Destinations Destinations
Monteverde, Cerro Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park, San Jose, Tortuguero
Activity Activity
Nature & Wildlife, Beach, Family, Conservation, Birdwatching
Physical Level Physical Level
Easy
Season Season
January - December

Begin your wildlife tour of Costa Rica in the concrete jungle of San Jose, trying out its excellent restaurants and viewing its colonial architecture. Get your first taste of animal encounters with the turtles of Tortuguero, who travel vast distances to lay their eggs and nest. Next, travel to the town of La Fortuna for trekking in and around the Arenal Volcano – dormant since 2010. From here, journey to the cloud forests of Monteverde for tropical birds, butterflies and the adventurous Sky Walk bridge-walk through the jungle. End your trip in the famous Manuel Antonio National Park, where you can enjoy a sunset dolphin-spotting boat ride or just relax on the beach. Head back to San Jose for your departure.

Suggested Itinerary

Recommended route & experiences

Get cultural in San Jose

At first glance, San Jose might not seem like the prettiest of cities but delve a little deeper into the colonial mansions of Barrio Amon, the restaurants of Barrio Escalante and the many live music clubs, and you’ll soon uncover the beating cultural heart of Costa Rica’s capital.

Explore the slopes of Poás volcano

Explore the slopes of Poás volcano

The most popular of Costa Rica’s five active volcanoes, Poás volcano is within easy-driving distance of San José and is the largest open volcano in the world. Its crater is over a mile across and 1,050ft deep, with two small lakes at the bottom. Arrive early to beat the crowds and clouds.

Float down the canals of Tortuguero

Impossible to reach by car, Tortuguero on the north east coast of Costa Rica can only be accessed by boat. Thanks to limited development, a journey down its waterways offers the chance to see manatees, crocodiles, caiman and monkeys.

Volunteer with with a sea turtle conservation project

Volunteer with with a sea turtle conservation project

Costa Rica is a sea turtle paradise, with turtle hatching occurring on various beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts throughout the year. There are dozens of small conservation projects and protected areas set up, with many containing a nursery where volunteers can help. Do your research and always be respectful of these beautiful and endangered animals.

Visit the (for now) dormant Cerro Arenal Volcano

For several decades, the Cerro Arenal Volcano was the most active in Costa Rica, spewing molten lava and red hot boulders into the surrounding darkness. Since 2010, activity has been limited to puffs of smoke and the occasional rumble, but that hasn’t stopped visitors exploring the adjacent Arenal Volcano National Park.

Lose your head in the clouds at Monteverde

Boasting an incredible ecosystem and home to approximately 5% of the planet’s total bird species, 130 mammal species and more than 3,000 plants, the cloud forests of Monteverde are a nature lover’s dream. Visitors can explore an array of trails which wind through 13km of forest and enjoy bird’s-eye views from the many skywalks, hanging bridges and zip lines throughout the reserve.

Hit the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park

If you imagine Costa Rica to be a paradise of pristine beaches, exotic flowers, thick rainforests, and crystal-clear waters, where monkeys and sloths and scarlet macaws frolic freely, then you have Manuel Antonio National Park in mind.

The smallest national park in the country, this is also the most visited — a true paradise for beach-goers and nature lovers, where emerald rainforest spills into the turquoise sea.

Visit Ballena National Marine Park

Visit Ballena National Marine Park

Named after the humpback whales that migrate to the region each year, Ballena National Marine Park is the perfect place to see sea birds, dolphins, turtles – and the afore-mentioned whales.

Transfer to San José for one final evening with the group before your return flight.

Where to stay

Sample accommodation suggested by our Costa Rica experts.

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Dreams Las Mareas
Deluxe

Dreams Las Mareas

Sitting on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, this luxurious all-inclusive resort is a great choice for families and couples looking to relax...

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Secrets Papagayo
Superior

Secrets Papagayo

This is a luxurious all-inclusive resort for adults only, sitting on the stunning Costa Rican coast...

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Pacuare Lodge
Classic

Pacuare Lodge

A luxury eco-lodge located along the banks of remote Pacuare River, a popular river for white-water rafting...

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How to book

All routes can be tailored to your preferences

Price guide

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators would cost from £2,179pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

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