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Costa Rica's Jungle & Caribbean Coast

Two week holiday showcasing Costa Rica’s remarkable landscapes and wildlife. This itinerary is perfect for the August – November period, bypassing Costa Rica’s rainy western shores, and maximising the superb sunny weather along the Caribbean Coast. Experience Monteverde’s amazing Cloud Forest by night. Wander the lava fields of Arenal, and relax in hot springs. Explore teeming jungle and tranquil waterways, concluding with an idyllic four night beach stay. Accommodation includes upmarket resorts and chic eco-lodges.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $0 per person economy class from London

People love what we do
Tourdust is rated 5.0 out of 5 stars


…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

Missing Matthew McSweeney. See all Reviews

Itinerary

Overview


  • Day & Night Hikes in Monteverde Cloud Forest

  • Sloth Safari, Volcano Hike & Float Trips in Arenal

  • Jungle Walks & Boat Safaris in Monteverde National Park

  • Relax on the beach on the laid back Caribbean Coast

  • Private Transfers throughout

  • Stay at some of Costa Rica's finest eco lodges and boutique hotels

Day-by-day

DAY 1: Arrive San Jose International Airport
On arrival at San Jose you will be met at the airport by our representative and travel by private transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Grano De Oro, San Jose
Meals included: breakfast

DAY 2: Private transfer to Monteverde Cloud Forest (3 hrs). Night hike in Cloud Forest
You will transfer by road to Monteverde. This evening you will be picked up for a night tour of the Monteverde Reserve. This fascinating nocturnal tour begins just before sunset, and continues into nightfall. The 1.8 km trail features a host of nocturnal mammals, birds, and insects including flying bats, fireflies, and distinctive plant life such as the phosphorescent mushroom. This atmospheric experience is unique to the Cloud Forest.
Accommodation: Senda Monteverde Hotel, Monteverde
Meals included: breakfast

DAY 3: Cloud Forest hike
Today you will hike through the well-marked trails, waterfalls, rivers, and observation areas of this prestigious reserve. Acclaimed as one of the ‘seven wonders’ of Costa Rica, the Cloud Forest’s geographical, topographical, and climatic conditions have spawned a remarkable diversity of wildlife. The reserve’s forests house numerous ecosystems inhabited by mammals, birds, reptiles, spiders, and insects, along with indigenous trees, plants, mosses, and tropical epiphytes and lianas. You may be lucky enough to spot the splendidly exotic Quetzal.
Accommodation: Senda Monteverde Hotel, Monteverde
Meals included: breakfast

DAY 4: Transfer to Arenal Volcano (2 hrs). Sloth tour
The Arenal area is well known for its diverse, distinctive wildlife. Today, enjoy a guided vehicle excursion around La Fortuna, in search of the iconic sloth, whose benign smiling face has become an iconic symbol of the country's amazing rainforest wildlife. La Fortuna is home to two sloth species, the two- toed and the three-toed sloth, along with the splendid multicolored toucan, the blue jeans dart frog, monkeys, iguanas, and a multitude of birdlife.
Accommodation: Arenal Nayara, Arenal
Meals included: breakfast

DAY 5: Arenal volcano hike and Tabacon Hot Springs
Hike the trails of Arenal Volcano National Park and learn about the history of this rugged and fascinating area. Weather permitting, you will enjoy spectacular views of the volcano, along with the opportunity to walk on the dry lava fields. Although there have been no eruptions since 2010, visitors may occasionally hear the volcano rumbling and observe vapour clouds emerging from the crater. There should be good potential for wildlife viewing, as the ash layer in the soil has limited the surrounding tree growth. After the hike, relax at the hot springs in Tabacon Thermal Resort.
Accommodation: Arenal Nayara, Arenal
Meals included: breakfast and dinner

