Enquire About This Tour Code CER Costa Rica Encompassed
Duration: 14 Days Route: San José to San José Style: Adventure Tours Price: US$1,539.00
This is the ultimate tour for nature lovers who want to experience Costa Rica’s complete spectrum. From outstanding national parks to volcanoes, exceptional beaches, coral reef and a plethora of wildlife, Costa Rica has it all. Explore the misty cloud forest of Monteverde, hike up Arenal Volcano, then enjoy some amazing underwater scenery at the reefs of Cahuita National Park.
Tour Dossier Introduction
- Dossier Last Updated: 05-02-2014
- Tour Code: CER
- Duration: 13 nights / 14 days
- Joining City: San José
- Departure City: San José
- Nearest Joining International Airport: San Jose Juan Santamaria Intl Airport (SJO)
- Nearest Departing International Airport: San Jose Juan Santamaria Intl Airport (SJO)
Please check this document just before departing in case of last minute changes to your tour.
Entry to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Entry to Manual Antonio National Park
Entry to Tortuguero National Park
13 nights in hotels, hostels & guesthouses
Travel by local public bus, boat, taxi, on foot
Tucan Travel Tour Leader, English-speaking local guide(s) on excursions
What's not Included
International flights and departure taxes
Domestic flight taxes if applicable
Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.
Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation
Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
Optional excursions - Please see our optional excursions guide on the dossier page for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour.
Day 1 to 1 - Arrive San José
The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre tour accommodation. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held.
The capital city of Costa Rica, San José, is nestled in a fertile valley among coffee and sugar-cane farms. There is not much left of the colonial era architecture, due to the damage done by earthquakes, but it is certainly worth seeing the National Theatre, built in 1897. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to catch a performance whilst you're here. The Gold, Jade and National Museums are also particularly recommended for a visit
There are plenty of interesting optional day trips that can be undertaken within a close vicinity of San José such as visits to the Poás or Irazú volcano, white water rafting, the Turu BaRi Topical Park or the Rain Forest Aerial Tram.
Day 2 to 3 - La Fortuna
The main attraction in La Fortuna is the nearby Arenal Volcano, which has been constantly erupting since 1968 although is not doing so anymore. After settling into our hotel you'll have time for a leisurely lunch and to explore the town. An exciting optional night excursion is available where you are taken to a site near the volcano and sample the local alcoholic spirit (proceed with caution!). After this, you may want to indulge in a visit the luxuriant local hot springs for a well-earned dip.
There is also plenty of free time to partake in a variety of spectacular and exhilarating optional excursions while in La Fortuna; a visit to the some local waterfalls, caving, rappelling, white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horse-riding, trekking, biking, and wild-life spotting.
Day 4 to 5 - Santa Elena
Our next journey takes us up into the mountains using a combination of minivans and boats. The first leg takes about 30 minutes to Lake Arenal. After transferring onto a boat, we continue through stunning scenery for approximately an hour to the other side of the lake. Here we are met by our transport to take us the remaining hour and a half to the small town of Santa Elena, established by American Quakers in the 1950's.
From here we visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in search of the mysterious endangered Quetzal, a very rare and timid bird with incredibly beautiful and unique plumage. There are several paths to explore in this privately owned reserve, one of which takes you to the continental divide. On a clear day both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen! We'll also stop at the Hummingbird Gallery where these energetic birds buzz around sipping on nectar. The area around Santa Elena is famous for its ziplines, where you'll have the option to go flying over the cloud forest on a series of cables strung out between the giant trees. For the less courageous, you may opt for a sky walk along a series of suspension bridges above the forest canopy. Along with the lovely horse treks, nature-spotting twilight walks, visits to coffee and dairy farms, you may find it hard to choose between all of the exciting excursions!
Included Excursion: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Day 6 to 7 - Manuel Antonio
Descending down a steep mountain road, we will travel through very lush green countryside to the coast and the old town of Quepos, once a very important port for the exportation of bananas. We continue our journey along another twisting road to Manuel Antonio, where we will visit the Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most popular parks in the country. This celebrated park is blessed with beautiful lagoons, palm fringed beaches, a vast array of animals and lush green forests. Some of the many creatures that call Manuel Antonio home include sloths, pelicans, white-faced monkeys, anteaters and huge iguanas. It is also famous for its beaches - although almost deserted on weekdays, keep a sharp eye on your belongings, as the monkeys are seasoned thieves!
