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Costa Rica

13days from
£4,699*per person

Overview

13 Days - Signature Tours

Itinerary

  • Arrive at the airport for your flight to San Jose. We arrive in the afternoon, with the remainder of the day at leisure.
  • Passing coffee and banana plantations and small farming communities, we'll head to Costa Rica's Caribbean coast and board a boat for an adventure through the rainforest's canals - it's the only way to reach the eco-lodge, where we'll stay for two nights. After we've settled in, we'll visit the nearby town of Tortuguero and the Caribbean Conservations Corporation Museum, dedicated to studying Atlantic Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles who come to lay their eggs on the protected beaches here between July to October. Many species of turtles which lay their eggs on these beaches came close to extinction until the area was declared a national park. Signature Experience: The natural surroundings of the lodge, away from the bright city lights, offers the perfect backdrop for star gazing and with its unique location, close to the equator, Costa Rica is one of the world’s best locations to view the northern and southern hemisphere constellations. This evening, join knowledgeable guides who will be on hand with telescopes to help us explore the astronomical wonders of the Southern Cross and the Milky Way.
  • We'll work off our breakfast this morning with a fascinating walk along one of the nature trails around our lodge before relaxing by the pool during the hottest part of the day.   This afternoon, we'll travel along the lush green waterways of this unique eco-system - expect to see caimans, several types of monkeys and a huge number of endemic and migratory bird species, including toucans, macaws and raptors.
  • This morning we set off early, westwards through the centre of the country towards Arenal Volcano National Park, famous for the perfect symmetrical cone of the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica’s youngest volcano. After a stop for lunch, we arrive in Arenal in the afternoon. Signature Experience: Visit a Pejibaye Plantation, where one of Costa Rica's must-try ingredients is grown. Pejibaye is the fruit of the peach fruit palm tree native to the tropical forests of Central and South America. They taste like an interesting mix of cashew, chestnut and potato and are full of vitamins and high in energy. You'll get to see what we mean as we learn about this ancient staple food source of traditional cuisine, how the fruit is incorporated into modern cooking and sit down to enjoy a local lunch.
  • Today, we have the opportunity to admire the forest beauty close up. Our day's activity takes us to the tree canopy heights as we roam the Hanging Bridges for a unique view of the jungle from up to 145 feet above the forest floor. You'll be able to see several species that inhabit the forest canopy, undergrowth and floor - so don't forget your camera and binoculars!  En route to our hotel, we'll stop in La Fortuna to tour a Costa Rican coffee and chocolate farm. We'll get to see a side of Arenal that most visitors miss and the coffee and cacao crops and taste the final products - it's as fresh as it gets.
  • Today we’ll head north, close to the Nicaraguan border, to the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge for an adventure along the Frio River. We'll stay quiet as we float downstream while our expert local guide points out the native birds and wildlife that make their home in the wetlands and tropical forests - there's so much to see you won't know where to look first. More than 300 bird species have been identified here, including kingfisher, ibis, toucans, storks and even vultures - plus you're likely to spot iguanas, caimans and monkeys along the riverbanks.  
  • Continuing north, we'll stop at the bustling town of Liberia before ascending into Rincon De La Vieja National Park, where we'll stay in a secluded location within the boundaries of the park for two nights. In the early evening, before dinner, you can join an optional night walk in search of amphibian and small mammal nocturnal activity. Signature Experience: You can spend the morning meeting the extraordinary team at Las Pumas Wildlife Rescue Centre & Sanctuary - and the remarkable creatures they look after. Here, injured animals are cared for, rehabilitated and released back into their natural habitat. If they cannot be released, they stay in a naturalized enclosure in the centre's sanctuary, where we'll meet five of the six species of wildcat found in Costa Rica, including the jaguar and the puma, in the company of a local naturalist and hear more about the wildlife that call the centre home.
  • Spend the day within Rincon De Vieja National Park. You could choose adventure with a hike through the jungle on the lookout for Howler monkeys, Capuchin monkeys, Toucans and Coatis as you pass hissing fumaroles, volcanic craters and bubbling mud pools. The hotel offers a range of activities that allow you to explore the area from walking tours through the forest to horseback riding and ziplines over the canopy. You can expect panoramic views, dazzling waterfalls and moments that will have your heart pounding in your chest.  Or, if relaxation is on the agenda, sink into the volcanic mud baths and thermal hot springs to take advantage of the wellness properties of the mineral-rich waters and mud - it's enough to rejuvenate any weary traveller. For the full pamper experience, book in a treatment at The Anahuac Wellness Thermal & Spa (you can pre-book on arrival in Costa Rica).
  • Costa Rica’s real riches come from its immensely fertile volcanic soils which have created a biodiversity of incredible range, variety and complexity – it's a natural paradise! More than 25% of the country is designated as protected reserves or national parks.  Today, we'll take a guided tour to Palo Verde National Park, one of Costa Rica’s most popular conservation areas. Its wide range of land and marine biodiversity makes this one of Central America’s most impressive natural habitats. Our local guide will lead us by boat through the waterways of this tropical paradise to discover a unique combination of thick coastal forest, rivers and mangrove lagoons which are home to more than 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds. One of its most well-known and likeable inhabitants is the three-toed sloth, but this is not even close to the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also see monkeys, green iguanas, hundreds of varieties of brightly coloured tree frogs, hummingbirds a-plenty, scarlet macaws, blue-winged teal – maybe even a Jesus Christ Lizard (so named for its ability to run across the water).  Later, we'll embrace the local culture and cuisine with a country-style lunch before driving towards the Pacific coast, where a combination of exquisite beaches and tropical forests await. Our five-star hotel is within the secluded location of the quiet beach Playa Mansita, one of the four beaches within Hacienda Pinilla, where you might see iguanas and monkeys on the beach!
  • Surrounded by a natural reserve where the tropical gardens meet the Pacific Ocean, enjoy a luxurious stay in Guanacaste. After an exciting adventure across Costa Rica, now is the time to kick back and relax. Spend your free day taking advantage of the hotel facilities, including a private beach, outdoor pool and fitness centre. You could replenish your spirit with a treatment at the spa to the sound of falling water, fragrant incense and the passing ocean breeze or take part in hotel activities like aqua aerobics or golf.  If you're not the sit-still-and-relax type, there are plenty of unique outdoor activities to enjoy. From walks and bicycle tours through the nearby trails to horseback riding with true Costa Rican cowboys - or as they call them Sabaneros - you still have the opportunity to explore the spectacular beaches, cattle ranches and forests that encompass Guanacaste.
  • Today, you can take advantage of the hotel's facilities with another day at leisure or join our optional coastal catamaran boat tour. We'll breathe in the salty sea air - and keep a lookout for dolphins, turtles, whales and, of course, spectacular views of the coast - as the catamaran slices through the surf. As we sail, we'll drop anchor for a swim alongside a brilliant array of fish and bright coral before heading back towards land.  Tonight, gather for a farewell dinner with your fellow explorers at a local restaurant in Tamarindo Beach and enjoy freshly cooked local cuisine as the sun sets on your last full day in Costa Rica.
  • Travel back to San José or Liberia airport for your overnight flight home. 
  • We arrive home this morning.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • See Emperor butterflies, toucans, unique three-toed sloths and much more in one of the most scenic and bio-diverse counties on the planet, including the unique eco-system along the Caribbean coastline in Tortuguero National Park 
  • Explore the area around the perfect cone of the still-active Arenal Volcano and the extraordinary Cloud Forest from above on superb hanging bridges 
  • Travel to the remote Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, renowned for its incredible birdlife  
  • Enjoy a fascinating tour of a coffee and cocoa plantation 
  • Stay for three nights at a five-star resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean  
  • Experience an unforgettable evening of star gazing in the company of knowledgeable guides who will help you identify the shining constellations  
  • Discover the fresh ingredients of Costa Rica and learn how to cook like a local before dining on more delicious dishes prepared by the chef  
  • Meet the team at a remarkable rescue centre and animal sanctuary. Get to know some of the injured creatures they care for, including endangered jaguars and pumas  
  • Please note: For 2024, this tour is Signature as standard. Learn more.

