bing

'Costa Rican Adventures'

What makes this trip special?

Fabulous white-water rafting

Fabulous white-water rafting

Pacuare

Arguably Costa Rica's finest white water and most spectacular river scenery, raft exhilarating class II-IV rapids that tumble through canyons, gorges and rainforest

Costa Rica's most active volcano

Costa Rica's most active volcano

Arenal

Arenal's perfect cone rises above lowlands, spewing smoke and steam, lava and boulders in its active phases. Make sure you visit the hot springs and explore the 'hanging bridges' through the forest. The area has good options for walkers and there's lots to do for adventurous families.

Remote wetland habitat teeming with wildlife

Remote wetland habitat teeming with wildlife

Caño Negro

Near the Nicaraguan border in remote northern Costa Rica, the wetlands and waterways of the Caño Negro Wildlife refuge are home to a huge number of flora and fauna (particularly good for waterbirds) and are an excellent location for natural history viewing. Best explored by boat or kayak.

Ranching and adventure

Ranching and adventure

Rincon de la Vieja

Guanacaste's dusty tropical dry forest is home to Costa Rica's 'sabañeros' or cowboys, as well as being a popular region for outdoor activities - help round up cattle, mountain bike, zip-line, river tube or simply relax in hot-springs and volcanic mud pools

Cloud forest by night

Cloud forest by night

Monteverde

Discover the cloud forest after dark - walk forest trails guided by torch and moonlight with chances of spotting armadillos, bats, frogs, snakes, tarantulas, owls and other nocturnal creatures

Whizzing through the canopy

Whizzing through the canopy

Monteverde

A must for adrenalin-seekers - harness up and head high above the cloud forest canopy for spectacular views and serious speed on some of Costa Rica's fastest zip-lines

Sun, sand and surfing

Sun, sand and surfing

Tamarindo

Once a fishing village, Tamarindo has grown into a lively beach destination with a good choice of hotels, restaurants and amenities. The sea here is rather wild in parts so not the best for swimming but a great choice for those looking to surf

Itinerary map for Costa Rica 'Costa Rican Adventures' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 San José
  • 2 Pacuare
  • 3 Arenal
  • 4 Arenal
  • 5 Arenal
  • 6 Rincon de la Vieja
  • 7 Rincon de la Vieja
  • 8 Monteverde
  • 9 Monteverde
  • 10 Tamarindo
  • 11 Tamarindo
  • 12 Tamarindo
  • 13 Tamarindo
  • 14 San José
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Costa Rican Adventures'

DAY 1

San José

You are met on arrival off your chosen international flight and driven to a hotel in the San José area where you stay for the night

DAY 2
BL

Pacuare white-water rafting class II-IV rapids / to Arenal

With an early start, you are taken to the Pacuare River to meet your rafting guides for safety training and an exhilarating daytrip rafting class II-IV rapids. After the tour travel to Arenal volcano area where you stay for 4 nights at at hotel with volcano views

DAY 3
BD

Canopy walks and Stand Up Paddling, hot-springs

Early today you join a group with a naturalist guide for the Hanging Bridges–a system of trails and suspended walkways with views into and over the forest and to the valley below. Wildlife sightings will include a variety of birds, possibly a troupe of howler monkeys, and much else. In the afternoon you will be taken to Arenal Lake to enjoy Stand Up Paddling or 'SUP', the fastest-growing paddle sport in the world. You will be equipped with a large buoyant board similar to a surfboard and a long paddle to move yourself along. An evening at the hot springs brings relaxation in thermal pools; dinner is included

DAY 4
BL

Caño Negro wildlife refuge by canoe

Early start this morning to travel to the Caño Negro wildlife refuge for a full-day excursion by canoe through the water channels of the reserve, home to 350 varieties of bird as well as emerald basilisk, iguanas, river turtles and caimans.

DAY 5
B

Arenal volcano reserve walk

This morning you will taken on a guided walk in the Arenal reserve, walking a trail that winds through the forest surrounding the volcano, taking you over recent lava flows through the area hit by the 1968 eruption. After the tour you will be taken back to your hotel where you have the rest of the day free to relax or enjoy optional excursions available locally e.g visit to Venado caves, mountain biking, horse-riding to La Fortuna waterfall

DAY 6
B

Cowboy ranching at Rincón de la Vieja

Today you travel to Rincón de la Vieja in the dry forest of the northwest for 2 nights at an adventure lodge/ranch. In the afternoon you can take an optional adventure excursion with the available choices usually including hikes, mountain biking or horseback rides, to waterfalls, volcanic hot springs and streams. If you are a competent rider you might even join real cowboys to round up cattle and horses and bring them to the corral (check your travel insurance covers ‘ranching’).

DAY 7
BL

Early risers can watch cows being milked. After breakfast we’ve included a ‘one-day adventure pass’ for you. You start with a zip-line canopy tour, then take a horseback ride to the start of a river-tubing adventure. Later you relax in hot springs and experience an open-air bath in a pool of volcanic mud (better than it sounds!)

