COSTA RICA FAMILY DISCOVERY

15 days departing SAN JOSE from

Style: Family
Destination: Costa Rica
Tour Code: PCO

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Trip Overview

Explore one of the world's greenest countries on this Costa Rica family holiday! Nestled between two great oceans where the continents meet, Costa Rica's natural beauty and abundant wildlife make for a holiday destination with a difference. Travel by boat deep into the remote Tortuguero National Park, walk trails through cloud forest and take a dip in the volcanic hot springs at Arenal, and relax on white sandy beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts. Along the way, spot diverse wildlife from turtles to monkeys and sloths to toucans. Take the family on an incredible adventure of discovery through this extremely beautiful country.

Included Highlights
  • Discover the abundant wildlife of Tortuguero by boat
  • Two lodge nights in Tortuguero National Park
  • Visit the famous Sloth Sanctuary
  • Visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens and discover diverse birdlife, butterflies and frogs
  • Take a dip in Arenal's hot springs
  • Relax on idyllic sandy beaches including Cahuita
  • Dip your toes in both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean
  • Enjoy a night walk in Tirimbina Biological Reserve
  • Spot monkeys, toucans and other tropical wildlife
  • Guided day trip exploring Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Free time to relax on Jaco Beach
  • National parks and nature reserves: Tortuguero, Cahuita, Tirimbina Biological Reserve, Arenal Volcano & Manuel Antonio
Guaranteed departures

All departures of this tour are guaranteed, so once you've booked you can be sure you're going! This guarantee gives you the confidence to book all of your travel arrangements and simply look forward to your holiday.

Tour Facts and Features
Accommodation: 12 hotel nights in twin share accommodation with swimming pools + 2 nights jungle lodge
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle and boat
Meals: 14 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 2 dinners
Guided: Services of a professional bi-lingual tour guide
Group size: Maximum 16
Age range: 5+ (10% Child discount 5-16 years)

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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 (2016 version)

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

Download Dossier >



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.

  • Snorkelling tour - Manuel Antonio US$56
  • Sea kayaking - Manuel Antonio US$55-$56
  • Sky Tram gondola (minimum height 1.20m) - Arenal US$64
  • Horseback riding - Manuel Antonio US$56
  • White-water rafting (Class II-III) - Sarapiqui US$46
  • Chocolate tour - Sarapiqui US$27
  • Safari floating tour (Class I) - Sarapiqui US$46
  • Canopy tour - Sarapiqui US$46
  • La Selva Biological Reserve - Sarapiqui US$34
  • Catamaran Adventure - Manuel Antonio US$74
  • Snorkelling - Cahuita US$55
  • Hanging bridges - Arenal US$54


Itinerary Update

For 2017 departures days 11-13 will be overnighting at Jaco Beach as opposed to Manuel Antonio National Park however, on day 12 there is an included visit to Manuel Antonio NP. The 2017 itinerary is displayed below.

For the current 2016 itinerary, please see the Trip Dossier.

Day 1-2: San Jose

Spend your first day settling into Costa Rica's capital before a welcome meeting in the evening where you'll meet your group leader and the other families that you'll be travelling with. The next morning you'll visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens, about an hour outside of San José. Walk along a short rainforest trail to a viewpoint of the cascading waterfalls and explore the park's frog exhibit, butterfly observatory and aviary - you may also see monkeys, sloths and toucans in this area, so it's the perfect introduction to Costa Rica's incredible diversity. In the afternoon you are free to relax or explore more of the city at your own pace.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast (x1) included

Day 3-4: Tortuguero National Park

Make an early start to travel to the north-east of Costa Rica. Take a unique journey through the canals of Tortuguero National Park until you finally reach your tranquil riverbank lodge, deep in the heart of the Caribbean rainforest. The next couple of days will be spent exploring. An early morning boat trip with our expert guide will help us spot wildlife when it's usually most active. You'll get to listen to the cries of Howler Monkeys and colourful toucans as well as finding out more about the nesting grounds of the Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback Turtles. Aside from the noisy neighbours and shuffling turtles, Tortuguero is also home to almost all of Costa Rica's endangered animals, including manatees, jaguars, ocelots and more than 300 species of bird. Join the included second optional boat trip to spot more flora and fauna along the waterways, relax at the lodge or follow short walking trails through the forest.

