- Travel in a small group of 6 to 16 passengers
- All touring conducted in air-conditioned vehicles
- Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
- Bottled water provided daily
- Travel by coach and boats throughout Costa Rica
Boat, Coach, Ferry
Lush jungle foliage line the riverbanks of some of the world’s best national parks, sandy white beaches stretch along the Caribbean coastline, volcanoes steam over vast lakes and welcoming locals live by the simple concept of Pura Vida; the Pure Life.
Arenal Volcano had an intense period of activity following an eruption in 1968. Decimating three small villages at that time, the volcano remained active until it went dormant in 2010. Arenal Volcano is situated in northern Costa Rica and represents an almost perfect conical-shape. It continues to produce geothermal activity which creates relaxing natural hot springs.
The biodiversity found in Costa Rica’s pristine national parks is second-to-none. A myriad of habitats, from rainforests and mangrove swamps to lagoons and beaches, abound. Rivers and waterfalls create crystal-clear pools, and forests hide an array of animals and birds.
Costa Rica is a country for animal lovers. Spy glass-winged butterflies, hummingbirds, kingfishers, toucans, and macaws flit through the trees. Three-toed sloths hang from the forest canopy whilst spider monkeys swing from tree to tree. Caimans and crocodiles lounge on the shores of many rivers while manatees find their home in the nearby seas. Jaguars and tapirs also call the natural environment of Costa Rica home.
Welcome to the Costa Rican capital of San José, a picturesque city surrounded by mountains and tall volcanoes. Known locally as ''Chepe'', San José started out as a small village with fertile soils. The introduction of coffee has since transformed it into a prominent urban centre.
San José’s downtown is a popular attraction with the pedestrian-only Avenida Central and Plaza de la Cultura. It’s also the perfect people-watching spot that is home to cafés, flower shops, the National Theater (one of the Capital's finest historic buildings), and the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.
On arrival we transfer to our hotel before the evening group welcome dinner.
Tortuguero National Park, located off the country’s northeastern Caribbean coast, is only accessible by boat or air. Its remote location has sustained many turtle habitats including hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback, and even the endangered green turtle. The variety of animal species is nearly endless as you also see manatees, caimans, crocodiles, jaguars, sloths, and more.
For the next two evenings we spend our time at an eco-lodge within the park. This provides the best place to explore the incredible habitats. After lunch we depart from the lodge and board a small boat heading toward the village of Tortuguero. Bordered by the sea and a river, there are no cars on the island. Therefore, we slow down and enjoy Tortuguero’s laid-back atmosphere. We tour the village then learn how to peel and open a coconut to extract the milk and make coconut oil. Finally, we try our hand at making coconut candies over a small garden stove.
[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]
We continue to explore the pristine beauty of Tortuguero National Park today. After breakfast we walk some of the trails surrounding the eco-lodge and visit Mawamba Park, a private facility at the lodge that features two butterfly farms, a frog garden, a bio-digester, and a river turtle area.
The waterways and canals of Tortuguero run through lush yet virtually untouched rainforest thus creating one of Costa Rica’s most secluded national parks. We connect with the vastness of the habitats on a relaxing boat ride along the canals. This offers us an ideal way to see the biodiversity that covers nearly 6,600 acres. We may see spider, howler, and capuchin monkeys frolicking in the treetops. We may see other wildlife such as tropical and migrant birds, sloths, crocodiles, caimans, river turtles, basilisk lizards, and iguanas as well. **From June to October visitors have the opportunity to see leatherback and green turtles nesting in Tortuguero.
[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]
For close to 40 years, Arenal erupted near-daily, making it Costa Rica’s most active volcano. Dormant since 2010, the area around it and the nearby town of La Fortuna still buzzes with activity. This region of northern Costa Rica includes hikes to stunning rainforests with hanging bridges, views of crystal-clear waterfalls, and explorations into fascinating caves. La Fortuna is also a great spot for delicious food and a vibrant nightlife.
Today we depart the lodge and enjoy our time traveling through the Tortuguero area on our way to Arenal Volcano National Park and the town of La Fortuna.
[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]
Arenal Volcano National Park contains 30,000 acres of verdant rainforest and savannas while housing two volcanoes—Arenal and Chato. The massive 1968 eruption of Arenal devastated vast swathes of this area, but nature has bounced back with a vengeance. The flora and fauna continue to create breathtaking experiences.
We embark on a half-day hike through the park, first along a sandy trail then across a lava field formed in 1992. Our guide tells us more about the geography of Costa Rica, the volcanoes, their past activity, and the lasting effects of Arenal. Our hike continues to the top of a cooled magma stream where stunning views of Lake Arenal lie before us.
Returning to our accommodation we have the afternoon to enjoy a well-earned rest after the morning’s hike. Enjoy the time to relax in the hotel’s stunning grounds and indulge in the thermal springs. The water is rich in minerals and naturally heated by the Arenal Volcano and its underground rivers.
[Breakfast and Lunch]
Home to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the quaint township of Monteverde sits high atop the mountain. On a clear day, it is possible to see both the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines and a point along the Continental Divide.
