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Experience
Continent
Country


Natural Costa Rica 

Exploring the rainforests, volcanoes, waterfalls and wildlife in a wonderfully diverse country

A rustle beside the trail, and again. Stop and look a little closer and slowly as eyes adjust the source is clear. A sloth, not even his mum would call him good looking. Take your time; there is no need to hurry sloth watching.

With more than a quarter of the country’s landscape protected and a variety of distinct climatic zones caused by high mountains separating its Pacific and Atlantic coasts, the forests are alive with a multitude of brilliantly coloured creatures. We include a good mix of walks, wildlife watching and travelling.

We arrive in the capital San Jose, then travel down to the Caribbean coast for the wildlife, beaches and swimming. Then back through the coffee and pineapple fields to the volcanoes that straddle the continental divide which runs through the country.

Next the tropical paradise of Rio Celeste and then the volcanic Rincon de la Vieja region to walk the trails in the tropical dry forest, past mud pools and sulphur springs. We’ll walk the densely vegetated trails of the Monteverde Cloud Forest biological reserve atop the Tileran Mountains. It's good to know that Costa Rica is one of the most enlightened nations on earth when it comes to protecting her natural wonders.

Continuing to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast with its adjacent National Park, we’ll explore the coastal trails and wind down in this paradise of tropical sandy beaches backed by forests and with wonderful sunsets.

In Costa Rica we will have a highly trained and knowledgeable local guide to accompany us. Feel free to discuss any aspect of ‘Tico’ life with our guide. From the birdlife to the education system our guides are a mine of information which they love to share.

Activity Level
alt
You enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air, communing with nature and discovering the world at a relaxed pace. Short countryside strolls or sightseeing on foot make you feel good. You enjoy cities with art and culture and like to develop an interest in your surroundings. You are reasonably fit and healthy. No previous experience is required. Where walking is involved you can expect up to 5 miles of walking on well made paths with up to 300m of ascent.



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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Date
    Nights
    Grades
    Depart From
    More Info
    Status
    Price From
    Date
    14 Nov 2017
    Nights
    15
    Grades
    Level A
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Available (Guaranteed)
    Price From
    £2,955
    Date
    19 Dec 2017
    Nights
    15
    Grades
    Level A
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Available (Guaranteed)
    Price From
    £3,675
    Date
    16 Jan 2018
    Nights
    15
    Grades
    Level A
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Available (Guaranteed)
    Price From
    £2,999
    Date
    30 Jan 2018
    Nights
    15
    Grades
    Level A
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Sold Out
    Price From
    Date
    13 Feb 2018
    Nights
    15
    Grades
    Level A
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Available (Guaranteed)
    Price From
    £3,199
    Date
    13 Nov 2018
    Nights
    15
    Grades
    Level A
    Depart From
    Provisional Date Only
    More Info
    Status
    Provisional
    Price From
  • Itinerary & Map
    14 Nov 2017 - 29 Nov 2017

    Day 1 - 2 - San José
    We fly direct from London to Costa Rica. On arrival in San José, we travel about 30 minutes to arrive at our hotel for a 2 night stay. Our group leader will arrange and pay for a snack for those who would like it.

    Day 2 - 3 - San José
    We have a day to recover and see the sights in the peaceful capital.

    Day 3 - 4 - Cahuita
    We have a morning's drive down to the Caribbean coast at Cahuita. There should be time for an afternoon stroll into town to soak up the atmosphere. We stay in Cahuita for 2 nights.

    Day 4 - 5 - Cahuita
    We will walk in the Cahuita National Park through lush rain forest and along tropical beaches. Later in the day there will be free time to perhaps take a dip in the Caribbean.

    Day 5 - 6 - Sarapiqui
    Next we stop in the heart of the former chocolate growing area to enjoy the scenery and the produce and learn a little about how it is made. We stay 1 night in Sarapiqui.

    Day 6 - La Fortuna
    We head northwest along the misnamed 'central valley' (more accurately the 'Meseta Central' or Central Tableland) into coffee plantation country. After various stops, including hopefully seeing tree dwelling iguanas, we arrive at the pleasant tourist centre of La Fortuna where we spend 1 night just under the imposing silhouette of the Arenal volcano. On arrival there will be time for a walk on the slopes of Arenal volcano.

