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Costa Rica

Central Highlands

A region characterised by high volcanic peaks and cool, misty cloud forest villages

A morning's drive from the capital brings you to the Central Cordillera, a region of picturesque mountain scenery peppered with cloud forest villages, farmland and dramatic volcanoes.

The small town of Turrialba, approached eastwards over the mountains from the Central Valley, is a popular spot for whitewater rafting on the Reventazón and Pacuare Rivers. Pacuare Lodge is a special favourite for us. Soaring above the region stands Turrialba Volcano, with hikes up its forested flanks to the summit. Nearby Guayabo NP is an archaeological site with 3000 year old ruins and some of the last pre-montane forest left in the region. The Centre for Tropical Agricultural Research, a world renowned for research into tropical crops, offers landscaped gardens and trails that also make for some easy birding.

Popular with day trippers and within close proximity to San Jose, Poás is a strombolian volcano with a vast crater. Visitors can walk right up to the crater's lip to peer down onto the hot aquamarine lake below (clouds allowing). Not far from Poas, the small mountain village of Bajos del Toro is a peaceful place to experience the true nature of the cloud forest, based either at a family run nature lodge or a more upmarket boutique hotel and spa.

Further north, Arenal is one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes, rising in a perfectly symmetrical cone above the town of La Fortuna and its surrounding lowlands. The Arenal area is worth stopping for a night or two, there is a good selection of things to see and do from hot-springs to zip-lines and hanging bridges to hiking.
Across Arenal Lake and up a bumpy unpaved road into the mountains of the Central Highlands lies one of Costa Rica's most famous and established cloud forests, Monteverde. Set between the Monteverde and Santa Elena cloud forest reserves, Monteverde's main settlement, Santa Elena, is a lively place with a variety of eco-experiences on offer from guided walks in the cloud forest reserves to zip-lining, canopy walks, coffee estate tours and horse-riding. There are also plentiful alpine-style lodges and hotels to choose from.

Returning towards San Jose, the quiet cloud forest of Los Angeles not far from the mountain town of San Ramón provides a taster of the cloud forest habitat.

Start planning your trip to Costa Rica

Let us know what kind of trip to Costa Rica you are most interested in, and when you are thinking of travelling. Our travel experts know Costa Rica exceptionally well, and will be delighted to offer some initial ideas and advice, and to develop a more detailed design for your holiday as your ideas evolve. You can order a copy of our special 'Costa Rica, Panama & Nicaragua' brochure here.

Call us on 020 7281 7788 ( Mon-Fri 9:15-5:45). Or we'd be happy to call you back.

Costa Rica
Our brochure for Costa Rica is packed with ideas and information to help you plan your trip.
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Holiday designs that visit Costa Rica's Central Highlands

'Just a Week in Costa Rica'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

It’s amazing what you can see in just a week. Wildlife, volcanoes, and cloud forest make the most of a short visit.

7 nights from £795

'Creature Comforts'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

First-rate wildlife and nature experiences in first-rate surroundings. Stay at some of Costa Rica’s best boutique and wildlife lodges.

14 nights from £4840

'Plants and Gardens of Costa Rica'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

What could be nicer than two weeks of delightful gardens? Costa Rica has plenty for you to visit and this peaceful itinerary tours the very best of them.

13 nights from £4

'Costa Rica Nature Explorer'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

A wonderful trip visiting Costa Rica’s main locations for wildlife in a wide range of habitats, staying in good quality mid-range lodges where nature is the focus.

14 nights from £2715

'A Quieter Costa Rica'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

An inspiring trip spending time in upmarket lodges in just three areas. Experience authentic country life, step out in beautiful mountain scenery and explore the rich wildlife of quiet wetlands.

9 nights from £2230

'Life in Costa Rica'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

Experience local life and culture. Get to know the real San Jose, visit indigenous communities, explore the rainforest and delve into the heart of rural life in 'Chayote Country'.

14 nights from £2045

'Southern Pacific Explorer'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

A 14 night selfdrive itinerary focusing on Costa Rica's South Pacific region: lush, wild coastline, biodiverse Osa Peninsula, remote cloudforest and paramos habitat.

14 nights from £1955

'Coast to Coast'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

One of the best all-round experiences of Costa Rica, visiting the Caribbean and the Pacific, Arenal volcano, Tortuguero's wildlife, deep rain forest, and Monteverde.

15 nights from £1450

'Costa Rican Nature Odyssey'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

This enthralling small group tour, escorted by a local naturalist guide, visits all Costa Rica’s key habitats for wonderful wildlife experiences, lovely scenery and times when local life takes centre stage.

13 nights

'Day Walks in Costa Rica'

Costa Rica - Walking and active

Guided and independent day walks in natural sceneries with comfortable lodgings. The amount of walking is tailored to suit you.

14 nights from £1990

'Costa Rican Adventures'

Costa Rica - Walking and active

Get ready for a heady mix of action-packed adventure, all different, all over Costa Rica.

14 nights from £1805

'Young Explorer's Costa Rica'

Costa Rica - Walking and active

A wonderful opportunity for young explorers to get their first experiences of the natural worlds of the American tropics, getting into the rainforest and seeing its wildlife right up close, with all sorts of active adventures along the way and not too much time spent in a vehicle.

14 nights

'The Birds of Costa Rica'

Costa Rica - Birdwatching

A well-nigh perfect introduction to Costa Rica's birds. A mix of key habitats to give long lists, with comfortable lodgings and minimum travelling for maximum enjoyment.

14 nights from £2760

Here’s what our clients say about their experiences of Costa Rica with Geodyssey.

We would strongly recommend your company and travel with you again. Well run tour and had a great holiday. Thank you.