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'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 Arenal
  • 3 Arenal
  • 4 Arenal
  • 5 Arenal
  • 6 Rincon de la Vieja
  • 7 Rincon de la Vieja
  • 8 Monteverde
  • 9 Monteverde
  • 10 Santa Teresa Beach
  • 11 Santa Teresa Beach
  • 12 Santa Teresa Beach
  • 13 Santa Teresa Beach
  • 14 San José
  • 14 Puerto Paquera ferry dock
  • 14 Punta Arenas ferry dock
  • 14 Road junction N27 N34
  • 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 off your chosen international flight and driven to your hotel in the San José area where you stay the night.

DAY 2
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Pacuare River white-water rafting

With an early start, you are taken to the Pacuare River to meet your rafting guides for an initial safety training. You then set off on an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip down class II-IV rapids. At the end of the rapids you travel by road to the Arenal volcano area where you stay for 4 nights at a hotel with volcano views.

DAY 3
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Canopy walks, SUP and hot-springs

Early today you join a group with a naturalist guide to explore the Hanging Bridges–a system of forest trails and walkways suspended high in the trees with views into the canopy and to the valley below. Wildlife sightings could include a variety of birds, three-toed sloths, troupes of howler monkeys, and much else. In the afternoon you head to Arenal Lake to try stand-up paddle-boarding or ‘SUP’. You stand on a large board similar to a surfboard with a long-handled paddle to move yourself across the lake. In the evening you relax in natural thermal waters at wonderful open-air hot springs, with dinner included.

DAY 4
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Caño Negro wildlife reserve by canoe

An early start to travel to Caño Negro wildlife reserve where you paddle by canoe along narrow waterways through a flooded forest that is very rich in wildlife. The reserve is home to 350 species of birds, basilisk lizards, iguanas, turtles, caimans and much more. A naturalist guide helps you spot the creatures.

DAY 5
B

Volcano hike

This morning you meet up with your guide for a walk in the Arenal reserve, hiking a trail that winds through the forest surrounding the volcano and takes you over recent lava flows and through the area hit by the 1968 eruption. After the hike you are dropped back at your hotel with the rest of the day free to relax or to take extra excursions you can book locally, such as mountain biking or horse-riding to waterfalls.

DAY 6
B

Cowboy country

Today you travel northwest to cowboy country in Rincón de la Vieja, where you stay for 2 nights at an adventure lodge on a working ranch. If you are a competent rider you could even join the real cowboys to help round up cattle and horses to bring them back to the corral.

DAY 7
BL

Early risers can watch the cows being milked on the farm. After breakfast you start the day with a zip-line tour through the canopy tree tops before horse riding through the forest followed by a river-tubing adventure. You end an action-packed day by relaxing in hot springs and experiencing an open-air bath in a pool of mineral rich volcanic mud (much better than it sounds!)

DAY 8
B

Monteverde

Today travel to the mountains of Monteverde for 2 nights at a characterful lodge in the cloud forest. Your afternoon is free to sample the panoply of eco-experiences available in and around Santa Elena, such as hummingbird galleries, butterfly farms and orchid gardens.

DAY 9
B

Canopy adventures

Today you explore the cloud forest from the tree-tops starting with a gondola-tram ride up through the forest canopy where you may spot birds, monkeys and sloths. You then start an adrenaline trip around an awesome circuit of zip lines that whiz through the trees–some very long and very high. The afternoon is free to relax at your hotel or for extra excursions available locally before a walk in the cloud forest after dark in search of nocturnal creatures.

DAY 10
B

Pacific beach

Travel to the beach of your choice for a 4 night stay. We suggest Santa Teresa for its off-beat very hip style. There’s an attractive wide, white-sand beach that’s a favourite with surfers, plus casual beach cafes and bars, and low-key restaurants. You should arrive by the mid-afternoon.

DAY 11
B

Three free days to relax on the beach. You might book yourself a surfing lesson with an English-speaking instructor who can help you start from scratch, or hone your technique. Other activities may be arranged locally at extra cost.

DAY 12
B

Full day at the beach.

DAY 13
B

Final full day at the beach.

DAY 14
B

San José

Return by road, crossing the Gulf of Nicoya by ferry, to San José where you stay 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 £1,805 £1,905
Mid-range hotels, selfdrive (Terios) 2 people sharing £1,995 £2,180
Upper range hotels, selfdrive (Tucson) 2 people sharing £3,180 £3,555
Upper range hotels, private transfers 2 people sharing £3,425 £3,725
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%

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Tortuguero, Pacuare Lodge and Tamarindo.

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Pacuare - white water rafting.

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

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Pacuare Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota, Puerto Viejo.

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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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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Arenal, beautiful, great hotel.

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White Water Rafting and Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

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

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

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

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We enjoyed all of it!

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Tortuguero and Monteverde

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Turtles, wildlife, white water rafting, Sugar Beach

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Tortuguero and starting at Xandari was perfect.

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Worked out really well.

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Tortuguero, Monteverde

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We enjoyed everywhere we visited.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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Playa Cativo, Tortuguero.

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

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Enjoyed the variety. Timing was just right.

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

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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.

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All of it!

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

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

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

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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 Arenal 30°C rainfall 194mm
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 Santa Teresa Beach 32°C rainfall 7mm
11 Santa Teresa Beach 32°C rainfall 7mm
12 Santa Teresa Beach 32°C rainfall 7mm
13 Santa Teresa Beach 32°C rainfall 7mm
14 San José 24°C rainfall 28mm
14 Puerto Paquera ferry dock 33°C rainfall 4mm
14 Punta Arenas ferry dock 33°C rainfall 3mm
14 Road junction N27 N34 32°C rainfall 7mm

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
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Average rating 4.8 (37 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

Hotel Manalá

Santa Teresa

Hotel Manalá is small mid-range hotel set in tropical gardens just a few minutes walk back from Santa Teresa beach across the main road that runs parallel to the sea. Each of the 8 private bungalows have a king or queen-sized and single bed, a living area with chairs and a table, terrace, private bathrooms, A/C, ceiling fans, cable T.V, safe and mini-fridge. Facilities include a swimming pool, jacuzzi, bar and restaurant specialising in seafood and fish, complimentary Wi-Fi and parking. The hotel has can arrange excursions and surf lessons and offers surf board rental. Massages can also be booked through the hotel front reception desk.

 

 

 

 

Hotel Manalá
Day 14

Presidente

San Jose
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Average rating 4.4 (77 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