One of the most ecologically diverse places on Earth, Costa Rica is home to an astonishing amount of wildlife and diverse habitats. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, its landscapes range from steaming volcanoes, mist shroud cloud forests, pristine rainforest and stunning beaches. On this small group tour, take in Costa Rica's best bits from the fertile central valley, the backwaters of Tortuguero's canals, Arenals imposing conical volcano to Monteverde's canopy walkways. With more than 800 bird species, thousands of plant varieties, colourful butterflies; discover a wealth of wildlife.Dates of operation - based on UK departure & arrival: Thursday 21st November 2019 - Sunday 1st December 2019 Thursday 30th January 2020 - Sunday 9th February 2020 Thursday 13th February 2020 - Sunday 23rd February 2020 Thursday 26th March 2020 - Sunday 5th April 2020 If you would like to extend your holiday and spend 3 nights in either Manuel Antonio or Corcovado National Park, please enquire for details.
Day 1 Depart the UK today on a direct British Airways flight to Costa Rica's capital of San Jose. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the next 2 nights. No meals included except those served on your international flight.
Day 2 Today explore the breathtaking Poas Volcano and learn about the coffee-farming industry that thrives on its fertile slopes. At Poas Volcano National Park, trek to a viewpoint overlooking the cloud forests and aquamarine lake within its crater. As the billowing smoke and steam escape from its fumaroles and sulphuric lake, watch out for erupting geysers. Next stop is the Doka Coffee Estate. The Vargas family has been growing and harvesting coffee on the Doka Estate for 3 generations. The volcanic rich soils provide the perfect environment for the cultivation of the coffee bean. Learn about the process from bean to cup; from production, harvesting, roasting and packaging. Take a guided tour of the historic coffee mill and sample the plantations blends. Breakfast and lunch
Day 3 Head to Tortuguero National Park, on the Caribbean coast, to explore the many channels and wildlife habitats that exist here. Stay at the Evergreen Lodge in the heart of the national park. This vast area offers exceptional wildlife spotting opportunities; discover tropical rainforest, mangroves, wetlands and coastline. Navigate its network of canals and channels discovering abundant flora and fauna as you go. En route, admire the biodiversity of the Braulio Carrillo National Park, stop for a delicious breakfast and look out for the many pineapple and banana plantations. The final leg of the journey is aboard a boat to travel through the canals to reach your home for the next two nights. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 Explore Tortuguero's many trails accompanied by an expert local guide, one of the last protected areas of tropical rainforest in Central America, there is a huge range of endemic wildlife in the area. Navigate the canals and creeks behind the beaches in small, open boats; ideal for spotting wildlife. The lakes, rivers and canals are home to countless birds, monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and caiman. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 After breakfast, board the boat to leave Tortuguero and continue by road to Arenal. En route, stop for a chocolate tour in La Tirimbina. The cacao plant is native to Central America and was one of the most important products within the Mayan and Aztec cultures. Visit a cacao-growing farm and discover the history of this incredible plant. Learn about the artisanal process in which the cacao fruit is transformed into chocolate through harvest, fermentation and dying. Of course, tasting is involved! In the afternoon, continue by road to Arenal. In the evening, we recommend to try out the hot springs on site at your hotel. Breakfast and lunch
Day 6 Today visit the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, considered one of the best wildlife and bird watching areas in Central America. Close to the Nicaraguan border, in a large wetland area, Caño Negro is home to many resident and migratory birds, four species of monkeys, sloths, turtles, caimans and lizards to name a few. On a floating safari along the Rio Frio, spot the rich flora and fauna along the river banks. After the river trip, return to Arenal. Breakfast and lunch
Day 7 Cross Lake Arenal today en route to Monteverde and take in spectacular views of the Arenal volcano. Arenal Lake is the largest and most important lake in the country, it was man made to provide hydroelectric energy for the country. Around the lake, several different resident and migratory birds can be spotted. After the lake crossing, continue by road to Monteverde. Breakfast
Day 8 Explore the treetop canopies today. Within the Monteverde National Park traverse the network of hanging bridges and discover wide variety of flora and fauna present in the cloud forest. Visit one of the largest butterfly gardens in Central America; home to more than 50 species. In the hummingbird garden, spot up to 14 different colourful species. Breakfast
Day 9 This afternoon return to San Jose for your final night before departing back home the following afternoon. There is the option to extend your holiday to Manuel Antonio and spend 3 nights at the Parador Resort & Spa before flying home. Alternatively, spend 3 nights in the Corcovado National Park at Casa Corcovado. Please enquire for further details, prices from £695 per person. Breakfast
Day 10 Transfer to the airport for your afternoon flight back to the UK. Breakfast
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust