Costa Rica Discovery
14 days from £577 (was £679)
- Spend time beach-chilling and snorkelling on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts
- Stay in La Fortuna and take in fantastic views of the Arenal Volcano
- Explore Monteverde’s magical cloud forest up in the mountains
- Take time to spot exotic wildlife in one of the world’s most biologically diverse countries
- Learn about Costa Rica’s amazing ecosystem and local communities
- Try out a whole load of brilliant optional tours and activities
If you’re looking for adventure, the chance to get off the beaten track, and a serene tropical setting for your travels, Costa Rica has all this and more. On this trip, you’ll get to visit some of the country’s best locations; starting off in vibrant San José you’ll travel to the Caribbean coast to soak up some sunshine and then the Pacific coast to hit the waves, staying in beautiful mountain villages to explore the picturesque towns, volcanoes, waterfalls, and rainforests on the way. There’s an abundance of exceptionally fun optional activities throughout the journey, and a selection of brilliant optional tours for you to choose from to get a real feel for Costa Rican living – pura vida.
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Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica! Arrive in San Jose
Arriving in San José today, you can drop your bags off at the hotel and take a bit of time to explore the city (depending on the time you arrive), or simply chill out and relax before the group meets in the evening. During the welcome meeting, you’ll meet your fellow travellers, be introduced to your tour leader, and find out more about the next two weeks’ travel.
Day 2: San José to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
We’ll be making our way to the Caribbean coast today, with a scenic bus ride through the mountains before arriving at our accommodation in the pretty coastal town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. You’ll have the opportunity to explore and relax on the black and white sand beaches with some free time before regrouping in the evening to enjoy some delicious Caribbean food.
Day 3-4: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Get to know your surroundings even better over the next couple of days by renting a bike and cycling to Puerto Viejo’s botanical gardens to do a bit of exotic wildlife spotting. If trekking’s your thing, there are some great hiking trails through Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, or if you’d prefer not to stray too far from the beach, take the opportunity to go snorkelling and swim through the corals, hire a boogie board and mess around in the surf, or take to the saddle and ride across the sands.
Day 5: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Carlos
Today we’ll be travelling along the coast and then inland to San Carlos. We will arrive in the afternoon and head to the rural community of Coope San Juan where you have an authentic experience of a Costa Rican homestay.
Day 6-7: La Fortuna
We take the short drive to La Fortuna on day 6. La Fortuna is a fantastic area for adventurers with its scenic setting and a whole range of activities to take part in. You might want to go on a knuckle-clenching whitewater rafting ride, take a guided cycling tour or go off-road with a mountain bike, see how many of the 350 bird species you can spot in the Arenal area on a bird watching tour, enjoy a soak in the Baldi Hot Springs, head to the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge and take a boat tour through one of the world’s most important wetlands, descend the precarious path to the La Fortuna Waterfall and take a dip in the cool waters, ride the forest trails on horseback, or go on an underground adventure at the ancient Venado Caves.
Day 8: La Fortuna to Monteverde
On day 8, we’ll make our way up into the mountains to the magical cloud forest region of Monteverde. Marvel at your vibrant tropical surroundings and breathe in the cool, clean mountain air under the shelter of a deep green forest canopy before checking into your accommodation. On arrival in Monteverde, you’ll enjoy an included lunch on a coffee farm which supports local educational programmes.
Day 9: Monteverde
Today is your own, so make the most of the optional activities on offer and get out and explore beautiful Monteverde properly. Choose from scream-inducing zipline tours and see the sights from a bird’s eye view (if your hands aren’t covering your eyes, that is!), walk above the treetops on a sky walk and cross a series of suspension bridges for some unique views of the forest below, or if you’d rather keep your feet firmly on the ground, why not go on a coffee plantation tour, visit the Monteverde Butterfly Garden, or go on an El Trapiche tour and learn more about the sugar cane, coffee, banana, and cacao farmers?
