Costa Rica - Nature's Paradise
8 nights. March 2021 - November 2022. From £2488.00.
The heart of Central America
Experience eco-friendly wildlife encounters and some of the world’s most colourful birdlife in one of the world’s most breath-taking ecosystems. Fly direct from Gatwick for an incredible opportunity to experience Costa Rica's amazing natural beauty. Encounter some the rarest and most colourful wildlife on the planet - including hummingbirds, sloths, monkeys and caiman - and stay in the heart of Tortuguero National Park on the jungle-clad banks of a glorious lagoon. see the brooding mass of the Arenal volcano, and explore the canopy of Monteverde's majestic cloud forest.
What's IncludedSeven nights' bed and breakfast accommodation at hotels in San Jose (1 night), Tortuguero (2), La Fortuna (2) and Monteverde (2), plus one night on the aircraft
Four lunches and three dinners (including a floating-restaurant dinner in Tortuguero)
Return direct flights from Gatwick to San Jose with British Airways
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
Holiday HighlightsEncounter Tortuguero's wildlife from Mawamba Lodge
Stay in La Fortuna, close to Arenal's 'perfect' volcano
Follow Selvatura's hanging bridges through the rainforest canopy
Journey by boat through the rainforest to Tortuguero National Park
Enjoy dinner at a floating restaurant
Visit the hot springs at Eco Termales
Enjoy a Rainforest Chocolate tour
Late-summer visitors may see Green Turtles nesting
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Fly to San Jose, the friendly, cosmopolitan capital of Costa Rica. Meet your tour manager and transfer to your hotel, then rest and relax after your journey.
Day 2Very early this morning, we'll board the coach and head east, through the spectacular jungle landscapes of Braulio Carrillo National Park, towards the Caribbean. After an en-route stop for breakfast, you'll arrive at the pier in Cano Blanco or Pavona, and board a canal boat for the last part of the journey, to fiercely protected Tortuguero National Park the very edge of the Caribbean Sea. You’ll spend two nights at Mawamba Lodge, in the heart of this exotic paradise, a ribbon of thick rainforest criss-crossed by canals and waterways, and home to an amazing diversity of bird and wildlife - turtles, monkeys and manatees, and some 375 species of bird. Settle in to your surroundings, which include colourful butterfly gardens, frog and iguana gardens, walking trails and a swimming pool.
Day 3Early this morning you'll have the chance to see the astonishing wildlife of Costa Rica come to life as a new day begins, on an optional tour through the backwater canals in the company of an expert guide - a great opportunity for wildlife sightings. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then head out once more for a full-day tour of the park. Hidden within the landscape of waterways and tropical forest you may be lucky enough to see monkeys and manatees, sloths and caimans, tiny turtles and toucan, as well as macaws, iguanas and water-walking 'Jesus Christ' lizards. The park is also a vital nesting site for both green and leatherback turtles, and visitors in September will have the opportunity to visit the hatching site where (with luck) newly hatched turtles will be emerging! Complete your stay in this amazing place with dinner at the lodge's floating restaurant, this evening.
Day 4Bidding farewell to Tortuguero, you'll travel back through the rainforest by boat, and then across the Costa Rican lowlands by coach to La Fortuna for a two-night stay with views of majestic Arenal. After 40 years, the eruptions of this exceptionally active volcano have finally died down, but the region is blessed with hot springs and thermal baths, including those at Eco Termales that you'll visit this evening.
Day 5Learn about the secrets and history of chocolate production, from cacao pods to ceremonial drinks and confectionery bars, on a fascinating Rainforest Chocolate Tour, this morning. This afternoon, the energetic can burn off any overindulgences on a gentle hike through the volcanic landscape to the El Silencio look-out point where you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the volcanic slopes. We'll return to the hotel in La Fortuna this evening.
Day 6Today, you'll head around Lake Arenal and make our way to into the cloud forests of Monteverde, where private conservation sites and reserves protect wildlife communities quite unlike those elsewhere in the country. Spend two nights amid lush, dense forests that are home to an incredible diversity of birds, including the exotic resplendent quetzal, as well as rare species like jaguars and pumas. Enjoy an excursion to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (so called because of the fine mist that shrouds it, this afternoon, then rest and relax at the hotel this evening.
Day 7Today we'll follow the 1.9km trail over eight bridges through the lush rainforest canopy of Selvatura Park, for the chance to encounter yet more of Costa Rica’s native species. Visit the Hummingbird Garden, which brings you into close contact with these sparkling creatures, and the wonderful Butterfly Garden. Enjoy lunch during the visit, and perhaps dare to ride Selvatura Park's 15 zip lines (the longest of which is one kilometre long!) through the cloud-forest canopy on an optional excursion. Afterwards, we'll return to the hotel for a last evening.
Day 8After breakfast, you'll return to the airport to board your overnight flight back to the UK.
Day 9Arrive back in the UK, at the end of an extraordinary glimpse of nature’s wonders and a thoroughly enjoyable stay in a truly stunning corner of the world. Back to top
Small group toursGroup sizes on each departure on this tour are restricted to a maximum of 24 people. The usual group size is between 16 and 20. As a result you'll be able to travel in smaller vehicles, enjoy experiences and encounters (and in some cases even stay in wonderful little places) that are denied to larger groups.
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
Turtle hatching time in TortugueroDepartures in September may have the chance to see baby green turtles hatching at the nesting sites along Tortuguero's 22 miles of beaches.
Passports and visasBritish citizens do not require a visa to visit Costa Rica. Passports must be valid for one day beyond your stay in Costa Rica.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
Departure taxA departure tax of $29 US per person is included in your airline ticket price. Payment on departure from San Jose is not required.
Luggage allowanceYou are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg. Please take an overnight bag, though, as luggage is limited to 11kgs for nights two and in Tortuguero National Park.
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Travel vaccinationsRequirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotelsShould circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents. Back to top