Costa Rica Experience

Even in a region well known for its natural diversity, Costa Rica is still a stand out. Thanks to a longstanding tradition of preserving its natural assets, much of the country’s verdant rainforest still stands, opportunities for nature-based adventures abound and the beaches on both coasts are in exceptional nick. As a result, the nation’s cultural riches can oft end up overlooked – but here too the country has much to offer. Costa Ricans are widely regarded as some of the world’s friendliest people and on this trip – in between exploring the country’s most famous national parks –you’ll get to know them while lending a hand on a rural farmstay and kicking back in the rustic beach town of Quepos.

9 days.

From £760pp

Your tour to Costa Rica includes:

  • Wander through the artisan stalls of San Jose’s Plaza de la Cultura
  • Learn some home-cooked recipes on a visit to the Juanilama agricultural community
  • Hike the forested jungle trails of Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Take a soak in La Fortuna’s lava-heated thermal springs
  • Try to spy the resplendent quetzal in Monteverde’s cloud forest
  • Chill out amid Quepos’ blissed out surf town vibe
  • Breakfasts Included: 1
  • Dinners Included: 1
  • Hotel (7 nights),Homestay (1 night)
  • Private minibus,local bus,boat
  • Age: min 15
  • Group Size: 1 - 12
  • Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Agricultural tour
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest hike

Your Itinerary:

Day 1 San Jose

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica!

Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza, a fantastic place to get comfy and do some people watching. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping head to the out door market in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.

Day 2 Santa Rosa de Pocosol

Travel by private minibus to Santa Rosa de Pocosol (approx 3 hours) where we spend the night in a homestay. Just down the road is the Juanilama agricultural community where we have the option to get to know the local villagers, help with farm chores or take a cooking lesson. Several villagers have built comfortable rooms for guests next to their homes. All rooms have shared facilities.

In order to make the most of this homestay experience, it may take a bit of effort from your side to break the ice first. Learn as many Spanish words as you can and get ready for some serious hand language signals.

Day 3 La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano

Continue by private minibus to La Fortuna (approx 2 hours).

La Fortuna is a small town situated just a few minutes away from Costa Rica's most famous volcano - the majestic Arenal. Besides the panoramic views the town offers a range of other activities such as the 70-metre-high La Fortuna waterfall, stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and water sports on the lake.

The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area has a number of thermal springs where hot, lava-heated water gushes to the surface. These springs have been turned into a number of thermal pools and waterfalls, often surrounded by foliage, an ideal chance to relax.

Day 4 Monteverde

Today take the scenic route to Monteverde (approximately 4 hours in total). Travel by shared minibus to Lake Arenal, which we'll cross by boat. On a clear day you'll see fantastic views of the surrounding area. On the other side of the lake, re-board the minibus and continue on to our destination.

Monteverde was founded as an agricultural community in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers; they cleared virgin forest to create verdant pastures ideal for dairy farming. These environmentally aware settlers were conscious of the danger that unrestricted settling and farming could cause to this precious habitat. Consequently they established a small privately-owned wildlife sanctuary, which has since grown to become the internationally-renowned Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Preserve. These forests are similar to rainforests, but instead of relying on rain for essential moisture, adequate water comes from the semi-permanent cloud that covers the region. It is lush and full of wildlife. This is truly a nature lover's paradise. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Montverde home.

Day 5 Monteverde

Your leader will take you on a walking tour through the Monteverde National Park. Alternatively, walk through the canopy on suspension bridges or watch butterflies at play in the specially created butterfly garden. The local guides are very knowledgeable about the area and passionate about conservation and in the local communities there are several cooperatives worth visiting. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Montverde home. Be sure to keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the most elusive birds in the world.

Day 6 Quepos

Travel to Quepos by private minibus (approx 5 hours). Located close to the beautiful Pacific beaches and exotic wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park and town, Quepos is a laid-back town with a vibrant nightlife.

Day 7 Quepos

Enjoy the luxury of a leisurely morning if you wish. Take a stroll in the easy-to-walk gridded streets perhaps find a "Cevichera" for lunch, in order to try a typical local dish consisting of raw, diced fish in a lime juice broth. Otherwise there a heaps of optional activities to undertake here, most of which will pick up from the hotel in Quepos and take you to the activity. Manual Antonio National Park is closed on a Monday however the activities in Manual Antonio town (15 minutes away by bus) can still be undertaken. 

Day 8 Manuel Antonio NP / San Jose

Spend your morning enjoying Manuel Antonio NP before the crowds arrive. Head out for a hike along its many trails, keeping one eye on the great views and the other looking for the abundant wildlife. Monkeys, armadillos, sloths and hundreds of birds are among the species you maybe be able to spot. The park also boasts turquoise seas and white-sand beaches, perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing and fishing. It would be easy to spend your whole time here in, or by, the water.

At midday, take a local bus back to San Jose (approx 4 hours). The buses in this region of the country are a little more basic but this is a great opportunity to mix with Costa Ricans and get a feel for local life.

Arrive in San Jose to head out for an optional dinner and a final night on the town sampling the huge variety of nightlife. The perfect way to end our adventure.

Day 9 San Jose

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Conditions

  • The following product terms and conditions apply in addition to our Booking Terms and Conditions (available on our website) and terms and conditions of the relevant travel service provider.
  • Prices quoted valid for sale until 23 October 2017 for travel during the period specified (if applicable) unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
  • All prices are per person (unless otherwise stated), subject to availability and may be withdrawn or varied without notice. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
  • Advertised price includes bonus nights and/or stated saving (if applicable).
  • Additional supplier conditions and travel restrictions may apply. Please enquire for further details.
  • Airfare (including internal flights) is not included unless otherwise stated and, if included, is economy class unless otherwise stated.
  • Components of the total price including local payments, "resort fees", "national park fees", "trip kitties" and food funds (if applicable) may be payable direct to the supplier on arrival or to your travel consultant prior to your departure. Where applicable, these payments are included in the total price quoted.
  • Gratuities are not included unless otherwise stated.
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