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Tailormade Highlights of Costa Rica
14 days
Costa Rica - Trip code TMCR1

Tailormade Highlights of Costa Rica

A wildlife lovers’ paradise!
With lush rainforests, soaring volcanoes and beautiful sandy beaches, Costa Rica is a great destination for any nature lover.  Discovering national parks and nature reserves, this highlights itinerary will allow you the opportunity of visiting some very diverse habitats, in which you will find hundreds of bird species, reptiles, insect and mammals.

Enriching tailormade journeys – for you
This bespoke journey features some of our favourite spots in Costa Rica. You can choose to take our destination experts’ recommendations and travel just as you see the itinerary here, or contact us to add your own special touches; maybe add extra guided treks and zip-lining excursions, or extra time to relax on the beach at the end of your trip. We’re here to design your perfect holiday.

Call us on 01252 883 184.

Trip highlights

Accommodation grade:
Premium
Our premium accommodation is hand-picked and chosen for its character, location or local importance. These properties have excellent facilities and a higher level of comfort and service. They provide the perfect wind down after an active day.
Trip pace:
Moderate
Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you’ll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Depart UK

Depart the UK for San Jose, arriving the same day. On arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Accommodation: Park Inn, San Jose(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
None
Day 2 - Volcan Poas National Park

Explore Volcan Poas National Park where the smoking volcano rises majestically from the beautiful tropical rainforest. Lake Botos fills an extinct crater at the end of one trail, and is home to many cloud forest birds including hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers and toucanets.  You will continue to Doka Estate for a coffee tour, with the possibility to see the coffee process and taste some different roasts. The estate is also home to a butterfly garden, plus bonsai tree and orchid gardens. After lunch on the estate, your journey continues to Grecia, home to an interesting church, made entirely of sheet-metal. Before heading back to San Jose you also have a short stop in Sarchi, famous for its ornate paintings which adorn ox carts and furniture.

Accommodation: Park Inn, San Jose(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
Breakfast Lunch
Day 3 - Drive and boat to Tortuguero

This morning you drive through extensive banana plantations to Cano Blanco where you'll board your boat and travel through the jungle waterways to Tortuguero. After settling in at your lodge and enjoying lunch you'll visit the local village and the Caribbean Conservation Center to learn more about the protection of sea turtles. Depending on the time of year, this evening you may have the opportunity of seeing the sea turtles at the beach.

Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)

Standard Hotel
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 4 - In Tortuguero National Park

After breakfast you'll have a guided walk along the jungle trails where you may see some of the area's smaller animals and insects. You'll have some free time before touring the canals of Tortuguero National Park where you may see river turtles, spectacled caiman, southern river otters, and spider, howler and Capuchin monkeys. Tortuguero is also home to dozens of species of birds such as kingfishers, parrots and parakeets, hawks and eagles, and over 50 species of freshwater fish including rainbow bass and grouper. If you are lucky you might spot an endangered West Indian Manatee.

Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)

Standard Hotel
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 5 - Transfer to Arenal

Depart Torguguero this morning and transfer to the charming town of La Fortuna, your base for exploring Arenal Volcano, just four miles away. On a clear day, the majestic volcano can be seen looming over this peaceful town.

Accommodation: Arenal Paraiso(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
Breakfast Lunch
Day 6 - Arenal Volcano Hike and Hot Springs

This morning has been left free to explore at your leisure. This afternoon hike a short distance in the national park and, subject to cloud conditions, you will be rewarded with fabulous views of Arenal volcano, while the sun sets around you.  En route back to the town you will stop at the thermal baths for a rejuvenating soak and dinner.

Accommodation: Arenal Paraiso(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
Breakfast Dinner
Day 7 - Drive to Monteverde

This morning you transfer to the dam on Lake Arenal, where you board your boat for a picturesque ride to Rio Chiquita. From here you have a bus jouney to Monteverde. These forests, which are shrouded by mist and low-lying clouds throughout much of the year, were originally a Quaker settlement in the 1950s, and became a protected reserve in 1972. The rest of the day has been left free and you may choose to visit the coffee plantations or Santa Elena town.

Accommodation: Trapp Family Lodge(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Breakfast
Day 8 - Canopy Tour in Selvatura Park

An exhilarating half-day canopy tour takes you across 15 cables and 18 platforms, on one of Costa Rica’s longest canopy tours, allowing great views of the forest from tree-top height! Your guide will point out the many different types of fora and birdlife. You are then free to explore at your leisure, why not visit the hummingbird gardens, butterfly or reptile houses?

Accommodation: Trapp Family Lodge(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Breakfast
Day 9 - Free day

With so many options available, today has been left free for you to do as much or as little as you like.  You may wish to take a treetop walkway tour, mountain bike ride, horseback trek, or a guided hike through the national park in search of the rare but resplendent quetzal, the best viewing months are March and April, the breeding months.

