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Speak to an expert who has travelled in Costa Rica on 44 020 8191 7772

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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 to cover any medical treatment.

About this tour

One of our most popular tours, this classic itinerary covers all of Costa Rica’s main highlights and some of the best destinations for viewing wildlife. Begin in The Central Valley famous for its coffee plantations before taking a light aircraft flight to Tortuguero for jungle canals. Head back inland to Arenal for nature, hot springs and the volcano then continue to Monteverde for the misty cloud forest reserve. Finish up on the picture-perfect tropical pacific coast at Manuel Antonio for the incredible national park and relaxation.

Speak to an expert who has been to Costa Rica on 44 020 8191 7772 or toll free from the USA on 0018448806752 Alternatively get in touch via email at [email protected]

Remember this tour can be tailor made to fit your requirements!


Day 1 - Meet and greet at airport, transfer to hotel

On arrival in San Jose you will be met by your friendly English speaking driver guide who will help you with your luggage, welcome you to Costa Rica and provide you with bottled water. They will then 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 - Day at leisure in the Central Valley

Your first full day in Costa Rica is at leisure to relax and adjust to the new time zone or venture out and explore the surrounding area. Please ask if you would like us to organise an additional excursion for today. There are many different activities available across all our destinations in Costa Rica. Speak to one of our dedicated Latin America experts about organising activities that are perfectly suited to your particular interests.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Finca Rosa Blanca

Day 3 - Journey to Tortuguero

This morning you will be picked up from your hotel between 06:00am and 07:00am by air conditioned minibus. You have a scenic two hour journey through Braulio Carillo national park before arriving at the town of Guápiles for breakfast around 08:00am. After breakfast the journey continues for another 1.5 hours past banana plantations where you can stop to see the bananas being picked and processed. At approximately 11:00am you arrive to the dock. Here there is a shop, toilets and a shaded area that you can use before boarding the lodge’s private boat for the final leg of the journey. The boat trip takes about an hour along the La Suerte and then Tortuguero rivers and is a great opportunity to spot wildlife. On arrival to the lodge you will be greeted with a refreshing welcome cocktail, checked into your room and shown to the restaurant for a buffet lunch.

Tortuguero Village Tour

This afternoon your guide will take you on a tour of the nearby Tortuguero village. You will learn about the 1200 inhabitants way of life and have some free time to explore on your own. The village is located 1 mile from the lodge and you can walk along the beach to get there. Should you prefer to get a boat back instead of walking, just inform your guide who can arrange it for you.  A buffet dinner is served between 07:30pm and 09:00pm back at the lodge.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Suggested Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

Day 4 - Exploring the jungle canals

Breakfast is served buffet style between 07:30am and 09:00am. About 09:30am your naturalist guide will take you on a group guided visit to the on-site Mawamba park, a private facility that features two butterfly gardens, a frog garden, a river turtles area and a bio-digester that converts the lodge’s sewage into a natural source of methane gas then used to heat the stoves. Your guide will teach you about the local wildlife and explain the lodge’s conservation and sustainability efforts. A buffet lunch is served back at the lodge from 12:30pm.

red arrow frog costa rica

Boat trip to Tortuguero national park jungle canals

At about 2pm your guide will take you on a boat trip along the canals of Tortuguero national park. They will explain the history of the park and the conservation efforts that are made to protect the incredible biodiversity that exists within it. 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).  Return to the lodge for some free time to relax before dinner from 07:30pm.

wildlife spotting along the tortuguero canals

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Suggested Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

Day 5 - Journey to Arenal Volcano

Breakfast is served at the restaurant at 07:30am and you are asked to be checked out of your room by 08:30am for the 09:00am departure by boat back to the main dock. Arrival to the dock is approximately 11:00am where you will be able to use the facilities. After a brief stop you continue by air conditioned minibus to Guápiles arriving around 01:00pm where you will stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch you will be met by your private English speaking driver guide and taken by private transfer to Arenal, a journey of about 2 hours. On arrival to Arenal you will be dropped at your hotel, welcomed by the staff and checked in to your room. The rest of the afternoon and evening is at your leisure.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch

Suggested Accommodation: Arenal Springs

Day 6 - Hanging Bridges nature walk

A total of 16 bridges the longest of which is 97 metres form a nature trail of 3.2km across the forest canopy. A unique way to experience the primary rainforest up close from the tops of the trees. Your naturalist guide will explain to 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 your camera!

Our Top Tips: Bring a bottle of water, suncream, insect repellent, a light waterproof or poncho in case of rain, waterproof protection for electronic devices and wear good shoes (no sandals or flip flops).

Our suggestion: This excursion is also available at night – you won’t get the views that you do in the day, but you see different wildlife, namely more snakes, spiders and frogs!

Arenal Hanging Bridges Nature Walk

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Arenal Springs

Day 7 - Arenal lake crossing to Monteverde

You will be picked up at your hotel and taken by private transfer to the shores of Lake Arenal (about 15 minutes) From here you will board a small private boat to take you across to the other side of the lake (about 1 hour). On arrival to the dock at Rio Chiquito 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).

The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax in your hotel or take an optional excursion.

Suggestion from us: There is a private trail on your hotel property that you can explore, or you can brave the steep 3km trail called Cerro Amigos which begins from your hotel. It is a fairly tough climb but if it is a clear day then the views are worth it.

belmar hotel grounds monteverde

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Hotel Belmar

Day 8 - The Santa Elena reserve

Inaugurated in 1992 this young 730 acre reserve is little explored. Experience the silence and tranquility of the forest as the clouds drift in and out creating a unique mysterious atmosphere. Hanging vines and dangling roots sweep across the paths as your naturalist guide explains the different sounds of birds and other animals that echo throughout the forest. On a clear day it is possible to see the Arenal Volcano. The reserve is managed by the local community and the income from the entrance fees is used to help protect and maintain the fragile eco system and promote better environmental education in the local schools.

Top Tip: We recommend the Santa Elena Reserve rather than the Monteverde Reserve because it is less busy and the opportunities for spotting birds and wildlife are better with fewer people on the trails.

Recommendation: Bring water, good shoes and a light waterproof or poncho in case of rain.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Hotel Belmar

Day 9 - Monteverde to the Pacific coast

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.

Our private vehicles are all air conditioned, include complimentary bottled water and some even have wi-fi on board.

Once you have checked into your room the rest of the day is at leisure to relax by the pool.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: The Parador

Day 10 - Manuel Antonio national park

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.

Top Tip: Make sure you bring your swimming costume, sun cream and plenty of water.

manuel antonio national park beach

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: The Parador

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

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, horse riding and river rafting excursions are available, just ask us for our recommendations.

All the excursions listed in this itinerary are just examples of the many options available. Speak to your dedicated Latin America specialist about designing your perfect trip.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: The Parador

Day 13 - Transfer to the airport for departure

Check-out and private transfer from your hotel to the airport (about 2.5 hours) for your return international flight.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Below is our suggested accommodation for this tour. Our Costa Rica experts have intimate knowledge of all the accommodation options available. Speak to one of our specialists about the type of accommodation you would like to include.

Destinations Visited On This Tour

Click the links below to find out more about the destinations visited in this tour.

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