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'Costa Rica Chill-out'

What makes this trip special?

Central valley spa hotel

Central valley spa hotel

Alajuela

An originally decorated boutique hotel and spa set on a 40 acre coffee and fruit plantation with scenic trails, two swimming pools and stunning views over the Central Valley.

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

Lots of easy-to-see wildlife

Lots of easy-to-see wildlife

Tortuguero

Tortuguero's inland waterways are one of the very best places in Costa Rica to see wildlife. Turtles nest on its ocean beaches.

Take your pick of pristine Pacific beach

Take your pick of pristine Pacific beach

Pacific beaches

Costa Rica's Pacific coast has a wide range of beaches, all different in character - some good swimming, others better for surfing, some more remote and focused on wildlife, others more lively with a good choice of restaurants, things to see and do etc. There are also many lovely hotel options - which is right for you will depend on your preferences for style of hotel and type of beach - contact us for help in deciding!

Elegance in the city

Elegance in the city

San Jose (Grano de Oro)

Our favourite amongst the more upmarket downtown hotels in San José and home to one of the most highly regarded restaurants in the city.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Costa Rica Chill-out'

DAY 1

Countryside spa

You are met on arrival at the airport in San José and taken to Xandari Spa set in a 40 acre coffee and fruit plantation overlooking Costa Rica’s Central Valley. The rooms have original art and custom designed furniture. There are 2 lap pools in the gardens with sundecks and sun beds. Stay for 2 nights to take advantage of the hotel’s numerous spa facilities and relaxing atmosphere.

DAY 2
B

A free day to relax at the hotel. Surrounded by delightful gardens and picturesque waterfalls, the Spa Village offers a range of optional pampering treatments in your own private Jalapa (palm-roofed hut) with Jacuzzi and stunning views of the valley. The outdoor restaurant sources its fruits, vegetables and herbs from the plantation’s own gardens.

DAY 3
BLD

Jungle boutique lodge and white-water rafting

You are transferred early in the morning to the start of a whitewater rafting ride to Pacuare Lodge, set beside the river in a forested gorge, where you stay for 2 nights. Your guides introduce you to the essentials of rafting, and the safety measures you need to know, then it’s onto the river for an exhilarating hour’s ride on class II and III rapids to reach the lodge. After lunch you can relax and enjoy this gorgeous setting

DAY 4
BLD

Today is free to relax or take part in some of the lodge’s activities, at additional cost, which include rafting, mountain biking and horse-riding. You can also visit a nearby village of the Cabecar community, or be pampered in the lodge’s spa.

DAY 5
BL

You could leave by road after crossing the river by cable gondola, but it’s far nicer to raft out on class III-IV rapids. You are met by your private driver for the return by road to San José.

DAY 6
BLD

Wildlife at Tortuguero

This morning you are taken to the airport to catch a flight to the flooded forests of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. You are collected on arrival at the airstrip and transferred the short distance by boat to your lodge on the bank of the river near the national park. Stay for 2 nights on a full board basis.

DAY 7
BLD

Take a boat ride through the narrow river channels of the flooded forest for the chance of seeing a host of wildlife including monkeys, tiger herons, basilisk lizards, sloth, river otter and caiman. This is one of the best places in Costa Rica to see wildlife and you will be delighted at how easy it is to get really close encounters. You could also visit the wild local beach, where sea turtles nest between July and October.

