Costa Rica,

Popular Costa Rica With A Difference

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Tailor-Made Tour
12 Days
From £3090
GEOIP Not Available
Birding
Beach
Luxury

Tour Introduction

12 Days from £3090
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

We are delighted to present this highly varied and stimulating journey in which we feature many popular Costa Rican locations, but use appealingly alternative accommodation and mix up the luxury levels in a way that works wonders. We combine good value, impressive volcanoes, hot thermal springs, three types of forest, jungle waterfalls, tropical wildlife, zip lines and fine Pacific beaches with some extra special lodges displaying a high degree of sustainability and carbon neutrality to create a holiday far greater than the sum of its parts.

Full Itinerary

Price from £3090
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in San Jose

Arrive San Jose, capital of Costa Rica. Met and transfer to your hotel, in the hills not far from the airport.

Staying at Bougainvillea Hotel. Includes Breakfast.

Day 2
Arenal

Pickup and transfer to your lodge, located in full view of Arenal volcano and boasting its own nature reserve. Rest of day at leisure.

Staying at Arenal Observatory Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 3
Arenal

Day for independent exploration of the lodge’s private nature reserve with its extensive network of marked trails, rated from easy to difficult. Also perhaps choose an optional off-site activity such as horse riding to La Fortuna waterfall, a visit to a thermal springs, massage, quad biking, zip lining or a canopy walkway tour.

Staying at Arenal Observatory Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 4
Monteverde

Depart Arenal and transfer up into the mountains to Monteverde. Check in to your hotel near the main reserve and settle in.

Staying at Trapp Family Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 5
Monteverde

Early morning transfer to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for a guided walk through the atmospheric forest. See many hummingbirds and trogons and, with luck, the beautiful resplendent quetzal and three-wattled bellbird. In the afternoon, perhaps opt for a canopy tour or zip lining adventure.

Staying at Trapp Family Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 6
Carara

Transfer from the mountains down to the Pacific lowlands to Carara National Park and a sustainable jungle lodge, set in transitional forest and using only solar energy and hiring local villagers. In the afternoon, you can visit the botanical garden and walk in the private 265-acre forest reserve to a waterfall.

Staying at Macaw Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Carara

Early morning guided tour of nearby Carara National Park, seeking scarlet macaw and other bird species within this Pacific primary transitional forest. You may also see crocodile, sloth and iguana. Return to the lodge for a free afternoon - perhaps opt to ride horses or mountain bikes through the forest.

Staying at Macaw Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Manuel Antonio

After breakfast, transfer the short distance to Quepos, then on towards Manuel Antonio National Park and your luxury beachfront resort, recipient of a coveted award for sustainability.

Staying at Arenas del Mar Resort. Includes Breakfast.

Day 9
Manuel Antonio

Perhaps visit Manuel Antonio National Park for a morning nature walk, then go to the beach to relax, swim or surf.

Staying at Arenas del Mar Resort. Includes Breakfast.

Day 10
Manuel Antonio

Day at leisure for Pacific beach relaxation

Staying at Arenas del Mar Resort. Includes Breakfast.

Day 11
Manuel Antonio

Last day at leisure before returning home

Staying at Arenas del Mar Resort. Includes Breakfast.

Day 12
Depart San Jose

Pickup for your private transfer to San Jose airport for your flight out.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Costa Rica Cordilleras Volcanoes

Trapp Family Lodge

Overview

The closest lodge to Monteverde Reserve, Trapp is a 20-room, two-storey building built of beautiful natural hardwoods and surrounded by its own small private cloud forest reserve. Each rustic room has a private bathroom and terrace or balcony with views of the lush gardens, two queen-size beds, telephones and hairdryers. The suites also offer televisions. There is free Wi-Fi available throughout the property. The communal main area has a restaurant serving both local and international dishes and there is a bar and outside terrace to enjoy.

