Costa Rica Vacation: Volcanos, Bird Watching, Beaches And More

13 Day Trip
Per Day Price Level $$$$
Per Day Budget $ 217
Per Day USD ranges:
$$$$ < $250
$$$$ $250-500
$$$$ $500-750
$$$$ $750+
  • Visit a 3rd generation coffee planation and see how your morning fix is picked, milled, ground and roasted.
  • Explore the spectacular Paos Volcano region including the smoky crystal blue sulfur pools, Botos Lagoon, the largest butterfly observatory, the Magic Waterfalls and a ‘serpentarium’ – all in 1 day.
  • Do a fun walk over the Hanging Bridges as you view the impressive Arenal Volcano and spot migratory birds on this 250 hectares of primary forest.
  • Walk the amazingly bio-diverse trails of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Bio Reserve home to 500 bird species, 120 species of reptiles and amphibians and 3,000 plans including the highest diversity of orchids in the world.
  • End your trip by relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Tamarido.

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  • Itinerary Summary

    Day 01 : Arrival at San Jose

    Meet and greet at Juan Santamaría International Airport. Transfer to your hotel.

     

    Accommodation: Studio Hotel

    Day 02 : San Jose

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then go on a guided visit Poas Volcano, Doka Coffee Plantation and La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

     

    To get to the different attractions included during this tour, we will drive by the city of Alajuela passing by the Agriculture Monument, the Monument to Juan Santamaria and the famous Mango Park. First stop, will be in Doka, a third-generation coffee plantation to learn how coffee is picked, milled, ground and roasted.

     

    As we continue towards the Poás Volcano, we will notice the change in temperature and vegetation; we will see coffee plantations, fern, flower and strawberry farms along the way, creating a colorful landscape. The Poas is one of the most spectacular volcanoes in the country, with its enormous crater measuring one kilometer in diameter and 314 meters deep. The crystal blue sulfur pools will amaze you along with the steam rising from the various volcanic vents. We will also hike to the

     

    beautiful Botos Lagoon. The tour continues to discover La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a natural park where we will walk through some spectacular trails leading to the White Magic Waterfall. Later, we will visit the largest butterfly observatory and the impressive hummingbird gallery, the serpentarium, the old house, the bird house and the frogs’ exhibit. After lunch we will head back to San José.

     

    Accommodation: Studio Hotel

    Meals: Breakfast And Lunch 

    Day 03 : San José – Tortuguero

    The extensive Caribbean plains are beautified by the Pacuare, Estrella, Reventazon and Parismina rivers, which join in some sectors with the Tortuguero canals, known for their scenic splendor and as a site of refuge for the marine turtles to lay their eggs.

     

    Along this area you can observe small groups of houses among the plantations of cassava, annatto, and bananas. On the southern part of the coast you will see a vast number of beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and protected areas with small trails, which permit access into the heart of the tropical forest. 

     

    In the Costa Rican Caribbean, the options are so varied that they satisfy plenty of different tastes, while experiencing the wonders of the swamps, the marine wealth, the green lagoons, imposing rivers, wide canals, and exotic beaches.  For those who love fishing, diving, surfing and snorkeling, this place is undoubtedly a paradise. 

     

    After an early departure from San Jose, driving through the spectacular Braulio Carrillo National Park, we will stop in Rio Danta for a delicious, aunthentic breakfast. The bus ride continues through banana plantations to the pier, followed by a two-hour boat ride through the canals that will take you to Mawamba Lodge, just in time for lunch.

     

    In the afternoon, departure by boat to the nearby private trail, next to the National Park, for a guided walk into the tropical rainforest. A visit to the small town of Tortuguero is included before walking back to the lodge by the beach. Before dinner, free time to enjoy the pool or just to relax in a hammock. Dinner is served in the pool restaurant from 7:30 pm.

     

    From July to September there is an optional night tour (not included in the package) to observe the turtle nesting.

     

    Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner

    Day 04 : Tortuguero

    After breakfast, enjoy a guided visit to Mawamba Park’s private trails, visiting the butterfly gardens, the iguanas and a frog garden. Also visit the bio-digester, a system where the sewage water is treated and converted into a natural source of gas to heat up kitchen stoves.

     

    After lunch, enjoy a canal boat tour through Tortuguero National Park.

     

    Tortuguero is a network of navigable lakes, rivers and canals (both natural and man-made) used for transportation; this is also a great place to observe local wildlife such as birds, monkeys, two and three-toed sloths, American crocodiles and caimans. The park also provides shelter to endangered animals such as manatees, tapirs and jaguars.

