15 days from £2765pp plus international flights.
Travelling from the Caribbean coast to the central valley, across to the Pacific and down to the Osa Peninsula, this holiday takes in contrasting scenery and habitats that are home to a diverse range of wildlife. It'll open your eyes to the rich natural wonders of this small country.
Over the course of two weeks you'll spend time in rainforest, cloudforest and by the coast, exploring on foot and by boat. Throughout you'll be accompanied by a naturalist guide, eager to show you the best his country has to offer in terms of flora and fauna, and to share his knowledge and passion. Howler and capuchin monkeys, toucan, macaws and hummingbirds, frogs in all manner of colours, sloths and turtles are just some of the species you'll become familiar with.
You'll be staying at lodges and hotels, each chosen for its location, comfort and service. Between activities and adventures you'll have time to chill, chatting to other guests, eating tasty Costa Rican food, some days enjoying a dip in the pool and relaxing with a massage.
They say good things come in small packages, and Costa Rica is a case in point. You'd be hard pushed to experience so many landscapes and see so much wildlife in two weeks anywhere else on earth. So grab your camera and pack your bags - it's holiday time!
You'll be met at San Jose airport and driven the short distance to Hotel Presidente. The rest of the day is free for you to relax after your journey. Take things easy at the hotel or venture out into town, enjoying a stroll in one of the parks or sipping a coffee at the Mercado. There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel so you can choose where you dine this evening.
With its network of canals and waterways Tortuguero is best explored from the water. You'll have the chance to join a guided boat excursion, watching for wildlife. Three-toed sloths, capuchin monkeys and crocodiles are often seen and howler monkeys heard, and there are over 400 species of birds. You'll also be able to set out in a canoe or kayak, visiting some of the lagoons. Keep your eyes open for bright green tree frogs and iguanas, among the smaller creatures. This is a wonderful introduction to the richness of Costa Rica. Later you can chat to fellow guests over dinner, swapping experiences. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Leaving Tortuguero you'll head by water and road to Guapiles where lunch will be served. Afterwards the journey continues by land to Sarapiqui, an area less visited than the national parks but no less interesting. The birdlife here is prolific, with both lowland and highland species. You'll be welcomed to Selva Verde Lodge and will have time to settle in before dinner at about 6pm. An hour later you'll have the opportunity to join a nocturnal guided tour, to spot some of the many varieties of amphibians. The red-eyed tree frogs steal the show, but you're likely to see many other species. Back at the lodge you can have a drink at the bar before retiring to bed. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Birdsong just outside your room is your alarm clock this morning! Appropriately your morning excursion will be a guided bird watching walk in the grounds of the lodge. There are numerous birds here, mainly highland species, and your time with the guide will prove invaluable later as you explore for yourself. There are several walking trails to chose between, each showing you different aspects of the cloudforest. You can also visit the orchid garden, with flowers of varying sizes and colours, a wonderful opportunity to see native species in the cloudforest environment. Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel after which you'll be driven to the local airstrip for the flight to San Jose. You'll be met on arrival and will be driven to Hotel Presidente. Depending on the flight time, you may be able to explore the sites of San Jose this afternoon. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £2765 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2018 guide price pp sharing: Jan-April £2895. May-Aug £2765. Please note that holiday periods such as Easter will attract a supplement on the above prices.
Accommodation on a twin-share basis; transfers as per the itinerary; meals as indicated; canal and village tour in Tortuguero National Park; frog night tour and birdwatching tour at Selva Verde Lodge; chocolate tour at Tirimbina; halfday tour in Manuel Antonio National Park; Corcovado National Park tour; Cano Island tour
International flights and taxes; visas: vaccinations; travel insurance; 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 will be happy to look at flights for you.
Departure dates: This is a tailormade holiday and can be taken at any time of year other than September to November, beginning on the day of you choice.
A small cloudforest lodge with abundant bird life, an enchanting orchid and enthusiastic hosts with excellent eco-credentials.
The lodge consists of attractive bungalows, 2 outdoor pools, a restaurant, bar and 170 acres of grounds near Corcovado.
Evergreen Lodge is just 5 minutes from Tortuguero National Park so is an ideal base for boat rides, hikes and wildlife watching.
This contemporary-style hotel combines a convenient location and comfy accommodation making it a popular choice for visitors to the capital.
How this holiday helps
In many ways, no matter which trip you choose from our Costa Rica programme there will be a strong in-built element of sustainability and conservation.
This is because Costa Rica is not only one of the most biologically diverse countries, but also one of the most ecologically-friendly countries in the world. However one of the lodges on this trip (Bosque de Paz) makes a particularly big effort and it shows in so many ways you’ll love.
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Find the best time to visit Costa Rica
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.