DAY 6: Rivers safari float trip
Today enjoy a delightful river excursion along the tranquil waters of the Peñas Blancas river. This relaxing half day tour is led by an informed guide and nature specialist, who will point out the beautiful flora and fauna of this region. Keep a look out for a variety of creatures such as sloth, monkey, crocodile, lizard and turtle, plus toucans and other tropical birds.
Accommodation: Arenal Nayara, Arenal
Meals included: breakfast

DAY 7: Transfer to Tortuguero National Park (5 hrs)
Take a road transfer, followed by a one hour journey by motorised canoe to Tortuguero National Park, on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. Arrive at your accommodation in time for lunch. Known as the ‘little Amazon’, Tortuguero is home to an impressive variety of birds and animals, including large numbers of caimans, macaws, and howler and capuchin monkeys. Activities available during your stay include a guided jungle walk, a visit to the local village, and a boat tour of the national park’s waterways. Activities take place in small groups with other guests from the lodge.
Accommodation: Tortuga Lodge, Tortuguero
Meals included: full board

DAY 8: Boat excursion in Tortuguero National Park
Today, activities may include a guided hike in the jungle around the lodge and a boat tour of Tortuguero's canals. Late July to September sees turtle hatching and nesting season within the national park, and is a huge draw for nature lovers. The main action takes place after nightfall, when hundreds of turtles emerge from the sea to lay their eggs in the sandy beach. If you are extremely lucky you might see the hatchlings emerge from their eggs and make their own way back down to the ocean. Note this seasonal activity is subject to permit availability, and that allocated viewing sessions may be late at night.
Accommodation: Tortuga Lodge, Tortuguero
Meals included: full board

DAY 9: Transfer to Caribbean Coast (3 hrs)
Transfer to Playa Cocles on the Caribbean Coast for the rest of your trip. With the Pacific Coast receiving heavy rains at this time of year, the Caribbean Coast is at its driest, with lots of sunny days expected. Playa Cocles is a long stretch of sand with good surf. Playa Chiquita, the nearest beach to the property, is a low key local beach with clear calm water at low tide. Activities in the area include learning to surf on Playa Cocles, snorkelling on Playa Chiquita, sea kayaking in Punta Uva and hiking in Cahuita National Park. Bikes are also available at the property for getting around locally and to nearby Puerto Viejo, a laid back, hip and slightly ramshackle Caribbean town.
Accommodation: Hotel Aguas Claras, Playa Cocles
Meals included: breakfast

DAYS 10 - 12: Days at leisure on the Caribbean Coast
Accommodation: Hotel Aguas Claras, Playa Cocles
Meals included: breakfast

DAY 13: Private transfer to San Jose
Accommodation: Xandari Resort & Spa, San Jose
Meals included: breakfast

DAY 14: Departure
Private transfer to San Jose airport for your departure.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Historic hotel
- Near airport and attractions
- 35 bespoke colonial-style rooms
- Rooftop garden with twin jacuzzis

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Contemporary Eco Hotel
- 24 Rooms
- Access to Aguti Wildlife Reserve
- Good Value

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Large, upscale resort
- Family friendly, great range of activities
- Award-winning property
- Excellent variety of activities

Tortuga Lodge

Tortuguero

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Charming riverside property
- Near Tortuguero National Park
- All 26 rooms have river views
- Cultural and wildlife activities

Hotel Aguas Claras

Caribbean Coast

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Light & Airy Bungalows
- Chic Boutique Guesthouse
- Victorian Caribbean design
- Adults Only

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Upmarket hillside retreat
- Near San Jose Airport
- Stunning views, secluded location
- 3 pools, spa, restaurant

Details

Getting there

From the UK
Flights from the UK to Costa Rica’s San Jose airport are mostly indirect, involving one or two stops in Europe, USA or Panama. BA and KLM operate a limited number of seasonal direct flights, with a flight time of approximately 11 hours. Norwegian, TAP Portugal, Air Canada, Delta, United, and Iberia all fly indirectly with one or two stops and overall flight times of between 14 – 22 hours. Competitive deals are currently available with BA and American Airlines flying via Miami, with the option of combining your Costa Rica holiday with a stay in Miami. Return flights range from £720 to upwards of £2,000, depending on seasonality and demand. Please get in touch for a detailed quote, including international flights from the UK.
From the US
From the East Coast, United offer direct flights to San Jose, taking approximately 5 ½ hours, with prices from $515 return. Avianca fly with one stop and a 7 - 8 hour flight time, with prices starting at $370 return. From the West Coast, American Airlines, United, and Avianca offer a flight time of between 8 - 10 hours involving one stop. Prices range from $450 to $610 return. Please get in touch for a detailed quote, including international flights from the US.