     

    Free time before dinner.

     

    Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner

    Day 05 : Tortuguero – Arenal Area

    After breakfast, shared boat transfer back to the pier, where the trip will continue by bus to your next destination. Lunch is included in the Rio Danta Restaurant.

     

    Private transfer from Guápiles to Arenal area.

     

    San Carlos offers a landscape of exceptional beauty with its forests, lagoons, fields of crops, rivers with hot springs, and the most active volcano of Costa Rica: Arenal. In other words, sanctuaries where one can breathe peace, purity and the majestic power of nature.

     

    Accommodation: Arenal Springs

    Meals: Breakfast And Lunch

    Day 06 : Arenal Area

    After breakfast, go on a natural history walk over the Hanging Bridges.

     

    Located within the corridor followed by birds migrating between North and South America, the trails and bridges of this project will bring the visitor as close as one could ever imagine, observing the birds, the flowers and the lush vegetation of the primary rainforest.  It is 250-hectares of primary-forest property, made of paths and bridges built to maintain the utmost harmony between man-made structures and nature. The property has impressive views of the Arenal Volcano and to the lake that feeds the largest hydroelectric plant in Costa Rica. 

     

    This walk is a fun and educative option to learn more about the forest and the local environment and enjoy close contact with nature. While walking along the trails, the fascinating world of the tropical forest will open to you. Along these trails, visitors will be immersed in the diverse fauna and flora of this rainforest, admiring colorful birds and tropical plant species. More than 50 species of birds can be counted on this site, one of the most productive bird watching walks of the region. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

     

    In the afternoon, visit the Arenal Volcano.

     

    Few sites in Costa Rica inspire more respect and admiration than Arenal Volcano.  At 5437 feet, its tall and conical shape stands over the pastured green hillsides that surround its base. Although currently in a resting phase, Arenal remains Costa Rica’s most active volcano for the past 43 years. Its history is charged with eruptions – both major and minor – that have intimately affected the region and the people who live here.

     

    This tour will allow you to enjoy the most extraordinary views of Arenal Volcano on a gentle hike along the lower slopes of the colossus. The walk begins in one of the trails close to the volcano and continues through the forest until you reach the area destroyed in its first eruption, back in 1968. This tour takes approximately 2 ½ hours.

     

    Accommodation: Arenal Springs

    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 07 : Arenal – Monteverde

    After breakfast, transfer to Monteverde.

     

    The town of Monteverde, located at the south end of the cloud forest, had its beginnings in the early 1950s with the impetus of a group of Quakers from the United States, a group that came to Costa Rica attracted by its pacific inclinations and disarmament. They established themselves in the region and devoted themselves to produce milk and quality cheeses. Monteverde is located 172 kilometers northeast of San José. The climate is temperate and humid, with an average of 17ºC (60ºF). The nights are cool and at times cold when the trade winds blow.

     

    Accommodation: Hotel Trapp Family Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 08 : Monteverde

    After breakfast, visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

     

    Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, having 4% of all the known species of plants and animals in only 0.04% the earth's surface. Due to its altitudinal variation and climatic factors, that vary between the Pacific and Caribbean slopes, Monteverde is perhaps one of the richest regions in the country where there are 3,021 known species including a total of 755 species of trees.

     

    One of the main attractions of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is its 13-kilometer network of trails. While walking the trails, visitors are presented with a number of options. One alternative is to walk to La Ventana, where you may witness the contrasting panorama exhibited naturally by the Continental Divide, a geographical feature that traces the principal mountain ranges of Costa Rica. At this location, you can experience the force of the moisture-laden trade winds blowing in from the Atlantic coast, and witness how they descend at high velocity toward the Central Pacific and Northern coastal plains of Costa Rica. There are over 500 bird species, including the majestic quetzal and the three-wattle bellbird, 120 species of reptiles and amphibians and more than 3000 plants among them, with the highest diversity of orchids in the world. In the main building, visitors will find a restaurant and a Gift Shop.

     

    Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the area or to take optional tours.

     

    Accommodation: Hotel Trapp Family Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 09 - 11 : Tamarindo Beach Stay

    After breakfast, transfer to the North Pacific coast and spend the next three days relaxing by the pool or unwinding on the beautiful beaches of Tamarindo.

     

    Accommodation: Tamarindo Diria Hotel

    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 12 : Tamarindo – San José

    After breakfast you will be transferred to San Jose.

     

    Accommodation: Studio Hotel

    Meals: Breakfast 

    Day 13 : Departure from San Jose

    Breakfast. Private transfer to Juan Santamaría International airport.

