Toucan in Sarapiqui (shutterstock_379352038)
FROM: R98,165 pp
Costa Rica Explorer - 12 days map

Discover Costa Rica's highlights on this 12 day small group adventure. Visit Tortugero Jungle, Trimbina and Monteverde Reserves. Take a walking trail in Celeste, Tenorio Volcano, Carara National Park and have your binoculars ready to spot monkeys, sloths, tropical birds and other wildlife in their bewitching natural environment.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Monteverde National Park - Hike through the beautiful cloud forest, shrouded in a canopy of cloud and home to a wonderful array of flora and fauna
Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve - Enjoy a guided natural walk spotting a variety of mammals and insects
Tenorio Volcano National Park - Hike the new up and coming destinations for nature lovers and adventure seekers, established to protect tracts of primary and dry tropical forest
Tortuguero Jungle Reserve - Explore the waterways of this beautiful national park, which is home to a Green Sea Turtle nesting ground
Selvatura Park- Zip line through the conservation area & walk over its trail system which includes seven suspension bridges crossing the deep canyons at treetop level
Carara National Park Pacific coast, with a completely different vegetation zone of Pacific tropical dry forest.

Included

11 nights 3-4 star hotels/guesthouses
Arrival and departure transfer on days 1 and day 12
Escorted by an English speaking local naturalist guide
Nature walk in Tirimbina Rainforest reserve
Excursions to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Selvatura hanging bridges
Breakfast daily, 5 lunches and 10 dinners
Transfers and transportation in private vehicles and boats
Boat trip down the canals of Tortuguero
Tenorio Volcano National Park and Rio Celeste hike
Cooking class at local finca

Not Included

International flights and visas
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Departure taxes or border taxes
Tortuguero local entry fee - USD $15

Itinerary

Day 1

San Jose

Upon arrival into San Jose airport you will be met and and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to start exploring the capital or just to relax in the hotel.
Overnight: San Jose  |  Breakfast

Day 2

Tortugero Jungle Reserve

San Jose - Tortugero. Today we head off to discover the Caribbean coast with a few days of rewarding wildlife spotting. Unlike the Caribbean of resort hotels, sugary beaches and Pina Coladas, this is a true wilderness. Our journey takes us northeast through Braulio Camillo National Park, including a short bumpy ride through banana plantations to La Pavona dock. We then take a boat along the shore, with its twisted mangrove swamps, stopping to observe plants and wildlife, until we reach the ramshackle and remote village of Tortuguero. Known for its proliferation of turtles (nesting Jul-Oct), Tortugero will serve as our home for the next two nights.
Overnight: Tortuguero  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Boat Trip to Tortuguero

This morning we head out on a wildlife adventure boat trip through the mangrove forest of Toruguero National park. With 11 different varieties of natural habitats and a large range of endemic wildlife, this is one of the last protected areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. Here, we have ample of opportunities to spot the three species of monkeys (spider, howler, and white-faced) swinging from branch to branch while lazier three-toed sloths doze in the shade and be sure to spot any river otters in the natural inland channels. The mangroves is also home to over 320 species of birds including three of toucan and eight of parrot.
Overnight: Tortuguero  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Sarapiqui

After breakfast, we start our day back on the water to explore more of these spidery channels. We continue our journey with a drive to the Sarapiqui region, a fertile plain with focus for conservation with a number of eco-tourism projects. Dispersed between the banana and pineapple plantation, there are forested national parks. Rio Sarapiquí is becoming popular for rafting on the fast-flowing waters, bird-watching and numerous other activities in the area including mountain-biking, boat trips and canopying.
Overnight: Sarapiqui   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve

Today we take a morning walk to the Trimbina Reserve, catered to research and recreation of the rainforest environment. Founded to preserve one of the few remaining stands of intact tropical forest on mountainous slopes in Central America. To make our journey more exhilarating, we take a walk on a suspension bridge, followed by a canopy walkway and an educational walk of the rainforest museum. We have many opportunities to spot variety of mammals and insects. If we are lucky! We can see a few nocturnal animals, fast asleep.
Breakfast, Dinner

Days 6-7

Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano NP

This morning we make our way to the town of Bijagua, nestled between two volcanos (Tenorio and Miravalles) will be our home for the next two days. Bijagua is a perfect place for our exploration of Tenorio Volcano National Park, established in 1997 to protect tracts of primary and dry tropical forest. Many of the trails within the park is still under construction and considered one of the new up coming destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. If there is time after our exploration during these two days, explore the town of Bijagua at leisure either on foot or horseback/mountain bike.

