Costa Rica

Sunset over the Nicoya Peninsula
Sunset over the Nicoya Peninsula
National theatre
National theatre
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

Parks teeming with wildlife & rich biodiversity

Spanning from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is a destination that Mother Nature can be proud of. Aside from its national parks, which are teeming with fauna, flora and rich biodiversity, it is also known for being a peace-loving nation of warm-hearted people. Pay a remarkable visit to one of the world’s five Blue Zones – designated areas of heightened longevity among residents – and unlock the secrets to a long life. Spend a few hours sampling amazing craft beers at a local brewery, where a talk from the master brewer will shed light on the processes behind the product. Take a walk around Tortuguero National Park and spot endemic animals such as monkeys and toucans.

  • An expedition from the Central Valley to Tortuguero on the Caribbean Coast to La Fortuna, and then from the Gulf of Papagayo on the North Pacific coast returning back to Central Valley
  • Engage with the spirited and friendly Costa Ricans (Ticos) through visits to markets and with communities, and also during activities
  • A treat for the senses – cast your eye over goldware, enjoy a sensory chocolate tasting, and observe an abundance of wildlife and birdlife
  • Visit one of the world’s five Blue Zones to learn how the Nicoyan people follow practices that appear to unlock the secrets to longevity
  • A nature lover’s delight awaits with visits to Tortuguero National Park – best-discovered via its network of canals – and the incredible Arenal Volcano National Park, a wealth of life zones and protected reserves are on offer here

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

London - San José

On arrival in San José, the capital city of Costa Rica, we are greeted by our Tour Host who will escort us to our hotel and brief us about our plans for the following day.

Day 2

San José

Considered to be both a traditional Central American city and a cosmopolitan urban centre, we’ll learn more about San José during our orientation this morning. On foot, we’ll see the National Theatre, Metropolitan Cathedral and Central Park, and we will visit the Central Market for a quick browse. We also visit the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, home to a collection that boasts 1,600 pieces of gold work that date from 500 AD to 1500 AD. Meeting one of the museum’s curators, we’ll learn some behind-the-scenes aspects of this unique collection. Travelling out of the city to the small community of San Isidro de Heredia, at Sibú we’ll be guided through a historical and sensorial experience of one of the world’s favourite foods – chocolate. Our journey of the senses starts with a sampling of fresh cacao fruit and roasted cocoa beans. We’ll then try an indigenous hot chocolate recipe from the 1500s before savouring dark chocolate squares and classic European-style bonbons.

Day 3

San José - Tortuguero

San José’s central location in the heart of the country provides direct access to the most popular places to visit in Costa Rica, ideal for our first visit today to Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. Our drive takes us across the astonishing Braulio Carrillo National Park, a scenic journey that will see us pass by large banana plantations. We switch to travelling by boat and journey down La Suerte river as well as the local canals. There is ample time for wildlife spotting. After lunch at our lodge, we enjoy a visit to Tortuguero town, where we will meet one of the descendants of its first two settlers, who arrived there back in the 1940s.

Day 4

Tortuguero National Park

A glorious early start to the day awaits with a forest awakening tour. The north to south waterways that we travel on were engineered to connect the meandering rivers and the lagoons of the area. Early morning is the perfect time for wildlife spotting, especially for bird-watching. After breakfast, we travel along a different canal in the National Park and explore. The park is one of the most important nesting sites of chelonia midas – the green sea turtle – whereas its forests and waterways are home to endangered mammals such as sloths, monkeys, agoutis, coatis, and manatees. It also boasts abundant bird species, such as toucans, trogons, egrets, and herons. The wildlife spotting opportunities here are endless. After lunch back at our lodge, you can choose to have a free afternoon there or visit the SINEM School for Musical Education. After a talk by the director, who explains the importance and objectives of the project, we can enjoy a musical presentation from some of the children.

Day 5

Tortuguero – La Fortuna

Today we head to the Northern Plains, where the iconic Arenal Volcano is located. We have a free afternoon at leisure. Rest, unwind or simply indulge yourself with a spa treatment. Instead, you could join the hotel’s visit to a local dairy farm – the choice is yours.