DAY 8
B

Pacfic coast selections

After an early breakfast you are taken by boat back to the airstrip for your flight to San José. Change planes and fly onwards to the Pacific coast for 6 nights at your choice of beach hotel e.g Tango Mar, Tambor. There are many to choose from depending on the style of hotel and type of beach you prefer. For a sophisticated retreat we suggest Punta Islita, one of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’. Alternatively, Kurà Design Villas is an away-from-it-all hip hotel looking over the Pacific near Uvita. For an alt-style ‘barefoot’ hideaway that’s right on the beach, consider Ylang Ylang on the south coast of Nicoya Peninsula. The upper range Alma del Pacifico is stylishly designed and has relatively easy access to a number of attractions. If bars and nightlife are more your thing then Tamarindo may suit you, here Capitán Suizo and Cala Luna are good options. Harmony is a holistic natural retreat at Nosara with a spa, yoga and a laid-back vibe

DAY 9
B

Free to relax on the coast

DAY 10
B

Free to relax on the coast

DAY 11
B

Free to relax on the coast

DAY 12
B

Free to relax on the coast

DAY 13
B

Free to relax on the coast

DAY 14
B

San José

In the morning fly back to San José where you stay overnight at Grano de Oro, a Victorian mansion converted into an upper-range hotel. It combines a fin de siecle style with art and furnishings by Costa Rican artists. The dining room here is considered to be one of the top spots to eat in the city; a lovely option for your final night in Costa Rica. To top it off we suggest you stay in the garden suite with its wrought-iron king-sized bed, small patio terrace and private Jacuzzi.

DAY 15
B

A private transfer is arranged today to connect with your chosen international flight home

Guide prices for 'Costa Rica Chill-out'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Tango Mar (Standard room B&B) 2 people sharing £2,645 £3,025
Alma del Pacifico (Garden bungalow B&B) 2 people sharing £2,650 £3,135
Ylang Ylang (Standard room HB) 2 people sharing £2,890 £3,155
Harmony (Cocos room B&B) 2 people sharing £2,920 £3,510
Cala Luna (Deluxe room B&B) 2 people sharing £2,890 £3,340
Punta Islita (Deluxe room B&B) 2 people sharing £2,985 £3,380
Kura (Junior suite villa B&B) 2 people sharing £3,950 £4,445
Prices are per person and include:
  • all transport in Costa Rica
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
  • shared services of resident English-speaking naturalist guide in Tortuguero
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • airport and departure taxes
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'Costa Rica Chill-out'

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 100%

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Tortuguero and Alajuela

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We loved it all and felt that everything was in the right order as well as a good duration. The only main changes we made whilst there were an additional day trip from Bosque de Paz to Sarapiqui River and we did not go to the hot springs in Arenal.

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Monteverde and OSA

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Rafting, el silencio

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The wildlife in Tortuguero and hotel Arenal

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Tortuguero and Arenal are must sees

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Our best hotel was Lost Iguana. The best trips were at Tortuguero. It is a bit difficult to pick a favourite for the whole trip.

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We enjoyed all parts of the trip, each place was different.

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The Osa Peninsula was stunning.

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It's very difficult to say what was the best part as all was very enjoyable. Allowed us to see a great range of landscapes.

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Seasonal information for 'Costa Rica Chill-out'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Alajuela 26°C rainfall 21mm
2 Alajuela 26°C rainfall 21mm
3 Pacuare 26°C rainfall 192mm
4 Pacuare 26°C rainfall 192mm
5 San José 24°C rainfall 28mm
6 Tortuguero 30°C rainfall 383mm
7 Tortuguero 30°C rainfall 383mm
8 Tambor 32°C rainfall 5mm
9 Tambor 32°C rainfall 5mm
10 Tambor 32°C rainfall 5mm
11 Tambor 32°C rainfall 5mm
12 Tambor 32°C rainfall 5mm
13 Tambor 32°C rainfall 5mm
14 San José 24°C rainfall 28mm
15 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 Rica Chill-out'

Days 1 - 2

Xandari Resort & Spa

near Alajuela
rating

Average rating 4.9 (35 ratings)

This resort is the creation of architect and artist Sherril and Charlene Broudy, who envisioned a paradise reflecting the natural beauty of Costa Rica.

There are 21 spacious villas decorated with original art and custom-designed furniture, hidden away on a 40 acre coffee and fruit plantation which overlooks Costa Rica's Central Valley.  All villas have a private view terrace with a garden, a walled-in sun area, a bar kitchen, and either a king bed or two full beds.