Price includes

Includes all accommodation on B&B basis, with the exception of accommodation in Tortuguero which is full board. Includes private and shared transfers and guided tours.

When is best?

Costa Rica’s densely verdant terrain and sweeping rainforest owe much to its tropical climate. Generally, the country experiences its dry or high season from December to April, with May to November heralding the rainy or ‘green’ season. Rainfall can occur year round, although showers during the dry season tend to be short lived.
May to August:
The green season begins, bringing frequent showers to most regions. National parks see a slowdown in visitors, allowing crowd-free wildlife viewing, and surfing conditions can be good on key beaches. May and June can be good months to visit Arenal, when good visibility permits great views of the volcano. There are sunny periods in the Central Valley areas of San Jose and Manual Antonio National Park, and on the Caribbean Coast, where green sea turtle nesting along Tortuguero’s coastline is at its peak during July and August. July heralds the start of whale watching season at Uvita on the Southern Pacific Coast. The Northern Pacific coastline, including Tamarindo in the Nicoya Peninsula, receives less rainfall year-round than the country as a whole, and often basks in sunny spells during July and August.
September to November:
The height of the rainy season, with prolonged heavy rain showers and storms sweeping most of the country, and resultant sea swells bringing great surfing conditions along the Pacific Coast. Tourist accommodation may be closed, and roads in rural areas can be off limits, due to flooding. The Caribbean Coast, hot and humid for most of year, is usually at its driest during September and October, coinciding with the end of turtle nesting season. The Uvita whale watching season reaches its peak during October. In November the rains begin to abate, allowing low-season uninterrupted wildlife watching for nature lovers who don’t mind the odd shower. By the end of the month, visitor numbers are on the increase again.

Is it for me?

This itinerary is perfect for travel during Costa Rica's rainy season (August to November) when in contrast to the Pacific Coast, the Caribbean is at its best, enjoying super weather at this time of year. Accommodation is amongst some of the finest character lodges and hotels on offer in Costa Rica. Please get in touch if you are working to a lower budget and we will suggest alternatives.
The itinerary is suitable for adult only groups and families. Please note, Aguas Claras on the Caribbean Coast only allows 12+ year old children, so we will suggest an alternative if you are travelling with younger children.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 506 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

  • We had the most incredible time thank you. We loved Karen Blixen camp and felt part of a family there, it was incredibly special. And Breezes was very relaxing.
    We can't fault all the transfers and the moment we were greeted on the tarmac at Nairobi airport we knew we were going to be well cared for.

    Thank you so much to you and all the Tourdust team for making it such a happy and memorable trip.

    MissingZoe A reviewing Masai Mara Safari & Beach on 27 August 2019

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Two week holiday in Costa Rica with a focus on the wildlife. Includes Tortuguero, Arenal, Monteverde, Osa Peninsula and Uvita

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Adults from $3,678 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

Families from $3,258 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

2 week adventure including surfing in Nosara, rafting Pacuare River and tubing and canyoning at Rio Perdido. Classic rainforest and beachside accommodation.

Tailor-made Luxury 2 weeks

Adults from $2,891 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

Families from $2,418 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

Two week self-drive Costa Rica family holiday covering all the highlights including Tortugeuro, Arenal, Monteverde Rain Forest, Nosara Beach and Manuel Antonio National Park.

Tailor-made Classic 15 days

Adults from $2,675 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,930 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

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