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Manzanillo Beach, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Highlights of Costa Rica

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

14 Days

Prices Start from

£3,805 ex. flights

Our classic adventures through Costa Rica incorporate the jewels of this dual-coastlined country – from tracking bottlenose dolphins and zip-lining over jungle canopies to exploring monkey-inhabited national parks and white water rafting. With its wonderful mix of prolific wildlife and outdoor pursuits, we can curate a fully-tailored trip bursting with extraordinary experiences for solo travellers, honeymooners and families alike.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Corcovado National park 1

Pristine Beaches

Swim and snorkel in the Pacific Ocean during a stay in Montezuma or Santa Teresa.

Pacuare Lodge, Canopy Suite, Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica 2

Jungle Hideaways

Experience vast jungles and exotic coastlines, staying in unique hand-picked properties.

Humpback Whale, Costa Rica 3

Turtles & Whales

Observe turtles nesting on the beaches and take whale watching trips to view humpbacks.

Rafting rapids, Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica 4

Rafting & Zip-Lining

Whizz through the jungle canopy along zip lines and embark on white water rafting river safaris.

Why we like it

Suited to both outdoor enthusiasts and those who endeavour to dip their toes in both the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea and North Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is a tropical playground that is coveted world over. In a place where rainforest hikes happen in the shadow of the imposing Arenal Volcano, jaguars prowl the beaches in search of turtle eggs and nutrient-dense thermal springs abound, we can tailor a bespoke trip that suits all activity levels and interests. As the country is somewhat modest in size, it is possible to visit a number of exotic locations either in the company of an expert private guide or while travelling independently. Plus, when it comes to accommodation, we know the most thrilling family-friendly jungle hideaways, the most romantic infinity pool cabins, and everything in between.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Keys:
Internal Flight
Boat Journey
  • Days 1-2
    San Jose
  • Day 3
    San Jose - Tortuguero
  • Day 4
    Tortuguero
  • Day 5
    Tortuguero - Rio Pacuare
  • Days 6-7
    Rio Pacuare
  • Day 8
    Rio Pacuare - Arenal
  • Day 9
    Arenal
  • Days 10-13
    Montezuma or Santa Teresa or Osa Peninsula
  • Day 14
    San Jose
Snorkelling, Caribbean
Snorkelling, Caribbean
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Spotted Eagle Rays, Costa Rica
Spotted Eagle Rays, Costa Rica
Corcovado National park
Corcovado National park Beach, Costa Rica

Play in the Sea: Snorkelling & Paddle-Board Yoga

From the black volcanic sand of the Osa Peninsula to the coral reefs of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is an opportune place to explore dramatic ocean ecosystems. Take to shallow coastal waters to paddle above crab, starfish and angel fish, or perhaps snorkel in one of the most biologically intense places on Earth with views to colourful brain coral reefs. Perhaps try a spot of meditative yoga atop a paddle-board in one of the tranquil protected bays or experience the majesty of the ocean during a surfing lesson. Fearless travellers with the relevant qualifications might consider diving with hammerhead and bull sharks, while others might prefer to simply lounge on the pristine sand with a good book as monkeys chatter in the flanking forests.

Canopy Walk, Arenal, Costa Rica
Canopy Walk, Arenal, Costa Rica

Biking & Canopy Walkways

It is difficult not to be jungle-centric when exploring Costa Rica, but this country is no one-trick pony. Embark on exploratory excursions, keeping a watchful eye out for endemic wildlife that includes slow-moving sloths, tree frogs and glasswing butterflies. In some of the country’s most rugged terrains, whizz through the jungle canopy along zip lines with views to Arenal Volcano, cross long suspension walkway bridges and journey on horseback to thundering waterfalls. Perhaps travel to find the endangered green macaw, visit a fruit farm or take a bean-to-bar chocolate-making lesson. Bursting with single-track trails, Costa Rica is a mecca for mountain biking- perhaps embark on a full day ride far off the beaten track with our expert guides to discover the real Costa Rica.

Humpback Whale, Costa Rica
Humpback Whale, Costa Rica
Leatherback Turtle on the Caribbean Coast
Leatherback Turtle on the Caribbean Coast

Turtle Nesting & Whale Migration

In one of the finest places in the world to watch Atlantic green sea turtle’s nesting and observe the annual humpback whale migration, we can arrange Costa Rican journeys that coincide with both of these wonderful wildlife spectacles. In the company of expert naturalist guides, venture out to secluded spots on the Caribbean Coast under moonlight to watch as turtles come ashore to lay eggs – and perhaps unearth stalking jaguar prints in the process. Then move cross-country to the Pacific Coast where the annual migration of humpback whales is in full swing in the rich waters of the Golfo Dulce. As they nurse their young before continuing their journey, it is possible to snorkel in the warm waters alongside spotted, bottlenose and spinner dolphins.