Day 10: Monteverde to Santa Teresa
Today we’re heading west to the laidback beachside town of Santa Teresa, on the Pacific coast. Once we’ve checked-in to our accommodation and got settled, you can go out and explore the town, or hit the beach and go for an afternoon swim before grabbing a bite to eat in the evening.
Day 11-12: Santa Teresa
Enjoy two free days in this beautiful town on the Nicoya Peninsula. Santa Teresa is the perfect place if you’re into your surfing (or fancy learning to surf), and has an abundance of other activities to choose from, too. Why not start your day with a beach yoga session, then go swimming, snorkelling, or surfing? Alternatively, you could board a boat and explore Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica’s protected national park of tropical forest and rich coastline (extra cost). In the evenings, try out some delicious beachside food before enjoying a few party vibes in town.
Day 13: Santa Teresa to San José
We’ll be heading back to Costa Rica’s capital today, which will take around 8 hours. We’ll freshen up at our accommodation and head into town for a bit of last-minute shopping before regrouping for a final night out together.
Day 14: Depart
There are no activities planned for your last day, so you’re free to depart any time you like. If you’re staying on in San Jose, or plan to continue your travels in Costa Rica, have a chat with your guide about the best places to visit and how to get there, otherwise they can help you arrange transport to the airport.
Please note itineraries and activities (along with associated prices), are subject to change.
- All accommodation
- 1 lunch at a community coffee farm
- Homestay experience
- All transport between destinations on the itinerary
- Welcome meeting and orientation
- An experienced tour guide
- An extensive list of optional activities (charged separately)
- The flexibility to choose your own activities at each location
- 24/7 emergency support
- Airport transfers
- Optional activities
We’ll be staying in various destinations during this tour, and accommodation will consist of basic, but clean and comfortable hotels and hostels in good locations. Room sharing can vary from twin rooms to multi-shares (typically 4 to 6 people in one room) and are on a single-sex basis. Let us know if you’re travelling with a friend or partner so we can arrange for you to be in the same room where possible.
1 lunch is included at a community project in Monteverde. You will need to purchase the rest of your meals yourself, which is a good excuse to try out a whole range of different types of food! Costa Rica’s local cuisine is delicious, with fantastic fresh seafood available on both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, and plenty of excellent restaurants, diners and cafes at each destination.
This tour begins and finishes in San Jose, so you’ll need to arrange flights to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) to arrive and depart on the first and last days of your itinerary. Airport transfers aren’t included as part of your trip, but are easy enough to arrange – we can talk you through this when you book.
Please note, we can arrange an airport transfer for you when you arrive. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.
Please note that an important welcome meeting will be held at around 6pm on day 1 of your trip, please ensure you arrive in plenty of time to attend the meeting, on the final day (day 14) of your trip, no activities are planned and you are free to depart at any time.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
The minimum age for this trip is 18, the maximum is 39 years.
British nationals aren’t required to have a visa to enter Costa Rica and can remain in the country as a visitor for up to three months. You will however need at least six months validity remaining on your passport following your planned departure from Costa Rica as well as proof of onward travel or return home. Please note, there is a 29USD fee payable on exiting the country.
How Many People Will Be In My Group?
On average you can expect group sizes to be made up of around 14 people, with a maximum of 18.
How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?
General costs in Costa Rica are pretty reasonable, so you won’t need a huge budget to get by comfortably, but make sure you plan for optional activities as there’s plenty you’ll probably want to do while you’re out there. You can expect to pay between 3,000CRC-10,000CRC/£4-£14 for a meal and between 800CRC-2,000CRC/£1-£3 for drinks, so a weekly budget of around 180,000CRC-220,000CRC/£250-£300 should be a good amount to keep in mind, minus any costlier activities.
Do I Need Any Inoculations/vaccinations?
We’re not qualified to offer you medical advice, so it’s a good idea to visit your GP well ahead of time to find out what inoculations you might need. Remember to tell them which countries/regions you’re travelling to and the sorts of activities you’ll be taking part in. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of any prescribed medication to see you through the duration of your trip.