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Classic Costa Rica

  • San José
  • Tortuguero
  • Monteverde
  • Arenal
  • Golfo Dulce
Classic Costa Rica Classic Costa Rica
£ 5352

Costa Rica is famous for its beautiful natural scenery, abundance of wildlife and its friendly people. The three combined make it an excellent and safe destination for those looking to discover Central America or Latin America for the first time.

Our Classic Costa Rica itinerary focuses on the highlights, but also takes our guests slightly off the beaten track, staying at a beautiful and isolated jungle lodge on the Pacific Coast. We've hand-picked these lodges and hotels to give you a real taste of what Costa Rica is about.

Over the course of two weeks you will stay at a beautiful coffee farm just outside the capital, explore the waterways of the Tortuguero National Park as well as the misty cloud forest of the Monteverde Reserve. You will also discover the impressive Arenal National Park, home to the famous Arenal volcano and a wealth of activities including zip-lining, rafting, riding and hiking. Here you will stay at the only hotel inside the national park. 

Your holiday ends on the Pacific Coast, at an eco-lodge overlooking the tranquil waters of the Golfo Dulce. Surrounding by jungle and warm waters of the bay, it is the perfect place to end.

 

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Day 1-2 San José
San José

Board a direct flight from London Gatwick to San José.

Note: British Airways currently operate the only direct flight between the UK and Costa Rica. It departs from London Gatwick and is a day flight on the outbound flight and overnight on the way home. It operates three times each week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flights to Costa Rica are also operated by KLM (via Amsterdam) and Iberia (via Madrid). There are also connections via the US.

On arrival you will be met and driven 15 minutes from the airport to your colourful and quirky hotel. Flanked by imposing mountains and volcanoes, Costa Rica’s unassuming capital is the gateway to the lush hillsides, coffee farms and mighty peaks of the Central Valley.

The following day you’ll visit Finca Rosa Blanca’s own coffee farm, learn how they produce their award winning coffee and of course get to taste the finished product. The rest of the day can be spent visiting the nearby Poas Volcano crater, or you can relax at the hotel’s beautiful outdoor pool, overlooking the surrounding hills.

Stay: Two nights at Finca Rosa Blanca – Bed & breakfast

Day 3-4 Tortuguero
Tortuguero

Early this morning you will set off for the next destination on your adventure – Tortuguero National Park. You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to La Pavona dock where a boat will be waiting to take you to your lodge, fabulously located on a sandbar between the Tortuguero Canals and the pristine Caribbean Coast.

You will be perfectly situated to immerse yourself in the wonders of this unspoilt wilderness with its lush rainforest and immense network of canals. The park provides sanctuary to a wide variety of wildlife including over 300 species of bird, 60 mammals, 57 amphibians, 30 species of freshwater fish and over 100 types of reptile. During your stay you will enjoy boat excursions along the park’s winding canals whilst an expert guide will reveal the secrets of this epic rainforest ecosystem.

Stay: Two nights at Manatus Lodge – Full board

Day 5-6 Monteverde
Monteverde

After a short flight back to San José, you will be driven into the cloud forest of Monteverde.

Your charming, family-run, cloud forest lodge boasts enchanting views over the pristine, forested landscape. You can unwind on your balcony and spot some of the area’s colourful birds, or set off to explore the Poas Volcano or the hot springs of Arenal.

Included in your stay is a tour of the Monteverde cloud forest reserve. Established in 1972 and home to over 400 species of birds and other animals, it’s one of the few remaining habitats that support all six species of the cat family — jaguars, ocelots, pumas, oncillas, margays, and jaguarundis — as well as the endangered three-wattled bellbird and resplendent quetzal. There are over 13km of trails to explore in the 35,000 acre reserve.

Stay: Two nights at Hotel Belmar – Bed & breakfast

Day 7-8 Arenal
Arenal

From Monteverde you will cross Lake Arenal towards the town of La Fortuna. The lake is man made and is the largest in Costa Rica. The crossing is a great opportunity to get your first glimpse of the impressive Arenal Volcano.

Your hotel is positioned between the lake and the volcano, and is the only hotel inside the Arenal National Park. The perfectly shaped volcano cone commands nearly every view from the hotel and the panoramic views from the restaurant makes for the perfect breakfast backdrop.

Arenal Observatory Lodge have a series of well-maintained trails to explore within the property, as well as mountain bike and riding trails. Guests can explore the primary and secondary rainforest, waterfalls and cross the grassy pastures. Wildlife is in abundance in the area and includes three species of monkey, anteaters, coatis, racoons and over 500 species of bird. 

Whether you want visit the hanging bridges, zip-line, whitewater raft or relax in the thermal hot pools, the Arenal Observatory Lodge is an excellent base.

Stay: Two nights at Arenal Observatory Lodge – Bed & breakfast

Day 9-12 Golfo Dulce
Golfo Dulce

Your final destination in Costa Rica is the beautiful Golfo Dulce, a tranquil bay on the Pacific Coast. After transferring back to San José you will board a short flight to Playa Cativo.

The eco-lodge has a stunning position, overlooking the calm waters of the bay and an ideal spot for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkelling. It’s surrounded by primary jungle of the Piedras Blancas National Park and over the next three days you will have the opportunity to explore the self-guided trails or organise guided activities at the lodge.

The rooms are bright and airy and there is a lovely outdoor pool, surrounded by palm trees. Hopefully you’ll spot dolphins in the bay and howler monkeys in the trees. 

Stay: Four nights at Playa Cativo – Full board

Day 13-14 Overnight flight back to the UK

Today you’ll be transferred to Golfito airport for your flight to San José, where you will meet your connecting overnight flight to the UK.

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  • It has been wonderful to discover that there remain places like this in the world, where one can find peace amid wild nature. This has been the highlight of our stay in Colombia and we look forward to telling our friends about it.

    -
    ZA, Colombia