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Highlights of Costa Rica Holiday

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

15 Days

Prices Start from

$7,219pp (ex. flights)

Our classic Costa Rica holiday is an adventure incorporating the jewels of this dual-coastlined country – from zip-lining over jungle canopies to exploring monkey-inhabited national parks. This suggestion is perfect for first-time visitors but can be tailored by one of our experts.

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.

Hummingbird 3

Tropical wildlife

Encounter Costa Rica’s wealth of jungle wildlife, including frogs, monkeys and hundreds of bird species.

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. 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.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Costa Rica on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Days 1-2

    San Jose (Grano de Oro)

  • Day 3

    San Jose - Tortuguero (Tortuga Lodge)

  • Day 4

    Tortuguero (Tortuga Lodge)

  • Day 5

    Tortuguero - Rio Pacuare (Pacuare Lodge)

  • Days 6-7

    Rio Pacuare (Pacuare Lodge)

  • Day 8

    Rio Pacuare - Arenal (Arenal Observatory Lodge)

  • Day 9 -10

    Arenal (Arenal Observatory Lodge)

  • Day 11

    Arenal - Montezuma (Ylang Ylang)

  • Days 12-14

    Montezuma (Ylang Ylang)

  • Day 15

    San Jose

Days 1-2

San Jose (Grano de Oro)

On arrival, you’re met and transferred to your hotel. The following day, either relax or take a full-day tour to Poas Volcano, the Doka Coffee Plantation and La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

Day 3

San Jose - Tortuguero (Tortuga Lodge)

Drive and then transfer by boat Tortuguero National Park, a wetland reserve that lies on the country’s Caribbean coast. Stay at Tortuga Lodge, where iguanas roam the garden and howler monkeys hide in the trees above.

Day 4

Tortuguero (Tortuga Lodge)

Explore the wetlands on a small group basis from the lodge. Take a boat trip through the lagoons and a network of rivers and canals that cut through this rainforest. Home to over half of the bird and reptile species found in Costa Rica, Tortuguero is also one of the world’s major nesting sites for Atlantic green turtles.

Day 5

Tortuguero - Rio Pacuare (Pacuare Lodge)

Travel by boat and road back inland, heading towards Rio Pacuare, found in a valley of the Talamanca Mountain range. Here, jump into a raft and traverse whitewater to Pacuare Lodge, a jungle hideaway within a private reserve.

Days 6-7

Rio Pacuare (Pacuare Lodge)

Choose from the activities on offer at Pacuare. These range from 4×4 adventures, trekking and whitewater rafting to nature tours, visits to indigenous communities and culinary experiences.

Day 8

Rio Pacuare - Arenal (Arenal Observatory Lodge)

Leave Pacuare by raft then road, heading north towards the volcanoes of northern Costa Rica. Stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, which lies just three kilometres away from the most famous of these volcanoes, Mount Arenal.

Day 9 -10

Arenal (Arenal Observatory Lodge)

With spectacular views of the volcano, this area is a hotspot for adventure. Start the first day with a zipline canopy tour, continue into the jungle in search of sloths and finish with a nighttime rainforest walk. On your second day, hike Mount Arenal for incredible views of the landscape below.

Day 11

Arenal - Montezuma (Ylang Ylang)

Travel down the Nicoya Peninsula, which juts out into the Pacific Ocean. Stay at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, which is located on a stunning stretch of coastline.

Days 12-14

Montezuma (Ylang Ylang)

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

Day 15

San Jose

Travel back to San Jose and fly home.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

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

Meet the Marine Life

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 crabs, starfish and angelfish, or perhaps snorkel in one of the most biologically intense places on Earth with views to colourful brain coral reefs.

Fearless travellers 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. In some of the country’s most rugged terrains, whizz through the canopy along zip lines with views to Arenal Volcano, cross long suspension walkway bridges and journey on horseback to thundering waterfalls.

Bursting with single-track trails, Costa Rica is a mecca for mountain biking; you can embark on a full day ride far off the beaten track with our expert guides to discover the real Costa Rica. Along the way, visit a fruit farm or take a bean-to-bar chocolate-making lesson.

Keel-Billed Toucan, Costa Rica
Keel-Billed Toucan, Costa Rica
Green Iguana, River Tempisque, Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica
Green Iguana, Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica
Hoffmann's Two Toed Sloth, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Red eyed tree frog, Costa Rica
Red eyed tree frog, Costa Rica

Jungle Creatures

What Costa Rica lacks in large, iconic species, it more than makes up for in its diversity of smaller creatures. The forests are filled with fluttering birds, ranging from tiny dancing hummingbirds to striking emerald toucans. More than 600 species are endemic to this small country, with another 200 migratory species passing through.

The jungle canopy hides troupes of howler monkeys, as well as sloths. And at night, an entirely different cast of nocturnal creatures appears, featuring large numbers of amphibians, including the brilliantly coloured strawberry poison-dart frog.

Rafting, Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
Rafting, Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
Rafting rapids, Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica
Pacuare Lodge, Canopy Suite, Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica
Pacuare Lodge, Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica

Raft to a Rainforest Hideaway

With its multitude of rambling mountain-sourced rivers, Costa Rica offers exhilarating world-class white water rafting, and Pacuare Lodge 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.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Grano de Oro £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • City

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. 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.

View Property

Tortuga Lodge £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

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.

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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.

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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.

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Ylang Ylang Beach Resort £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Ylang Ylang Beach Resort is located on a stunning stretch of coast at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula and just a short walk along the beach from the small seafront town of Montezuma. Flanked by rainforest and a white sandy beach, the 20 rustic guestrooms are simple but charming. Choose between a dome-shaped bungalow nestled in the jungle, a family beach suite or even a tented cabin. Rooms overlook either the jungle or beach, some have balconies and all have either a ceiling fan or air conditioning. Snooze in a hammock on the beach, search for sloths in the nature reserve, surf the pacific waves or take a spa treatment to the sound of the ocean.

View Property

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.

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.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Paul Bird

It wasn’t part of the script, career plans were quite different but after four global trips visiting such exciting destinations, travel became a passion that eventually led to me entering the industry. The more I have travelled the greater the desire has been to see and do more.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Start planning your trip


Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Enquire

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 $7,219 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

While travel is not recommended on the Pacific side in September and October, as it is the peak of the wet season, it is the ideal time to visit the Caribbean coast.

Costa Rica in October

While travel is not recommended on the Pacific side in September and October, as it is the peak of the wet season, it is the ideal time to visit the Caribbean coast.

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.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


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