Rainforests, sloths, beaches and coffee. This is Costa Rica: the rich coast.

Nice to meet ya, Costa Rica. Introducing the country encapsulating ‘pura vida’ (the simple life) to the extreme; a laid-back paradise where even the sloths are taking things easier than usual. After soaking up the culture in San Jose, hit the national parks of Corcovado and Manuel Antonio in search of unspoilt rainforest and deserted white-sand beaches. And did we mention the sloths? This is a trip for nature lovers among you: a ‘best of’ trip in Costa Rica, which just happens to quite possibly have the ‘best of’ biodiversity in the whole wide world. You won’t regret it.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
San Jose, Costa Rica
Finish
San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination
Costa Rica
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
QBKR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Take in the atmosphere and culture of San Jose: Costa Rica’s bustling capital nestled between the mountains and volcanoes.

  • Hike to San Pedrillo in Corcovado National Park and explore one of the world's most biodiverse regions.  

  • Swim at white-sand beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park, after searching for exotic birdlife in the depths of the jungle.

  • Learn about the trade of one of Costa Rica’s largest exports: coffee. Take a visit to a family's coffee farm and learn the process from cherry to cup (with a tasting, of course).

  • Discover the diverse and unique wildlife of Costa Rica: butterflies, birds, iguanas, sloths and caimans, to name a few.

Is this trip right for you?

  • With so much to see and do, Costa Rica can sometimes be expensive. Expect to pay more than you would in mainland USA for a lot of things.

  • The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be really hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours.