Day 7 bring forth a moderately challenging 6km hike to the remarkably striking turquoise coloured Rio Celeste. During our walk keep an eye out for monkeys, sloths, tropical birds and other wildlife. As we make our way along the banks of the rivers, taking in the vivid blue colour of the waters. we arrive at the breath-takingly beautiful waterfalls of Celeste.
Overnight: Alajuela  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1, Dinner x 1

Day 8

Monteverde

Our adventure for the day begins as we board our vehicle heading towards Monteverde, following a bumpy road with volcanic rocks, winding up through the hills to the cloud forest at 1,400m above sea level. During our journey, we will be diverted by wildlife we spot along the way- have your binoculars handy. Our lodge for the night is close to the village of Santa Elena, which will serve as the hub to visit Monteverde National Park.
Overnight: Monteverde  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve

This morning we take a walk to the Selvatura Park, a conservation area offering many activities including zip lines. Our walk on a trail system includes seven suspension bridges crossing the deep canyons at treetop level. This afternoon we have a guided walk in the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve, home to more than 100 species of mammals, 400 of birds and 1,500 of plants. During our walk we may encounter the brilliantly feathered quetzal (Jan – Jul). The reserve is home to six different life zones, here we can enjoy a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10

Carara National Park

This morning we head to Carara National Park, taking the journey towards the pacific coast we enter a completely different vegetation zone of Pacific tropical dry forest. Carara is famous for its bright scarlet macaws and giant crocodiles, which sprawl on the beaches of the Tarcoles river – we’ll view them safely from a bridge! Late afternoon we will arrive at Finca Ecologica La Trinidad, here we have a cookery lesson on the premises. There is also free time to take optional horseback ride (book and pay locally).
Overnight: Carara  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11

Free day at Carara NP

Today is free to spend at leisure. Relax in the lodge taking in the forest, river and the ocean or take advantage of the less dense forest and take a walking trail to spot Carara's wildlife.
Overnight: Carara  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12

San Jose

Today our Costa Rican adventure comes to an end. If you decide to stay on for a few more days in this beguiling country, perhaps for some beach time at Manuel Antonio where there’s a range of good accommodation, a monkey-filled national park and sweeping golden Pacific sands.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers wanting the privacy of a single room.

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Guaranteed Departure
2024
Twin Share
Single Room
R98,165
R121,925
2025
Twin Share
Single Room
R100,235
R120,925
R100,235
R120,925
R100,235
R120,925

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Pre Tour Accommodation - San Jose
R1,955
R3,135
Post Tour Accommodation - San Jose
R1,955
R3,135
Pre/Post Tour Airport Transfer - San Jose
R1,725
R1,725

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Laguna Lodge, Tortuguero

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Lodge

Combining style, comfort and personalised service, the Laguna Lodge invites guests to experience ecotourism at its best. The charming guest rooms offer views to the gardens and forest that surrounds the lodge with comfortable chairs out on the balcony for those who enjoy fresh air. Featuring drift wood that has been collected from the local beach and treated in the lodge's very own workshop, the open air restaurant is the ideal place to dine whilst soaking up the exotic views. The Laguna Lodge is located on a narrow strip of land between the sea and the Tortuguero Channel.

La Baula Lodge, Tortuguero

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Standard Lodge

Strategically positioned in front of the Tortuguero Lagoon, this rustic lodge features Caribbean style and brightly coloured decor. Due to its remote location, guestrooms are simple yet comfortable, with a ceiling fan and private bathroom. Whilst in-room luxuries may be lacking, this is more than made up for by the smiles and service of the staff. There is also an outdoor pool and restaurant, serving delicious regional cuisine with live music. And look out for the local wildlife, the lush gardens are filled with monkeys, toucans and more.

Monteverde Country Lodge, Monteverde

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Combining cosy rustic style with comfortable facilities, the Monteverde Country Lodge offers a warm welcome to its guests. The neatly kept gardens are a lovely place to relax whilst the wooden guest rooms offer an escape in one of the world's most famous cloud forests. Located less than 10 minutes away from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve and in a walk-able distance from Santa Elena Downtown.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
San Jose
Ends
San Jose
Departs
Tuesdays
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 20
Hotel Rating
3-4 star accommodation
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by tour leader
Meals
Breakfast: 12, Lunch: 5, Dinner: 9
Countries
Minimum Age
12 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
Yes
Tortuguero Highlight
Tortuguero Highlight
Iquitos - Sloth
Sun rising over the verdant mountains of Monteverde
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