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Active Costa Rica

13 days from £2655pp plus international flights.

This holiday offers you chances to explore the rich diversity of Costa Rica's wildlife and scenery and indulge your penchant for adventure to the full, as you tear down ziplines, enjoy the thrills of white water rafting, hike in the foothills of a volcano, fly through the forest on a rope swing and go kaykaing in the ocean. You'll see why Costa Rica is sometimes regarded as one big adventure playground!
Throughout the trip you'll see different aspects of this biodiverse country. You'll start on the Caribbean coast exploring the canals and wildlife of Tortuguero, before heading inland through lush rainforest to the foothills of Arenal Volcano, one of the best known sites in the country. Continuing the journey you'll have the time of your life on the canyon adventure at Rio Perdido, before completing the crossing of the country at Playa Potrero on the north west Pacific coast for some beach downtime.
We've selected lovely lodges and hotels along the way, where you'll be able to unwind on your private terrace, relax with a spa treatment, chill by the pool, enjoy some tasty food and experience genuine hospitality from local Tico staff. 
This is a full-on activity and adventure holiday, making the very best of your time in this fascinating country, and will leave you dazzled and thrilled by all your see and experience along the way.   

Itinerary
Hotel Grano de Oro roof terrace

DAY 1: ARRIVE SAN JOSE

Having flown in to San Jose airport you are met and transferred to your city hotel, the lovely Grano de Oro. With nothing else planned for the day you have time to unwind after your journey. The hotel has a lovely rooftop garden with sun loungers and twin jacuzzis, ideal for resting and enjoying the warm sun. If you feel more energetic, San Jose's main street is just a few minutes walk away, with its shops, restaurants and museums.    

Tortuguero National Park canals

DAY 2: TO TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK

You leave the capital behind as you drive north by Braulio Carrillo National Park, stopping en-route for breakfast and local coffee. Time permitting you can visit a banana processing plant to learn about one of the country's prime products. At the port you board a boat to cruise along the wide Tortuguero canals, keeping your eyes open for movement on the banks and in the water, indicating the presence of monkeys, birds and crocodiles. You arrive at the lodge in time for lunch, after which you head into Tortuguero town to tour the museum and spend time at the beach. You return to the lodge for dinner. Breakfast, lunch, dinner      

Watch birds in Tortuguero

DAY 3: TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK

Today you explore Tortuguero National Park. After breakfast at the lodge you can follow a guide on a hike along forest trails, stopping to examine different plants and to watch the wildlife. Alternatively you can take a boat ride along the canals, another great way to experience the diverse flora and fauna. If you're travelling between July and September you have the chance to visit the beach at night to see the green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Breakfast, lunch, dinner      

The gondola to Pacuare Lodge

DAY 4: TO PACUARE

You have breakfast at the lodge before beginning the journey south to Pacuare Lodge, enjoying lunch en-route. The journey takes you through dense jungle and along the banks of the Pacuare River, where you climb into a hanging gondola to cross the water - quite an adventure! It's then just a 300 metre hike to the lodge, where staff  welcome you with a refreshing drink and then show you to your river suite. You have the afternoon free to rest on your terrace or chat to other guests in the lounge. Dinner is eaten by candlelight, and afterwards you can enjoy a nightcap before turning in for the night. Breakfast, lunch, dinner  

The thermal river at Rio Perdido

DAY 5: PACUARE RIVER

You have a free day to enjoy the pristine rainforest by Pacuare Lodge, and the Pacuare River, named one of the world's top 10 scenic rivers by National Geographic. Colourful birds and butterflies, a variety of animals and exotic plants add to the riches of the rainforest. If you feel energetic there's an optional 4 to 5 hour hike into the rainforest mountains. Otherwise you're free to explore at your own pace. Subject to availability, you can round off the day with a special dinner in The Nest, above the rainforest canopy. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Enjoy some fine white water rafting

DAY 6: RAFTING AND TRANSFER TO ARENAL

Having had breakfast you are ready for your next adventure, as you take to the water for some rafting. The next 3-4 hours are action packed, speeding along the river through class III-IV rapids, stopping along the way for a picnic lunch. You are met on conclusion of the river adventure and transferred to your next accommodation, Arenal Springs Hotel. Your junior suite overlooks the gardens, and the hotel is within sight of the impressive sight of Arenal Volcano. Breakfast, lunch    