  • Try to learn as many Spanish words as you can. Locals are very friendly, but also shy, so you'll need to make plenty of effort to break the ice. Attempting to communicate in Spanish is a great way of showing you care.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
San Jose is this dreamy country’s capital, a bustling city flanked by mountains to the south and more mountains to the north, with a few volcanoes thrown in for good measure. This rapidly expanding city contains lively markets, historic neighbourhoods and a chorus of beautiful old theatres, with a big chunk of the country’s population living within its boundaries. You’ll get things started with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, after which you can look for your first taste of Costa Rican cuisine in the surrounding streets.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
At 9 am, after breakfast, take a leader-led walking tour of San Jose’s dynamic downtown area (around 1.5 hours). Around 11 am, you’ll take a private vehicle on a 2-hour drive to Costa Rica’s coffee capital, Zona Los Santos in Frailes. Here, visit the Don Cornelio farm, where you’ll learn how this expensive bean makes it from cherry to cup, with lunch and a delicious coffee tasting. In the afternoon, continue driving another 2 hours to San Gerado de Dota, and along the way, why not learn some Spanish phrases with an informal language lesson from your leader. The locals will love you for it! Spend the evening at a lodge close to the lush cloud forest.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Jose - Leader-led walking tour
  • Los Santos - Don Cornelio Family Coffee Experience
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake bright and early to depart San Gerardo de Dota at 6 am in a private vehicle and drive 2 hours to the Finca 6 museum and archaeological site. Spend some time learning about the mysterious, pre-Columbian spheres whose significance remains unknown to this day. Onwards to the port, ready for an 11 am boat trip to the natural beauty of Drake Bay, part of the Osa Peninsula and close to the Corcovado National Park. This is a great time to speak to your group leader about the activities on offer in the Osa Peninsula, including birdwatching, hiking, or snorkelling off the coast. Please note that most of the activities need to be pre-booked, so if there is something you want to tick off your bucket list, it’s best to get in early. With 13 major ecosystems, over 400 species of birds and all the monkeys, turtles and butterflies you’d ever wish to see, Corcovado is a nature-lover's dream. Enjoy dinner at a lodge hidden away in the rainforest.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Palmar Norte - Finca 6 Sphere Museum (Entrance)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
In line with conserving one of the world's most biodiverse regions, most hotels do not offer some of the other facilities or amenities you’ve come to expect from an Intrepid Comfort hotel. Most accommodation in this beautifully remote area has a more natural and rustic feel, and operates with a sustainable outlook which impedes their ability to offer air-conditioning.
Wake up in the lush jungle, ready for a hike at San Pedrillo. San Pedrillo is the northernmost park station in Corcovado, and there are multiple hiking trails that you can take, either along the beach or through the forest. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest, and maybe spot some spider monkeys, black-cheeked ant tanagers and tapir. Enjoy a lunch during your hike, and make sure you cool off in the Pacific shores of Llorona or Sirena Beach. At night, Corcovado comes alive in other ways, with new sights and sounds to be experienced. Consider an optional night jungle Walking tour, where you’ll see a great variety of reptiles, amphibians and insects that aren’t often seen during the day.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Corcovado - San Pedrillo Station Hike
Optional Activities
  • Corcovado - Night Walk - USD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart at 7.30 am to take the boat and then drive 6 hours north to Manuel Antonio, a town nestled by a national park of the same name on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. You’ll find yourself in certified sloth country. There’ll be an optional lunch stop on the way and the afternoon is yours to relax. Drop a towel on the white-sand beaches, take a swim or swing life away in a hammock. In the evening, you could choose to enjoy the Pacific sunset from the water on a sail boat, wishing another night away on your Costa Rican adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Manuel Antonio - Sunset sail - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take today to experience the lush national park surrounding Manuel Antonio. Your park entrance fee is included and joining you will be a naturalist guide with all the info and knowledge that you need, so spend some more time discovering and learning about the beauty of the jungle, keeping an eye out for sloths and iguanas. Wander into the depths of the rainforest, and be aware of where your naturalist guide is telling you to look – they know exactly where to find the weird and wonderful that call this place home. Later in the day, you could book yourself in a kayak tour of the waterways and mangrove habitat, seeing the park from the water. You could also head to one of Manuel Antonio's famed beaches, rent a surfboard and spend some time catching waves in the water, and rays on the sand.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Manuel Antonio National Park - Tour with a Naturalist Guide (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
Optional Activities
  • Manuel Antonio - Surf/boogie board rental - USD69
  • Manuel Antonio - Mangrove tour by kayak (with lunch) - USD49
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Good morning from beautiful Manuel Antonio. You'll have a free morning here before you head on your way to Costa Rica's capital. Why not hit the sand and go for a morning swim? Otherwise, the town of Manuel Antonio has some cool hangouts for a coffee. If you'd like to take a morning hike through the national park, we don't blame you! Please be aware that you'll have to cover your own entrance fees today. Later on, continue back to San Jose, where you'll arrive in the late afternoon. The rest of the evening is free for you relax and pick up where you left off exploring the city, but be sure to catch up with your travel buddies for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • San Jose - The Art of Craft Beer in San Jose - Urban Adventures - USD74
  • San Jose - National Museum - USD11
  • San Jose - San Jose By Night: Food and Culture - Urban Adventures - USD79
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned, so once you’ve enjoyed your breakfast, you are free to leave at any time. Haven’t seen enough in San Jose? Check out the offerings of Urban Adventures tour, from craft beer tours to day-trips to the countryside. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/San-Jose-tours. There's a lot to see and do in and around San Jose, so if you'd like to extend your visit and need further accommodation, we’ll be happy to assist (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • San Jose - Cartago Bike & Train Tour - Urban Adventures - USD63
  • San Jose - San Jose Bites and Sights Tour - Urban Adventures - USD36
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Shared boat

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), Lodge (3 nights)

Included activities

  • San Jose - Leader-led walking tour
  • Los Santos - Don Cornelio Family Coffee Experience
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Palmar Norte - Finca 6 Sphere Museum (Entrance)
  • Corcovado - San Pedrillo Station Hike
  • Manuel Antonio National Park - Tour with a Naturalist Guide (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
4. Please be careful when booking flights to/from San Jose; make sure you fly into/out of Juan Santamaria International Airport [SJO]. Please do not book flights to/from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.

Essential trip information

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