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Having grown up in Southern Africa and both lived and travelled extensively throughout Asia, the US and Europe, I am a true explorer at heart. I love discovering new destinations and curating unique experiences for my clients.
Latin America Specialist
- from $3,697 PP
- 13 Nights
- Nov - Apr
- 11hrs from London / 5hrs from NYC
After exploring Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose, you’ll fly to beautiful Tortuguero National Park to stay in a tropical lodge in the heart of the rainforest. Enjoy private, naturalist-led guided tours to view the abundant flora and fauna before traveling to Arenal. You’ll get to help feed animals at a wildlife rescue center, learn to make tortillas and see the incredible array of creatures in Arenal National Park. Dine on mouth-watering food in a gourmet Costa Rican dining experience, tour Monteverde Cloud Forest and Manuel national parks with private guides and tour a coffee plantation too.
Our Flexi - Promise
10% deposit to book
Book your trip with us and pay a reduced deposit with the rest 90 days before your departure
If you are not comfortable travelling, you have the right to cancel and get a refund up to 45 days before your departure
ATOL & ABTOT Protected
Your trip with us is fully financially protected by our travel insurers. Peace of mind guaranteed.
No Change Fees
We will not charge you any admin fees if you would like to change your travel dates or destination with us
- 13 nights comfortable, hand-picked accommodation
- Private airport departure and arrival transfers
- Domestic transfers as per itinerary throughout the trip
- Guided tour of San Jose and Escazu
- Guided naturalist-led tours in Tortuguero National Park
- Wildlife rescue center experience in Arenal
- Tortilla making lesson
- Private guided tour of Arenal National Park
- Lake Arenal boat ride
- Coffee plantation tour
- Daily breakfast plus meals as noted on itinerary
- 24/7 support from our expert staff throughout the trip
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 San Jose: Arrival into San Jose, Costa Rica
Your tropical adventure begins with your arrival into San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. While many travellers fly in and immediately take off for the beaches and rainforest, this city is worth exploring with historic neighbourhoods like Barrio Amon with colonial mansions that have been transformed into art galleries, and Barrio Escalante, the epicenter of San Jose’s mouth-watering food scene. There are also museums of natural history, art, gold and jade. After taking private transfer to your hotel and getting settled in, you might want to enjoy a preview before taking a more in-depth look on a guided tour tomorrow.
Day 2 San Jose: Private Guided Tour of San Jose and Escazu
Your local guide will meet you at your accommodation for a private tour of San Jose and Escazu. You’ll discover rich history, learn about the country’s most famous legends and its culinary scene. Explore Escazu, a trendy neighbourhood famous as the “town of witches,” stroll the spiritual path of churches and head to the lively Central Market to enjoy the atmosphere. You’ll see the largest urban green space in the city, La Sabana, meet a family of artists who are legends for their traditional Costa Rican masks and enjoy tasty local cuisine at an historic eatery before returning to your hotel via private transfer.
Day 3 Tortuguero: Flight from San Jose
Return to San Jose’s airport to catch your short flight to Tortuguero. Upon arrival a staff member of Tortuga Lodge & Gardens will welcome you and transfer you to your accommodation. All rooms provide a beautiful view of the river along with luxurious amenities. Upon your arrival, get settled into your room and unwind with the view, relax in one of the hammocks tucked between the Tortuguero River and rainforest, or perhaps join the optional discovery walk led by a naturalist guide through the gardens. The onsite restaurant serves delicious and authentic Caribbean fare with dining alongside the river.
Day 4 Tortugeuro: Experience the Wildlife on Naturalist-Led Guided Tours
Rise early this morning for a tour through the property’s gardens with a naturalist guide. It’s filled with reptiles, amphibians and exotic birds like the green macaw which feeds on the Mountain Almond Trees. You might spot tiger heron, toucan, howler monkey and boa constrictor too, with early morning the best time to explore and watch for wildlife. A three-hour boat tour, also led by a naturalist guide, brings more opportunities for wildlife watching. In the morning, sightings of caimans, river otters and howler monkeys are common, and in the afternoon, you’re likely to see white faced capuchin monkeys swinging through the trees.
Day 5 Arenal: Transfer from Tortuguero
Traveling to your next destination, you’ll hop on a boat for the one-hour trip to La Pavona in Guapiles. There you’ll be met by private transfer for the approximately three-hour ride to your Arenal accommodation. Arenal Volcano Park is a protected area renowned for its hot springs, volcano and wildlife. The park and surrounding area boast one of the country’s most biodiverse ecosystems with an abundance of natural beauty and trails for hiking and mountain biking. The diverse wildlife includes capuchin monkeys, deer, coati, jaguar, toucans, parrots and much more. After checking into your hotel, enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 6 Arenal: Wildlife Rescue Center Experience & Tortilla Making Lesson
Head to a local wildlife rescue center this morning, with pickup from your hotel. Learn about the facility and its efforts to rehabilitate orphaned and injured animals on a tour before helping to prepare their food and feed them. Next, immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture, visiting Dona Mara for a tortilla making lesson. You’ll be welcomed with a tropical beverage followed by instruction on how to flatten masa dough into perfect circles. They’ll be cooked over a wood-fire stove and served as part of your lunch in the afternoon. After returning to your accommodation, you’ll have the rest of the day to relax.