The garden has an abundance of flowering plants and trees and there are hummingbird feeders attracting many birds. Quetzals, trogons and toucans can regularly be seen in the gardens. The reserve consists of primary cloud forest with stunted trees and a high abundance of epiphytes (ferns, mosses, lichens, bromeliads and orchids). It also offers some of the best birding in the country with over 400 species present in the area including the stunning resplendent quetzal.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
26
Facilities

The closest lodge to Monteverde Reserve, Trapp is a 20-room, two-storey building built of beautiful natural hardwoods and surrounded by its own small private cloud forest reserve. Each rustic room has a private bathroom and terrace or balcony with views of the lush gardens, two queen-size beds, telephones and hairdryers. The suites also offer televisions. There is free Wi-Fi available throughout the property. The communal main area has a restaurant serving both local and international dishes and there is a bar and outside terrace to enjoy.

The garden has an abundance of flowering plants and trees and there are hummingbird feeders attracting many birds. Quetzals, trogons and toucans can regularly be seen in the gardens. The reserve consists of primary cloud forest with stunted trees and a high abundance of epiphytes (ferns, mosses, lichens, bromeliads and orchids). It also offers some of the best birding in the country with over 400 species present in the area including the stunning resplendent quetzal.

Local Wildlife

The main attraction at Monteverde is the 400+ species of birds including 30 species of hummingbirds, and rarities such as the three-wattled bellbird, bare-necked umbrella bird and the resplendent quetzal, the fabled Maya God-bird widely considered among the most beautiful in the world. The reserve was also home to the beautiful but sadly seemingly now extinct golden toad. Over a hundred species of mammal inhabit the area, including monkeys, sloths, tapirs, collared peccary and six species of cat (including the elusive jaguar and puma).

Optional Activities

Birdwatching, hiking and horse riding in the Montverde Reserve and excursions to canopy walkways and Arenal volcano are also available.

Costa Rica Cordilleras Volcanoes

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Overview

Originally built near the small village of La Fortuna in 1987 as a research facility for the Smithsonian Institution Arenal Observatory is the closest lodge to the Arenal volcano. The lodge has 24 spacious rooms with smart wooden furnishings and an outside terrace with views of the gardens and volcano. The rooms are rather basic but have private bathrooms, ceiling fans and safety deposit boxes. The Smithsonian rooms have huge picture windows framing the impressive Arenal volcano.

There is a good restaurant in the main building where tasty international dishes and regional cuisine are served and there is a bar and lounge for relaxing.

The lodge also offers a large swimming pool, hot tub and spa and is surrounded by its own nature reserve with trails, and thousands of acres of forest comprising part of the Arenal National Park.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
24
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, 800mt-long wheelchair-accessible trail, landscaped gardens, spring-fed infinity swimming pool and gift shop.

Local Wildlife

Some 370 species of bird have been recorded including three-wattled bellbird and the bare-necked umbrella bird. Mantled howler, white faced capuchin and central American spider monkeys, white-nosed coati, kinkajou, margay, silky anteater, three-toed sloth and the occasional armadillo might also be seen.

Optional Activities

On-site complimentary guided morning wildlife walk along forest trails (approx. 2.5hrs) to learn about the wildlife and ecology of the area; independent walking in the lodge’s private secondary and primary rainforest reserve to waterfalls and along old lava flows. Nearby optional activities include horse riding, cycling, white-water rafting, canoeing on Lake Arenal, canopy walks, zip-lining and hot springs.

Costa Rica Central Pacific Coast

Arenas del Mar

Overview

Arenas del Mar is a luxurious resort on the edge of Manuel Antonio National Park on Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline with well-appointed rooms and suites, good restaurants, two easily accessible sandy beaches and wonderful ocean views. This high quality hotel enjoys a beautiful setting amongst eleven acres of gardens and native forest.

Accommodation is in stylish, individually designed rooms and suites. All are spacious with en suite modern bathrooms and showers air- conditioning, ceiling fans, flat screen cable TV, mini-bar, tea and coffee facilities and free Wi-Fi.

There are two superb restaurants on site as well as a bar and lounge. Guests can enjoy the resort’s two swimming pools and excellent spa service which offers an in-room massage service.

Monkeys, toucans and sloths all inhabit the forest here and can be frequently seen, even from some of the rooms.

