15 days departing SAN JOSE from

Style: Active
Destination: Costa Rica
Tour Code: DCR

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Trip Overview

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with over half a million different species calling it home. The tropical climate, spectacular sandy beaches and incredibly diverse ecosystems provide Costa Rica with an abundant offering of wildlife including sloths, toucans, frogs, butterflies, anteaters, Howler Monkeys and more. During the nesting season at Tortuguero National Park thousands of Green Turtles arrive to lay their eggs on the beaches of the Caribbean Coast - an unforgettable sight. Costa Rica's appeal lies in its sheer variety. Your journey will take you through national parks and reserves to see the very best of this ecological paradise. We also offer some departures with a specialist birdwatching guide for those with an interest in ornithology.

Included Highlights
  • Stay in eco-friendly lodges and hotels
  • Two night stay in Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
  • Idyllic Pacific coast beaches
  • Experience rainforest, lava fields and cloud forests
  • Visit beaches of Tortuguero (nesting site for turtles)
  • Get up close to a variety of unique wildlife
  • Visit La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Hiking trails through lava fields and rainforest
  • Visit Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Fresh water swimming opportunities
Tour Facts and Features
Accommodation: 14 hotel/eco lodge nights in twin share accommodation. For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see Dates & Prices tab).
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle and boats in Tortuguero
Meals: 14 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners included
Guided: Services of a professional bilingual tour leader
Group size: Maximum 16
Age range: 16+

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Trip Itinerary

Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as local and operational conditions may vary and unforeseen circumstances can arise, the following itinerary should be used as a guideline.

Download Trip Dossier (2015 version)

Download the Discover Costa Rica trip dossier for tour-specific details including full itinerary, pre-departure information, packing tips and more about our style of travel.

2016 dossiers will be available in December.

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Optional Activities (paid locally)

Our optional activities offer the flexibility to do the things you want to and leave out the things you don't. Below are the main optional activities for this trip which can be arranged once you are on tour via your tour leader and paid for locally. Please note that not all optional activities may available on every tour and prices are subject to change.

  • Sea kayaking - Manuel Antonio US$55-$65
  • Canopy zip-line tour - Manuel Antonio US$60-$75
  • Hanging bridges canopy walk - Monteverde US$35-$55
  • Sky Tram gondola - Arenal US$45
  • Sky Tram night tour with canopy sky trek - Arenal US$70
  • Ecotermales Hot Springs tour - Arenal (4hrs) US$73
  • Tabacon Hot Springs - Arenal (4hrs) US$85
  • Frog Pond Museum - Monteverde US$15-$20
  • Butterfly Garden - Monteverde US$15
  • White-water rafting - Manuel Antonio US$75
  • Morning or sunset sailing cruise - Manuel Antonio US$80

Day 1: Arrival day in San Jose

Take in the sights of Costa Rica's cosmopolitan capital, San Jose. This is an excellent opportunity to orientate yourself and to try some of the local cuisine ahead of your adventure into the jungles of Tortuguero National Park.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 2: Tortuguero National Park

Meet your tour leader and travelling companions at your 06:00 hrs welcome meeting. Start your journey with a trip through the canals of Tortuguero National Park, before reaching your tranquil lodge accommodation deep in the heart of the jungle. Stunning tropical cloud forests, filled with colourful orchids, provide the backdrop to your boat exploration and as you experience an area that's completely bereft of noise pollution you'll quickly become immersed in the exotic beauty of Costa Rica.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 3: Tortuguero National Park

Navigate the waterways and canals of Tortuguero, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife in this naturalist's dream. Travelling by boat enables you to pass serenely along the waterways, hopefully with sightings of Caiman, monkeys, iguanas, turtles, butterflies and many of the 309 bird species recorded here. This afternoon is yours to explore - the chance to extend this morning's boat tour in search of more wildlife is a popular choice. In the evening there's usually a conservation expert or two willing to enlighten you further on the efforts undertaken with regards to animal protection. Subject to permission and the time of year, Green Turtles laying eggs can be viewed under supervision (July- October).
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 4: Arenal