Rafting, Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
Rafting, Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica

Raft to a Jungle Hideaway

With its multitude of rambling mountain-sourced rivers, Costa Rica offers exhilarating world-class white water rafting, and one of the country’s most esteemed lodges is accessible by one of these thrilling rafting expeditions. Traverse grade III and IV rapids through outstanding scenery of deep-sided gorges and dense riverside jungles to reach the lodge, stopping for a picnic lunch on a pebbly riverside beach. The solar and water-powered property, which offers 4×4 tours, rugged rainforest treks and visits to nearby indigenous communities, carefully balances the understated luxury of spring-fed swimming pools with eco-friendly jungle living.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Grano de Oro £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • City
  • Boutique
  • B&B, Motel and Guesthouse

Grano de Oro is the most upscale hotel it the city centre providing a true oasis in the heart of the bustling capital. Converted from a Victorian mansion, this 40-room hotel maintains the warmth and comfort of a private house with superb service. The hotel’s atrium has sparkling fountains and lush tropical plants, while a rooftop deck has Jacuzzis and a spot for secluded sunbathing. The restaurant at the Grano de Oro is one of San Jose’s finest, serving continental cuisines in a warm and intimate atmosphere.

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Manatus Hotel £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Boutique

Manatus Hotel offers boutique-style accommodation just beyond the banks of a principle canal in Tortuguero National Park, in the northern Caribbean region of Costa Rica. The hotel has 12 air-conditioned rooms, each with a wraparound terrace offering views across the surrounding gardens. A lovely pool and sundeck, partially shaded by tropical palms, is situated overlooking the canal, while the hotel spa room offers a choice of facials and massage. Also available is a small gym with free weights and exercise bikes. Local cuisine infused with Caribbean flavours is served in the restaurant on a deck above the canal. Aside from canal based activities, including water bikes and kayaking, Manatus Hotel organises fishing trips, bird watching excursions and exhilarating canopy tours.

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Tortuga Lodge £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Boutique

Set within 50 acres of private grounds, Tortuga Lodge is a wonderful place to stay in Tortuguero. It is set on the mainland side of the canal and has iguanas in the garden and Howler Monkeys in the canopy. There is a swimming pool set in beautiful gardens. One canal tour per full day is included and you can book additional tours or upgrade to a range of other activities including fishing trips, kayaking, twilight walks and a village tour. If you want to walk along the Caribbean coast, the lodge will ferry you across the canal. Please note if you are flying to Tortuga lodge there is a luggage restriction of 12 kg/20 pounds and one small hand luggage. Arrangements can be made for any additional luggage to be left in San Jose or transferred to your next hotel.

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Pacuare Lodge £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Wilderness

Pacuare Lodge is a stunning jungle hideaway that combines exquisite luxury with thrilling adventure in the most discreet way. In the evening, rooms are softly lit with oil lamps and candles welcoming weary heads for the night. The accommodation at Pacuare Lodge includes five categories of room, from delightful garden bungalows to river-view suites to the outstanding Jaguar Villa with 350 square metres of jungle luxury. The Linda Vista suites are five huge, luxurious hillside bungalows with a four-poster bed, living area and large deck and a private pool.

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Nayara Gardens £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Boutique

Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens is located just outside the Arenal National Park, surrounded by tropical gardens and with beautiful views of the towering Arenal volcano. Each of the 50 bungalows and casitas is stylishly furnished and all with a private outdoor shower. The Springs Villa boasts its own plunge pool fed by hot springs, but all guests have access to the resort pool with the Kali Kali bar serving Pina Coladas and poolside snacks. Arenal Nayara also welcomes families since its sister hotel Nayara Springs has opened for adults only.

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Arenal Observatory Lodge £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • B&B, Motel and Guesthouse

Perched on a ridge, Arenal Observatory Lodge is situated in a private nature reserve, less than two miles from Arenal volcano. It offers a safe vantage point from which to study the volcano and miles of trails on the doorstep to explore. Arenal Observatory has 50 rooms of varying categories of accommodation. There are two junior suites, each with twin king-size beds and terraces; 23 Smithsonian rooms with a king-size bed and en suite bathroom; 15 standard rooms with a double bed and bunk bed also with an en suite bathroom. In addition, the White Hawk Villa with fully fitted kitchen sleeps eight and is a little further from the main building. The villa has a glass front to encompass the breath-taking views of the volcano.

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Nayara Springs £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Boutique

Nayara Springs is an exclusive boutique hotel located a few minutes away from Arenal Volcano National Park; home to one of the world’s highest concentration of tropical plants and wildlife. A place of natural beauty, Nayara Springs sits on an unspoiled mountain offering a cluster of 16 luxury villas surrounded by the lush vegetation of Costa Rica’s pristine rainforest. Each villa features its own exclusive pool fed by mineral springs, around-the-clock butler service and an expansive private garden with outside shower.

