DISCOVER COSTA RICA

15 days departing SAN JOSE from

Style: Active
Destination: Costa Rica
Tour Code: DCR

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Trip Overview

Costa Rica is a country so varied in its offering and promises travellers rich volcanic soil, tropical climate, black sand beaches and a huge range of incredibly rich and bio-diverse ecosystems encompassing thick jungle, cloud forest, mangrove swamp, Pacific and Caribbean coastline and a handful of active volcanoes. This is the reason Costa Rica has such an abundant offering of wildlife including sloths, toucans and 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. Our journey takes us through national parks and reserves to see the very best of this ecological paradise. We also offer some departures with a specialist bird-watching guide for those with an interest in ornithology.

Included Highlights
  • Stay in eco-friendly lodges & 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)
  • Chance to see abundant wildlife
  • Visit the Sea Turtle Museum
  • Visit La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Hiking trails through lava fields & rainforest
  • Visit Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Fresh water swimming opportunities
Tour Facts & Features
Accommodation: 14 hotel/ecolodge nights in twin share accommodation. For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see Dates & Prices tab)
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle & boats in Tortuguero
Meals: 14 breakfasts, 8 lunches & 6 dinners included
Guided: Services of a professional bilingual tour leader
Group size: Maximum 16
Age range: 18+

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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 (2014 departures)

Download the Discover Costa Rica 2014 trip dossier for tour-specific details including full itinerary, pre-departure information, packing tips and more about our style of travel. 2015 dossiers will be available by end of December.

(Adobe Acrobat is required to read this pdf)

Download Dossier >



Optional Activities (paid locally)
  • Sea kayaking, Manuel Antonio US$55-$65
  • Canopy zipline tour, Manuel Antonio US$60-$75
  • Hanging bridges canopy walk, Monteverde US$35-$55
  • Sky Tram night tour with canopy sky trek US$70
  • Arenal hanging bridges canopy walk US$70-$85
  • Arenal Ecotermales hot springs tour (4hrs) US$73
  • Arenal Tabacon hot springs (4hrs) US$85
  • Frog Pond Museum, Monteverde US$15
  • Monteverde Butterfly Garden US$15
  • Whitewater rafting in Manuel Antionio US$72
  • Morning or sunset sailing cruise, Manuel Antonio US$80


Trip Departure Time

As this tour departs at 0600 on day 2 we recommend that you book pre-tour accommodation. Please request hotel details at the time of booking.

Day 1: San Jose

Take in the sights of Costa Rica's capital before meeting your tour leader and travelling companions. This is a great chance to get orientated and try some of the local cuisine ahead of tomorrow's adventure into the jungles of Tortuguero.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 2: Tortuguero National Park

Journey through the canals of Tortuguero National Park until you finally reach 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 | Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 3: Tortuguero National Park

Navigate the waterways and canals of Tortuguero and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as this is an absolute naturalist's dream. Travelling by boat enables you to pass serenely along the waterways, hopefully with sightings of monkeys, caiman, iguanas, turtles, butterflies and many of the 309 bird species recorded here. This afternoon is yours to do with as you wish and the chance to repeat this morning's boat tour in search of more wildlife is always a popular choice. In the evening there's usually a conservation expert or two willing to enlighten you still further on the efforts undertaken with regards to animal protection and, subject to permission and time of year, green turtles laying eggs can be viewed under supervision (July- October).
Accommodation: Lodge included | Breakfast, lunch & 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. Apart from 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 for a visit to the hot springs, take a Sky Tram or cable car through the rainforest for great views of the volcano.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Breakfast & lunch included

Day 5: Arenal

With La Fortuna Waterfall as our goal today we set off, 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 we 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 | Breakfast included

Day 6: Monteverde

This morning head to the Tilaran Mountain Range where you 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 whose name literally means 'Green Mountain'.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Breakfast included

Day 7: Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

Today we 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 bird watching and hiking, you may want to take 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 is dedicated to conservation and also to the improvement of local education standards. On clear days we may also enjoy views of Arenal Volcano from here. The afternoon is free for optional excursions.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Breakfast included

Day 8: Manual Antonio National Park

Palm plantations form the backdrop as you travel along the Pam-Am Highway to the forests and beaches of Manual 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 Manual Antonio National Park.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Breakfast included

Day 9: Manual Antonio National Park

With all manner of animal encounters amongst the mangroves, lagoons and forests of Manual Antonio this is a real day to remember as you're taken on a totally tropical guided nature trail. Wildlife enthusiasts will no doubt be keeping 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 | Breakfast included

Day 10: Golfito

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 nature conservation project. This is yet another initiative aimed at keeping the jungles and natural habitats of Costa Rica as preserved as possible and as you explore and become accustomed to your surroundings you'll no doubt understand why this is such an important and necessary cause.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 11: Golfito

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

Day 12: Savegre Valley

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. Quetzal maybe the shy and retiring types 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 | Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 13: Savegre Valley

Prepare for more 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 trek in Los Quetzales National Park which promises some 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 | Breakfast, lunch & 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 and 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 and one last trip to the market for souvenirs and super strength coffee.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Breakfast & lunch included

Day 15: San Jose

Let us know if you require additional accommodation in San Jose or whether you're happy for your tour to come to completion after this morning's breakfast.

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 bird-watching 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 2014, 22 Feb 2014 & 29 Mar 2014.


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  • A 10% deposit per person is required to book.
  • Full payment is due 8 weeks before the tour departure
  • We are an ABTA and ATOL operator offering financial security for our inclusive tours.
  • If you prefer to book by telephone please contact our UK sales office
  • Prices are land only. Call 0333 999 7951 for a flight inclusive quote

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 designated hotels in the departure and arrival cities, starting at 7.30am (check your tour voucher for exact details) and finishing at around 5pm, so it's a great idea to book a room for the night before and after your tour. You can book hotels either online when you book your tour or by call our sales team.

Country Inn and Suites

SAN JOSE - COUNTRY INN & SUITES

  • Twin share:  per person per night
      Matched with another traveller of the same sex.
       
    Full room:  per room per night
      Single or double room for travellers on the same booking.


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 8920 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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