Itinerary Highlights

  • Hike the Tenorio Volcano region
  • See the turquoise waters of the Rio Celeste
  • Chance to spot Great Green Macaws at the Boca Tapada Region
  • OTS La Selva wildlife Reserve
  • Birdwatching in the Sarapiqui Rainforest
  • Resplendent Quetzal spotting walk in the lesser visited Cloud Forest of San Gerardo de Dota
  • Visit one of the most Biologically diverse areas of the world at the Osa Peninsula

What's Included

  • Flights
  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Travel Guide
  • Transfers
15 nights from £5,195 per person

Sarah Frankish

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

This in depth 15 day itinerary around Costa Rica showcases some of the richest wildlife area of the country across a variety of eco-systems. On this route you have the opportunity to experience some of the more off the beaten track nature zones of the country, with the chance to see the main wildlife highlights, as well as some of the lesser known and rare species away from the standard tourist trails. 

Itinerary

Fly into San Jose today on your chosen route, and on arrival into Costa Rica's capital city you are met by a local representative. You are then transferred directly to your hotel where you have the remainder of the day at leisure.
This morning you are collected from your hotel on the outskirts of San Jose and driven towards the Tenorio Volcano region, to the North East of Costa Rica. The Tenorio National Park sits at the foot of the Volcano and showcases some of Costa Rica's most pristine rainforest, natural hot springs and the famous Rio Celeste, a bright turquoise waterfall.
Today you are collected and taken out to explore the Tenorio National Park. Local legend states that after God was done painting the sky, he washed his brushes in the river that now bears the name of Rio Celeste, where the area got its name. You are taken to hike through this humid forest ecosystem, for a chance to spot some of the vast array of wildlife species and lush flora of the region. the walk takes you via the Rio Celeste waterfall, and also the place where the river dyes itself into the amazing light blue colouration.
Today you are collected from your Tenorio Hotel and driven approximately 3 hours towards the Boca Tapada region. This area in the northern lowlands of Costa Rica is just 15 km from the Nicaraguan border at the mouth of the San Carlos River and a region that is home to pineapple and sugar cane plantations as well as a stunningly rich biodiversity of plants and animals. The region surrounding Boca Tapada has been declared as the Maquenque Wildlife Refuge and Biological Corridor, partly as it is one of the few remaining nesting area for the endangered Great Green Macaw. In addition to the macaws, over 400 other species of birds have been identified as well as many species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles. The rainforests surrounding Boca Tapada are home to sloths, white faced monkeys, howler monkeys, pizotes and even wild cat species such as jaguars.
Today you head out for your first excursions from the Maquenque Lodge. Tours from the lodge are operated on a shared basis with other guests at the lodge in a small group, and you first head out by boat to begin the trip downstream on the San Carlos River. On this trip you have good chances of spotting crocodiles, turtles, bats, herons, kingfishers, king vultures, and many more animal species. Later today, you are then taken out for a nocturnal experience of the forest to get to know the nightlife that comes out after dark. You can see alligators, frogs, nocturnal birds, snakes, and spiders amongst the different rhythm and sounds of the forest once the sun goes down.
Today is a second full day based at the Maquenque Lodge. In the morning you head out with a guide into the rainforest for a 3 km hike through the trails. With a bit of luck, you can see a great variety of flora and fauna native to the reserve, and species unique to the area.
Today you depart Maquenque, and head for around 2 hours towards the small town of Sarapiqui, a lesser visited part of Costa Rica with some of the most pristine wildlife areas in the country. The region is an ecotourist’s dream, offering incredible biodiversity as well as adventure. This afternoon you are then taken to the OTS La Selva Reserve located in Sarapiqui. This haven for tropical researchers has been in operation for nearly half a century, and is a living laboratory for Costa Rican wildlife. Located adjacent to Braulio Carrillo National Park, La Selva protects over 3,500 acres of virgin rainforest and you are lead around some of the trails to look for a variety of of bird and animal species, as well as being given an insight into the work done at the centre.
