This tiny country is a haven for discovery, so get ready to go in-depth on this 14 day trip. From jungles & rainforests, to volcanoes, beaches, cool coffee plantations & even cooler locals, it’s the perfect way to uncover amazing Costa Rica.
Hola San José! After greeting your fellow travellers, this afternoon we'll explore the town and dive headfirst into the vibrant electricity of Costa Rica’s capital and cultural heart. Get a taste of street life at the Plaza, food safari through the Mercado Central, and be sure to poke your nose in a few mansions – many have been converted into hip galleries and restaurants. Over dinner tonight the excitement will be at an all time high as we gear up for the next 14 days of Costa Rican lovin'. With you the entire way is your expert Trip Manager, a naturalist guide who knows everything about this incredible country. You couldn't be in better hands.
We leave the city's charms behind and make for Tortuguero, which translates as "Land of the Turtles" - a sun-drenched town in the centre of a river-fed rainforest only accessible by boat or small plane.
Though tiny, Tortuguero - with its strong Afro-Caribbean influence - bustles with people all year round. Yet despite the hustle, the vibes are chilled. We'll be staying in a jungle lodge tonight and this will be your first enounter with howler monkeys. Yup, and howl they do - your first realisation that you really are now at one with nature. Take a jungle walk, have a swim and kick back, already living that sweet pura vida life.
Wake with the howler monkeys and jump in a boat with your expert guide to explore the snaking canals of Tortuguero National Park. Wildlife is abundant here - expect to spot primates, sloths, reptiles and maybe even a caiman, so don't dangle your legs off the edge just in case. Later, laze on the beach, hike in the jungle or, if the season is right, you may have the privilege of watching nesting sea turtles. After the cruise, the day is yours. Maybe head back into town, take advantage of the spa, or sip a cocktail or the national beer, Imperial, by the pool.
Jungle to jungle - today we head to lush Sarapiquí for an overnight stay in an Eco Camp.
Sarapiquí is renowned for its rich biodiversity and fertile lands thanks to its river, which descends from clear mountain streams and winds through the county. Relax in the rainforest and indulge in a chocolate tour in the Tirimbina reserve (you can eat everything but the guide, basically) - it's here you will learn literally an A to Z of how it's done. Back at the Lodge, it's all about getting into the outdoors. Take a trail walk through the jungle, cross swing bridges over rivers, or hop in the pool for some group hangs pre dinner (a delicious BBQ feast, in case you were wondering). Tonight's home may be an Eco Camp, but we're not talking back to basics. In your comfy bed, with candlelight, you're sleeping to the sound of the jungle. Bliss.
This morning the choice is yours as to how to make the most of the great outdoors. Whitewater rafting on the Saraquipi river, or soaring through the skies on a zipline? The choices are tough when you're living the pura vida life. You're sure to be hungry, so we'll load you up with a delicious local lunch of regional specialities before hitting the road.
We’ll then head towards one of the most incredible volcanoes in Costa Rica; Arenal. This volcano is near perfectly formed and famed for its hot springs and healing properties so you know what that means – spa times and treatments galore. Later, grab some munch in town with the crew, or continue to kick it in the hotel pool.
Rapelling through a rainforest canyon and waterfalls this morning will be the perfect wake up call. This optional activity is one you won't forget, and if you have a bit of a fear of heights, this is the best way to conquer them. Not keen? No problem. Head back to the pool, grab a delicious coffee, keep those eyes peeled for sloths or practice your Spanish on a friendly local. This afternoon you can spend your free time exploring or to really go local by experiencing the traditional "Tico" mentality at a country estate, La Fortuna. Here, you'll meet with school students and local farmers to learn about their way of life, before enjoying a delicious home-cooked dinner washed down with coffee (and a shot or two of coffee liquor) and some singing and dancing.
See you later volcano lands, more of Costa Rica is calling and hell yeah we're listening.