NB: If you're visiting from August to October, please remember to pack dark clothing and keep flash photography to a minimum, as bright colours and lights can distract nesting Green Turtles. If in doubt, please check with your guide.
Accommodation: Jungle lodge included | Meals: Breakfast (x2), lunch (x2) and dinner (x2) included

Day 5-6: Cahuita National Park

Leave Tortugero by boat, and drive to Cahuita on the laid-back Caribbean coast. Cahuita is home to one of the country's most popular national parks, and provides the perfect combination of beach life and jungle scenery. Spend your days snorkelling in some of the most vibrant waters imaginable, or simply relax on the white sandy beaches backed by lush tropical forest. You'll also visit Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary to witness all the incredible work that goes into protecting these adorable creatures, and take a boat tour to see sloths and other animals in the wild.
Accommodation: Hotel included I Meals: Breakfast (x2) and lunch (x1) included

Day 7-8: Sarapiqui

Home to a number of nature reserves and national parks, the whole family will have an incredible time in Sarapiquí. A night-time walk in Tirimbina Biological Reserve is a real highlight, as you'll cross over suspension bridges, get a totally different perspective of the flora and fauna, and see jungle creatures at their most active.

Your time spent on the banks of the Puerto Viejo River is yours to do with as you wish, and there are plenty of exciting optional activities on offer, such as jungle hikes, boat trips and river rafting. As with all our activities, the most stringent safety checks have been put in place and, as such, the optional river rafting has been deemed a suitable activity for the over 12s. For younger families, an excellent alternative is an optional boat trip where you'll venture along the Pacuare River in search of exotic animals peering out from within the abundant lush foliage.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast (x2) included

Day 9-10: Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal is a classic conical-shaped volcano that towers 1,670m (5,480 ft.) above the fertile countryside and presents an excellent opportunity for young geologists to get up close to their first active volcano - much more exciting than any textbook! The chance to wander the trails through the cloud forests and volcanic slopes of Arenal Volcano National Park is quite an exceptional experience and if you're looking for waterfalls, the occasional flash of a hummingbird and the chance to bathe in hot springs, then memories of these two days will no doubt stay with you for years to come. Further optional activities can be undertaken in the afternoon of day 10, walking across the hanging bridges or taking the Sky Tram through the cloud forest canopy.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast (x2) included

Day 11-13: Manuel Antonio National Park - Jaco Beach

Head south on the Pan-American Highway, following mangroves, plantations and windswept beaches, until you reach Jaco Beach where you'll spend the next three nights. As well as having a full day of free time for optional activities and relaxation, you'll have a guided visit of Manuel Antonio National Park. This is the smallest of Costa Rica's national parks but it's by no means lacking in the natural beauty stakes and, with a broad range of white sand beaches leading down from lush green forest-covered mountain slopes, it will come as no surprise to learn that it's considered to hold some of the most impressive landscapes on the planet. Manuel Antonio is also renowned for its hugely diverse range of wildlife with numerous species of monkey, sloth, iguana and bird which call this park home. In your free time, you could head out horse riding, discover the park's coastline on a catamaran excursion or try your hand at ocean kayaking.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast (x3) included

Day 14-15: San Jose

Retrace your steps northwards until your tour ends amongst the familiar colonial grandeur of Costa Rica's capital, San José. Explore more of the city or relax by the pool. As there are no activities planned for your last day in San José, you're free to check out of your accommodation at any time after breakfast. If you're still hankering for some sightseeing or last-minute souvenir hunting, then luggage storage is available.
Accommodation: Hotel included (x1)| Meals: Breakfast (x2) included

This trip is operated by our trusted sister company.

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  • 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
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  • Prices are land only. Call 0333 999 7965 for a flight inclusive quote (UK)

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.

Children 16 years and under will receive a 10% discount off the published prices below. This will be deducted on the payment confirmation page. The minimum age on this tour is 5 years.


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Private Departures

Why not arrange your own Grand American Adventures departure? For groups of 8 or more, we can offer tailor-made private departures for any of our published tours enabling friends, families or organizations to enjoy our style of travel at special rates. Tailored itineraries and departure dates can be chosen to suit your needs. (Subject to seasonal/operational restrictions).

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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.

San Jose Sabana Hotel

SAN JOSE - SABANA HOTEL

Awarded Trip Advisor 2013 Certificate of Excellence, this hotel offers comfortable rooms with large screen TV's, free wi-fi & calls and room safe.

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


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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 +44 208 682 8921 or click below to request a flight quote by email.

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Travel Insurance

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

Travel Insurance

We recommend you take out insurance as soon as your booking is confirmed. 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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