Our Price Includes

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. 11 nights’ accommodation in three-star, four-star and five-star hotels; daily breakfast and five meals; scheduled flights to/from San Jose; all transfers; guided tours of Tortuguero, Caño Negro, walking tour at Arenal, Monteverde hanging bridges, coffee farm, Palo Verde national park; all local transport as described; hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person; the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager. 
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Dates and Prices

 
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Departure Airport:
London Heathrow (LHR)

Number of Passengers:

Price from:£4,699
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Accommodation

Pachira Eco-Lodge - Tortuguero -

About the hotel The Pachira eco-lodge offers rooms which are mostly in single-storey wooden chalets built on stilts, with their own covered porch with rocking chairs. In keeping with the eco-friendly theme, there is no TV or air-conditioning – the windows have mosquito screens but no glass, and along with the overhead fan, this is enough to keep the rooms at a comfortable temperature. These ‘open’ windows mean that you can enjoy the early-morning jungle chorus! There are also showers and fridges in each room. All meals here are included and are served buffet-style, with plenty of local vegetables and fish. There is a small spa, a pool and a bar serving some excellent cocktails, plus all-day, complimentary tea and coffee is available. The lodge operates some activities which may be booked locally, including a recommended early morning boat tour. Location The Pachira eco-lodge is located on one of the rainforest’s ‘canals’, very close to Tortuguero National Park and the Caribbean coast. It is only accessible by boat, a 1.5-hour ride from the dock.