Accommodation: Trapp Family Lodge(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Breakfast
Day 10 - Drive to Manuel Antonio

Leaving the cloud forest behind, you transfer to Quepos for Manuel Antonio National Park.

Accommodation: Parador Hotel(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
Breakfast
Day 11 - Free day in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park is a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs. Today has been left free to relax on the white sandy beaches or enjoy snorkelling in the warm azure waters. The sunsets from this coast are spectacular and have to be seen to be believed!

Accommodation: Parador Hotel(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
Breakfast
Day 12 - Hike in Manuel Antonio

This morning, you'll explore Manuel Antonio National Park, famed for its beautiful beaches and rich wildlife. During your time in the park, you may see white-faced capuchin monkeys, coatimundi (part of the racoon family) and the tiny squirrel monkeys. This is also one of the best places in Costa Rica to see sloths. The majority of a sloth's diet comes from buds and leaves. As leaves provide little energy, sloths move only when necessary and even then very slowly so they are easy to spot.

The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing on the white sandy beaches, enjoying a swim in the warm azure waters. The sunsets from this coast are spectacular and have to be seen to be believed.

Accommodation: Parador Hotel(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
Breakfast
Day 13 - Transfer to San Jose

Leaving the beauty of Manuel Antonio behind you will transfer back to San Jose in time for your flight home.

Breakfast

Tailormade Expert

Meet Sarah Slocomb, 
Regional Specialist for Costa Rica

Call on 01252 883 184.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 12
  • Lunch: 4
  • Dinner: 3
Transport
  • Private car
    Boat
    Shared car
Trip staff
  • Local guides
    Driver(s)
Accommodation
  • 12 nights standard hotel
  • 6 nights premium hotel

Trip information

Country information

Holidays to Costa Rica

Climate

Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable. Up-to-date information on the weather worldwide can be found by following the BBC weather link on this page. Costa Rica has a tropical climate with high temperature humidity and rainfall. The average temperature is 21°C in the highlands and variable in the lowlands. The rainy season is from May to November and the summer from December to April, but it does still tend to rain, usually in short bursts. Bear in mind that Costa Rica has 12 microclimates and weather can vary significantly in one day.

Time difference to GMT

-6

Plugs

2 Pin Flat

Religion

Christian, Roman Catholic

Language

Spanish

Budgeting and packing

Country Information

Holidays to Costa Rica

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£13
Dinner price
£13
Beer price
£1.8
Water price
£1.3
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Costa Rican Colon.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Carry all your funds in US cash NOT Sterling or Travellers Cheques which are more difficult to exchange. We recommend to take a minimum of US$400-$500 of your total spending money in cash, in mixed denominations. Notes should be in good condition otherwise they might be difficult to exchange. USD can be used in some places in Costa Rica
Where To Exchange
Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
Available in Major towns. Always have some cash as back-up as they are not always reliable
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are useful and can be used in many places, but may be subject to a 10% service charge
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques can be awkward or expensive to change

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.


Premium
On Premium level tailor-made tours you will stay at comfortable mid-range hotels, chosen for their location, ambiance or local character. Your rooms will be clean and well-appointed, with en suite bathrooms and air-conditioning or heating as necessary. Premium level hotels normally have restaurants, bars and often other amenities such as a swimming pool and gardens, offering a good level of comfort at a reasonable price. ​

Park Inn by Radisson
The Park Inn by Radisson is a large and modern option located a short taxi ride from downtown San Jose. Rooms are business-like, spacious and modern. The hotel has an onsite gym, pool and restaurant.

Evergreen Lodge
Evergreen Lodge is ideally located just five minutes from the entrance to Tortuguero National Park.  The rooms are spacious, and designed to complement the jungle surroundings.

Arenal Paraiso
Situated in front of Arenal Volcano, the hotel offers excellent views from the balcony of every room as well as an array of activities in the vicinity. This large hotel is surrounded by lush gardens where guests will find a good-size swimming pool with a wet bar. The hotel also has a first class spa, sauna and two restaurants.

Trapp Family Lodge
Located just a few minutes walk from Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the Trapp Family Lodge offers comfortable accommodation within wooden chalet-style rooms. Large picture windows allow guests to enjoy the views either from the room or the family restaurant.

Si Como No Hotel
Si Como No Hotel is situated in the jungle-covered hills between Quepos and Manuel Antonio, and offers superb views out over the jungle and Pacific Ocean. Rooms are spacious and modern in design and there is a choice of two restaurants, the Claro Que Seafood Grill and Wine Bar, and the less formal Rico Tico Jungle Grill. There are two outdoor swimming pools, a swim up bar and there is also a spa and a snack bar with live music. The hotel is located approximately a 10 minute walk from the Finca Naturales Wildlife Refuge and a complimentary shuttle bus operates to the beach.

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Holidays to Costa Rica

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against typhoid, infectious hepatitis and polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended.. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from

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