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Florblanca £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Beach and Island Escapes
  • Wellness and Spa

Florblanca is a beautiful hotel situated on 7 acres of pristine beach. It boasts 10 luxury villas, each with an outdoor garden bathroom with a sunken bath, a large sitting room and an ocean-facing veranda. Choose between ocean breezes or air conditioning and between a large king-size Bali bed or equally comfortable twin beds. Fresh seafood and a vegetarian option are served every day. The hotel facilities include an excellent pool, an art studio and a teak floor dojo to practice or learn yoga, kickboxing or dancing. There is also a small gym and a music room. Moreover, the hotel can readily arrange mountain biking, fishing, surfing and excellent horse-riding.

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Latitude 10 £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Beach and Island Escapes
  • Boutique

Latitude 10 is quite simply an exquisite hotel of the highest calibre. A relaxed no-fuss atmosphere with excellent service. Ideal to take over for a family party, or book as a romantic retreat for two. The delightful property in Santa Teresa is shaded by lush vegetation and just a stone’s throw from a beautiful beach. Latitude 10 has just 5 casitas and 1 guestroom in the main house which though small, is the only room that offers A/C. The casitas are tastefully appointed with open-air bathrooms and have ceiling fans. There is a pool and the beach is on the doorstep. Fresh and beautifully prepared food is available throughout the day as well as yoga classes, surf lessons, bike rental and massage treatments.

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Lapa Rios £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Set in a private nature reserve spread over a 1000-acre tropical lowland primary rainforest, Lapa Rios is a deluxe jungle hideaway overlooking the point where Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean. Each bungalow has an ocean view and a wonderful setting with a private deck, outdoor shower, and a private bathroom. The property has a bar, restaurant, swimming pool and miles of private trails. Lapa Rios is built on a hillside so there are steps to and from the accommodation and reception.

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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

Send us an enquiry

Or send us a quick email below and start your next journey.

Call us

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

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £3,805 Per person

When to travel

Costa Rica in January

January to April generally has the lowest rainfall throughout the year, though showers can still be expected in such a tropical climate. One of the most popular times of year to visit, with fantastic opportunities to view wildlife, explore the jungle, and relax on white sandy beaches. The ideal time to visit the Pacific Coast.

Costa Rica in February

January to April generally has the lowest rainfall throughout the year, though showers can still be expected in such a tropical climate. One of the most popular times of year to visit, with fantastic opportunities to view wildlife, explore the jungle, and relax on white sandy beaches. The ideal time to visit the Pacific Coast.

Costa Rica in March

January to April generally has the lowest rainfall throughout the year, though showers can still be expected in such a tropical climate. One of the most popular times of year to visit, with fantastic opportunities to view wildlife, explore the jungle, and relax on white sandy beaches. The ideal time to visit the Pacific Coast.

Costa Rica in April

January to April generally has the lowest rainfall throughout the year, though showers can still be expected in such a tropical climate. One of the most popular times of year to visit, with fantastic opportunities to view wildlife, explore the jungle, and relax on white sandy beaches. The ideal time to visit the Pacific Coast.

Costa Rica in May

May and June mark the beginning of the ‘green season’. Rainfall increases a little, but with that means fewer visitors and quieter national parks. The flora and fauna return to its lushest state and makes for beautiful photography opportunities.

Costa Rica in June

May and June mark the beginning of the ‘green season’. Rainfall increases a little, but with that means fewer visitors and quieter national parks. The flora and fauna return to its lushest state and makes for beautiful photography opportunities.

Costa Rica in July

July and August is green season, but there is a brief little summer or ‘veranillo’, which breaks up the rain in July. A great time to enjoy water sports in the country, although sun-seekers can still enjoy the beaches on the far northern Pacific coast.

Costa Rica in August

July and August is green season, but there is a brief little summer or ‘veranillo’, which breaks up the rain in July. A great time to enjoy water sports in the country, although sun-seekers can still enjoy the beaches on the far northern Pacific coast.

Costa Rica in September

Travel is not recommended in September and October, as it is the peak of the wet season. Roads can become treacherous and landslides are common.

Costa Rica in October

Travel is not recommended in September and October, as it is the peak of the wet season. Roads can become treacherous and landslides are common.

Costa Rica in November

November and December see the country start to dry up, although the exact timing of the end of the green season varies. By Christmas and New Year, it is getting busy again so it is worth booking accommodation in advance.

Costa Rica in December

November and December see the country start to dry up, although the exact timing of the end of the green season varies. By Christmas and New Year, it is getting busy again so it is worth booking accommodation in advance.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes

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