    Check in at airline counter must be done three hours prior to flight departure.

     

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Duration
    13 days
    Difficulty
    Easy
    Primary Activities
    Trekking
    No. of travellers
    Min. 2
    Other Activities
    Wildlife
    Children Allowed
    Yes
  • Comfort
    Learn more
    Super luxury

    Our highest-end category of accommodation, Super Luxury is defined by top quality customer service and premium amenities. Hotels in this exclusive category include the Aman resorts, Oberoi Vilas hotels, and certain independent purveyors.

    Luxury

    Luxury Hotels meet the standards of most well-known 5-star hotel brands around the world, and include premium accommodations and amenities. In some cases our Luxury category overlaps with the "boutique" hotels, many of which are equally luxurious and accommodating.

    Boutique

    Boutique hotels are typically smaller, or independently owned hotels that offer top-end service and amenities equivalent to luxury providers. Boutique hotels often differentiate themselves from bigger hotel brands through their unique character, location, or history.

    Glamping

    Glamping (short for “glamorous camping”) and lodges denotes outdoor-focused accommodations that combine the best of nature with a designer / comfort angle in mind, so customers can get the best of both worlds.

    Camping

    Camping refers to a wide range of tented accommodation, which will most likely apply to outdoor / adventure trips like trekking, hiking, etc.

    Others

  • Price Details (per person)

    High Season Dec to Apr $ 2,891 $ 222 per day
    High Season Jul to Aug $ 2,891 $ 222 per day
    Low Season May to Jun $ 2,763 $ 213 per day
    Low Season Sep to Nov $ 2,763 $ 213 per day

    * All Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Some savings may be available for larger groups.

Cost Includes
  • Private arrival transfers with English speaking assistance
  • Daily breakfast
  • All meals, tours and entrance to the National Park while in Tortuguero
  • Guided visit to Doka Coffee Plantation, Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens; lunch included
  • Natural history walks on the hanging bridges
  • Guided hike near Arenal Volcano
  • Guided visit to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • 3 nights at Studio Hotel, STD room
  • 2 nights at Mawamba Lodge, STD room
  • 2 nights at Arenal Springs Hotel, STD room
  • 2 nights at Trapp Family Lodge, STD room
  • 3 nights at Tamarindo Diriá Hotel, Tropical poolside room
  • Lodging taxes
  • Private departure transfers
  • According on selected mean of transportation: shuttle transfers, 4x4 Daihatsu Bego car rental or private transfers
Cost Excludes
  • Departure tax (US$29 per person)
  • Tips
  • Optional tours
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Air tickets to/from Costa Rica
Day 01 : Arrival at San Jose

Meet and greet at Juan Santamaría International Airport. Transfer to your hotel.

 

Accommodation: Studio Hotel

Day 02 : San Jose

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then go on a guided visit Poas Volcano, Doka Coffee Plantation and La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

 

To get to the different attractions included during this tour, we will drive by the city of Alajuela passing by the Agriculture Monument, the Monument to Juan Santamaria and the famous Mango Park. First stop, will be in Doka, a third-generation coffee plantation to learn how coffee is picked, milled, ground and roasted.

 

As we continue towards the Poás Volcano, we will notice the change in temperature and vegetation; we will see coffee plantations, fern, flower and strawberry farms along the way, creating a colorful landscape. The Poas is one of the most spectacular volcanoes in the country, with its enormous crater measuring one kilometer in diameter and 314 meters deep. The crystal blue sulfur pools will amaze you along with the steam rising from the various volcanic vents. We will also hike to the

 

beautiful Botos Lagoon. The tour continues to discover La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a natural park where we will walk through some spectacular trails leading to the White Magic Waterfall. Later, we will visit the largest butterfly observatory and the impressive hummingbird gallery, the serpentarium, the old house, the bird house and the frogs’ exhibit. After lunch we will head back to San José.

 

Accommodation: Studio Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch 

Day 03 : San José – Tortuguero

The extensive Caribbean plains are beautified by the Pacuare, Estrella, Reventazon and Parismina rivers, which join in some sectors with the Tortuguero canals, known for their scenic splendor and as a site of refuge for the marine turtles to lay their eggs.

 

Along this area you can observe small groups of houses among the plantations of cassava, annatto, and bananas. On the southern part of the coast you will see a vast number of beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and protected areas with small trails, which permit access into the heart of the tropical forest. 

