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Costa Rica - Wildlife, Rainforest and Caribbean Beach

13days from
£3,812*per person



This beguiling journey goes beyond the basic tourist haunts to reveal Costa Rica’s staggering natural beauty. A sweeping immersion into a land of active volcanoes, natural hot springs, cloud forest canopies and the rarest of wildlife. Guided excursions, led by expert naturalists, take you into the depths of tropical jungles while welcoming locals share stories of their family-owned plantations. The final days promise the perfect setting to slow things down along the coast, blissful snoozing under palm trees, snorkelling over coral reefs and sipping on cocktails as the sun dips behind the Caribbean Sea.


  • Today, you’ll touch down in Costa Rica’s vibrant capital – San José. You’ll be met by your friendly tour manager and transferred to your hotel in the city’s buzzing downtown. Take some time to get settled in before enjoying your first dinner at the hotel.
  • After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, put on your most comfortable shoes as a full day of adventuring awaits. Your first stop is the spectacular Poás Volcano National Park in the Central Valley region. This popular park is home to two craters – one of which is active and contains a striking blue-green lagoon that emits a unique sulphurous gas and the other encompasses cold water. You’ll get the chance to walk around the edge of the main crater, which is easily accessible by a paved path while taking in the park’s plethora of wildlife. Visits are subject to restrictions or at times cancellations given the volcano’s constant activity. Next up is Doka Estate, a coffee plantation covering the fertile slopes of the Poás Volcano – an ideal setting for producing high-quality coffee beans. An expert connoisseur will lead you around the property, pausing to share stories of the family who owns it, as well as the production, harvesting and roasting processes. The tour will then break for an included lunch at the farm. You’ll then be transferred to another hotel, positioned just 15 minutes from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Dinner is on your own account this evening.
  • Breakfast will be followed by a guided walk into the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. A well-known conservation area in Central America, this tropical rainforest garnered the name ‘Cloud Forest’ because of its high altitude (4.600 feet). You’ll set off on a gentle, humid hike along a trail with a naturalist guide, passing through towering, lush woodlands, home to unique wildlife, like jaguars and pumas, and 450 species of birds. Resting and refuelling will then take place at a local restaurant, where you can enjoy an included lunch. Leaving the forest, the tour will travel to a traditional Costa Rican farm, and you’ll be welcomed by a local family. Your guide will explain the process of farming sugar cane and the history of this important crop, as well as show you the different stages of coffee farming. A short journey in an ox-drawn cart will reveal more of the plantation, and you’ll then be able to make your own candy from sugar cane and sample a cup of coffee. As another active day comes to an end, you can relax back at the hotel and have dinner on your own account.
  • Tuck into breakfast before being transferred to your next hotel, which is surrounded by tropical farmland and overlooks the Arenal Volcano. Nearby the property lies the La Palma River, making it an ideal location to view the local birds, wildlife, and flora. This afternoon, lunch will be on your own account, and you can potter around at your own pace. Perhaps take a salubrious soak in the property’s thermal volcanic hot springs, with a swim-up bar, book a spa treatment or just lounge on the sun terrace. Dinner will be included at the hotel’s on-site restaurant this evening, enhanced further with the vista of the volcano.
  • Rise for breakfast and then join the tour as it takes to the waters of the Frio River in a roofed boat. You’ll then travel upstream under green canopies through the Caño Negro Wildlife Sanctuary – a refuge of diverse biological areas teeming with endangered reptiles, birds, plants, and fish. Keep your eyes peeled for white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloths, or even freshwater sharks. The boat will call at Hacienda Caño Negro dock, where you’ll feast on an included Hacienda-style lunch. You’ll then return to your hotel to enjoy a slow-paced evening and dinner on your own account.
  • Today’s exploration allows you to view the jungle from a different angle entirely, so don’t forget your camera. The Sky Walk excursion first takes you on a guided walk through the rainforest of the Arenal area before you navigate your way to suspended bridges hanging amongst the treetops. As the sun hardly touches the ground of the jungle, the overlaying canopy is awash with fruits, seeds, and leaves that attract a myriad of wildlife. Along this jungle journey, you’ll pass towering waterfalls (subject to season), as well as Lake Arenal – the largest lake in Costa Rica, sitting at the base of the Arenal Volcano. After your walk, you’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Later in the afternoon, the tour will head back to the hotel, so you can freshen up and have a relaxed dinner on your own account.