    Day 7 - Rio Celeste
    We drive to Tenorio (2hrs 30mins) to walk form Bijagua town in varied landscapes of primary forest and verdant jungle. On arrival at our hotel at Rio Celeste (1nt) we can enjoy walking through the forest in the hotel grounds.

    Day 8 - Rincón de la Vieja National Park
    This morning we visit Rio Celeste waterfall, dyed a bizarre blue colour by natural minerals and continue to the local hot springs for a quick dip for those who like. We travel northwest to the Rincón de la Vieja National Park area for 2 nights. Here we find another thermally active region, with a mildly active volcano which lends its name to the park, as well as natural sulphurous springs and mud pools. The park is the source for 32 rivers and home to a host of wildlife.

    Day 9 - Rincón de la Vieja National Park
    Walking and exploring in the park. There are several waterfalls and wooded trails surrounding the lodge on the slopes below the ridge of volcanoes.

    Day 10 - Monteverde
    We travel southeast to Monteverde (2 nights), settled relatively recently, in 1951, by a group of 44 Quakers. Monteverde, ‘Green Mountain’ in Spanish, is nestled high in the Tilarán mountain range and is one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica, with large tracts of forest still untouched.

    Day 11 - Monteverde
    A morning visit to the 26,000 acre Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, preserved and protected as a result of the Quakers' foresight. The forest is home to a myriad of plants, insects and over 400 species of birds - a birdwatcher's paradise. The park authorities control the number of hikers on the forest’s trails to minimise the impact of visitors, which may affect the direction, routes taken and start times of walks within the reserve.

    Day 12 - Manuel Antonio
    We depart for Manuel Antonio National Park (2 nights), on the Pacific coast, with a visit to Carara National Park en route. The Park is in the transition between the dry northern zone and the lush southern rain forests. It is renowned for spectacular wildlife and bird viewing. Scarlet Macaws nest here and are generally not too hard to spot.

    Day 13 - Manuel Antonio
    We spend the day in Manuel Antonio National Park, the smallest and possibly the most beautiful in the park system, and take the opportunity to enjoy the diverse wildlife and the tropical white sand beaches. The ‘Third Beach’ (or Gemelas Beach) is almost exactly how you imagine a tropical beach should look…

    Day 14 - In Flight
    We have some free time to relax on the beach and stroll in the local area before our transfer to the airport. The new road from San Jose to the Pacific coast has improved the journey back to the airport considerably. We should have time to stop and get something to eat on the way. Later we will catch our return overnight flight back to the UK.

    Day 15 -
    Arrive UK.


  • Accommodation

    Generally good tourist class hotels and lodges. Please see our holiday information sheet for details of the kind of hotels we use.

  • What's Included
    • Return flights and transfers
    • Services of a local naturalist guide.
    • Half board accommodation with dinners either at the hotel or local restaurants.
    • All local transport costs.

  • Holiday Highlights
    • Tropical beaches - strolling through the ocean surf.
    • Enjoying Manuel Antonio National Park - the wildlife is everywhere.
    • Volcanoes - lots of them, everywhere!
    • Learning from your local guide, hugely knowledgeable and brilliant at spotting everything.
    • Taking a dip in Rio Celeste. Tropical paradise!

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Flights: Gatwick-San José (c10hrs 45min), British Airways.
    • Arrival transfer by road (c20mins).
    • UK add-on flights from £95 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades: World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) and Business Class available, please ask for a competitive quote.

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
    Main Image
  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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Activity Level
alt
You enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air, communing with nature and discovering the world at a relaxed pace. Short countryside strolls or sightseeing on foot make you feel good. You enjoy cities with art and culture and like to develop an interest in your surroundings. You are reasonably fit and healthy. No previous experience is required. Where walking is involved you can expect up to 5 miles of walking on well made paths with up to 300m of ascent.



YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

Please select a departure date






 
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