Manuel Antonio National Park is only a short walk away and has some of the finest beaches in Costa Rica, with lush rainforest coming right down to the high tide mark. The park is home to diverse wildlife and there are good chances to see all four species of primate, three-toed and two-toed sloths, white-nosed coati, green and black spiny-tailed iguanas as well as many birds restricted to the south west.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
38
Facilities

Private bathrooms, restaurant, bar, lounge, swimming pools, spa, air- conditioning, ceiling fan, cable TV, mini-bar, tea and coffee facilities, business centre, laundry service, luggage storage, concierge service, safety deposit box at front desk and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Local Wildlife

Mantled howler, white-faced capuchin and Central American squirrel and spider monkeys, three-toed and Hoffman’s two-toed sloths, white-nosed coati, green and black spiny-tailed iguanas as well as many snakes, lizards and frogs. Birdlife is very rich and includes local specialities such as fiery-billed aracari, Baird’s trogon, charming hummingbird and orange-collared manakin as well as scarlet macaw and brown booby.

Optional Activities

Hiking, wildlife viewing, swimming, sea kayaking, horse riding, zip-lining, snorkelling and dolphin watching boat trips.

Costa Rica Turrialba Region

Bougainvillea Hotel

Overview

The Bougainvillea Hotel is situated in a quiet location in Santo Domingo de Heredia, about 20 minutes from central San Jose. The hotel has elegant and spacious rooms with private hot water bathrooms, two double beds, flat-screen cable TV, ceiling fan, tea and coffee facilities and a safety deposit box. The rooms have been well designed with wide windows affording pleasant garden views.

There is a good restaurant and bar that serves a la carte international cuisine and caters well for special dietary requirements.

Other facilities include a gift shop, business centre, swimming pool, gym, sauna, tennis court and large, attractive tropical gardens.

The hotel’s location makes it ideal for a stopover before and after your international flights but it is far enough from the city centre to provide a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
81
Facilities

Private bathrooms, hot water, restaurant, bar, lounge, sauna, tennis court, safety deposit box, ceiling fan, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities, room service, massage service, laundry service, luggage storage and currency exchange.

Local Wildlife

An array of tropical birds and insects

Optional Activities

Tennis, gym and sauna on site and bird watching excursions can be arranged.

Costa Rica Central Pacific Coast

Macaw Lodge

Overview

Macaw Lodge is a peaceful eco lodge on the site of an old farm at the edge of Carará Nature Reserve on the mid-Pacific coast. The main lodge consists of a magnificent oval construction built from sustainably sourced wood which houses eight bedrooms, each with two beds, restaurant, bar, communal lounge and reception. There are also four outside cabanas, each with a queen and two single beds.

All the accommodation is quite rustic with attractive wood flooring and walls, en suite bathroom, mosquito screens, bed linen made from bamboo fibre, ceiling fan and views of the lush gardens. There is free Wi-Fi available throughout the lodge.

The lodge was built with sustainably sourced timber and uses energy and water saving practices and solar power to provide electricity. The gardens surrounding the lodge provide an excellent place to relax, unwind and enjoy the birdlife. There is a private 100 hectares lowland and premontane humid forest reserve with a good selection of trails and beautiful waterfalls.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
12
Facilities

Private bathrooms, restaurant, bar, lounge, private parking, free Wi-Fi, ceiling fan and laundry service.

Local Wildlife

Over 150 species of birds occur in the private forest reserve including scarlet macaw, various trogons and toucans, three-toed sloth, mantled howler monkey, iguana and colourful tree frogs which can be found with a bit of luck.

Optional Activities

Hiking and birdwatching in the Carará Nature Reserve and around the forest of the lodge. Off-site activities such as horse riding, mangrove boat trips, sea kayaking and snorkelling are also available.

Route Map

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Arenal Observatory Lodge: 10.434784, -84.701071
Arenas del Mar: 9.397408, -84.163483
Macaw Lodge: 9.702241, -84.543187
Trapp Family Lodge: 10.300965, -84.801691
Bougainvillea Hotel: 9.999105, -84.109250

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Best Visited:

November to April

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

John Melton

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

Having recently returned from our holiday ( in Costa Rica), I thought I’d write to say how much we all enjoyed our trip. Costa Rica really is a beautiful country, with so much wildlife to see and so many wonderful places to explore (and everyone is so friendly!) Everything on our tour was excellent – hotels, transfers and all the guided walks and boat trips. Thank you to all at Reef and Rainforest and to (your representatives) in Costa Rica – now we’re wondering where to go on our next trip!

Mrs J H - Bedfordshire