Classic Costa Rica

Highlights: San jose - Tortuguero National Park - Sarapiqui - Santa Rosa de Pocosol - La Fortuna - Monteverde - Quepos Other departures: Manchester - £2385, Birmingham - £2355, Glasgow - £2395, Edinburgh - £2395, Bristol - £2465, Norwich - £2455, Newcastle - £2415, Exeter - £2465 Tour starts on the following dates:
5 Dec 19 - 19 Dec 19
7 Dec 19 - 21 Dec 19 Itinerary: Day 1: San jose
Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica!  Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.  With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza, a fantastic place to get comfy and do some people watching. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping head to the out door market in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood. Accommodation: Hotel (1 night) Optional Activities available at an extra charge:
San Jose - Poas Volcano National Park (half-day tour)
San Jose - Poas Volcano National Park, Doka Coffee Tour & La Paz Waterfalls (full-day tour)
San Jose - Irazu Volcano, Ososi Valley & Lankester Botanical Garden (full-day tour)
San Jose - Butterfly farm
San Jose - National Museum
San Jose - Gold Museum
San Jose - Jade Museum There are no meals included on this day. Special Information:
Some departures of this trip are part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip 15 days ago in Mexico City on Discover Mexico & Costa Rica (QVSMC). Please contact our sales team if you wish to book or know more information on these longer combination trips. Day 2: Tortuguero National Park
We leave San Jose and descend to the Caribbean lowlands by local bus (approx 4 hours). The final section of our journey to the port at La Pavona is on an unsealed road. Then take a boat to Tortuguero National Park (approx. 1.5 hours). This area has long been associated with the catching of turtle (tortuguero means turtle-catcher). The original indigenous inhabitants used turtles as a sustainable resource, but the arrival of Europeans led to major exploitation. Tortuguero National Park, established in 1970, is now home to 13 of Costa Rica’s 16 endangered mammals. Among them are manatees, ocelots and jaguars, as well as over 300 bird species. First and foremost, however, it is the nesting ground of the green turtle, which comes ashore between July and October to lay its eggs on the sandy beaches. Lesser numbers of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, plus loggerheads, and giant leatherback turtles also nest within the park at different times of year. Accommodation: Lodge (1 night) Included Activities: Tortuguero National Park - Walking tour Optional Activities available at an extra charge:
Turtle watching night tour
Tortuguero - Sunrise canoe trip around Tortuguero canals Meals Included: Breakfast Day 3: Tortuguero National Park
Today your leader will lead you on a walk around the park's main paths. Keep your eyes peeled to spot monkeys, birds, frogs and perhaps a sloth or two. Accommodation: Lodge (1 night) There are no meals included on this day. Day 4: Sarapiqui
Early in the morning we travel to Sarapiqui in the heart of Costa Rica's banana growing region. First, transfer back to the port by boat (approx 1.5 hours), then continue to Sarapiqui by private minibus (approx 3 hours). On the banks of the Puerto Viejo River and next to the Braulio Carrillo National Park, this budding town is surrounded by virgin forests, and banana and pineapple plantations. Sarapiqui is also known as one of the richest areas in Costa Rica for bird watching. The diversity of lowland bird life is impressive. A biological research station and several nearby forest lodges have made this undisturbed habitat accessible to scientists and travellers. Accommodation: Hotel (1 night) Optional Activities available at an extra charge:
Sarapiqui - La Selva Biological Station
Sarapiqui - Bird watching
Sarapiqui - Chocolate tour at Tirimbina There are no meals included on this day. Day 5: Sarapiqui
There is plenty of free time to explore the jungle that surrounds the town by mountain bike or on foot, or find a comfy spot to watch the colourful birdlife glide by. Alternatively you may wish to satisfy your sweet tooth on a chocolate tour. Accommodation
Hotel (1 night) Meals Included: Breakfast Day 6: Santa Rosa de Pocosol
Travel by private minibus to Santa Rosa de Pocosol (approx 2 hours) where we spend the night in a homestay. Just down the road is the Juanilama agricultural community where we have the option to get to know the local villagers, help with farm chores or take a cooking lesson. Several villagers have built comfortable rooms for guests next to their homes. All rooms have shared facilities. In order to make the most of this homestay experience, it may take a bit of effort from your side to break the ice first. Learn as many Spanish words as you can and get ready for some serious hand language signals. Accommodation
Homestay (1 night) Included Activities: Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Agricultural tour Optional Activities available at an extra charge:
Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Cooking class
Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Soap-making workshop
Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Waterfall hike Meals Included: Half Board Day 7: La Fortuna/Arenal Volcana