Playa Tamarindo has the reputation of being Costa Rica's numero uno surf and party destination, and for good reason. This northern beach town boats tasty waves and golden sands dotted with lounge bars and fabulous restaurants. We're staying right by the beach, and loving every second of it.
A bohemian atmosphere permeates every inch of this paradise. Pass the day in the water, snorkelling or scuba diving amongst rainbow fish, or getting amongst the surf. There's an optional catamaran cruise this afternoon, because really who doesn't love getting out there on the water. Whether you opt for this or not, make sure you catch the sunset. Divine. Dinner with the group will top off a perfect day.
Shake out your beach towel and pack away those swimmers (for now). Today we're making for the mountains!
With clean air filling your lungs our next spot awaits, and the misty forests of Monte Verde are sure to take your breath away. This leafy wildlife hotspot is home to coffee plantations, countless monkey species and friendly locals who work hard to preserve the balance between nature and tourism. This afternoon, be blown away (by natural beauty, not wind) as we go trekking in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. We will hike our way through the cloudforest with our guide pointing out birds and wildlife, delivering an in-depth run through of the nature found here. Nature knowledge at an all time high, we'll be rewarded with views of the Caribbean and the Pacific sides of Costa Rica. You can even feel the air change up here, due to it being on a continental divide...no we're not joking.
Yes, yes and yes is what you will as we explore the tropical Selvatura Park – most likely whilst ziplining down a mind-blowing 1km long line. But that’s not all on offer. We’ll also be walking the hanging bridges amongst the lush Monte Verde cloudforest – there are eight in total of varying lengths, each offering unparalleled views of the forest floor – then popping in to a butterfly sanctuary to spot just some of the 20 species flying around. This afternoon is all about learning about everyone’s favourite caffeinated friend – coffee. One of Costa Rica’s most famous exports, we’ll learn how the plants are cultivated and the entire process of turning delicious little berries into rich coffee beans. Definitely a gift shopping op for the parents…
This morning we'll leave Monte Verde in the clouds and meander our way back to the coast.
On route, we’ll stop off at the gorgeous surf resort of Jacó for some lunch. A cute little fishing town and a great spot to grab a bite and people watch, this is just what we’ll need to cure our sadness at leaving our rainforest paradise behind.
In the spirit of seeing more, we’ll stop again at Quepos, maybe grabbing a coffee or some plantain crisps for a tasty snack en route.
Oceanside Manuel Antonio is a dizzying mix of ancient rainforest, pristine beaches and coral reefs. We’ll arrive at the hotel for some relaxing by the pool (or at the bar) whilst contemplating Costa Rican life, soaking up these last few days in paradise.
Today is yours to conquer as you will, but with a menu of appetising optionals up for grabs, we reckon you’ll find it hard to resist. So what can we tempt you with? How about a horseback excursion to the luscious Tacori Waterfalls, a ride your own ATV adventure where you can stop for waterfall fun and frolics, or a surf lesson to get you in and amongst the waves. With bleached sandy beaches, an underwater playground just begging to be snorkelled and fresh fish dinners a-plenty to be had, this lazy beach town may just claim your heart.
Hike along the coast up through the mountains with an expert this morning, spotting macaws, toucans and sloths along the way. Don't forget your camera so you can snap all Manuel Antonio National Park's exotic plants and animals and get rewarded with a swim at the end. An optional catamaran cruise is on the cards in the afternoon, where we'll swim and snorkel with dolphins, whales and sea turtles - the salty water hiding our tears at the realisation it's our last night together. We'll end the day with an included dinner, and no doubt a few drinks to toast the trip, and oh what a trip it has been.
Milk your final morning in Manuel Antonio for all it's worth, squeezing in a kayak or a snorkel before we head back to where it all began: San José.
The trip ends on arrival as we pull back into the gritty city. Costa Rica, you've been a real treat!
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Trip Name: Costa Rica Unplugged
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: £2,165
Supplier Tour ID: 92/210125
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