Included Excursion: Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 8 to 8 - San José
We then return to San Jose for another night. In the evening there are plenty of world class restaurants to choose from and some great nightlife especially if you are here on the weekend.
Day 9 to 10 - Tortuguero
Leaving San José, we travel by bus to the port of Moin near Limón, where a boat will be waiting to take us along inland jungle canals and into Tortuguero National Park, located on the Atlantic/Caribbean coast. Teaming with wildlife along its banks and hiding in the dense vegetation, we are sure to spot a large variety of animals, possibly including monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, turtles, numerous different bird species, and the 'Jesus Lizard' so named because it can walk on water!
While in Tortuguero, with luck we will observe the Green sea turtles which, between July and October, arrive at the beaches to lay eggs in the sand. During the period seven to ten weeks after nesting the turtles hatch which, to witness, is one of life's most inspiring events. There is an interesting visitor's centre in the tiny village where you can watch videos and learn all about the turtles. During our excursions around Tortuguero we may also have the chance to see the tiny but brightly coloured poison arrow frogs.
Included Excursion: Tortuguero National Park
Day 11 to 12 - Cahuita
We continue on to the magical Cahuita National Park, boasting beautiful beaches and an off-shore coral reef. You can go for a snorkel or take a glass-bottomed boat tour to see some of the 500 species of fish that live in the area. Enjoy a stroll through the forest, keeping an eye out for the variety of creatures that call this nature reserve home. Bring your swimsuit with you to enjoy a day in the sun at one of the lovely beaches within the park, or lounge at one of the black sand beaches a few minutes from the hotel. The actual town of Cahuita has an impressive selection of restaurants, where you may sample some fruits of the sea, and of course listen to reggae music blaring out to the delight of the local Rastafarians.
From Cahuita you have the option of taking a short bus journey down the coast to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. This laid-back Caribbean village has some of the best surf in the country. Nearby is the local 'sloth sanctuary', where you can see sloths up close and personal, including baby orphans and sloths rescued from injuries who can no longer fend for themselves in the wild. From Cahuita we return to San José.
Included Excursion: Cahuita National Park
Day 13 to 13 - San José
We then return to San Jose for a final night.
Day 14 to 14 - Depart San José
Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.
This itinerary is a guide. Changes may be made before or during your tour to improve the running or due to unforseen circumstances.
This is an Adventure Tour. We see a destination from the locals' perspective using a variety of transport and staying in small locally owned accommodation. There is a maximum of 16 travellers with an average group size of 8-12.
We have a detailed packing list for all of our Adventure Tours here.
On all of our Adventure Tours, you will be required to carry your luggage long distances down unpaved and uneven roads or up flights of stairs when elevators are not available. It is important that you choose a durable and lightweight soft bag that you can carry comfortably on your back.
You will also need a small daypack, large enough to carry everything you might need on overnight excursions.
Add-ons & Extras
On many of our Group Tours, we spend one night in our arrival and departure cities. If you want to explore these cities more we can book pre and post tour accommodation, city tours and airport transfers for you. Price information can be found on the price page of each tour. We also have Add-ons - short packages that can be booked alongside a tour or on their own and have been carefully designed to ensure you don't miss out on popular highlights.
All our Adventure Tours are priced per person on a shared room basis meaning there is no compulsory extra payment for those travelling on their own.
I'd like my own room
If you are a solo traveller, a single room is available on most occasions at an extra cost. Price information can be found on the price page of each tour.
Day by Day Itinerary
|Day 1||San José||Costa Rica||✓|
|Day 2||La Fortuna||✓|
|Day 3||La Fortuna||✓|
|Day 4||Santa Elena||✓|
|Day 5||Santa Elena||✓|
|Day 6||Manuel Antonio||✓|
|Day 7||Manuel Antonio||✓|
|Day 8||San José||✓|
|Day 13||San José||✓|
|Day 14||San José|
(B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner included)
Please note the day to day itinerary above is given as a GUIDELINE ONLY.
For tours that include the option of a single supplement, a ✔ will indicate in which destinations single rooms are available.