Day 7 Arenal: Private Guided Tour of Arenal, From the Rainforest to the Volcano
Today your private driver and specialist guide will bring you on a tour of the highlights in Arenal. Take a walk on the hanging bridges that sit high up in the canopy of the rainforest, watching for glimpses of everything from toucans and sloths to lizards and tiny leaf-cutter ants. Travel to the volcano which was among the world’s most active for over 40 years through 2010. Explore the unique ecosystem watching for the wide array of tropical birds, blue morpho butterflies, dart frogs and snakes. Before returning to your hotel, there will be a stop where you can enjoy a gorgeous volcano view.
Day 8 Monteverde: Lake Arenal Boat Ride + Transfer to Monteverde
This morning your private driver will transfer you to Lake Arenal where you’ll enjoy scenic views of the volcano on a 45-minute boat ride across the water. From there, you’ll be met by another vehicle for private transfer to Monteverde, an approximately 4-hour journey. This evening look forward to a unique dining experience, enjoy a seven-course meal among the treetops in an all-glass deck in the forest overlooking Monteverde. The Costa Rican farm-to-table fusion dinner features locally sourced tropical ingredients with a dazzling one-of-a-kind view that’s sure to be one of the highlights of your time in this beautiful country.
Day 9 Monteverde: Private Guided Tour of Monteverde Cloud Forest
This morning you’ll take private transfer from your hotel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, one of Costa Rica’s top attractions. It’s famous for its orchids, boasting some 500 species, the largest number of the flowers in the world. The area is home to many endemic mammals, 91 species of migratory birds, including the famous Resplendent Quetzals, one of the most stunning birds on the planet. There are more than 60 different types of amphibians too, like the golden toad. You’ll enjoy an in-depth tour with your private expert guide, stopping at the hummingbird garden before returning to your hotel.
Day 10 Manuel Antonio: Scenic Transfer from Monteverde
This morning you’ll leave Monteverde, heading to Manuel Antonio by private transfer. Settle in for the six-hour ride, which will include a stop along the way for lunch. In addition to a delicious meal, you’ll enjoy a beautiful view of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Afterwards you’ll continue the drive to your accommodation in the Manuel Antonio National Park area. The park is home to pristine white sandy beaches, lush rainforest, mountains and abundant wildlife, including countless squirrel, howler and capuchin monkeys that can be seen on a guided hike. Upon your arrival, you’ll have the rest of the day to yourself.
Day 11 Manuel Antonio: Private Guided Tour of Manuel Antonio National Park
This morning, your private driver/guide will take you into the park for a guided tour. You’ll get to relax on beaches where monkeys are often wandering around and watch for other creatures with more than 100 mammals here from sloths to coatis, along with iguanas and hundreds of various bird species. After your exciting three-hour excursion, you’ll be returned to your hotel where you can relax and enjoy the rest of the day on your own, or stay in the park and explore, catching a taxi back later in the day. Thrill-seekers might want to experience a high-flying adventure on a zipline course.
Day 12 Manuel Antonio: Day of Leisure
There is no shortage of fun things to do in Manuel Antonio. You’ll have the day to enjoy it on your own, perhaps heading to the park’s miles-long beaches to swim or sunbathe with plenty of privacy. Espadilla Sur Beach, the place to go if you want to learn to surf, and Manuel Antonio Beach, are about a 30-minute hike from the park’s main entrance, but by venturing a little further you can easily find a spot to relax far from the crowds. The hiking trails are sure to bring lots of wildlife sightings, including some of the rainforest’s shyer animals.
Day 13 San Jose: Coffee Plantation Tour + Transfer to San Jose
After checking out of your Manuel Antonio accommodation, you’ll take private transfer to San Jose, with a coffee plantation tour along the way. Here you’ll learn about the discovery of coffee, how it’s been traded and consumed before wandering through the sustainable plantation. Here you’ll be let into the entire process of organic coffee cultivation and harvesting. Between October and January, the harvest season, you can take part in picking the coffee too. Walk through the processing from cleaning berries to drying, concluding by roasting your very own coffee. A “coffee cupping” session will show you how the experts rate it.
Day 14 Departure
Your unforgettable two-week adventure through Costa Rica ends this morning. After checking out of your San Jose hotel you’ll be met by private transfer for the ride to Juan Santamaria International Airport where you’ll catch your flight home.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
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