We journey by boat from Arenal Volcano National Park to Monteverde today. Our boat ride affords us beautiful views of the mountains as well as the massive Arenal Volcano, which we pass on our way across the lake. Once we reach the other side of the lake, we transfer to a vehicle and continue to our hotel. Monteverde is a rugged area of cloud forests, rainforests and coffee farms which have seen a major development in eco-tourism since the 1950s. The flora of this reserve is particularly stunning with bromeliads and ferns as well as fauna including the endangered Resplendent Quetzal.
We visit the small town of El Dos de Tilaran today, enjoy lunch in the village, and try our hand at tilapia fishing.
[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]
This morning, on a guided walk, we explore the forest canopy.
The Hanging Bridges of Selvatura is an incredible trail connected by bridges suspended through and over the forest canopy. The view we experience from this perspective is incomparable as we see the forest from above. Our guide will describe and share the plants that are endemic to this part of the rainforest.
Our group departs Monteverde this morning and travels to Manuel Antonio National Park. We stop along the way at the Estuary of Guacalillo and the Tarcoles River where we are able to observe one of the largest populations of the American crocodile, discover the mangrove area and its hidden gems, and see the important conservation efforts for the Scarlet Macaw. A slow boat ride takes us through these unique habitats.
We continue to Manuel Antonio National Park. Though one of Costa Rica’s smallest national parks, Manuel Antonio National Park sits like a jewel on the Pacific Coast. Its white sandy beaches are lined by a lush evergreen forest. Here it is possible to find the endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys, 184 species of birds, and the three-toed sloth. Manuel Antonio also houses 109 other recorded species.
[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]
Manuel Antonio National Park is a favored destination for many travelers to Costa Rica. Along with wildlife, there are plenty of beautiful beaches to relax inside the park.
A hike through the national park gives us plenty of opportunities to spot sloths, monkeys, and exotic birds.
Our afternoon is at leisure to choose from a range of activities. These include river rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, or taking advantage of the hotel’s extensive facilities.
After a delicious breakfast, we depart Manuel Antonio National Park and travel the relatively short distance back to the capital, San José. We have free time and can explore the city with our guide or relax in the hotel. This evening we have a special farewell dinner with our new-found friends.
[Breakfast and Dinner]
Our tour concludes after breakfast. We bid farewell to the simple, relaxed lifestyle of Costa Rica, its stunning wildlife, and its magnificent natural surrounds.
Nestled between the Caribbean Ocean and the Tortuguero Canals, the exquisite Mawamba Lodge is a tropical sanctuary. All rooms are surrounded by tropical garden views and are designed to allow guests to experience the sights and sounds of the rainforest. An attached outdoor porch with a hammock and outdoor furniture gives guests a relaxing haven paired with a spacious and comfortable room. Rooms are equipped with a ceiling fan and safe-deposit box. An outdoor swimming pool and resort style décor completes this relaxing oasis.
Paradise awaits at Arenal Spring Resort with spacious rooms featuring high ceilings, colorful local artwork, air-conditioning, a safe deposit box, and coffee and tea station. The large outdoor swimming pool and natural hot spring pools provide a relaxing atmosphere whilst the expansive gardens and the view of Arenal Volcano keep guests in touch with the natural environment. Three restaurants serve delicious dishes of Costa Rican, Italian, and Japanese cuisine.
Enjoy comfort and relaxation in the heart of Monteverde at Fonda Vela Hotel. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, each room has been designed to connect guests to surrounding nature with large windows providing sweeping views. The swimming pool and jacuzzi area provides a relaxing retreat whilst both onsite restaurants serve delicious food in an inviting atmosphere.
Stretching across 12 acres of rainforest, Hotel Parador Resort and Spa is perched on the Punta Quepos promontory and features sweeping views of the rainforest and coast. The hotel grounds are expansive with 3 idyllic outdoor pools, a spa, fitness center, and 6 restaurants/bars to choose from. All rooms are spacious featuring free wifi, coffee making facilities, a safe-deposit box, and a private balcony.
The fun and vibrant atmosphere of Hotel Presidente is contagious; from the hotel’s brightly colored artwork on its exterior, to the modern rooftop terrace and restaurant. Rooms at the hotel are equipped with free wifi, air-conditioning, and a safe-deposit box. The hotel is a proud recipient of a ‘4 leaf’ rating by the Costa Rican Tourist Board’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program. Conveniently located, the sights of San José are just steps away from Hotel Presidente.
The official currency in Costa Rica is the Costa Rico Colón, although the recommended currency to take on your tour is the US Dollar. When you arrive in Costa Rica you will be able to change your US Dollars into the Costa Rica Colón. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many destinations.
To get the most out of your Small Group Touring Co. tour, you will need a good level of fitness. Our Central America tours require you to be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven ground and climb several flights of stairs. It’s not every day that you come face to face with Central America’s natural beauty, local villages and local wildlife, some of which are located in humid forest areas. We want you to be able to soak up every moment of your tour and create lasting, fond memories of your time in Central America. Please ensure you come prepared to cope with the effects humidity can bring upon people.
We don’t want you to miss out on any aspect of your Small Group Touring Co. tour. To ensure that you don’t, we recommend you arrive at your starting destination by 17.00h in order to take part in your welcome dinner.
*Prices shown are in USD.
The above pricing is based on twin share per person. If you are interested in single pricing please contact one of our tour consultants and they would be glad to assist in providing a detailed proposal including pricing.
Tipping has been included in your tour price for drivers, porters, waiters, any specialist local guides and your small group tour leader.
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