Hot springs at Arenal

DAY 7: ARENAL HIKE AND HOT SPRINGS

You can have an easy morning, maybe enjoying a lie-in and late breakfast. In the afternoon you join a guided hike at the base of Arenal. The trail leads through lush forest and across a lava flow that destroyed much of the area as recently as 1968. You see evidence of regeneration, as the recovering plant life begins to thrive once more. The thermal hot springs offer a chance for a healthy soak, just the ticket to ease your muscles after the walk. Breakfast, dinner  

Relax with a massage at Rio Perdido

DAY 8: TO RIO PERDIDO

Leaving Arenal behind you are transferred to Rio Perdido Lodge, dramatically perched above two converging rivers. This afternoon you have a chance to follow walking trails in the forest, visit the thermal mineral pools, or relax with a massage at the spa (pay locally). Tonight you can opt to take a guided walk to the thermal river before returning to your cosy bungalow. Breakfast          

The Rio Perdido canyon adventure

DAY 9: CANYON ADVENTURE

Today promises to be a blast! It's your chance to take on the canyon adventure with its mix of wall-mounted platforms, ladders or via ferratas, Tarzan and pendulum swings and zip lines. It's high octane adventure, guaranteed to set the pulse racing and leave you feeling exhilarated. There is also time to enjoy the thermal pools, hot springs and relaxation decks. After this you are ready to head back to the lodge, enjoying a well-earned drink at the bar and replaying the day's highlights in your mind as you regale fellow guests with your stories. Breakfast     

The restaurant at Bahia del Sol

DAY 10: TRANSFER TO POTRERO BEACH

Your journey across Costa Rica continues as you reach the Pacific coast. Bahia del Sol is on Playa Potrero in Guanacaste on the north Pacific coast. Take time to settle in as you are spending the next 3 nights here. Head to the pool for a refreshing swim and lie back on a lounger as you soak up some sun, and wander down to the beach to admire the ocean views. The hotel restaurant is a lovely open-sided building where you are served both local and international dishes within sight and sound of the beach. It's time to unwind. Breakfast  

Enjoy a restful day on Potrero Beach

DAY 11: POTRERO BEACH

Today you are free to do as you wish. The last few days have been busy to you might feel like taking things easy, opting for a quiet day on the beach or by the pool. Bahia del Sol, with its relaxed ambience, lends itself to this perfectly: linger over breakfast as you gaze out over the ocean, then choose your spot for the day and enjoy some sunbathing and swimming, interrupted only by a chilled drink from the bar and a bite of lunch. In the afternoon why not enjoy some pampering at the spa or a soak in the jacuzzi. It's all available on site. Breakfast  

Horse riding at Bahia del Sol

DAY 12: POTRERO BEACH

Another free day on the coast. If you feel ready for some activity kayaking and paddle boarding can be enjoyed, or you can plump for a sailing trip to outlying islands where there are opportunities for swimming and snorkelling. Divers are well caterted for, and you can hope to see rays, turtles, barracuda and shoals of tropical fish. On land you can go horse riding and enjoy walks along the beach. Of course you are perfetcly entitled to opt for another easy beach day, if you prefer. Breakfast 

Breakfast room at Bahia del Sol

DAY 13: DEPART FROM TAMARINDO AIRPORT

It's time for the adventure to conclude. Following breakfast by the beach you are transferred the 30 minutes or so to Tamarindo airport where you take a flight to San Jose to connect with your onward flight. Breakfast 

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £2655 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 2018 guide price pp sharing: Jan-April £3,060. May-June and Sept-Oct £2,655. July-Aug £2,800. Please note that holiday periods such as Easter will attract a supplement on the above prices.

Includes: 

Accommodation on a twin-share basis; transfers as per the itinerary; meals as indicated; canal tour in Tortuguero National Park; visit to Tortuguero village; white water rafting in Pacuare; group hike at Arenal Volcano and visit to the hot springs; canyon adventure and visit to thermal pools at Rio Perdido. 

Excludes: 

International flights and taxes; meals not shown; drinks; optional excursions and activities; 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 can book these 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

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.
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.
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.
Palo Verde is a good birding destination
Palo Verde National Park
This park is best known as a bird watchers paradise. It's in the Gulf of Nicoya and has both wetland and excellent dry forest.
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.
map

customer rating

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WHEN TO VISIT

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facts and information

Time: GMT -6 hours

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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