Costa Rica,

Wild Costa Rica, Well Off The Beaten Track

Scroll
Tailor-Made Tour
12 Days
From £3598
GEOIP Not Available
Birding
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

12 Days from £3598
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

If you crave wildlife adventure while immersed in rainforest wilderness, this tour is perfect for you. Journey from the remote northern jungles through long, wild rivers to the Caribbean lowlands, then travel to deep within the vast south western rainforests of Osa – the most pristine in Costa Rica. Marvel at the sheer abundance of flora and fauna seen on varied outings from your lodges’ comfortable accommodation, guided by those who truly value their natural heritage. Return home with a warm glow and a keen sense of what it means to be in tune with mother nature.

Full Itinerary

Price from £3598
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing twin/double rooms throughout.
Day 1
Arrive in San Jose

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

Staying at Bougainvillea Hotel. Includes Breakfast.

Day 2
Boca Tapada

Morning pickup for your private transfer to the Boca Tapada area of northern Costa Rica, close to the Nicaraguan border, involving mainly paved but also some unpaved road. Take a small ferry across the San Carlos river to the secluded property.

Staying at Maquenque Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Boca Tapada

After breakfast, plant a tree, visit a local school or enjoy some independent birding. In the afternoon, perhaps take a canoe out on the lagoon. After dinner, go on a night walk to spot green-eyed tree frog, kinkajou and sleeping birds and iguanas.

Staying at Maquenque Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Boca Tapada

Early morning guided birdwatching in the lodge grounds for nightjar, waterfowl such as purple gallinule, and species like Montezuma oropendola and ornate hawk eagle. Later in the day, look for the nest of the endangered great green macaw, subject of an urgent conservation effort involving the lodge.

Staying at Maquenque Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Sarapiqui

Early morning guided wildlife walk in the private lowland rainforest reserve.

After breakfast, depart by boat for an exciting four-hour journey along three jungle-fringed rivers (take passports as you will cross temporarily into Nicaragua) until reaching Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Met by your private transfer (with luggage) and drive to your next lodge nearby.

Staying at Selva Verde Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 6
Sarapiqui

Today cross the suspension bridge to enjoy a private guided nature hike within the lodge’s primary rainforest reserve on the other bank. Rest of day at leisure to swim or enjoy the gardens with their poison dart frogs.

Staying at Selva Verde Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 7
Sarapiqui

Transfer to La Selva Biological Station for a private 6-hour walk in the famous rainforest reserve. See the wonderful work done to preserve the region’s forests and ecosystems.

Staying at Selva Verde Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 8
Osa Peninsula

Morning drive back to San Jose. Catch a flight to Puerto Jimenez on the wild Osa Peninsula. Transfer by normal car, then by 4x4 for two hours into the depths of the rainforest and to your next lodge.

Staying at Luna Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Osa Peninsula

Transfer by 4x4 to Carate beach for a full day’s excursion into the Corcovado National Park, the most bio-diverse park in the country.
Walk the nature trails throughout the day, stopping for a box lunch and to view the abundant flora and fauna. Return to the lodge in the afternoon.

Staying at Luna Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Osa Peninsula

Perhaps relax by the swimming pool, try some yoga, walk the nearby forest trails and soak up the ambience on your last day in this true wet lowland rainforest habitat.

Staying at Luna Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
San Jose

Early morning transfer to Puerto Jimenez dock. Take a boat on the Golfo Dulce for dolphin watching (many are usually seen). Return to the airport and catch your flight to San Jose. Met and transfer to your first hotel, just outside of town.

Staying at Bougainvillea Hotel. Includes Breakfast.

Day 12
Fly Home

Transfer to the airport for your flight out.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Costa Rica Sarapiqui Region

Selva Verde Lodge

Overview

Just off the main road at Chilamate, the long established and well-run lodge is quite large and attracts birdwatching groups and individuals to its splendid riverside location by the impressive Sarapiqui River. The simple yet comfortable rooms are of wood construction and set in small blocks reached by covered walkways lined with tropical garden plants such as heliconia and wild ginger. Each room has comfortable double or twin beds, ceiling fan, safety deposit box, hair dryer, desk and private bathroom with solar powered hot water. There are also five seclude bungalows and a special suite suitable for large families.

There are trails near the lodge for independent walking, private primary and secondary forest reserves, a swimming pool, a conference room, a butterfly garden and a library of natural history books. Rafting trips on the Sarapiqui, both white-water and gentle, are available and can reveal much of the wildlife interest.

Otters have been seen hunting from the upstairs dining room, where typical Costa Rican meals are served buffet-style: there is also an a la carte restaurant on the ground floor serving pizza and other dishes. Many birds (400 species), mammals, butterflies (700 species) and poison-dart (dendrobates) frogs are found around the lodge and in the 530 acres primary rainforest reserve, reached by a bridge across the river.

The separate La Selva rainforest reserve and research station can be explored on booked visits. This reserve encompasses more than 1500 hectares including a variety of ecosystems characteristic of the wet lowland tropical zone. It forms part of a much larger protected area that includes the Braulio Carrillo National Park and is particularly good for sightings of three- and two-toed sloths, spider monkeys, peccaries, toucans and macaws.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
46
Facilities

Private bathrooms, solar powered hot water, ceiling fan, writing desk, safety deposit box, hair dryer, restaurant, bar, lounge, gift shop, conference room, swimming pool and laundry service.