In the resort there are two lap swimming pools, a heated outdoor Jacuzzi and a dining room with a panoramic view of the Central Valley. With 4 kms of scenic trails located within the grounds of the hotel, this is a great place to start or end your trip and perhaps take a treatment in the lovely spa.

Xandari Resort & Spa
Days 3 - 4

Pacuare Lodge

Turrialba
rating

Average rating 4.8 (24 ratings)

One of our favourite lodge's in Costa Rica, Pacuare is an award winning ecolodge nestled deep inside the enchanting and captivating Pacuare River and tropical forest.

There is no electricity and everything is lit by candlelight by night. Flashlights are provided in the rooms.  The main building which houses the bar and restaurant overlooks the river and the food (all sourced locally) is absolutely superb. The lodge has its own canopy tour and there are several excursions you can take including hiking, horse riding and visiting the local Cabecar Indians.  

You can choose to get to and from the lodge either by 4x4 or by rafting.  Rafting on the way in is grade II and takes around and hour to an hour and a half, depending on river levels. Rafting on the way out is grade III to IV and takes 4 hours through amazing scenery stopping for lunch on route.

Pacuare Lodge
Day 5

Grano de Oro

San José
rating

Average rating 4.6 (43 ratings)

Our favourite amongst the more upmarket downtown hotels in San Jose, Grano de Oro is an elegant place to stay. It is located in the west of the city near the Parque Metropolitano La Sabana and the Museum of Costa Rican Art.

Formerly a private Victorian mansion it has been extended over the years and now has 32 tastefully decorated rooms in three price categories.

The hotel's impressive new dining room has been crafted in fin du siecle style and it is considered one of the top spots to dine in the city.

There is a small internal patio filled with tropical plants and a roof-top jacuzzi with a couple of sun loungers should you tire of sightseeing.

 

Grano de Oro
Restaurant patio
Days 6 - 7

Tortuga Lodge

Tortuguero
rating

Average rating 4.8 (25 ratings)

Tortuga Lodge is situated on 50 acres of private land in Costa Rica's north-east Caribbean coast. The lodges 27 rooms are tastefully decorated, all with private bathrooms and fans. There is a swimming pool, restaurant and botanical garden on-site. Please note that the Tortuga Lodge package does not include natural juices and alcoholic drinks. The breakfast includes coffee, tea, milk and orange juice.

Tortuga Lodge
Days 8 - 13

Tango Mar

Tambor
rating

Average rating 4.7 (10 ratings)

Set in extensive grounds on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Tango Mar has an enviable beachfront setting, with all of its 18 ocean view rooms set within metres of the sand.

The hotel also offers 12 individual Tropical Suites positioned up on the hillside away from the main buildings, which can be reached by self-drive golf buggies.  The view from the cliff near these suites, looking down the palm-fringed coast and out to sea is quite breath-taking.  

A further five suites modelled on Polynesian-style wooden cabanas are situated 20 metres from the sands.  

Overlooking the beach there are two swimming pools and a wet bar, and two restaurants facing the sea.  Golf, spa facilities and horse riding are also available on site.

Tango Mar
Swimming pool overlooking the beach
Day 14

Grano de Oro

San José
rating

Average rating 4.6 (43 ratings)

Our favourite amongst the more upmarket downtown hotels in San Jose, Grano de Oro is an elegant place to stay. It is located in the west of the city near the Parque Metropolitano La Sabana and the Museum of Costa Rican Art.

Formerly a private Victorian mansion it has been extended over the years and now has 32 tastefully decorated rooms in three price categories.

The hotel's impressive new dining room has been crafted in fin du siecle style and it is considered one of the top spots to dine in the city.

There is a small internal patio filled with tropical plants and a roof-top jacuzzi with a couple of sun loungers should you tire of sightseeing.

 

Grano de Oro
Restaurant patio