Day 6

Arenal

Located in the northern part of the Alajuela province, close to the Nicaraguan border, the Arenal region possesses beautiful and varied scenery. The Arenal National Park boasts incredible hiking, panoramic views, abundant wildlife, lush vegetation, and the country’s most active volcano. Encompassing several thousand acres of protected land, it includes eight different life zones that boast a staggering biodiversity. After we have been led through some of the park trails, our afternoon is free to relax. Why not explore the town or choose from an optional activity?

Day 7

La Fortuna – Playa Panama

A scenic drive transfers us from the San Carlos Plains towards the North Pacific Coast. En route, we stop to visit Liberia City with a chance to visit the local market. Lunch is at Posada Real Café, where we will be met by the owners who explain the history behind the unique style of the house and the food we’ll enjoy. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Hidden Garden Art Gallery and then it’s on to our hotel. There is an optional visit this afternoon to CEPIA in the town of Huacas, a Costa Rican nationally accredited non-profit organisation that aims to promote culture, health, sports, and education for families from poor backgrounds in Guanacaste.

Day 8

Santa Rosa National Park

Our first visit today is to the UNESCO Site of Santa Rosa National Park, home to the largest remaining section of tropical dry forest in Central America, whose beaches are the preferred nesting site for sea turtles. Including a natural history walk on the Indio Desnudo Trail, our visit features La Cason Historic Museum and the Monument to Heroes. After lunch, it’s time for some light refreshments at the Maderos Brewery, where a talk from the master brewer and a tasting await us.

Day 9

Playa Panama

We grab the chance to recharge our batteries today. You can take advantage of the hotel’s great beachfront location and enjoy a dip in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Here, snorkelling, kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding are all readily available. Alternatively, you may choose to join a whale and dolphin expedition, or perhaps take a fishing trip.

Day 10

Playa Panama – Central Valley

Before we head back to where our adventure began, we first visit the Chorotega Pottery Workshop for a demonstration and a chance to try this craft ourselves. Next, we visit a Blue Zone. There are only five in the world that have been discovered and researched, with the others being located in Italy, Japan, California, and Greece. People who have lived beyond the average life span are concentrated in these areas because of resources and the communal way of life. The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica holds the record for the lowest rates of middle-age mortality, and it has the second highest concentration of men who are over the age of 100. We’ll find out more about the nine practices of a Blue Zone during our visit, where we meet with an elder from the community. A quick stop in Puntarenas for a “Churchill” (a local blend of ice, fruit, milk and sugar) ends our day on a sweet note.

Day 11

San José - London

We say our goodbye to our Tour Host and leave from San José for our return journey to London.

Itinerary 2021

Day 1

London - San José

On arrival in San José, the capital city of Costa Rica, we are greeted by our Tour Host who will escort us to our hotel and brief us about our plans for the following day.

Day 2

San José

Considered to be both a traditional Central American city and a cosmopolitan urban centre, we’ll learn more about San José during our orientation this morning. On foot, we’ll see the National Theatre, Metropolitan Cathedral and Central Park, and we will visit the Central Market for a quick browse. We also visit the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, home to a collection that boasts 1,600 pieces of gold work that date from 500 AD to 1500 AD. Meeting one of the museum’s curators, we’ll learn some behind-the-scenes aspects of this unique collection. Travelling out of the city to the small community of San Isidro de Heredia, at Sibú we’ll be guided through a historical and sensorial experience of one of the world’s favourite foods – chocolate. Our journey of the senses starts with a sampling of fresh cacao fruit and roasted cocoa beans. We’ll then try an indigenous hot chocolate recipe from the 1500s before savouring dark chocolate squares and classic European-style bonbons.

Day 3

San José - Tortuguero

San José’s central location in the heart of the country provides direct access to the most popular places to visit in Costa Rica, ideal for our first visit today to Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. Our drive takes us across the astonishing Braulio Carrillo National Park, a scenic journey that will see us pass by large banana plantations. We switch to travelling by boat and journey down La Suerte river as well as the local canals. There is ample time for wildlife spotting. After lunch at our lodge, we enjoy a visit to Tortuguero town, where we will meet one of the descendants of its first two settlers, who arrived there back in the 1940s.