Continue by private minibus to La Fortuna (approx 2 hours).  This small town is situated just a few minutes away from Costa Rica's most famous volcano - the majestic Arenal. Accommodation
Hotel (1 night) Optional Activities available at an extra charge:
La Fortuna - Hot springs
La Fortuna - Arenal hanging bridges
La Fortuna - La Fortuna Waterfall
La Fortuna - Cano Negro boat tour
La Fortuna - Stand up paddle board
La Fortuna - Tabacon Hot Springs (entrance, dinner and transport) Meals Included: Breakfast Day 8: La Fortuna
Besides the spectacular views, La Fortuna offers a range of activities such as the 70-metre-high La Fortuna waterfall, stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and watersports on the lake. The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area has a number of thermal springs where hot, lava-heated water gushes to the surface. These springs have been turned into a number of thermal pools and waterfalls, often surrounded by foliage, an ideal chance to relax. Accommodation: Hotel (1 night) There are no meals included on this day. Day 9: Monteverde
Today take the scenic route to Monteverde (approximately 4 hours in total). Travel by shared minibus to Lake Arenal, which we'll cross by boat. On a clear day you'll see fantastic views of the surrounding area. On the other side of the lake, re-board the minibus and continue on to our destination. Monteverde was founded as an agricultural community in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers; they cleared virgin forest to create verdant pastures ideal for dairy farming. These environmentally aware settlers were conscious of the danger that unrestricted settling and farming could cause to this precious habitat. Consequently they established a small privately-owned wildlife sanctuary, which has since grown to become the internationally-renowned Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Preserve. These forests are similar to rainforests, but instead of relying on rain for essential moisture, adequate water comes from the semi-permanent cloud that covers the region. It is lush and full of wildlife. This is truly a nature lover's paradise. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Montverde home. Accommodation: Hotel (1 night) Included Activities: Monteverde - Cloud Forest hike Optional Activities available at an extra charge:
Monteverde - Suspension bridges tour
Monteverde - Zip lining
Monteverde - Coffee & Chocolate tour
Monteverde - Night walk
Monteverde - Butterfly garden and insects farm
Monteverde - Serpentarium There are no meals included on this day. Day 10 - 11: Monteverde
Your leader will take you on a walking tour through the Monteverde National Park. Alternatively, walk through the canopy on suspension bridges or watch butterflies at play in the specially created butterfly garden. The local guides are very knowledgeable about the area and passionate about conservation and in the local communities there are several cooperatives worth visiting. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Monteverde home. Be sure to keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the most elusive birds in the world. Accommodation: Hotel (2 nights) There are no meals included on this day. Day 12: Quepos
Travel to Quepos by private minibus (approx 5 hours). Located close to the beautiful Pacific beaches and exotic wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos is a laidback town with a vibrant nightlife. Accommodation: Hotel (1 night) Optional Activities available at an extra charge:
Manuel Antonio- Sunset sail
Manuel Antonio - Mangrove tour by kayak (with lunch)
Manuel Antonio - Surf/boogie board rental There are no meals included on this day. Day 13: Quepos/ Manuel Antonio NP
Spend your time here enjoying all that Manuel Antonio NP has to offer. Head out for a hike along its many trails, keeping one eye on the great views and the other looking for the abundant wildlife. Monkeys, armadillos, sloths and hundreds of birds are among the species you maybe be able to spot. The park also boasts turquoise seas and white sand beaches, perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing or fishing. It would be easy to spend your whole time here in, or by, the water. Accommodation: Hotel (1 night) Included Activities: Manuel Antonio National Park - entrance There are no meals included on this day. Day 14: San Jose
Take a local bus back to San Jose (approx 4 hours). The buses in this region of hte country are a little more basic but this is a great opportunity to mix with Costa Ricans and get a feel for local life. Arrive back in time for you to pick up some last minute souvenirs at the city's colourful and vibrant markets. Then we can head out for an optional dinner and a final night on the town sampling the huge variety of nightlife. The perfect way to end our adventure. Accommodation: Hotel (1 night) There are no meals included on this day. Day 15: San Jose
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Meals Included: Breakfast

Offer Includes

Flights from London Heathrow with Air France
Airport taxes
14 nights accommodation as per itinerary
Tours, excursions & activities as per itinerary

Meal Plans

  • As per Itinerary