Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Humpback Whale, New England, USA

North & Central Pacific Coast

The Pacific Coast stretches from the Nicoya Peninsula in the north to the Osa Peninsula in the south. This coastal plain rises up to become the Talamanca and Tilaran mountain ranges.

Scores of fishing hamlets and villages dot the coastline, which is easily accessible from San Jose and consequently a popular beach choice for both Costa Ricans and visitors.

Carara National Park was once part of the largest hacienda in Costa Rica before it was protected in 1978. It contains many pre-Columbian archaeological sites, some of which date back to 300BC. It is also host to an amazing diversity of plant life with over 750 recorded species.

Views to the Gulf of Nicoya, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Senda Monteverde Hotel, Monteverde, Costa Rica


The Guanacaste province in the north comprises of arid lowlands and the Nicoya peninsula, that sweeps some 140kms to its tip, boasts some of the most secluded beaches in the country. Tropical dry forests such as Carara National Park give way to the greener Central Pacific zone and tropical rainforest. The wildlife is abundant in both ecosystems and are common commuters between the two. The lively town of Jaco with its long stretches of golden sand and bustling nightlife is popular with surfers.

Flycatcher, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park, one of Costa Rica’s leading attractions, is situated just south of Quepos on the Central Pacific Coast, and is less than three hours by road from the capital. This is the country’s smallest nature reserve and one of the few remaining habitats of the endangered squirrel monkey. The park is also home to the two-toed sloth, pacas, agoutis, iguanas and a vast array of bird species. Manuel Antonio offers that rare combination of a few days at a tropical sandy beach with crystal clear waters and a National Park of tropical forest teeming with wildlife.

Humpback Whale, Marino Ballena National Park, Costa Rica
Costa Rica

Ballena Marine National Park

Continuing south of Manuel Antonio are the smaller coastal communities of Matapalo, Dominical and Uvita, between which can be found long stretches of deserted coastline. Ballena Marine National Park is host to bottle-nosed dolphins, turtles and is a good spot to see humpback whales (December to April and August to October). Frigate birds, white ibis and brown pelicans nest on Las Tres Hermanas and Isla Ballena. Activities along the North and Central Pacific Coast include whale-watching, bird-watching, horse-riding, surfing, kayaking, snorkelling and swimming in the azure waters of the pacific.

Biking, Rio Perdido, Costa Rica
Liberia, Costa Rica

Our Specialists' "Must Do"

While in Manuel Antonio, you should take the “Santa Juana Mountain Tour”. This fantastic trip takes you up into the Fila Chonta Mountains, birthplace of the Rodeo and Paquita rivers, for a full day of walking forest trails, swimming under waterfalls, horse riding and learning about coffee and sugar production whilst surrounded by tremendous birdlife. You can try your hand at fishing for tilapia and even add on a white knuckle zip-line experience. A delicious Tico campesina lunch is included to recharge the batteries. On a clear day, you have views from the mountain top down to the coast.


What do you really love doing? We’ll tailor your itinerary to suit you.

Cookery Class

Join a local family for a cooking class, extract juice from sugarcane, milk a cow and make cheese.

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Volcano Adventure

Walk up to the ridge of the active Poas volcano for a peek into the steaming abyss of its caldera, the largest in the world.

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Chocolate Making

Discover how to make chocolate, from bean to bar.

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Stay in an Eco-Lodge

Tucked into the forest canopy, stay in an eco-lodge with views of the ocean below.

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La Flor Wildlife Refuge

Visit La Flor Wildlife Refuge and watch thousands of turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.

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Outdoor Pursuits

Take part in a wide variety of outdoor adventures, from kayaking, tubing and wildlife trails to snorkelling and fishing.

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Hiking in Nicaragua

Hike through the forest where monkeys roar from the tree canopy.

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Chocolate Tasting

Toledo is a chocolate lovers haven. Sitting at the heart of Belize’s chocolate industry, a tour allows you to sample the finest cacao in its purest form.

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Ash Boarding

Travel down the slopes of Cerro Negro volcano on an ash board.

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Toledo’s Archaeological Sites

Visit the archaeological sites of Lubaantun, home of the famous ‘crystal skull’, and Nim Li Punit with tallest stelae in Belize.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

James Armitage

Visiting the Osa Peninsular, one of the top wildlife biospheres in the world, and seeing a pod of 30 humpback whales while snorkelling in the waters of Costa Rica are amongst James’s highlights of Costa Rica.

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John Faithfull

Costa Rica is simply the best spot in Central America for nature lovers, and is always John’s top recommendation for those wishing to hike, swim, zip, raft, ride or float through outstanding scenery and rich biodiversity.

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  • 01285 601 784

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

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We found it extremely helpful to visit the Steppes office and have a face to face discussion with James about what our requirements were for our adventures in Costa Rica. He really listened and made sure that the trip was tailored to our needs.

Destination: Costa Rica
Travel Expert: James

Great work from John. The additions of zip-lining and surfing lessons were exciting experiences that we would not have considered without his expert guidance.

Destination: Costa Rica
Travel Expert: John

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

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