Uncover the stunning flora and fauna of this technicolour country, with lava-spitting volcanoes, wonderful wildlife and lime-green rainforests glowing with exotic blooms.
Today you’ll depart on your scheduled flight via Madrid to San José, where you will stay for two nights.
This morning you’ll begin to get to know San José, the capital of Costa Rica, with our included tour, which will introduce you to sights such as the National Theatre and the Gold Museum. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this vibrant, culturally-rich city, set in the centre of a ring of mountain peaks.
You’ll leave San José today for the drive to the Tortuguero National Park, one of the country’s most important ecological sites. You’ll see a variety of creatures such as monkeys and sloths, insects and birds, plus a huge range of reptiles – including crocodiles and caymans. Today’s drive will also take you through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, crossing the Continental Divide, from where you will experience breathtaking views of primary forests. Transfer to your lodge by boat for a two-night stay. This afternoon includes a visit to Tortuguero Village, and the Caribbean Conservation Museum to learn about sea turtles.
Your day of included activities features two boat trips (subject to local conditions) through jungle-sheltered canals of the Tortuguero National Park, one of Costa Rica’s most biologically diverse wilderness areas.
Today you’ll travel out of the Tortuguero National Park by boat and continue by road to Muelle de San Carlos, in the area of the Arenal Volcano, for a three-night stay. This magnificent volcano has been active since 1968. It is best viewed on a clear night, when its red and orange hues contrast sharply against the dark sky.
Today you may like to take our optional excursion to the Hanging Bridges of Arenal followed by a visit to La Fortuna. In the late afternoon, you can enjoy an optional visit to the hot springs of Tabacon for views of the Arenal Volcano, with dinner included.
Today is free to enjoy the hotel’s natural setting. Alternatively join our optional boat trip this morning along the Peñas Blancas River, through stunning scenery. This afternoon enjoy an included guided walk through the rainforest.
Today you’ll travel to Monteverde for a two-night stay, along scenic – if a little bumpy – roads. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was set up in the 1950s by American Quakers searching for peace, and today is home to more than 400 species of birds and 100 species of mammal, including the very vocal howler monkey and the resplendent quetzal, an aptly named bird considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world. You’ll take a panoramic tour of Monteverde village before transferring to the hotel. Lunch is included at a coffee farm en route to Monteverde, where you’ll learn all about the process of making coffee, an important part of Costa Rican culture, and in the afternoon you’ll hear an included talk given by a descendent of the original Quaker settlers. You may like to take an optional guided forest walk this evening.
This morning you can enjoy an included visit to a nature reserve, where you’ll learn all about the cloud forest. During the afternoon you can enjoy the facilities at your hotel or join one of the many available optional activities, including a canopy tour and a visit to the frog pond and butterfly gardens.
You’ll drive south to the country’s central Pacific region and the coastal area of Jacó, where a three-night stay has been arranged. This lively seaside village has a good selection of restaurants, bars and shops, all within walking distance of your hotel, where you can relax around one of the two large swimming pools.
This morning you’ll take an included excursion to the Carara National Park, a major centre for ecological research and one of the country’s best areas for birdwatching. Among the many species that call the park their home is the beautiful scarlet macaw. This afternoon, you can join an optional tropical mangrove cruise along the Tarcoles River, where you’ll be able to look out for iguanas and birds as well as crocodiles in their natural habitat – this area is famous for having one of the world’s largest wild crocodile populations.
Today, you’ll take an included trip to Manuel Antonio National Park, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. This beautiful and unspoiled reserve is home to monkeys, toucans and a host of other wonderful wildlife. A guided walk through the park is included, and you can then take time to stroll through the village or spend some time relaxing on the beach.
After breakfast there is the final opportunity to explore the rainforest by taking an optional aerial tram ride before returning to San José to transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK via Madrid.
Today you’ll arrive back in the UK.
Accommodation throughout is in hotels of a comfortable standard, typical of the hotels you will stay in are:
All hotels except the Montaña Monteverde feature a pool and all are of a three-star standard. All guest rooms have en suite facilities.