DAY 8
B

Cloud forest by night at Monteverde

Today travel to the mountains of Monteverde for 2 nights in the cloud forest at a characterful lodge. Afternoon free to sample the eco-experiences of Santa Elena before an evening tour to experience the cloud forest’s nocturnal wildlife.

DAY 9
B

Canopy adventures

Today you ride a gondola-tram up high to above the forest canopy for the start of an adrenaline trip around an awesome circuit of zip lines–some very long and high. Afternoon free to relax at your hotel or for optional excursions available locally

DAY 10
B

Pacific beach at Tamarindo

Travel westwards to the lively beach town of Tamarindo for a 4 night stay. There’s an attractive wide, white-sand beach that’s a favourite with surfers, plus beach cafes, bars and restaurants. You should arrive around lunchtime, leaving the afternoon for the beach.

DAY 11
B

A beach day today. You might book yourself a surfing lesson with an English-speaking instructor who will help you start from scratch, or hone your technique.

DAY 12
B

More beach. Take it easy, take more surfing lessons, try scuba, kayaking or sailing (all locally at extra cost).

DAY 13
B

Final full day at the beach

DAY 14
B

San José

After a morning free in Tamarindo, return by road to San José where you stay for the night

DAY 15
B

You are driven to the airport for your flight home.

Guide prices for 'Costa Rican Adventures'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Mid-range hotels, shuttle bus transfers 2 people sharing £1,765 £1,875
Mid-range hotels, selfdrive (Terios) 2 people sharing £2,025 £2,205
Upper range hotels, selfdrive (Tucson) 2 people sharing £3,105 £3,595
Upper range hotels, private transfers* 2 people sharing £3,245 £3,665
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Costa Rica
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'Costa Rican Adventures'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average customer rating 98%

rating

Tortuguero, Pacuare Lodge and Tamarindo.

rating

Pacuare - white water rafting.

rating

All with possibly the exception of Bajos del Toro for reasons given

rating

Pacuare Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota, Puerto Viejo.

rating

We would have liked to spend 2 nights in Pacuare instead of the 1 as there are plenty of activities to do. We were not impressed with Arenal (covered in cloud all the time). We really liked Tortuguero for the wildlife, Pacuare for the amazing lodge, foo

rating

rating

rating

rating

Tortuguero for the wildlife and Pacuare for the white water rafting.

rating

Tango Mar and the Nicoya Peninsula were laid back and restful. The white water rafting and zip lines were fantastic. Could have done with a little more wildlife but that is just your Donald Duck.

rating
rating

Maquenque Lodge was amazing - the staff, our room, the wildlife, the food!

rating

All excellent in different ways. Variety made the holiday memorable. For wildlife, flora, geography, tours, guides, accommodation and food this trip is in our top 3-4 ever.

rating

Pacuare by far. Save for Arenal forest trek which was way up there.

rating

Arenal, beautiful, great hotel.

rating

White Water Rafting and Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

rating

All was excellent, loved Casa Corcovado. All hotels were fantastic.

rating

Hotel Silencio del Campo, wildlife walks with guides and the genuine feel of the Caribbean coast, Jaguar sanctuary well worth a visit.

rating

Wildlife, friendly, helpful people, scenery - especially Arenal to Monteverde.

rating

We enjoyed all of it!

rating

Tortuguero and Monteverde

rating

Turtles, wildlife, white water rafting, Sugar Beach

rating

Tortuguero and starting at Xandari was perfect.

rating

Worked out really well.

rating

Tortuguero, Monteverde

rating

We enjoyed everywhere we visited.

rating

We loved it all but the river lodge was a special place as was Capitan Suizo. We were amazed by the efficiency of our transfers and excursions.

rating

Wildlife everywhere, relaxed Nosara and wildlife reserves such as Hacienda Baru and La Ensenada, which were great for us.

rating

The trip worked very well for our family and for our birding. Best part was seeing our granddaughter have such fun.

rating
rating

rating

Sarapiqui-all private tours and guides. All places more than worthwhile, variety was wonderful.

rating

Zip-wiring, nature tours led by lovely guides, horse riding in Arenal and hot springs.

rating

Puerto Viejo, Arenal hanging bridges walk and all the National Parks' guided walks. The birds at Arenal Observatory Lodge.

rating
rating

rating

Playa Cativo, Tortuguero.

rating

Puerto Viejo for wildlife. Hotel Costa Verde. Driving the rough roads.

rating

Enjoyed the variety. Timing was just right.

rating

We would have liked less time in San Jose and more time at Osa Peninsula.

rating

Huge range of wonderful birds; very informative guides to spot things we wouldn't have noticed; Arenal hotel, a great villa with beautiful views and great food. Bird balcony at Carara.

rating

rating

All of it!

rating

Day at La Selva OTS, Maquenque Lodge, La Cusinga, Golfito, San Gerardo de Dota.

rating

Tortuguero and Pacuare. Would have liked more time at Tortuguero, Pacuare and Playa Hermosa and less time in San Jose, Puerto Viejo and Monteverde.

rating
rating

The wildlife experiences, particularly the boat trip and the howler monkey morning shows at Osa Peninsula.

rating

We would have liked more time almost everywhere. If we have to choose ... more time at Tortuguero and less at Monteverde.

