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, Panama & Nicaragua
Our brochure for Costa Rica, Panama & Nicaragua 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 £815

'Creature Comforts'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

First-rate wildlife and nature experiences while staying in some of Costa Rica’s best boutique and spa hotels and wildlife lodges.

13 nights from £4115

'Costa Rica Nature Explorer'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

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

14 nights from £2765

'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 £1490

'Costa Rican Odyssey'

Costa Rica - Touring and wildlife

This enthralling small group escorted tour has a strong accent on Costa Rica’s nature and wildlife, complemented by wonderful scenery and times when local life takes centre stage.

13 nights

'Route 4: Off the Beaten Track'

Costa Rica - Selfdrive touring

A 14 night itinerary with a focus on more off the beaten path destinations: the tropical dry forest, live volcano, quiet cloudforest, laid-back beaches and ranch/wetlands

14 nights from £1660

'Route 2: South Pacific Explorer'

Costa Rica - Selfdrive touring

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 £1655

'Route 3: The Northwest'

Costa Rica - Selfdrive touring

A 14 night selfdrive itinerary concentrating on Costa Rica's Northwest region: cowboy ranchlands, active volcano, wildlife wetlands, cloudforest and Pacific beaches

14 nights from £1595

'Route 1: Classic Costa Rica'

Costa Rica - Selfdrive touring

A 10 night selfdrive itinerary visiting Costa Rica's classic highlights: dramatic volcanoes, cloudforest and jungle at the beach.

10 nights from £1075

'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 £1765

'Costa Rica Chill-out'

Costa Rica - Beach and relaxation

A relaxing getaway with a difference: a spa hotel, jungle rafting, some wonderful wildlife, and a beautiful Pacific beach

14 nights from £3015

'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.

15 nights from £2910

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

The tour was impeccably organised. It all went smoothly, the guides were terrific. Thank you for making our honeymoon so special. We loved it all.