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Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Journey through Costa Rica & Nicaragua

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

14 Days

Prices Start from

$4,572 ex. flights

Combining the prolific wildlife and outdoor pursuits of Costa Rica’s Carribean coast with the colonial architecture and volcanic islands of Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, this customisable trip is suited to intrepid travellers who seek a balance of exhilarating explorations with time spent unwinding on private beaches.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Hoffmann's Two Toed Sloth, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica 1

Wildlife of Twilight

Scout for sloths, howler monkeys and a myriad of birdlife during canal trips and twilight tours.

White Water Rafting, Arenal, Costa Rica 2

Rafting to Lodges

Embark on an exhilarating private rafting adventure to a secluded rainforest lodge retreat.

Morgans Rock Hacienda,San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua 3

Beach Retreat

Relax on the beaches of San Juan del Sur, where lush jungle meets turquoise waters.

Granada Cathedral, Granada, Nicaragua 4

Colonial Granada

Amble the streets of colonial Granada, interacting with locals and sampling road-side fruits.

Why we like it

Two of Central America’s most charming and welcoming nations, both Costa Rica and Nicaragua boast remarkable cloud forests, expert guides full of anecdotes about the neighbouring nations and countless opportunities for active exploration.

Encompassing an organic coffee bean tour, private rafting to a jungle hideaway, a stay on an iconic volcanic island and time spent on a private mile-long sandy beach, this journey packages up the main highlights of each destination.

The inclusion of a stopover in the oldest city in Latin America to wander its narrow streets in search of traditional Nicaraguan cuisine and the opportunity to zip-line through high forest canopies towards a treehouse picnic destination are just some of the additions that make this trip truly extraordinary – and what’s more, we can customise the route and add any number of unique experiences.

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

Explore our suggested itinerary

Keys:
Internal Flight
Boat Journey
  • Day 1
    San Jose
  • Day 2
    San Jose - Tortuguero
  • Day 3
    Tortuguero
  • Day 4
    Tortuguero - Rio Pacuare
  • Days 5-6
    Rio Pacuare
  • Day 7
    Rio Pacuare - San Jose - Managua - Granada
  • Day 8
    Granada
  • Day 9
    Granada - San Jorge - Ometepe Island
  • Day 10
    Ometepe Island
  • Day 11
    Ometepe Island - San Jorge - San Juan del Sur
  • Days 12-13
    San Juan del Sur
  • Day 14
    San Juan del Sur - Managua - San Jose
Leatherback Turtle on the Caribbean Coast
Leatherback Turtle on the Caribbean Coast

Boat Safari & Turtle Nesting

Travel north to the Caribbean Coast and the canals of Tortuguero National Park, where dense rainforest, swamps and waterways allow for superb wildlife viewing opportunities. Take to the water in a boat that navigates the tributaries where chattering monkeys and flitting birds live their lives overhead, and watch out for the Jesus Christ lizards that are renowned for their ability to run on the surface of water. In one of the finest places in the world to watch Atlantic green sea turtle’s nesting, we can arrange expertly guided excursions to secluded spots on the Caribbean Coast where, under moonlight, it is possible to watch as turtles come ashore to lay eggs.

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.

Ometepe Island with Volcano, Nicaragua
Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Climb an Active Volcano

Board a ferry to Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua, dominated by the twin volcanic peaks that make up the quintessential Nicaraguan postcard landscape. With its laid-back island vibe and the acclaimed Punta Jesus Maria sunset, this is a place for relaxing, partaking in a spot of kite-surfing or renting a scooter to ride along the coastline. Rise early to hike up the conical slopes of active Concepcion Volcano, traversing dense forests and passing chattering monkeys before taking in far-reaching views from its barren summit. Perhaps paddle in a natural volcanic waterhole, seek out a coconut smoothie, hike to a cascading waterfall or locate the stone carvings and petroglyphs of its pre-Colombian past.

Morgans Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Morgans Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Morgans Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Morgans Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

4x4 Wildlife Safaris & Private Beach Retreats

Unwind on the beaches of San Juan del Sur where lush jungles meet blue waters. Admired for its tumbling Pacific surf and golden sand dunes, this former fishing hamlet has undergone something of a renaissance. Having managed to retain its easy-going charm, San Juan del Sur is chocked with local markets, stalls serving Nicaraguan dishes in palm leaves and colourful buildings. Staying in an eco-lodge set within 4,000 acres of jungle, spend time both on its private beach and cooling off in a villa plunge pool while monkeys scamper across the balcony. From this lush base, embark on 4×4 wildlife safaris, horseback rides, snorkelling excursions and surfing lessons, and perhaps even watch turtle nesting and hatching in season.

Accommodation

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

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.

View Property

Finca Rosa Blanca £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Boutique
  • Farmstead and Ranches
  • Wellness and Spa

Finca Rosa Blanca is a graceful countryside mansion set on a hilltop in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. The hotel is set in nine acres of tropical flora and fruit trees with stunning views of distant volcanoes, cloud forests and coffee plantations. There are two master suites, seven junior suites and two two-bedroom villas. The interiors are decorated with Costa Rican hardwoods, bamboo ceilings and arch-shaped windows, making the rooms elegant and sophisticated. The hotel has a fabulous spring-fed pool, hot tub and Jacuzzi all surrounded by enchanting gardens. Relax under the cascading waterfall that feeds into the hillside infinity pool, while enjoying spectacular views of the area.

View Property

Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge £££££

  • Nicaragua
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Morgan’s Rock is set in 4,000 acres of jungle, overlooking its own private beach and the Pacific Ocean. Constructed of raw materials the 15 bungalows and three two-bedroom villas dot the hillside, decorated with salvaged items, softened with heritage crafts and textiles. Each accommodation has its own veranda and seating area and five of the bungalows, as well as the villas, have private plunge pools. Choose between a forest or ocean view – positioned at treetop level, it is not uncommon to have monkeys scamper across your balcony or sloth poised in the tree beside you. Connected by a bridge the main restaurant La Bastide serves local and international dishes, and there is a swimming pool plus fitness centre offering massage and yoga sessions by appointment.

View Property

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.

View Property

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

John’s first-hand knowledge of Nicaragua was indispensable – because of him, we visited places like Ometepe Island and San Juan del Sur that we had never considered.

Destination: Nicaragua
Travel Expert: John

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 $4,572 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.

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 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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