  • Have some breakfast, check out of your hotel, and then set off on a tour to a nearby palmito plantation. Here, you’ll learn about this popular vegetable, also known as the ‘Heart of palm’, its history, the process involved to make it edible, and the main dishes it is used in. You’ll take a stroll around the property before sampling different products made with palmito and sitting down for some lunch. As the afternoon comes around, you’ll travel to your accommodation for the next two nights. Selva Verde Eco-Lodge or SarapiquiS Rainforest Lodge, surrounded by a private game reserve, is a hotspot for nature enthusiasts, and its buildings are linked by elevated wooden platforms winding through a rainforest. Get settled in, take a walk around the lodge, and pick a table on the patio overlooking the Sarapiquí River to have dinner on your own account.
  • Wake up to the soothing sounds of the river and a profusion of birdlife before breakfast. You’ll then set off on a short, guided walk to the Ots La Selva Biological Station, a local research station that was one of the first in the country. Your naturalist guide will escort you along the paved trails of the forest leading to the site, discussing the important role that this centre has played for professional scientists and nature conservation. You’ll then return to the lodge, where you can perhaps take a dip in the pool and peruse the gift shop before having lunch on your own account. This evening an included dinner will be enjoyed at one of the on-site restaurants, with a menu of fresh ingredients from the area.
  • After breakfast, you’ll check out of your hotel, and be transferred to the next destination. In the afternoon, lunch will be served at a local restaurant. You’ll then head to the coast to your next hotel in another picturesque setting. Backed by tropical rainforest but positioned on a sandy stretch of beach facing the Caribbean Sea, this resort is a sublime spot to sojourn during the upcoming days. Ease into the swing of things, maybe taking a swim in the freshwater pools, or the salty sea, followed by a cocktail at the bar. Tonight, you can dine on your own account under the thatched roof of the resort’s restaurant, specialising in local delicacies.
  • After a trip of so much exploration and discovery, it’s only fitting to conclude with some well-deserved downtime. Over the next two days, you’re free to embrace your surroundings, doing as little or as much as you like. Following breakfast, you can dabble in activities like snorkelling in the nearby coral reefs, suntanning on the beach, or selecting a treatment at the welcoming spa. Perhaps try your hand at surfing by enrolling in a class, renting a bike to survey more of the area, or venturing off on horseback with a guide. As the sun sets, join your fellow travellers for an included dinner to share your stories of the day.
  • Say goodbye to paradise, maybe make a promise to return in the future, and check out of the resort. You’ll then be transferred to Juan Santamaría International Airport for your return flight home.
  • Land back in the UK at the end of an enthralling deep dive into the natural splendours of such a special corner of the world.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Stare in awe at the active Poás Volcano and visit a coffee plantation
  • Embark on a guided walk through the enchanting Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Learn about local plantations during an El Trapiche tour
  • Take to the river of the Caño Negro Wildlife Sanctuary
  • View the jungle from a different angle with a Sky Walk tour
  • Meander around a local palmito plantation and taste an array of products
  • Be led by a naturalist guide to Ots La Selva Biological Station
  • Embrace ample time to unwind at a Caribbean beach resort

Our Price Includes

  • 11 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation at hotels in San Jose (1 night), Monteverde (2), Arenal (3), Sarapiqui (2), Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (3), plus one night on the plane
  • 11 breakfasts, six lunches and five dinners
  • Return flights from the UK to San José
  • Excursions to Poás Volcano National Park and Doka Estate with lunch
  • Guided walk through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • El Trapiche tour
  • Caño Negro Wildlife Sanctuary boat tour
  • Arenal Sky Walk tour
  • Tour of a palmito plantation
  • Visit to Ots La Selva Biological Station
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager and expert naturalist (with the exception of the duration of your stay at the Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort)
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout
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Dates and Prices

October 2024
  • Available
  • Limited Availability
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Departure Airport:
London Heathrow (LHR)

Number of Passengers:

Price from:£3,812
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Holiday provided by Newmarket Holidays

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: fully flexible booking policy, covid-19 cancellation cover insurance as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Newmarket Holidays (ABTOT 5509, ATOL 2325, ABTA V7812), you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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