Today you head out for an early bird walk, back at the OTS La Selva Reserve. Morning is a very active time for the birds, so you can count on sighting several of the stunning tropical species that inhabit this area. Every morning is different, but your keen eyed guide helps to spot rare species with the assistance of a high-powered scope, so you can get close up views of birds you might not otherwise notice. Later today you travel around 4 hours from Sarapiqui towards the Cloud Forest of San Gerado de Dota. This area south of San Jose, in the narrow Savegre River Valley is a birdwatchers paradise with more than 900 different species spread over across the protected reserves. The crisp mountain air in this part of the country, provides exceptional opportunities to spot Costa Rica's star bird, the Resplendant Quetzal. Usually found living alone, apart from in breeding time, the Quetzal is a colourful rare bird which was once considered divine by ancient civilisations.
Today you are taken out with your specialist guide in search of the emblematic bird that lives in the San Gerardo de Dota forests and pastures. The Resplendent Quetzal is one of Costa Rica's 'star' birds, and the Aztecs believed the it was the representation of Quetzalcóatl, their supreme god. Your guide takes you to the best areas of Cloud Forest for the aguacatillos plants where the Quetzal typically feeds in the hope of spotting what is considered to be the most beautiful species on the American continent.
You head south for approximately 4 hours from San Gerardo de Dota towards the the Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park. You are driven to the small town of Sierpe, where you then take a boat to your lodge and base for the next three nights. Your stay here is inclusive of all of your meals.
One of the most biologically diverse places on Earth and considered the jewel on the crown of Costa Rica's national parks; the Corcovado National Park is home to the largest and only tropical primary lowland rainforest in the world and provides sanctuary for abundant endangered flora and flora. You set out today with your naturalist guide to discover some of the trails within the Park, looking for vast array of wildlife that can be found here.
Today you have the chance to experience some of the wildlife in the Southern Pacific of Costa Rica from the water, with a snorkelling trip out to the protected coral reefs off the shores of Caño Island. The boat ride out over the clear warm waters takes around 40-minutes with opportunities at certain times of year to see pilot or humpback whales, as well as dolphins along the way. In the marine reserve, there is a great variety of marine life to be spotted, including – if you are lucky – manta rays, turtles and small white-tipped sharks. This trip can be suited to beginners or experienced snorkelers alike.
You depart Osa today and are driven up the Pacific Coast towards the small villages of Uvita and Dominical. The drive takes around 3 hours up to the gateway for the Marino Ballena National Park, an area made famous by its migrating pods of humpback whales, dolphins and wilderness beaches. The national park teams with wildlife and its dark sands are important nesting sites for turtles whilst coral reefs provide sanctuary to abundant marine life.
Today you are collected and taken to see the best of the Marino Ballena National Park, with a variety of flora and fauna specific to this region. This area is especially good for birds, with the mangroves and lagoon a real hidden treasure of the park. You begin on the beach before following a trail near the iconic whale tail, with good opportunities to spot howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, bats, raccoons, the array of bird life and also insects and plants that are of great biological interest. You go to the site where one of the rivers flows into the park and the chance to see of the sea bird species in the area, before returning along the beach to the entrance of the park.
Today drive back up the coast towards San Jose, and to the airport for your chosen flights. The journey by road takes approximately 3 hours.

Sarah Frankish

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Pricing Information & Dates

15 nights from £5,195 per person

Sarah Frankish

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Price Includes

  • Return International Flights as per the itinerary
  • All airport taxes and security charges
  • Accommodation and meals as specified
  • Transfers as specified
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • All entrace fees on sightseeing tours as specified
Prices are inclusive of International flights from the UK, with all transport and services within Costa Rica arranged as described including local guides, excursions and meals as mentioned in the itinerary.

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions
Tips, optional excursions and meals not described in the itinerary.

Pricing Notes

Please note that this itinerary is a suggestion only, and flexible to be amended according to your preference of tours, accommodation and transport. It is subject to availability at the time of booking and the price is calculated according to the season and dates that you wish to travel.

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
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