Travel by boat and bus past tropical plantations on your way to this evening's lodge accommodation, situated within the shadows of Arenal Volcano. The drive is magnificent as you pass by pineapple and sugar cane plantations. Following a massive eruption in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. As well as the volcano, this region has a great deal to offer including thermal waters, waterfalls, dense vegetation and the Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve. Why not opt to visit the hot springs or take a Sky Tram through the rainforest for excellent view of the volcano?
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Day 5: Arenal

Set off in search of La Fortuna Waterfall, beginning with a steep 20-30 minute hike/climb through the lush jungle. This hike is well within the capabilities of anyone with reasonable fitness; the reward being the chance to dip into one of the natural pools surrounded by the forest. In the afternoon you have an optional short scenic hike to the lava fields of Arenal Volcano, a fantastic moon-like landscape. The volcano has a classic conical shape, grey on one side and green on the other, with several fumaroles that spit out steam from time to time.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 6: Monteverde

This morning you head to the Tilaran Mountain Range where you can enjoy incredible vistas of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below as you ascend the hills to Monteverde and Santa Elena. The road (which is bumpy and can be in poor condition following rains) climbs to this forest-cloaked region, translated literally as 'Green Mountain'.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 7: Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

Today you visit the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, world-famous for its biodiversity. The reserve is the perfect place to take an unforgettable walk in the clouds and is ideal for birdwatching and hiking. We recommend taking your binoculars! Santa Elena is one of the first community managed reserves in Costa Rica and is administered by the Santa Elena High School. It's dedicated to conservation as well as the improvement of local education standards. On clear days you may also enjoy views of Arenal Volcano from here. The afternoon is free for optional excursions.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 8: Manuel Antonio National Park

Palm plantations form the backdrop as you travel along the Pam-Am Highway to the forests and beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. This is your chance to combine rest and relaxation with wildlife spotting as you share white sand beaches with iguanas and monkeys whilst preparing yourself for tomorrow's exploration deep into the heart of Manuel Antonio National Park.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 9: Manuel Antonio National Park

With all manner of animal encounters amongst the forests and beaches of Manuel Antonio, this is a real day to remember as you're taken on a tropical guided nature trail. Wildlife enthusiasts should keep a keen eye on the jungle foliage as there are over 100 different species of mammals inhabiting the park as well as almost 200 variations of birds. Away from the land there are a number of tiny islands just off the coast and as you enjoy an afternoon at the beach you may be lucky enough to see dolphins and even migrating whales bobbing above the ocean waves.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 10: Piedras Blancas National Park

This is where things get really wild as you spend a couple of nights in a lodge amongst the dense jungle foliage of Esquinas Rainforest. Your lodge accommodation is financed by the Austrian Government as part of a forest research, aid development and a nature conservation project. This is yet another initiative aimed at keeping the jungles and natural habitats of Costa Rica as preserved as possible. As you explore and become accustomed to your surroundings you'll understand why this is such an important and necessary cause.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 11: Piedras Blancas National Park

Keep a lookout for rustling foliage as you follow a knowledgeable local guide and disappear into the jungle on this morning's hike. The afternoon is yours to explore further or use to relax at the natural pool. There are around 10 miles' of trails departing directly from your lodge accommodation. As with all explorations into the jungle, care is of the essence - sensible walking shoes, long-sleeved apparel and steady progress are advised.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 12: Savegre Cloud Forest

Keeping your head firmly in the cloud forest you'll embark on a nature trail in search of the elusive, yet colourful, Quetzal bird which has made its home amongst the dense foliage of Savegre Valley. The Quetzal may be the shy and retiring type however, thanks to their colourful and striking appearance (especially males), they shouldn't be too hard to spot for the keen eyed twitchers amongst your party.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 13: Savegre Cloud Forest

Prepare for more exotic bird sightings as you grab your trusty binoculars and head out on any number of optional excursions amongst the tropical fronds and sub-Andean vegetation of Savegre. One of the ever-popular optional activities today has to be the hike in Los Quetzales National Park which promises exceptional sub-Andean and tropical cloud forests, as well as the chance to see hummingbirds, tapirs and sloths in their natural environment.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 14: San Jose