Evergreen Eco-Lodge - Tortuguero -

The resort is set on the Laguna Penitencia canal within the lush rainforest of Tortuguero National Park. All the rooms in this eco-lodge are mostly in single-storey wooden chalets built on stilts and comprising of a covered porch with rocking chairs, a fridge and a shower. The resort has a focus on sustainability and has some environmental policies such as no TV or air-conditioning – the windows have mosquito screens but no glass, and along with the overhead fan, this is enough to keep the rooms at a comfortable temperature. These ‘open’ windows mean that you can enjoy the early-morning jungle chorus! All meals served are buffet-style, with plenty of local vegetables and fish. There is a pool and a bar serving deliciously fruity cocktails, plus complimentary tea and coffee is available throughout the day. The lodge operates some activities which may be booked locally, including a recommended early morning boat tour.

4* Crowne Plaza Corobici - San José -

★★★★

This four-star hotel, perfectly situated close to the heart of downtown San José, is a great base for your first night in Costa Rica. The hotel’s Tucan restaurant serves international cuisine, with both buffet and a-la-carte options. There’s also the popular Fuji restaurant, serving Japanese dishes. The hotel features a large outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre plus the relaxing lobby bar to enjoy a drink in the evening.  All of the spacious and comfortable rooms are air-conditioned and include a bath or shower, hairdryer, safe, minibar(local charges apply), TV, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi.

4* Hotel Arenal Manoa – Arenal -

★★★★

This lovely four-star hotel has spectacular views of the Arenal volcano and is surrounded by beautiful, green gardens, forest and fields and is part of the original Manoa dairy farm. Enjoy authentic Costa Rican cuisine in the welcoming La Saca Restaurant or treat yourself to a pizza or tasty snack on the terrace of the Alambique Bistro, with volcano views. The outdoor pool features a fantastic swim-up bar, Uyuyui, serving cocktails prepared with fresh tropical fruit and boasts panoramic views of the volcano. It’s easy to relax and unwind at this hotel. Take a dip in the jacuzzies and hot springs, have a massage treatment in the spa, or simply sit in the rocking chairs on the terrace of your room and soak up the atmosphere. All of the spacious, air-conditioned rooms are in single-storey cottages spread out in the extensive grounds and shuttles are available to and from the rooms furthest away.  All rooms have a shower, hairdryer, fridge, safe, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi and a private terrace with rocking chairs. This hotel will be used for all tours between May and November.

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★★★★★

The five-star JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa is located within the Hacienda Pinilla, a 4,500-acre ranch which also includes an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a villa resort and beach club. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its own sandy beach. The huge free-form pool is at the centre of the resort and facilities also include a fitness room and luxurious spa. The hotel’s dining options include an informal pool bar for lunch, the Azul Grill on the ocean-front, the main restaurant, a steakhouse, and an Asian-fusion restaurant. The comfortable and spacious rooms all feature a balcony or terrace with garden or pool view. They are all air-conditioned and have bath with separate shower, hairdryer, iron, minibar (local charges apply), safe, TV with DVD player, tea and coffee making facilities. Wi-Fi is available at a charge.

Borinquen Thermal Resort -

★★★★

The Borinquen Thermal Resort has a lagoon-style swimming pool, a spa that offers various treatments, two on-site restaurants that offer local and international cuisine, as well as a snack bar and swim-up bar. During time at leisure, you can relax in the thermal hot springs with hot pools, the volcanic mud, and the natural steam-room in the relaxing atmosphere of the highlands and take advantage of the curative properties that have long been attributed to mineral rich waters and mud-pots. Set out like a small hamlet amongst the foothills with beautiful villas, bungalows, and junior suites with modern amenities, including air-conditioning, a TV, tea and coffee-making facilities, a seating area, a mini bar, a hairdryer and complimentary Wi-Fi. All rooms also come with private decks or balconies - it's the place to be a sunset for breathtaking views.    Location description: Located in the foothills of the mountains of Rincorn de la Vieja National Park in the North West Pacific region of Guanacaste. Surrounded by wilderness, it’s completely serene – except for the occasional chatter of local howler monkeys. 

Aninga Eco-Lodge - Tortuguero -

The Aninga eco-lodge is located on one of the ‘canals’, close to Tortuguero National Park and the Caribbean coast. It is only accessible by boat, a 1.5-hour ride from the dock. There is a pool and a spa where you can enjoy a relaxing treatment while taking in the incredible views.  All meals are included and are taken in the laid-back restaurant, which offers buffet style meals with plenty of fish and vegetables.  The 33 rooms are spacious bungalows connected by walkways, with twin or double beds.  In keeping with the eco-friendly theme, there is no TV or air-conditioning – the windows have mosquito screens but no glass, and along with the overhead fan, this is enough to keep the rooms at a comfortable temperature. The ‘open’ windows do mean that you can enjoy the early-morning jungle chorus!  

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Other Information

Holiday code

R298

Holiday provided by Riviera Travel

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: change your booking for free, Covid-19 cancellation protection included as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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