Local Wildlife

Both three-toed and two-toed sloths are particularly abundant in the forest and all four primates (squirrel, howler, spider and capuchin monkeys), peccaries, iguanas, turtles, macaws, toucans and 400 bird species are also present. Night walks regularly reveal kinkajous, woolly opossums, poison dart frogs (also seen by day), snakes and owls.

Optional Activities

Guided nature and bird walks are the main activities. There are more adventurous ones such as white water rafting, canoeing, gentle river rafting, horse riding and zip lining, and cultural activities such as visits to local communities and a chocolate making factory.

Costa Rica Sarapiqui Region

Maquenque Lodge

Overview

Occupying former farmland originally owned by the father of the four siblings who now run it, the Maquenque lodge is a haven for birdwatchers and naturalists situated in northern Costa Rica near the Nicaraguan border.

Accommodation is in 14 comfortable detached cabanas, each built of local materials with private bathroom, ceiling fan and balcony ideal for watching scarlet macaws and parrots flying overhead. The cabanas overlook a private lagoon bisected by a causeway containing scores of caiman as well as northern jacana, whistling duck and purple gallinule. Montezuma’s oropendola build their hanging nests near to the cabanas and often their odd call is the first sound you wake to in the morning. There is a swimming pool with sun loungers and buffet restaurant serving delicious typical Tico dishes using ingredients sourced from the local area. There is also a bar and lounge on site, perfect for discussing a day in the forest with fellow guests.

Two new treehouse bedrooms bring a higher level of accommodation (literally) being raised 12 metres in the forest canopy. A fantastic way to experience the forest but not for the faint hearted.

The lodge has canoes for the lagoon and two kilometres of trails through the private rainforest reserve inhabited by iguanas, coatis and howler monkeys. It takes part in a scheme to protect the highly endangered great green macaw, which should be observable near the car park (in season).

Night walks at the lodge are always a great way to find smaller wildlife and might reveal red-eyed tree frogs, eyelash vipers and nightjars. Longer rainforest treks, dedicated birdwatching walks, tree-planting and a visit to a local school can all be organised.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
14
Facilities

Private bathrooms, buffet restaurant, complimentary breakfast, bar, lounge, swimming pool, sun deck, hammock, laundry service, ceiling fan, free parking and a safety deposit box at reception.

Local Wildlife

Mantled howler and central American spider monkey, white nosed coati and agouti are commonly seen. The lodge is a great location for seeing a range of interesting reptiles and amphibians including the iconic red-eyed tree frog, several species of poison dart frog, basilisk lizard, green iguana, American crocodile, spectacled caiman and the beautiful eyelash pit viper. Birdlife includes the rare great green macaw, scarlet macaw, agami heron, sunbittern, roseate spoonbill, jabiru stork, scaly throated leaf tosser, mangrove swallow, black-and-yellow tanager and feeders attract toucans, tanagers, woodpeckers and Montezuma’s oropendola.

Optional Activities

Guided wildlife and nature walks, river boat trips, canoeing, visits to local schools and tree planting.

Costa Rica Osa Peninsula

Luna Lodge

Overview

Luna Lodge and wellness centre is a peaceful and well run eco-lodge situated in a large tract of primary rainforest almost within Corcovado National Park on the Osa peninsula.

The main building houses the restaurant, bar, library and gift shop. Set in the lush gardens is a lovely swimming pool with panoramic views over the forest.

The best accommodation is in the eight thatched bungalows each with two double beds and private bathroom with both tub and shower and a vista deck with seating to enjoy the sensational forest views. Other options include more basic terraced rooms and safari- style tents. All the rooms have electricity and hot water.

Hundreds of bird species including scarlet macaws and the four species of monkey found in Costa Rica inhabit the surrounding forest and are frequently seen. Trails take you to waterfalls and natural bathing pools. The lodge has been awarded a Five Leaf Rating for Sustainable Tourism from the Costa Rican Tourism Board, the highest possible.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
16
Facilities

Private bathrooms, restaurant, bar, library, gift shop, swimming pool and spa with full range of treatment.

Local Wildlife

The Corcovado National Park and surrounding area has the greatest diversity of wildlife in the country. The park has the highest densities of Baird’s tapir, jaguar, puma, sloths and all four species of Costa Rica’s monkeys. Reptiles include the impressive American crocodile, eyelash pit viper and boa constrictor and there are many amphibians. Birdlife is prolific in the forest and the National Park is one the best places in the country to see scarlet macaws. Two Reef & Rainforest clients, members of the British Dragonfly Society, went there specially to see the helicopter damselfly, a large species which due to an optical illusion appears to rotate its wings.

Optional Activities

Guided walks in the rainforest and a wide range of spa treatments are available.

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.

Route Map

loading map - please wait...

Luna Lodge: 8.448732, -83.462448
Maquenque Lodge: 10.740097, -84.201236
Selva Verde Lodge: 10.450366, -84.069150
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

Thank you for sorting out our recent Costa Rica Tour. We had a really marvellous time in this beautiful country….. We both really wanted to express our thanks to ( your representatives) who provided a first class service all the time…. We were very lucky with the guides that we were allocated as we saw everything on our wildlife “hitlist” – macaws , 3 types of toucan, all 4 types of monkey, both types of sloth (and with babies!), and not forgetting the resplendent quetzal. We know that other people were not as lucky as us and I’m sure that a lot of this is down to the quality of the guide. So, a fantastic holiday and I know that we will be going back to Costa Rica.

Mrs C E - Kent