Spending time within a local community is an excellent way to discover exactly what it takes to live in such a remote part of the world. This morning's visit to the Copey Village School is no exception. After experiencing some genuine Costa Rican hospitality over lunch it's time to head back to San Jose for one last trip to the market to pick up some souvenirs and super strength coffee.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Day 15: San Jose

There's still plenty left to explore in and around San Jose. If you wish to stay on for a couple of nights we can organise accommodation for you. Otherwise, your tour will come to an end after this morning's breakfast.
Meals: Breakfast included

This tour is run by our trusted sister company.

Special Departures

If you want to make sure you're right in the heart of the action at the absolute best time to be there, then why not book one of our 'Special Departures'?

Birdwatching special departures

Bird Watching Special Departures

For keen birders, we have designated a number of departures that will be accompanied by a specialist birdwatching guide. With over 850 bird species recorded in Costa Rica, you can see more species here than anywhere in North America, Europe or Australia.

Book trips departing 11 Jan 2016, 23 Jan 2016, 8 Feb 2016, 24 Feb 2016, 18 Apr 2016, 7 Nov 2016, 19 Nov 2016

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No credit card fees
  • A 10% deposit per person is required to confirm your booking.
  • Full payment is due 8 weeks before the tour departure
  • We charged no credit card fees or hidden surcharges
  • ABTA & ATOL licensed operator offering financial security for our tours
  • Prices are land only. Call 0333 999 7965 for a flight inclusive quote (UK)

Solo Sleepers   Optional Solo Sleeper

There are no forced supplements for single travellers. Accommodation is based on twin-share, so if you're travelling on your own, you'll share with a fellow passenger of the same sex. However, if you would prefer your own space our Solo Sleeper Option can be requested from per person. This will guarantee you your own room for every night of the tour. The number of single rooms we can offer is limited, so it's best to book early. Simply select the "Solo Sleepers" check box on the booking form or request over the phone.

Important Notes

We highly recommend you book this trip at least 60 days prior to departure. Reservations received within 30 days will be on request and subject to availability of en-route accommodation.

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Available: Seats are available. Book Online now!
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Contact Us: Seats may be available. Please contact us.

Private Departures

Why not arrange your own Grand American Adventures departure? For groups of 8 or more, we can offer private departures on any of our published itineraries enabling friends, families or organizations to enjoy our style of travel at special rates. Although tours will run as per our standard itinerary shown here, slight modifications may be considered and dates can be chosen to suit your needs. (Subject to seasonal/operational restrictions). So contact us today and start planning your own adventure.

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Tour Extras

We've offer a whole range of travel extras with everything from city sightseeing, additional hotel nights, insurance and more so you can organise everything you'll need for your trip in one easy place

Hotels Before and After your trip

Tours begin and end at our designated hotels listed below in the departure and arrival cities. You can book additional hotel nights online or contact our sales team.

Country Inn and Suites


Convenient located near Juan Santamaria International Airport , this hotel offers free Wi-Fi, 2 stunning swimming pools and restaurant.

  • Full room:  per room per night
      Based on single, twin or double room.

Book Flights

Our specialist flights department can offer UK customers a great airline fare to all of our travel destinations.

Book Flights

We have preferred contracts with many international carriers and have secured some of the most competitive prices in the industry. We are also ATOL protected and IATA licensed.

Special offers are regularly available, so call us now on 0208 682 8921 or click below to request a flight quote by email.

> Request a flight quote now

Travel Insurance

At Grand American Adventures we believe that your safety and enjoyment are the most important parts of your holiday.

Travel Insurance

Before you join your Grand American Adventures tour you MUST be covered by insurance that includes adequate coverage for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation. We can offer you a comprehensive travel insurance policy which is completely tailored for your trip and is specially designed to include all the activities listed.

See our insurance page for more information.

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Call us on 0333 999 7961 0333 999 7965
Call us on 1800 873 5872 1800 873 5872
Call us on 1300 157 153 1300 157 153
+44 208 6828921
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