other entrance fees
  • 24 hour emergency assistance
  • 100% financial protection with our ATOL license & ABTA membership
  • Our exclusive 100+ page trip guidebook, personalised to your trip
  • Full support from your dedicated specialist
  • International flights – we can include these for you, just ask us for a quote
  • Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides
  • Travel insurance

Destinations you visit on this tour

Book this tour

Start planning your trip by calling us on 0208 191 7772 or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you within one working day.

All trips are operated by HeadsEast Ltd, UK Company registration number 6717612
© Copyright 2008-19 HeadsEast Ltd

ABTA Logo White
ATOL Logo White
LATA logo
british airways logo small