'Couple's Escape'

What makes this trip special?

Vistas, volcanoes and villages

Vistas, volcanoes and villages

Central Valley

Keen to avoid the city during your trip? Costa Rica's Central Valley is great place to start or end a holiday - hotels tend to have gardens and/or swimming pools and are within close range of the international airport. There are lots of things to see and do in the area.

Fabulous white-water rafting

Fabulous white-water rafting


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

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.

Hideout on the Lost River

Hideout on the Lost River

Rio Perdido

A modern, stylish upmarket lodge set aside remote Rio Perdido ("Lost River") nestled in Guanacaste's tropical dry/dwarf forest region - characterised by dramatic gorges, tumbling waterfalls, wild rivers and thermal hot-springs.

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!

Itinerary map for Costa Rica 'Couple's Escape' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Xandari
  • 2 Xandari
  • 3 Pacuare Lodge
  • 4 Pacuare Lodge
  • 5 San José
  • 6 Rio Perdido
  • 7 Rio Perdido
  • 8 Rio Perdido
  • 9 At the beach
  • 10 At the beach
  • 11 At the beach
  • 12 At the beach
  • 13 At the beach
  • 14 At the beach
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Couple's Escape'


Hill-top lodge and spa

You are met on arrival at the airport in San José and taken to Xandari Costa Rica, a gorgeous art-filled lodge and spa set among gardens in a former coffee estate with magnificent views across the Central Valley. You stay for 2 nights with time to relax. There are 3 swimming pools with sundecks and sun beds, a Yoga studio, and an on-site ‘Spa Village’ which offers its treatments in your own private palm-roofed jalapa with hot-tub and views to forest and valley. Walking trails lead from the lodge through its private forest reserve which has 5 waterfalls. Xandari’s terrace restaurant sources its fruits, vegetables and herbs from the lodge’s own gardens.


A free day to relax at Xandari.


Boutique lodge in the jungle

With an early start, you are taken to the banks of the Pacuare River to meet your rafting guides for safety training and an hour’s rafting class II-III rapids to the award-winning Pacuare Lodge where you stay for 2 nights. After lunch you are free to get involved in activities or relax and enjoy this very special location, off-grid in the wilderness with good food and a wonderful atmosphere for couples.


The lodge has a lovely spa and offers a great range of active options, including river-rafting, zip-lining, walking and mountain biking, and a very special invited visit to a Cabécar indigenous community.


Grand Victorian mansion

You could leave Pacuare by cable gondola across the river to a waiting vehicle, or take an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip on class III-IV rapids to reach the road. You are driven to San José for a night of finery at a Victorian mansion artfully converted to an upper range hotel whose restaurant is considered one of the grandest in the city. Its fin de siècle style is complemented by the work of Costa Rican artists.


Hideout on the Lost River

Today travel to Costa Rica’s northwest into the Guanacaste ranchlands crossed by wild rivers with dramatic gorges and tumbling waterfalls. Here you stay for 3 nights at Rio Perdido (‘lost river’), an upmarket contemporary lodge in a 600 acre private reserve. Activities include swimming in a geothermal canyon with hot river pools and a range of hiking trails, plus mountain biking, tubing and a canopy zip line at additional cost. Rio Perdido also has a succession of outdoor swimming pools, a stylish alfresco bar and restaurant, and rather good spa to revive and restore you.


At Rio Perdido.


At Rio Perdido.


Pacific beaches

Beach time coming up. You travel onwards to the Pacific coast for a 6 night stay at your choice of oceanside hotel. Here are some ideas from many. We can help you choose. - Punta Islita: a sophisticated retreat on a verdant hilltop with stunning ocean views - Kurà Design Villas: an away-from-it-all hip hotel looking over the Pacific at Uvita - Ylang Ylang: alt-style ‘barefoot’ hideaway right on the beach on the south coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. - Alma del Pacifico: stylish upper range hotel with relatively easy access to a number of attractions - Cala Luna: a good option close to the bars and nightlife at Tamarindo - Harmony: a holistic natural retreat at Nosara with spa, yoga and a laid back vibe - Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas: minimalist contemporary design, your own private pool villa and stunning ocean views

DAY 10

At the beach.

DAY 11

At the beach.

DAY 12

At the beach.

DAY 13

At the beach.

DAY 14

At the beach.

DAY 15

Depart Costa Rica

This morning travel back to San José where you have day use of Xandari Costa Rica, including lunch, before you are taken to the international airport for your flight home.

Guide prices for 'Couple's Escape'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Tango Mar (Standard room B&B) 2 people sharing £3,135 £3,395
Alma del Pacifico (Gdn bungalow B&B) 2 people sharing £3,105 £3,610
Ylang Ylang (Standard room HB) 2 people sharing £3,205 £3,425
Cala Luna (Deluxe room B&B) 2 people sharing £3,040 £3,610
Harmony (Cocos room B&B) 2 people sharing £3,415 £4,020
Punta Islita (Deluxe room B&B) 2 people sharing £3,445 £3,780
Casa Chameleon Catalinas (villa plunge pool B&B) 2 people sharing £4,215 £4,935
Kura (Jnr suite villa B&B) 2 people sharing £4,645 £5,105
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Costa Rica
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • shared services of rafting guides at Pacuare
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes

Customer reviews for 'Couple's Escape'

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.


