One of the best all-round touring holidays of Costa Rica, visiting the Caribbean side and the Pacific, Arenal volcano, the flooded forest of Tortuguero, lowland rainforest at La Selva, and the cloud forests of Monteverde.
Costa Rica, Coast to Coast
Day 1 You are met on arrival at the airport and driven to your hotel in the San José area, which we helped you choose in the price category you preferred.
Southern Caribbean coast (Gandoca-Manzanillo)
Day 2 B In the morning you are driven eastwards to the south Caribbean coast (4hr), passing through the lowland rainforest of the Braulio Carrillo NP, where you stay for 2 nights at a lodge near the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.
Day 3 B Today you are free to relax on a pristine local beach or take up one the many optional activities available locally. There are walking trails through the rainforest, you can hire bicycles, go snorkelling on the coral reefs or try an aerial zip-line through the jungle. Visits to local indigenous community projects are possible if booked in advance.
Tortuguero National Park
Day 4 BLD Early this morning you are driven north along the Caribbean shore to a dock where you board a motorboat for the journey to your lodge in the flooded forests of Tortuguero. After lunch you are taken to visit Tortuguero village and the local beach, where your guide will introduce you to the history of the area and habitats of the national park.
Day 5 BLD A full day based at Tortuguero, including an excursion by boat through the narrow channels of the flooded forest for wildlife viewing, shared with others from the lodge. An English-speaking local naturalist guide provided by the lodge will help point out the creatures.
Sarapiquí Lowland Rainforest
Day 6 BL After breakfast at the lodge you are transferred by boat back to the dock, then onwards by road to a local restaurant for lunch. If you have chosen to have a hire car it will have been brought here for you to collect. Travel to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí (1hr) where you stay for 2 nights.
Day 7 B Today is free to take advantage of one of the local activities. You could take a nature walk at La Selva Biological Station, whitewater raft down the Sarapiquí River or take a more leisurely ‘river float’ to enjoy the forest scenery at the water’s edge. You could choose to end the day with a night hike at La Tirimbina in search of nocturnal species.
Day 8 B Get a reasonable start this morning to travel to the Arenal area, where you stay for 2 nights.
Day 9 B A free day for your pick of the many local attractions. You could do the Hanging Bridges Canopy tour for excellent views across the treetops to the outstretched valley, or visit your choice of hot springs where you can relax in thermal waters.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Day 10 B Travel along the north shore of Lake Arenal then up the winding country roads to Monteverde cloud forest, your base for the next 2 nights. In the afternoon you could visit the hummingbird gallery or the local cheese farm.
Day 11 B You are free today for your own choice of activities in the Monteverde area. There are guided nature walks through the Santa Elena and Monteverde cloud forests, canopy walks, a zip-wire and horse-riding.
Day 12 B Travel westwards this morning to the Pacific coast, where you spend 3 nights relaxing at the beach at Tamarindo (or your choice of beach destination).
Day 13 B Free to relax on the beach.
Day 14 B Free to relax on the beach.
Day 15 B A final free morning at the beach before you travel back to San José for a final night.
San José / Departure
Day 16 B If you are using a hire car drop it off at the international airport before checking in for your chosen flight home. Alternatively you will have a private transfer from your hotel to the airport to co-ordinate with your departure time.