First-rate wildlife and nature experiences, staying in some of Costa Rica's best boutique and spa hotels and wildlife lodges.
Costa Rica Holiday: Creature Comforts
Day 1 You are met on arrival at San José and driven to the lovely Xandari Spa, set among coffee and fruit plantations overlooking the Central Valley, where you stay for 2 nights.
Day 2 BL Your guide collects you in the morning for a scenic drive through the Central Valley to Poás Volcano, reaching the rim of its steaming crater. Continue to the Doka Estate coffee farm for an insight into high quality coffee growing and preparation, with lunch and a visit to their butterfly garden. Back at Xandari Spa there is time to relax or take one of the optional treatments.
Bajos del Toro
Day 3 BLD Part of the morning is free for relaxation or a spa session, then it’s on to Bajos del Toro for a 2 night stay at El Silencio, a boutique lodge and spa in a private reserve of cloud forest filled with bromeliads, orchids, ferns and clear mountain streams. You travel either by private transfer, or if on a self-drive option, your hire car is delivered to your hotel mid-morning in good time for the journey; you return it on day 10.
Day 4 BLD An ‘eco-concierge’ is available to accompany you on a walk to experience the rich life of the cloud forest (with good birding opportunities). There is time to enjoy the private Jacuzzi on your terrace, or the hotel’s spa facilities at an extra charge.
Day 5 BD You have the morning free to explore and enjoy the cloud forest before travelling on to the Arenal area. Stay for 2 nights at the delightful Lost Iguana hotel, which has a good view of the live volcano. Rest of the day free to explore the grounds or relax by the hotel’s pool.
Day 6 B This morning you visit the Hanging Bridges with a private English-speaking local guide, for spectacular views across the trees to Arenal Volcano. You return to Lost Iguana for free time then in mid-afternoon walk with your guide in Arenal Reserve. This is followed by a visit to a hot springs to lounge luxuriantly in thermal waters amid landscaped gardens, taking dinner at its restaurant–with the volcano’s dramatic rumblings in the distance.
Day 7 B Travel south to the Central Pacific coast to stay 3 nights at Arenas del Mar, one of the few beachside hotels in the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area.
Day 8 B A free day. We suggest a visit to the nearby Manuel Antonio NP, the most scenically beautiful region in the country. Take the popular trail through the trees for the chance of seeing sloths, monkeys, agouti and a variety of birds. At the path’s end you are rewarded with a stunning view across the bay and out to sea, with pristine white sand beaches nearby. At low tide it is even possible to stroll back to your hotel along the shore.
Day 9 B A free day to relax at the beach or pool. You might take advantage of one of the options offered by the hotel, such as sea kayaking, horse riding or a mangrove boat tour, or indulge in one of their spa treatments. Trim your hold luggage down to 14kg per person, leaving the excess to go by road to your hotel in San José to await your arrival on day 13.
Day 10 BLD A choice of two ways to experience the Osa Peninsula, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, in a 3 night stay. For the remote Casa Corcovado Lodge catch a flight from Quepos to Palmar Sur to be met and transferred to Sierpe dock for the wonderful boat journey through mangroves, across Drake Bay and along the Pacific shore (can be rough), arriving with a wet beach landing. For the award-winning Lapa Rios, return to San José airport and fly to Pto Jiménez to be driven 20min to the lodge. Self-drivers drop off their hire cars at Quepos or San José airports.
Day 11 BLD At Casa Corcovado your visit includes two full days of wildlife and other excursions, at Lapa Rios two wildlife excursions are included with others available locally at extra cost.
Day 12 BLD At Casa Corcovado your visit includes two full days of wildlife and other excursions, at Lapa Rios two wildlife excursions are included with others available locally at extra cost.
Day 13 MBLD This morning you are taken to the airstrip for your flight to San José, to be met and taken to Hotel Grano de Oro.
Day 14 B A private transfer from your hotel to the airport for your flight home. Or you might extend your stay with time at the beach or a visit to Tortuguero.