Costa Rica Adventure
Costa Rica is an adventure traveller’s Mecca, offering up all kinds of outdoor activities. These may vary from high-octane physical activities to relaxing on a beach or in a volcano-heated hot springs. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, northwest Costa Rica, is a bird-watcher’s paradise with possibilities to see the colourful plumed quetzal. Arenal Volcano, further north, with easy access to rainforest, waterfalls, and the country’s largest lake, offer adventure activities ranging from hiking, zip-line tours to relaxing in hot-springs.
Adventure through the canals to Tortuguero National Park on the Pacific Coast. Take boat ride through the National Park and explore its wildlife along the scenic waterways, home to over 60 mammals and 300 bird species. At night, see green turtles nesting on the beach. In Arenal Volcano, take a hike up the volcano, canopy tours, mountain biking, or relax in hot springs at Tabacon.
Costa Rica Adventure
San Jose, Tortuguero, Arenal, Monteverde
(10 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 01 & 02 – Arrive
San Jose Meet and greet on arrival at San Jose International airport and private transfer to your chosen hotel for a two-night stay.
Next day enjoy a tour of Poas Volcano and the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. After a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, you will visit a coffee plantation and then continue to the active volcano which has a steaming crater and crystal blue sulphur pools and is surrounded by lush vegetation. Continue to La Paz for a guided walk along its trails and a tour of the butterfly observatory and hummingbird garden. Enjoy a wonderful buffet lunch before returning to San Jose.
Overnight at Real Intercontinental Costa Rica (B)
Day 03 & 04 – Tour
Tortuguero Today we leave early and have breakfast en route to the primary forests of Braulio Carrillo National Park. After visiting a banana plantation, take a boat transfer through the beautiful Tortuguero canals before arriving at your chosen lodge. After lunch and a refreshing cocktail, you will have a tour of the town, museum and there will be a short stop at the beach before returning to the lodge for dinner and a two-night stay.
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore the trails surrounding your lodge, or to take optional excursions, including a sunrise boat ride and wildlife exploration tour through the forest and along the scenic waterways which are home to over 60 mammal and 300 bird species. After dinner at the lodge, you can walk along the beach and, in season (July to September), see the green turtles nesting.
Overnight at Pachira Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 05 & 06 – Transfer & Tour
Arenal This morning you will have an early boat transfer to Tortuguero airstrip for a flight to San Jose (included) and a three hour private transfer with an English-speaking driver to Arenal, one of Costa Rica’s main attractions. The Arenal volcano is very active and on clear nights provides a spectacular light show. On arrival, check into your hotel for a two night stay.
Next day, enjoy the day at leisure or take optional activities available in the Arenal region, which include hikes to the volcano, canopy tours, mountain biking, horse riding to La Fortuna waterfall or a visit to the local hot springs at Tabacon.
Overnight at Arenal Kioro (B)
Day 07 & 08 – Transfer & Tour
Monteverde Travel by boat on Lake Arenal to Rio Chiquito, before transferring by jeep or minibus to your chosen hotel in Monteverde, your base for the next two nights. The town of Monteverde is set in humid and temperate cloud forest and was founded in the 1950s by a group of Quakers who still produce quality cheeses and other dairy products in the region. The protected Biological Reserve is home to many species including the endangered golden toad and the colourful Quetzal bird, along with almost 500 butterfly species.
Today you will have a day at leisure to take one of the many optional excursions available in the area. You can explore the cloud forest reserves of Monteverde and Santa Elena, visit hummingbird, orchid and butterfly gardens, see the forest canopy from the bridges of the Sky Walk or take an exhilarating harness and zip line ride through the treetops.
Overnight at Fonda Vela (B)
Day 09 – Transfer
San Jose After breakfast at your hotel, you will have a private transfer back to San Jose for an overnight stay. Alternatively, continue on to one of Costa Rica’s lovely beach resorts (see page 87 for a choice of hotels and prices).
Overnight at Real Intercontinental Costa Rica. (B)
Day 10 – Depart
San Jose Transfer to San Jose Airport for your return flight. (B)
Make this your holiday
Getting There The easiest way to get to Costa Rica from the UK is via the US or Madrid, with connecting flights to San José. Continental has flights from the UK via Newark and Houston, while American Airlines flies via JFK, Dallas or Miami, and United via New York or Houston: of the three, Continental generally has the lowest fares and offers an excellent service with swift connections. Iberia’s flights via Madrid are one of the quicker routings.
When to go December through April is the high season in Costa Rica when the weather is at its most pleasant. It is also the dry season, and one can mostly depend on clear, sunny days. There is a brief dry spell from February to April but it's worthwhile to visit in April-May.
May through October: The rainy season in Costa Rica takes a while to get started in May, often diminishing for a couple of weeks in June or July. The brunt of the rain however falls on the Caribbean coast, giving the Pacific a much more arid climate. The only really rainy months in Guanacaste on the Pacific coast are October and November, and on the Atlantic coast, the only predictably dry months are September and October. October to December is also a good time to visit Costa Rica when things are much quieter and when the weather is still good.