 

In the Costa Rican Caribbean, the options are so varied that they satisfy plenty of different tastes, while experiencing the wonders of the swamps, the marine wealth, the green lagoons, imposing rivers, wide canals, and exotic beaches.  For those who love fishing, diving, surfing and snorkeling, this place is undoubtedly a paradise. 

 

After an early departure from San Jose, driving through the spectacular Braulio Carrillo National Park, we will stop in Rio Danta for a delicious, aunthentic breakfast. The bus ride continues through banana plantations to the pier, followed by a two-hour boat ride through the canals that will take you to Mawamba Lodge, just in time for lunch.

 

In the afternoon, departure by boat to the nearby private trail, next to the National Park, for a guided walk into the tropical rainforest. A visit to the small town of Tortuguero is included before walking back to the lodge by the beach. Before dinner, free time to enjoy the pool or just to relax in a hammock. Dinner is served in the pool restaurant from 7:30 pm.

 

From July to September there is an optional night tour (not included in the package) to observe the turtle nesting.

 

Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 04 : Tortuguero

After breakfast, enjoy a guided visit to Mawamba Park’s private trails, visiting the butterfly gardens, the iguanas and a frog garden. Also visit the bio-digester, a system where the sewage water is treated and converted into a natural source of gas to heat up kitchen stoves.

 

After lunch, enjoy a canal boat tour through Tortuguero National Park.

 

Tortuguero is a network of navigable lakes, rivers and canals (both natural and man-made) used for transportation; this is also a great place to observe local wildlife such as birds, monkeys, two and three-toed sloths, American crocodiles and caimans. The park also provides shelter to endangered animals such as manatees, tapirs and jaguars.

 

Free time before dinner.

 

Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 05 : Tortuguero – Arenal Area

After breakfast, shared boat transfer back to the pier, where the trip will continue by bus to your next destination. Lunch is included in the Rio Danta Restaurant.

 

Private transfer from Guápiles to Arenal area.

 

San Carlos offers a landscape of exceptional beauty with its forests, lagoons, fields of crops, rivers with hot springs, and the most active volcano of Costa Rica: Arenal. In other words, sanctuaries where one can breathe peace, purity and the majestic power of nature.

 

Accommodation: Arenal Springs

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 06 : Arenal Area

After breakfast, go on a natural history walk over the Hanging Bridges.

 

Located within the corridor followed by birds migrating between North and South America, the trails and bridges of this project will bring the visitor as close as one could ever imagine, observing the birds, the flowers and the lush vegetation of the primary rainforest.  It is 250-hectares of primary-forest property, made of paths and bridges built to maintain the utmost harmony between man-made structures and nature. The property has impressive views of the Arenal Volcano and to the lake that feeds the largest hydroelectric plant in Costa Rica. 

 

This walk is a fun and educative option to learn more about the forest and the local environment and enjoy close contact with nature. While walking along the trails, the fascinating world of the tropical forest will open to you. Along these trails, visitors will be immersed in the diverse fauna and flora of this rainforest, admiring colorful birds and tropical plant species. More than 50 species of birds can be counted on this site, one of the most productive bird watching walks of the region. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

 

In the afternoon, visit the Arenal Volcano.

 

Few sites in Costa Rica inspire more respect and admiration than Arenal Volcano.  At 5437 feet, its tall and conical shape stands over the pastured green hillsides that surround its base. Although currently in a resting phase, Arenal remains Costa Rica’s most active volcano for the past 43 years. Its history is charged with eruptions – both major and minor – that have intimately affected the region and the people who live here.

 

This tour will allow you to enjoy the most extraordinary views of Arenal Volcano on a gentle hike along the lower slopes of the colossus. The walk begins in one of the trails close to the volcano and continues through the forest until you reach the area destroyed in its first eruption, back in 1968. This tour takes approximately 2 ½ hours.

 

Accommodation: Arenal Springs

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 07 : Arenal – Monteverde

After breakfast, transfer to Monteverde.

 

The town of Monteverde, located at the south end of the cloud forest, had its beginnings in the early 1950s with the impetus of a group of Quakers from the United States, a group that came to Costa Rica attracted by its pacific inclinations and disarmament. They established themselves in the region and devoted themselves to produce milk and quality cheeses. Monteverde is located 172 kilometers northeast of San José. The climate is temperate and humid, with an average of 17ºC (60ºF). The nights are cool and at times cold when the trade winds blow.

 

Accommodation: Hotel Trapp Family Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 08 : Monteverde

After breakfast, visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

 

Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, having 4% of all the known species of plants and animals in only 0.04% the earth's surface. Due to its altitudinal variation and climatic factors, that vary between the Pacific and Caribbean slopes, Monteverde is perhaps one of the richest regions in the country where there are 3,021 known species including a total of 755 species of trees.

