Destinations Destinations
Cerro Arenal Volcano, Guanacaste, San Jose, Tortuguero
Activity Activity
Nature & Wildlife, Beach, Family, Conservation, Birdwatching
Physical Level Physical Level
Easy
Season Season
January - December

Start your Costa Rica trip in San Jose, sampling the colonial architecture of the Barrio Amon neighbourhood. From here, head to Tortuguero National Park to see nesting turtles (if you time your trip right, you can see hatchlings heading out to see) and to explore the park’s canals and waterways. Next, travel to the dormant Arenal Volcano to see parrots, howler monkeys and tapir, before ending your trip on the beaches of Guanacaste Zone near Nicaragua. Fly home from San Jose.

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.

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.

Laze on tropical beaches in Guanacaste

Once part of Nicaragua, Guanacaste in Costa Rica’s northwest is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Try Tamarindo for year-round sunshine, Playa Hermosa for a beach with mountain views and wildlife, or Playa Panama for easy swimming.

Hot springs of Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Hot springs of Rincon de la Vieja National Park

The reinvigorating hot springs of Rio Negro are ten natural pools accessed through a wooded trail, complete with hanging bridges, rainforest and a pulsing river.

Return to San Jose

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 £1,899pp. 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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