Seasonal information for 'Costa Rican Adventures'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 San José 24°C rainfall 28mm
2 Pacuare 26°C rainfall 192mm
3 Arenal 30°C rainfall 194mm
4 Arenal 30°C rainfall 194mm
5 Arenal 30°C rainfall 194mm
6 Rincon de la Vieja 26°C rainfall 148mm
7 Rincon de la Vieja 26°C rainfall 148mm
8 Monteverde 24°C rainfall 141mm
9 Monteverde 24°C rainfall 141mm
10 Tamarindo 33°C rainfall 4mm
11 Tamarindo 33°C rainfall 4mm
12 Tamarindo 33°C rainfall 4mm
13 Tamarindo 33°C rainfall 4mm
14 San José 24°C rainfall 28mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Costa Rican Adventures'

Day 1

El Rodeo Country Inn

Alajuela

El Rodeo Country Inn is a good, mid-range hotel set back from a main road in a quiet suburban area, located just 10 minutes from San Jose airport and 15 minutes from downtown San Jose. The 29 well appointed rooms have hardwood floors and wood furnishings and are fully-equipped with cable TV, A/C, direct dial telephone, safe private bathrooms with hot water and bathtub, coffee maker and hair-dryer. Some rooms have a balcony and all have a garden view. Facilities include a swimming pool and jacuzzi, tennis court, wireless internet. The hotel is connected to a steak house, which is very popular with the locals (please note there are very limited vegetarian options at the steak house). The steakhouse closes at 4pm on Sundays but the hotel bar can prepare snacks or help you call out for a pizza.

El Rodeo Country Inn
Days 2 - 5

Arenal Volcano Inn

Arenal
rating

Average rating 4.8 (36 ratings)

Arenal Volcano Inn is a very good value mid-range hotel. Well located between the village of La Fortuna, the hot springs and Arenal Lake it has a very impressive view of the volcano. The 25 rooms are scattered over the small property in self-contained bungalows with pretty planting dotted in between. All rooms have views of the Volcano, two queen size beds, a/c, a private terrace, hair-dryer, safe, mini fridge, microwave oven and coffee maker. The hotel has two swimming pools, one for adults and one for children, and a jacuzzi. A small on-site spa offers several types of massages and mud treatments at affordable prices. Their restaurant on site serves Italian food fot those happy to eat at the hotel.

Arenal Volcano Inn
Days 6 - 7

Hacienda Guachipelin

Rincon de la Vieja

A working ranch dating back over a hundred years at the foot of Rincón de la Vieja volcano in an important area of tropical dry forest. The ranch continues to raise cattle and breed horses on a third of its large area, with the remainder set aside for conservation and replanting. The 40 guest rooms are housed in simple buildings with wide verandas. Rooms are simple but comfortable with private bathrooms and hot water.  Part of an old barn has been converted to a country-style bar and eating area - all very down to earth. There is an outdoor swimming pool and pleasant views. The three main reasons for staying are the dry forest itself, the volcano with its fumaroles, hot springs and the opportunity to experience cowboy life first hand. Walking, riding, ranching, and various adventure activities are all available locally.

Hacienda Guachipelin
Days 8 - 9

Monteverde Country Lodge

Monteverde

Monteverde Country Lodge is a small rustic-style lodge located around a 10 minute walk from the centre of Santa Elena village. Each of the 16 rooms have cable T.V, private bathrooms with hot water, coffee makers, safety box and free wireless internet. Amenities also available at the lodge include a restaurant, bar, tours desk, laptop rental, laundry and gated parking lot. Guests also have access to the heated indoor pool and spa at the lodge's sister property, Poco a Poco.

Monteverde Country Lodge
Lodge building
Days 10 - 13

Pasatiempo

Tamarindo

Hotel Pasatiempo is a small characterful hotel set in tropical gardens filled with hardwood, palm and mango trees a 5 minute walk back from Tamarindo beach. Each standard or deluxe room has A/C, private bathrooms with hot water, private terraces, wifi, safe, flatscreen cable T.V, orthopedic matresses. Deluxe rooms are larger with higher ceilings. Facilities include a snack bar 'Monkey La-La' serving bar food and drinks, swimming pool, live music nights on certain nights of the week. The hotel can also organise excursions for guests.

Pasatiempo
Day 14

Presidente

San Jose
rating

Average rating 4.3 (76 ratings)

Hotel Presidente is located in the heart of downtown San José, on the corner of Central Avenue Boulevard and 7th Street, just 20 minutes from the San Jose international airport. Each of the 80 guest rooms split between standard and superior rooms and suites have either two queen-sized beds or a king-sized bed, A/C, wireless internet, hair-dryers, mini-fridge, 32" cable LCD T.V, safe. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, honesty bar in reception, spa services, 24/7 gym, casino, concierge service, computer for guest use, rooftop bar and terrace with panoramic city views.

Presidente
Exterior