Surrounded by luxuriant jungle and towering volcanoes, the Ti-fakara Birding Oasis in La Fortuna offers an incredible location for your feature stay. Relax poolside and listen to the call of birds.. Gain an understanding of Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity as you explore with expert naturalist guides in the Cano Negro Wetlands and Manuel Antonio National Park.. Visit a project focused on promoting sustainable agricultural practices while preserving ancient traditions, tour the farm to learn about their processes and sit down to a farm-fresh lunch.. Board a raft and explore the wild Cano Negro Wetlands with a naturalist guide – get up close and personal with monkeys, iguanas, caimans, bats and lizards in their natural environment.
Verdant rainforests give way to ancient volcanoes and glittering beaches on a nine-day Premium journey through Costa Rica. Uncover the local secrets of San Jose, explore the wild wetlands of Cano Negro, marvel at the biodiversity of Monteverde and search for sloths in Manuel Antonio. A local leader will take you beneath Costa Rica’s lush surface and show you the country at its very best. Costa Rica’s natural wonders have etched it a place on the map, but you’ll soon discover its cherished traditions and welcoming people are every bit as endearing.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: 3 Dinner Included: 2
Beinvenidos – welcome to Costa Rica! Your adventure begins in San Jose, the country’s flourishing capital. On arrival, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Here you will meet your local leader and small group for an important welcome meeting at 6pm. Costa Rican coffee is some of the best in the world, with great cafes to match, so if you arrive with time to spare perhaps set out to sample some of the local brew. After your meeting, head out with your leader and fellow travellers to dine like a local during a food tour in Barrio Escalante, one of San Jose’s trendy gastronomic neighbourhoods. Your leader will share the history of the area and its famous residents as you hop from restaurant to bar, trying local specialties along the way.
This morning, see beneath the surface of San Jose during a city tour with your leader. Stroll down pedestrian streets where the locals do their shopping and enjoy a snapshot of daily life in the city. Stop by the Neo-classical National Theatre – built in 1897, the theatre is considered San Jose’s greatest historical building and a source of national pride. Visit the National Museum, a former army barracks, for a tour with a local guide where you’ll gain special insight into the history of Costa Rica and hear how the country abolished the military in 1948. Travel to the nearby Ciudad Colon, known for its multiculturalism and artistic inclinations, and pay a visit to the masquerade workshop of a local artisan. A long-held tradition with roots in Carnival, Costa Ricans don oversized and colourful masks for parades and celebrations. Speak to the local artisan and gain first-hand insight on his craft while members of his family wear several masks for you to admire. Enjoy a look at a typical Costa Rican home that most visitors don’t get to see while sitting down to a traditional casado lunch prepared in a wood stove, followed by dessert and coffee. Enjoy a free evening in San Jose – your leader will have some great recommendations for dinner.
Depart San Jose and drive to La Fortuna, famed for its mellow atmosphere, bubbling hot springs and mighty Arenal volcano. On arrival, pay a visit to the Arenal Vida Campesina, a project focused on promoting sustainable agricultural practices while preserving customs and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Tour the property, learn about the process of sugarcane milling then sit down for a delicious farm-fresh lunch. After lunch, visit the Arenal Volcano National Park for a gentle walk to the Las Coladas lava field. Along the way, your leader will share the history of the volcano as you look out for howler monkeys, deer and parrots. In the afternoon, arrive at the Ti-fakara Birding Oasis, your feature stay accommodation for the next two nights. The stunning hotel lives up to its name – a colourful display of birds often stop by the property, including hummingbirds, woodpeckers and even toucans. Enjoy personal and intimate service, spacious rooms with outdoor showers and an unbeatable location surrounded by luxuriant jungle and soaring volcanoes. Spend some time poolside, listening to the songs of birds, then perhaps enjoy dinner at the fantastic on-site restaurant serving up a creative menu.
Today will be spent exploring the diverse wildlife of the Cano Negro Wetlands with a naturalist guide. Start with a drive through fields of yucca, plantain and papaya before boarding a comfortable raft to explore the Frio River. Travelling this way allows you get up close and personal with this region’s wildlife without having to undertake a strenuous hike. If you’re lucky you will spot monkeys, iguanas, caimans, bats and common basilisks, also known as Jesus Christ lizards for their ability to walk on water. Your expert guide will be on hand to tell you where to look and share information on the intriguing creatures you discover today. Enjoy a traditional lunch at a local restaurant before returning to La Fortuna for an evening at leisure. Perhaps visit one of the town’s hot springs for a peaceful swim beneath the stars.
After breakfast, depart La Fortuna and begin the journey to Monteverde. Take a boat across the glittering Lake Arenal and watch dramatic views of the Arenal volcano unfold in front of you. Your leader will be on hand to point out interesting wildlife along the way. Arrive in Monteverde in the early afternoon. Known for spectacular cloud forests and rich biodiversity, Monteverde is a mecca for nature lovers. This afternoon, you may like to explore the peaceful town, or perhaps you’d like to view the cloud forest from overhead on a zipline. Speak to your leader about arranging this exhilarating activity.
Begin the day with a tour of the spectacular Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, host to more than 100 different species of mammals and 400 species of birds. Your leader will share information on the fascinating biodiversity of the region and lend their expert eye to spotting wonderful wildlife. Look out for the resplendent quetzal and its quirky hairdo and listen for the sounds of howler monkeys and the unmistakeable call of the three-wattled bellbird. With nearly 500 unique species of orchids, the reserve holds the world’s highest diversity of the beautiful flower. After a morning with your head in the clouds, depart for Manuel Antonio, home to a wildlife-rich national park and a string of the country’s most magnificent beaches. Arrive and enjoy a free evening in this tropical paradise.
This morning you will set off into the lush Manuel Antonio National Park with an expert naturalist guide by your side. This small national park packs a real punch when it comes to wildlife viewing opportunities – two and three toed sloths, white faced monkeys, anteaters and iguanas are all abundant and your guide will know all the best places to find them. The park offers criss-crossing walking trails and a stunning sweep of golden beach – just keep an eye out for crafty raccoons! The afternoon is free for your own explorations. Manuel Antonio has plenty to entice those seeking an adrenaline rush – speak to your leader about arranging ziplining, sea kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. On the other end of the spectrum, the there’s few better places to sit back, crack open a coconut and watch the waves lap the shore. Be sure to look up, as sloths and monkeys are known to frequent the trees that line the beach.
Enjoy a free morning in Manuel Antonio – perhaps take a walk along the beach and dip your toes in the Pacific, or explore the quaint village. In the early afternoon, return to San Jose. This evening, join your leader and new friends for a final dinner at a local restaurant serving up creative variations of traditional Costa Rican cantina food and a marvellous wine list.
Your Costa Rican adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to stay on in San Jose, speak to your booking agent to arrange additional accommodation ahead of time (subject to availability).