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Costa Rica Coast to Coast

12 days from £1695pp plus international flights.

Lie back on an unspoilt Caribbean beach, take a boat ride through lush rainforest, scale a canopy walkway, bathe in hot springs and experience the thrill of galloping across miles of golden sand... and that's just the start!

We've captured the essence of this small but perfectly formed country in this 12-day holiday which gives you time on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts as well as exploring the mountainous hinterland. The scenery is stunning - you'll find yourself reaching for your camera at every turn - and the colours dazzling, from the azure ocean to the emerald rainforest, vivid coral reefs to bright floral blooms. There's a vibrancy and vitality that's almost impossible to imagine.
   
You'll be staying in a selection of small lodges and hotels with first class facilities, where you'll experience genuine Costa Rican hospitality. We've made sure there's plenty of that all-important downtime, too, so you'll have free afternoons to laze in the sun, swim in the sea or pool and enjoy some gorgeous food. You'll also have time to meet local people in towns and villages as you travel through the country, witnessing daily life.  

For a first visit to Costa Rica you'd be hard pushed to better this holiday, which perfectly showcases the country's many natural attractions. 

Itinerary
The pool and deck at Alta Hotel

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN SAN JOSE

A local representative will be waiting to meet you at San Jose Airport, to hand over your holiday documents which include a detailed day-by-day itinerary. You'll then be driven to your hotel on the outskirts of the city. The remainder of the day has been left free, giving you time to recover from your journey and look forward to your holiday. Lie back and relax on the sundeck, enjoy a cooling dip in the pool and, later, sample some tasty food in the restaurant.
Dine in style at Shawandha Lodge

DAY 2: TO THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN COAST

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before setting off with your driver to the southern Caribbean coast. Your lodge is in the village of Puerto Viejo de Limon, known for its gorgeous sandy beaches, tropical vegetation and friendly people. The drive will take about 4 hours, so you'll have all afternoon to relax and explore the lodge's facilities. These include lush tropical gardens, a swimming pool and a restaurant serving French-inspired cuisine. Breakfast
The beach at Puerto Viejo de Limon

DAY 3: PUERTO VIEJO DE LIMON

This morning you'll visit Cahuita National Park, which has the largest coral reefs in southern Central America. You can go snorkelling to witness the reef for yourself before setting off for a jungle walk, watching out for howler and white-faced monkeys, sloths, lizards and birds. You'll return to the lodge where you can have an easy afternoon lazing on the beach, swimming in the clear, warm ocean waters and maybe venturing into Puerto Viejo de Limon, meeting local people and buying some souvenirs. Breakfast, lunch  
Turtle on Tortuguero beach

DAY 4: TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK

After an early breakfast you'll head north along the Caribbean coast by boat, travelling along canals with fine views of the verdant rainforest on either side. You'll arrive at your hotel by about midday, for a briefing about the area followed by lunch. Later you'll visit the village of Tortuguero to find out about the lives of local people and learn about the conservation projects designed to protect vulnerable sea turtles, after which the village and park are named, which come ashore between July and September each year to lay their eggs. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 
Aerial view of Tortuguero National Park

DAY 5: TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK

You'll have a full day to spend in Tortuguero National Park. It's just a 5-minute boat ride from the lodge. Precise activities will depend on weather conditions but will probably include a guided hike in the jungle where your guide will point out various animals and plants and explain the role of each in the ecosystem. You may also take a boat trip along one of the many canals, to glimpse mammals, reptiles and colourful birds. It's sure to be an action-packed day with plenty of photo opportunities. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 
Dine in the shadow of Arenal volcano

DAY 6: TO ARENAL VOLCANO

Leaving the coast behind you'll board a boat for the trip to the local dock where a vehicle will be waiting to transfer you inland. You'll have a lunch stop en-route and will see lively scenes of daily life in various towns plus some beautiful scenery and fertile, crop-filled valleys. Later you'll spot the impressive Arenal volcano, one of the most active in the world, a sight to take your breath away. Check in to your hotel this afternoon and unwind after the journey, enjoying views of Arenal. Breakfast, lunch  
The Arenal hanging bridges