Day 4

Tortuguero National Park

A glorious early start to the day awaits with a forest awakening tour. The north to south waterways that we travel on were engineered to connect the meandering rivers and the lagoons of the area. Early morning is the perfect time for wildlife spotting, especially for bird-watching. After breakfast, we travel along a different canal in the National Park and explore. The park is one of the most important nesting sites of chelonia midas – the green sea turtle – whereas its forests and waterways are home to endangered mammals such as sloths, monkeys, agoutis, coatis, and manatees. It also boasts abundant bird species, such as toucans, trogons, egrets, and herons. The wildlife spotting opportunities here are endless. After lunch back at our lodge, you can choose to have a free afternoon there or visit the SINEM School for Musical Education. After a talk by the director, who explains the importance and objectives of the project, we can enjoy a musical presentation from some of the children.

Day 5

Tortuguero – La Fortuna

Today we head to the Northern Plains, where the iconic Arenal Volcano is located. We have a free afternoon at leisure. Rest, unwind or simply indulge yourself with a spa treatment. Instead, you could join the hotel’s visit to a local dairy farm – the choice is yours.

Day 6

Arenal

Located in the northern part of the Alajuela province, close to the Nicaraguan border, the Arenal region possesses beautiful and varied scenery. The Arenal National Park boasts incredible hiking, panoramic views, abundant wildlife, lush vegetation, and the country’s most active volcano. Encompassing several thousand acres of protected land, it includes eight different life zones that boast a staggering biodiversity. After we have been led through some of the park trails, our afternoon is free to relax. Why not explore the town or choose from an optional activity?

Day 7

La Fortuna – Playa Panama

A scenic drive transfers us from the San Carlos Plains towards the North Pacific Coast. En route, we stop to visit Liberia City with a chance to visit the local market. Lunch is at Posada Real Café, where we will be met by the owners who explain the history behind the unique style of the house and the food we’ll enjoy. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Hidden Garden Art Gallery and then it’s on to our hotel. There is an optional visit this afternoon to CEPIA in the town of Huacas, a Costa Rican nationally accredited non-profit organisation that aims to promote culture, health, sports, and education for families from poor backgrounds in Guanacaste.

Day 8

Santa Rosa National Park

Our first visit today is to the UNESCO Site of Santa Rosa National Park, home to the largest remaining section of tropical dry forest in Central America, whose beaches are the preferred nesting site for sea turtles. Including a natural history walk on the Indio Desnudo Trail, our visit features La Cason Historic Museum and the Monument to Heroes. After lunch, it’s time for some light refreshments at the Maderos Brewery, where a talk from the master brewer and a tasting await us.

Day 9

Playa Panama

We grab the chance to recharge our batteries today. You can take advantage of the hotel’s great beachfront location and enjoy a dip in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Here, snorkelling, kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding are all readily available. Alternatively, you may choose to join a whale and dolphin expedition, or perhaps take a fishing trip.

Day 10

Playa Panama – Central Valley

Before we head back to where our adventure began, we first visit the Chorotega Pottery Workshop for a demonstration and a chance to try this craft ourselves. Next, we visit a Blue Zone. There are only five in the world that have been discovered and researched, with the others being located in Italy, Japan, California, and Greece. People who have lived beyond the average life span are concentrated in these areas because of resources and the communal way of life. The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica holds the record for the lowest rates of middle-age mortality, and it has the second highest concentration of men who are over the age of 100. We’ll find out more about the nine practices of a Blue Zone during our visit, where we meet with an elder from the community. A quick stop in Puntarenas for a “Churchill” (a local blend of ice, fruit, milk and sugar) ends our day on a sweet note.

Day 11

San José - London

We say our goodbye to our Tour Host and leave from San José for our return journey to London.

What's Included

  1. A Tour Host throughout
  2. All activities, & entries to all sites and museums
  3. Gratuities for all waiters for included dinners & hotel porters
  4. All accommodation & transport taxes
  5. Return flights from London & all other transport as detailed

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2020 Tour Details

Sat 4th Jul - Wed 15th Jul

Available

£4,750

inc.

sgl supp: £955

20CSRA

Led By:

Managed By: Kattia Valverde , Johnny Villalobos

Fri 11th Dec - Tue 22nd Dec

Available

£4,750

inc.

sgl supp: £955

20CSRB

Led By:

Managed By: Kattia Valverde , Johnny Villalobos

2021 Tour Details

Wed 10th Mar - Sat 20th Mar

Available

£5,195

inc.

sgl supp: £1,075

21CSRA

Led By:

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