 

One of the main attractions of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is its 13-kilometer network of trails. While walking the trails, visitors are presented with a number of options. One alternative is to walk to La Ventana, where you may witness the contrasting panorama exhibited naturally by the Continental Divide, a geographical feature that traces the principal mountain ranges of Costa Rica. At this location, you can experience the force of the moisture-laden trade winds blowing in from the Atlantic coast, and witness how they descend at high velocity toward the Central Pacific and Northern coastal plains of Costa Rica. There are over 500 bird species, including the majestic quetzal and the three-wattle bellbird, 120 species of reptiles and amphibians and more than 3000 plants among them, with the highest diversity of orchids in the world. In the main building, visitors will find a restaurant and a Gift Shop.

 

Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the area or to take optional tours.

 

Accommodation: Hotel Trapp Family Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 09 - 11 : Tamarindo Beach Stay

After breakfast, transfer to the North Pacific coast and spend the next three days relaxing by the pool or unwinding on the beautiful beaches of Tamarindo.

 

Accommodation: Tamarindo Diria Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12 : Tamarindo – San José

After breakfast you will be transferred to San Jose.

 

Accommodation: Studio Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 13 : Departure from San Jose

Breakfast. Private transfer to Juan Santamaría International airport.

Check in at airline counter must be done three hours prior to flight departure.

 

Meals included: Breakfast

Cost of the entire itinerary

High Season Dec to Apr $ 2,891 $ 222 per day
High Season Jul to Aug $ 2,891 $ 222 per day
Low Season May to Jun$ 2,763 $ 213 per day
Low Season Sep to Nov$ 2,763 $ 213 per day
Cost Includes
  • Private arrival transfers with English speaking assistance
  • Daily breakfast
  • All meals, tours and entrance to the National Park while in Tortuguero
  • Guided visit to Doka Coffee Plantation, Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens; lunch included
  • Natural history walks on the hanging bridges
  • Guided hike near Arenal Volcano
  • Guided visit to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • 3 nights at Studio Hotel, STD room
  • 2 nights at Mawamba Lodge, STD room
  • 2 nights at Arenal Springs Hotel, STD room
  • 2 nights at Trapp Family Lodge, STD room
  • 3 nights at Tamarindo Diriá Hotel, Tropical poolside room
  • Lodging taxes
  • Private departure transfers
  • According on selected mean of transportation: shuttle transfers, 4x4 Daihatsu Bego car rental or private transfers
Cost Excludes
  • Departure tax (US$29 per person)
  • Tips
  • Optional tours
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Air tickets to/from Costa Rica
Climate

Costa Rica’s climate is marked by two distinct seasons: dry season (Dec.-April) and the wet season (May-Nov.). The average daily temperatures range between 70 and 80 degrees.

 

It is home to vast array of plants and trees, every species highly adapted to the ecosystems within which they reside. The foliage is accented by brightly colored flowers and lush green trees.

 

Costa Rica boasts a profusion of zoological riches, and rightfully so. The National Institute of Biodiversity, in an attempt to identify every plant, animal and insect species, has approximated that within the borders of this small isthmus at least one million species exist.

Visas, Travel Documents and Special Permits

Please note that you are responsible for checking your destination country's visarequirements and then getting the visa accordingly.
 
Further, most countries require travellers to have a passport that is valid from at least 6 months from the day of entry into the country, so please confirm that you satisfy your destination country or countries passport, visa and medical (if any) requirements well in advance of your trip.

 

Immunizations / Medical Requirements

  • Please carry all personal medication

Recommended Packing List
  • Fast drying/light clothes
  • Bathing suit for swimming pool use
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Pair of flip flops or sandals
  • Flashlight
  • Hat or cap
  • Insect repellant
  • Camera
  • Binoculars (a great help to spot animals up in the trees and behind bushes)
  • Sunblock
  • Black clothes
Meals provided

Other useful tips

** Note: Prices may vary drastically over Christmas, New Years and Easter.

Operator ID

4787

Operator Profile

This team of Costa Rica specialists started their company in 1996; that's 2 decades of handling discerning clients from all over the world. Customized itineraries for any budget, and unbeatable insider experiences of the best locations, the finest dining, and everything else you need to feel completely at home here. The awards are still piling up, and the glowing testimonials continue non-stop. Perhaps it is time to add a glowing testimonial or two of your own.

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Costa Rica Vacation: Volcanos, Bird Watching, Beaches And More