DAY 7: ARENAL VOLCANO

Following a leisurely breakfast you'll travel to the Arenal hanging bridges, a series of suspended walkways and platforms in the rainforest and the perfect way to penetrate deep into the jungle canopy in complete safety. Your guide will help you identify the many birds, reptiles, insects and tropical plants. The 3kms of trails offer rich and varied views and the experience is entrancing. The afternoon is free for you to do as you wish, including a visit to Arenal Volcano National Park (extra cost) to learn more about this natural wonder. Breakfast   
Unwind at your ocean-front hotel

DAY 8: TO PAPAGAYO GULF

After some time in the cloud forest you'll continue your westward journey. You'll have time to admire views of Arenal Lake and several rural villages, before arriving at the tropical dry forest of Guanacaste province. Your destination today is the Gulf of Papagayo on the north Pacific coast. You'll be spending the next 3 nights here, so you can unwind and get to know your new surroundings and enjoy the lovely ocean views. Breakfast
Look for howler monkeys in the forest

DAYS 9 & 10: PAPAGAYO GULF

You'll have two full days to rest and relax on the Gulf of Papagayo, a region of pristine beaches backed by dry forest. There are several nature reserves with a diverse range of animal and plant life. You can arrange excursions and activities through your hotel, including nature and canopy walks, river rafting, horse riding and visits to thermal mud baths. Alternatively you might prefer to spend some time perfecting your tan, pausing only for a refreshing swim or cooling drink. Breakfast  
The dining terrace at Alta Hotel

DAY 11: TO SAN JOSE

You'll have a lazy morning on the beach before being driven back to Alta Hotel in San Jose. Having checked in to our hotel the rest of the days is yours to spend as you wish. You can chill by the pool, enjoy views of the valley from your balcony, and sip a cocktail in the bar. Later you can sit down to dinner on the terrace, as you look back over your time in Costa Rica. Breakfast  
Alta Hotel

DAY 12: DEPART SAN JOSE

Your holiday ends today. Having completed breakfast and packed your bags, you'll be collected from the hotel and driven the short distance to the airport, arriving in time to check in for your flight home. Breakfast 
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £1695 (ex. international flights)

Includes: 

 

All transfers as per the itinerary; accommodation as mentioned; meals as shown; Full day Cahuita National Park tour which includes transportation, bilingual guide and entrance fee, walk, snorkeling and lunch.
Two nights / 3 days at Evergreen Lodge, Tortuguero which includes: Ground and boat transportation (Siquirres – Tortuguero – Guapiles), lodging, daily meals, tour to the secondary Tortuguero canals and visit to the Tortuguero Village.
Half day Hanging Bridges Tour which includes transportation, bilingual guide, entrance fee.

Excludes: 

International flights and taxes; travel insurance; meals not shown; drinks; optional excursions and activities at Arenal volcano and the Gulf of Papagayo; tips; items of a personal nature

Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in San Jose. International return flights from the UK will cost from around £600 per person, depending on season, route and availability. We will be happy to look at flights for you.

Departure dates: This is a tailor-made holiday that can begin on the day of your choice, subject to availability. 

places you will see

places you will see

Arenal Volcano
Arenal
The country's most iconic volcano. Lots of adventure activities around here like white-water rafting and horseriding, but also plenty of birdlife and other wildlife.
Aerial view of Papagayo Gulf
Papagayo Gulf
A very popular area for the beachy part of your itinerary. Long sandy beaches, a good range of hotels, and still within easy reach of some national parks if you want a break from lazing on the beach.
San Jose
San Jose
The country's capital city. You're bound to pass through en route as the main international airport is here. So make some time to visit the museums, restaurants and other places of interest.
Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo
A popular destination on the southern Caribbean Coast. A relaxed atmosphere and close to the Gandoca-Manzamillo Wildlife Refuge.
Tortuguero National Park
Cahuita National Park
A reletavely small park known more for its marine protection than land-based wildlife.
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero National Park
One of the most popular parks in Costa Rica. Much of the wildlife viewing is done by boat through the flooded forest.
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facts and information

Time: GMT -6

Flight time: The flying time is about 12 hours from the UK. There are now direct flights from the UK using British Airways. We work with all the major airlines and can offer flights from the UK or via the USA, Panama or a European hub. With the connection times you are looking at around 15 or 16 hours.

Language: Spanish is the official language. English is widely spoken throughout Costa Rica

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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Tribes Tailormade Travel

Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499

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