Seasonal information for 'Couple's Escape'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Xandari 26°C rainfall 21mm
2 Xandari 26°C rainfall 21mm
3 Pacuare Lodge 27°C rainfall 234mm
4 Pacuare Lodge 27°C rainfall 234mm
5 San José 24°C rainfall 28mm
6 Rio Perdido 30°C rainfall 33mm
7 Rio Perdido 30°C rainfall 33mm
8 Rio Perdido 30°C rainfall 33mm
9 At the beach 32°C rainfall 3mm
10 At the beach 32°C rainfall 3mm
11 At the beach 32°C rainfall 3mm
12 At the beach 32°C rainfall 3mm
13 At the beach 32°C rainfall 3mm
14 At the beach 32°C rainfall 3mm

Typical weather for January


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

Hotels for 'Couple's Escape'

Days 1 - 2

Xandari Resort & Spa

near Alajuela

Average rating 4.9 (57 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. The outdoor restaurant sources its food from the fruits, vegetables and herbs of the plantation’s gardens.

Xandari Resort & Spa
Days 3 - 4

Pacuare Lodge


Average rating 4.9 (27 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.

The lodge has 12 rooms, 4 river view suites  and 6 garden view bungalows. The junior suites have king size beds, their own balcony and both inside and outdoor showers. The garden suites have a king size bed and a private bathroom with shower. There is no air-conditioning here but a natural breeze from the river keeps the rooms at a comfortable temperature. There is also a honeymoon suite set high up in the jungle with a private plunge pool and a unique hanging bridge that leads from the balcony across to a platform in a giant tree.

From Sep 2017 there will be 24h electricity in all rooms (currently just in two new river side Linda Vista suites). There will still be the option for rooms to be lit by candlelight at night as has been traditonal here up until now. 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 offers several other excursions including five hikes, earl morning birdwatching, horse riding and visiting the local Cabecar Indians.  

You can choose to get to and from the lodge either by 4x4 then a handcranked basket across the river to the far bank where the lodge is siturated or by white water 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 a stronger grade III to IV and takes 4 hours through amazing scenery stopping for lunch on route.

There is a Spa on-site (massages and therapies at extra cost), plus a special tree-house dining space called 'the nest' situated high above the forest floor. It seats up to four people (min age 12 years) and should be pre-booked for a memorable meal at either breakfast, lunch or dinner. The food is winched up to you high in the canopy - supplementary costs apply ranging currently priced from $65-125pp depending on the meal option chosen.

Child policy:

If no rafting involved: minimum age is 7 years

If rafting out: minimum age 12 years

If river levels are low it could be possible for a  child aged 10-12 years to raft in (but they can never raft out).  

Pacuare Lodge
Day 5

Grano de Oro

San José

Average rating 4.6 (53 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. Room facilities include the usual mini-bar, cable TV, room service, direct telephone, and safe deposit box. A laundry service is available.

Grano de Oro
Restaurant patio
Days 6 - 8

Rio Perdido


Rio Perdido is a modern, stylish, upmarket lodge within a 600 acre private reserve. It lies in a relatively remote part of Guanacaste's with dramatic gorges, tumbling waterfalls, wild rivers and thermal hot-springs in dry forest surroundings.

The lodge is a perfect base for adventure and relaxation.

Each of the Rio Perdido's 20 stand-alone, tastefully decorated bungalows have a/c, two queen-sized beds that can be combined into one king-sized bed, mini-bar, coffee station, terrace with hammock, wifi, flat screen cable TV.

Facilities include a swimming pool, a striking restaurant and bar area view view out over the forest canopy, spa and gift shop. Guests are transferred around the property by electric golf-carts.

Activities possible include on-site hiking trails of varying lengths in the reserve (which is accessed by a 200ft hanging bridge), thermal canyon with hot river pools, mountain biking, tubing, canopy zipline.

Rio Perdido has won a Trip Advisor 'Green Leaders' Platinum property award for sustainability. The lodge is 1.5hr drive from Liberia airport.


Rio Perdido
Aerial view of property
Days 9 - 14

Alma del Pacifico

Playa Esterillos Este

Average rating 4.7 (27 ratings)

Alma del Pacifico is one of the few good quality beach hotels in Costa Rica that is actually set directly on the beach, so you can walk out of your room and on to the sands in a few steps. The style is colourful and original, as spacious and comfortable rooms have the feel of an upmarket Mexican villa. Most of the rooms enjoy a view of the landscaped garden, opening out on to the sands behind. The thatched open-air restaurant looks onto the garden and the beach and there is a lovely swimming pool and a spa. Alma del Pacifico is also a good choice for honeymooners.

Alma del Pacifico
View of swimming pool