What makes this trip special?
Fabulous white-water rafting
Costa Rica's most active volcano
Remote wetland habitat teeming with wildlife
Ranching and adventure
Rincon de la Vieja
Whizzing through the canopy
World class surf and stunning sunsets
Santa Teresa and Mal Pais
- Day Overnight
Piedras Blancas NP
Piedras Blancas NP
Piedras Blancas NP
Bajos del Toro
Bajos del Toro
- For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.
Day-by-day itinerary for 'Costa Rica Nature Explorer'
Flooded Forest of Tortuguero
Biodiverse South Pacific Rainforest
Guide prices for 'Costa Rica Nature Explorer'
|Mid-range hotels, selfdrive (Terios)
||2 people sharing
|Mid-range hotels, private transfers
||2 people sharing
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 resident English-speaking naturalist guide in Tortuguero
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 Rica Nature Explorer'
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.
Pacuare, Manuel Antonio and Tortuguero
Casa Corcovado for the diversity of wildlife. At Bosque de Paz we were made truly welcome and we felt like part of the family. Vanessa and Federico were charming hosts and Federico had planned the menus himself.
it was all great - particularly Tortuguero and Casa Corcovado
The fact the whole trip was stress free. The private transfers were excellent
All with possibly the exception of Bajos del Toro for reasons given
All bar Sarapiqui
Seeing the Resplendent Quetzal!
The individual guided walks at La Tirimbina & La Selva, the boat trips at Tortuguero, Manuel Antonio after we stayed on by ourselves and got away from the crowds.
Maquenque for birds/wildlife. Casa Corcovado for food, excursions, wildlife.
Seeing all the different wildlife in the various habitats.
Maquenque was the definite highlight.
Playa Nicuesa was the best lodge, we loved all the hiking we did in Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio. Maquenque was the best for birds. The South Pacific was a wonderful area - dolphins, rays and fishing. The rainforest here was possibly less inte
The reserve at Lagarta Lodge, the flight to Nosara.
Seeing wonderful birds and animals.
Casa Corcovado was excellent.
La Selva birds, Tortuguero, Hot springs at Arenal, Beach at Manuel Antonio and the restaurant Marlisa at Manuel Antonio.
Maquenque and Bosque de Paz. These were quieter which I prefer and both are friendly and well run.
Hanging Bridges at Arenal, the wildlife, the food, Nayara and El Silencio.
Tortuguero and Monteverde
Esquinas, Maquenque and Bosque de la Paz. We also loved the trip to La Selva.
Night walks and watching the World Cup football with Costa Ricans!
Maquenque Lodge was amazing - the staff, our room, the wildlife, the food!
The wildlife and environment at Tortuguero and Arenal.
we really enjoyed the tours at Tortuguero and Sarapiqui. We loved the beach and hotel at Tamarindo.
Boat and trips by boat to lodges were always a highlight as they were great for seeing wildlife. Kayaking at Maquenque was fantastic. OTS La Selva was fantastic for birds. Casa Corcovado was a great place to finish
Variation in environments & wildlife, an excellent choice of lodges
Rainforest walks were extremely interesting.
We enjoyed it all but Osa was our favourite.
La Selva and Toruguero for wildlife, Boca Tapada for general interest, friendly staff.
Osa was by far the best, closely followed by San Gerardo de Dota and Bajos del Toro.
Loved it all but Laguna and Nicuesa particularly spectacular.
It was all great and nicely balanced with a varied itinerary. Seeing a puma was particularly special.
Osa - the lodge was wonderful and relaxing. Tortuguero - fantastic wildlife.
Maquenque and Osa were the highlights. Loved the internal flights.
Both properties at Drake Bay, although very clean, were actually very different and complemented each other well.
We would give Bajos del Toro a miss.
Night tours, dolphin tour, chocolate tour, sloths, amazing guides, friendly people, crocodiles near Nicaraguan border and wildlife in general.
Seasonal information for 'Costa Rica Nature Explorer'
Hotels for 'Costa Rica Nature Explorer'
El Rodeo Country Inn
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.
Days 2 - 3
Mawamba Lodge is set amongst 15 acres of lush tropical gardens and within easy walking distance of Tortuguero village. The hotel's 54 rooms blend perfectly with the surrounding exuberant jungle vegetation. From the basic wooden bungalows you can hear a cacophony of sounds as you lie in bed. Ranchos with hammocks tucked away in the gardens are perfect for relaxing after a day of adventure. Private nature trails and an open sky butterfly farm provide the opportunity to discover different species of trees, palms trees, heliconias and many other plant species that abound in the tropical rainforest. There is also a red-eyed tree frog project by the swimming pool, bar and a buffet style restaurant. The package here includes all meals, morning and afternoon boat trips through the canals to observe the abundant wildlife. Although rustic, we like this lodge for its size and position in Tortuguero.
Days 4 - 6
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
The lodge is surrounded by the Piedras Blancas National Park in Costa Rica's remote southern zone. Guests can enjoy activities such as hiking, bird watching, horse riding as well as boat and kayak trips in nearby Golfo Dulce. The rooms at Esquinas have a native rancho style, with roofs made from palm fronds. The main building features a spacious, open living room, library, bar, restaurant and a chlorine-free pool fed by a crystal-clear jungle stream. The tropical garden attracts more than 200 species of birds, colourful butterflies, amphibians and sometimes coatis, monkeys, iguanas. There is also a 10-mile long network of well-marked trails, most of which lead through fascinating, untouched primary forest.
Days 7 - 9
La Quinta de Sarapiqui Lodge
This is a pleasant, small, mid-priced hotel, with good sustainable tourism credentials. It is run by a Costa Rican family who do everything they can to make their guests' stays enjoyable. Accommodation is in 25 rather uninspired concrete bungalows, each with private bathroom, tiled floors, ceiling fans and a/c, a small private terrace with rocking chairs and views of the garden. Built on a former working farm the owners have planted an attractive garden on this deforested, riverside site. There is a swimming pool, children's' play area, butterfly garden, a poison dart frog garden and an interesting exhibition room about tropical insects. This is a good sensible choice particularly for families, people with mobility problems and those non-birding spouses who would like an open, sunny base while in the Sarapiqui area. Great home cooking - the best we've tasted in Costa Rica.
Days 10 - 12
near San Juan River
This is a wonderful family-run eco-lodge set in its own private 60 ha nature reserve inside the Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge. This area of lowland rainforest is especially good for birdwatchers and for people with a strong interest in Costa Rica's wildlife, from beetles and butterflies to bats and basilisks. The lodge's conservation-minded owners, who are all biologists, are doing an excellent job and personally guide many of the tours (on foot or by boat), including wonderful night walks. If you are arriving by car you will be ferried across the San Carlos river to the lodge, leaving your vehicle in a guarded private parking area on the opposite bank. There are self-guided trails, orchid garden, botanic garden and a garden of medicinal plants, and a butterfly farm and garden.
Days 13 - 14
Bosque de Paz
Bajos del Toro
Bosque de Paz is set in 700ha of private cloud forest with seven well-maintained trails of varying length and strenuousness running from the lodge and through the forest reserve. This delightful family run lodge has 12 comfortable bedrooms, each with two double beds, a private bathroom and hot water. The dining room provides great homemade traditional Costa Rican cooking. Nectar feeders have been hung in the garden, which attract good numbers of hummingbirds. Butterflies are drawn to the pretty flowering plants in the garden. A lovely option for those wanting to relax and experience the true nature of the cloud forest.