Nature-lovers will be enchanted by this Central American gem boasting never-ending wonders, from wonderful wildlife to dramatic volcanoes.
- Day 1 UK/San Jos
- Depart on your scheduled flight to San Jos. We will transfer you to your hotel on arrival.
- Day 2 San Jos
- Your adventure begins with a guided tour of San Jos, the capital of Costa Rica. We'll introduce you to sights such as the National Theatre and the Gold Museum. Then, when you have your bearings, the rest of the day is yours to do as you please.
- Day 3 Tortuguero National Park
- Today you're heading to Tortuguero National Park, which is home to an array of wildlife including monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and caymans. Our journey takes us through the Braulio Carrillo National Park and across the Continental Divide, where you'll take in breathtaking views of primary forests. Towards the end of your journey, we will transfer you to your lodge by boat. This afternoon you'll learn all about sea turtles when we visit the Tortuguero Village and the Caribbean Conservation Museum.
- Day 4 Tortuguero National Park
- There's a full day of activities ahead including, if conditions are right, two boat trips through jungle-sheltered canals.
- Day 5 Arenal Volcano
- We are going to leave Tortuguero National Park by boat and then drive to Muelle de San Carlos. This will be our base for the next three nights as we explore the area around the Arenal Volcano, which has been active since 1968.
- Day 6 Arenal Volcano
- Today is yours to spend at leisure. If you would prefer to join an organised excursion, we recommend an optional visit to the Hanging Bridges of Arenal and La Fortuna. There's also the option to enjoy a late afternoon trip to the Ecotermales Hot Springs with dinner.
- Day 7 Arenal Volcano
- Enjoy a relaxing morning or join an optional boat trip along the Peas Blancas River. This afternoon there's a guided walk through the rainforest to look forward to.
- Day 8 Monteverde
- We're moving on to Monteverde today, a journey that takes us along scenic and sometimes bumpy roads! American Quakers set up the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in the 1950s and now it's home many different species of birds and mammals, including the howler monkey. Lunch is included at a coffee farm along the way, and this afternoon we'll listen to a fascinating talk by a descendent of the original Quaker settlers. After a tour of Monteverde village we will transfer you to your hotel. Then, if you choose to join our optional excursion, there's a guided forest walk this evening.
- Day 9 Monteverde
- You will learn all about the cloud forest when we visit a nature reserve today. In the afternoon you can choose to join an optional excursion which gives you the chance to ride a zip line through the Monteverde Cloud Forest. This exhilarating trip will take you above and through the rainforest and is a truly exciting experience. There's even an optional Tarzan swing at the end if you're feeling really adventurous.
- Day 10 Granada
- You're bound for Nicaragua today, the largest country in Central America. Here we will discover an extraordinary landscape of volcanoes, lakes, mountains and colonial towns. We are going to explore a traditional white village this afternoon and then head to the elegant city of Granada.
- Day 11 Granada
- Granada sits on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in the world. Today's walking tour will help you get your bearings and we'll also visit the fascinating Convento San Francisco Museum. You're free to do as you wish this afternoon. If you want to relax and soak up the atmosphere, an optional horse-drawn carriage ride and boat trip is hard to beat.
- Day 12 Granada, Masaya & Managua
- You've got another day to enjoy Granada at leisure. Alternatively, your Tour Manager will be hosting a full-day optional trip to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. There will be a stop along the way at Masaya, where you can browse the colourful market. You'll also visit the Masaya Volcano National Park and, if conditions are right, we'll venture close to the smoking crater.
- Day 13 Guanacaste
- Today you'll cross the border back into Costa Rica, and head to the El Viejo wetlands. Here you'll visit the La Casona hacienda, where you can learn about the region's sabaneros, or cowboys. This historic house was previously owned by Anastasio Somoza, the former ruler of Nicaragua, as well as Prspero Fernndez, his Costa Rican counterpart. We'll head out to explore the surrounding parkland, which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The freshwater marsh here is an important feeding ground for around 60 species of resident and migratory water birds, including black-bellied whistling duck and blue-winged teal. It's also a wintering ground for migrants including hummingbirds, flycatchers, owls, falcons and many other species. Mammals to look out for include deer, monkeys, armadillos and jaguarundi. Keep your camera at the ready as we explore on a thrilling river cruise.
- Day 14 Guanacaste
- You'll see more exotic flora and fauna today on an included excursion to the Werner Sauter Biological Reserve, which was once a farm. Over two-and-a-half hours you'll hike through a mango plantation to this private reserve, eating mangoes as you go if you wish! Nature runs wild here and as you explore you'll not only see but feel and breathe this unique tropical dry forest as you learn about the plants and animals that thrive here, as well as the people who inhabited this land long before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1502. Afterwards you can spend some time on beautiful Samara Beach, with its white sands and aquamarine waters. We'll then return to your hotel, where you can spend the rest of the day at leisure.
- Day 15 San Jose
- After breakfast we'll transfer you to the airport in San Jos for your flight back to the UK.
- Day 16 UK
- You'll arrive in the UK today.