Essence of Costa Rica
From rainforest to volcanoes, cloud forests and stunning beaches, to waterfalls, wildlife and hot springs; Costa Rica is a nature lovers’ paradise. Packing in a whole lot of adventure, relaxation and the country’s top sights, our Essence of Costa Rica holiday is sure to be an unforgettable trip!
A short stay in Costa Rica’s capital of San Jose means heading out into the central valley to discover turquoise volcanic crater lakes, coffee plantations and waterfalls. Navigate the network of canals and backwaters of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast and keep your eyes peeled for caiman, sloths, monkeys and over 400 species of birds.
The adventure capital of the country, Arenal; is also home to a picture-perfect conical dormant volcano. Surrounded by lava fields, the region is perfect for trekking, mountain biking, zip lining or soaking in the nearby hot springs. A day trip to Caño Negro is said to be one of the country’s best wildlife experiences, this area of wetland is a paradise for birders and animal lovers alike. The cool primary cloud forest region of Monteverde is home to the majestic Resplendent Quetzal.
Head up into the canopies to get a bird’s eye view of the jungle on a network of suspended walkways, spotting birds, butterflies and monkeys along the way. On the lush Pacific Coast, take a few days to relax and soak up the sun on its many sandy beaches. Visit nearby Manuel Antonio National Park or simply disconnect and enjoy the sounds of nature on palm-fringed beaches.
UK – San JoseSan Jose and Central Valley
Catch your direct flight from the UK to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. Check in to the Crowne Plaza Corobici for the next 2 nights. Accommodation Options
San Jose & the Central ValleySan Jose and Central Valley
Today on a private tour, discover the natural wonders of the nearby Central Valley. Doka coffee plantation is the ideal spot to learn about coffee production and sample the different blends, experience a volcano up close at Volcan Poas National Park. At La Paz waterfall gardens, through a network of trails, learn about unique flora and fauna, visit the world’s largest butterfly observatory, hummingbird and bromeliad gardens, a frog pong, serpentarium and 5 striking waterfalls. Accommodation Options
San Jose – TortugueroTortuguero National Park
Leave the city behind as you travel by road and boat towards the Caribbean coast and the canal network of Tortuguero National Park. A visit to Tortuguero offers fantastic opportunities to spot wildlife in varied habitats including tropical rainforest, mangroves, wetlands and along the Caribbean coastline. Evergreen Lodge is located by the canal with calming views towards the rainforest. Accommodation Options
Tortuguero National ParkTortuguero National Park
Accompanied by a local guide, explore Tortuguero National Park by small boat, navigating the network of canals. Spot alligators, iguanas, howler monkeys, snakes and a myriad of bird life as you sail the tranquil waterways. From July to October, a highlight for many is the opportunity to view giant green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. Leatherbacks can also be seen from March to June. Accommodation Options
Tortuguero - ArenalArenal
Sunrise is one of the most active times at Tortuguero for wildlife. Soak up the cacophony of bird chatter as you prepare to depart by boat, then road to Guapiles for lunch. Continue on to Arenal where the main attraction is the conical Arenal volcano. A currently dormant volcano, it is surrounded by old lava fields, volcanic hot springs and a spectacular lake. Spend 2 nights at Mountain Paradise and this evening, relax in nearby hot springs. Accommodation Options
Today visit Caño Negro, close to the Nicaraguan border. Considered one of the most important wetland regions in Central America, this is one of the best places for wildlife viewing. Board a boat down Rio Frio, spotting caiman, sloths, monkeys and turtles along the way. A wide range of birds are found along the river's shores from glossy ibis, stilts, anhinga, wood stork and roseate spoonbills. Accommodation Options
Arenal - MonteverdeMonteverde
Cross Lake Arenal by boat today taking in panoramic views of the nearby volcano on the way to Monteverde. Spend 2 nights in Monteverde and explore its mist-shrouded cloud forest. In the evening, watch how the forest comes alive under the cover of darkness. Accompanied by a guide and a torch, spot brightly coloured frogs, snakes, bats and spiders.
Obtain a bird’s eye view of the jungle as you traverse the canopy via a network of suspended bridges at the Selvatura Walkways. Spot hummingbirds and the iridescent morphos butterflies at the butterfly garden. The cloud forest is home to abundant plant life, insects and birds. Keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal! Accommodation Options
Monteverde - Manuel Antonio National ParkManuel Antonio
Travel by road to Manuel Antonio and swap the temperate climate of the cloud forest for the hotter Pacific Coast. Spend three nights at Si Como No. Ideally located to explore the nearby rainforest, national parks and stunning beaches, the hotel is perfect for both couples and families alike. Accommodation Options
Manuel Antonio National ParkManuel Antonio
The last two full days of your holiday are yours to spend as you wish around the picturesque coastal area of Manuel Antonio. Here you’ll find lots of sandy beaches and many optional activities such as sea kayaking, zip lining and jungle hiking. The Manuel Antonio national park itself is well worth a visit and home to lots of wildlife and nature trails. Accommodation Options
Manuel Antonio National ParkManuel Antonio
A day at leisure to be as busy or relaxed as you like. With an inviting swimming pool with swim-up bar, an animal refuge centre to visit and spectacular views over the Pacific, who needs to leave the hotel? Accommodation Options
San Jose - UK
Today take a private transfer to Manuel Antonio back to San Jose for your return flight to the UK.