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Off the Beaten Track on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

From £2067 pp*

Costa Rica

10 Nights / 11 Days

Private Group (2-6)

Off the Beaten Track on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

From £2067 pp*

What You'll Do

Discover the very best of the Costa Rican Caribbean coast - spot nesting turtles on white-sand beaches, learn to cook authentic cuisine with local families, discover stunning wildlife in the Costa Rican Amazon, and drink in views of active volcanoes over 10 unfrogettable nights.

 

Tour Summary:

 

Day 1         San Jose

Day 2 & 3Turrialba

Day 4 & 5 Barre Da Paccuare

Day 6 – 9  Punta Cocles

Day 10       Santa Brnara de Heredia

Your Costa Rican wildlife adventure begins when you land in San Jose, where you’ll be taken directly to your hotel and given a night to relax and recharge, so that you’re fresh for the rest of your tour.

Start by visiting Irazú Volcano National Park, where you can gaze in awe at Costa Rica’s highest volcano and hike up to the crater, before you head towards Turrialba, soaking up views of steaming volcanos and lush jungle before reaching your first overnight stop, a classic Hacienda that boasts magical views of Turrialba volcano itself.

Spend another day here hiking through La Marta Wildlife Refuge, visiting a research station dedicated to protecting the beautiful natural haven, and get to grips with authentic Costa Rican cuisine on a cooking class with a local family.

From there it’s on to Barra De Pacuare, where you’ll embark on boat rides through the canals known as the ‘Costa Rica Amazon’, and if you’re lucky (and in Costa Rica from February to August) glimpse nesting turtles along the miles of pristine beaches.

Whilst in Barra De Pacuare you’ll also get chance to visit a sea turtle conservation project and explore lagoons and biological reserves, all before you head to postcard-perfect Caribbean beaches to relax at the end of your wildlife, volcano and jungle adventure.

This itinerary is packed with unique, local experiences you simply wouldn’t find yourself, designed to get you off the beaten track and show you the real, authentic side to Costa Rica that will live long in the memory.

*price is based upon 2 people on a private tour sharing a double/twin room in low season.

Experience
Highlights

Spot nesting sea turtles on pristine Caribbean beaches and learn how they are protected

Discover authentic Costa Rican cuisine on a hands on cooking class with a local family

Stay in a riverside jungle lodge and head out on hiking and boating expeditions

Your Local Host:

Roberto Lizano

I was born and raised in Costa Rica and have lived here my entire life. And ever since I could, I’ve been travelling the world. Soon after I left school, I travelled around Costa Rica and discovered every single part of it! Although, we do have a fairly small country, there’s an insane amount to explore, and I’m still exploring Read More

Experience Itinerary

Arrival Day

Arrive into San Jose Airport, where you will be picked up and taken directly to your hotel in the Costa Rican capital, where you will get the chance to relax, refresh and get ready for your adventure to begin.

At the Autentico Hotel Each room is equipped with a bathroom with shower, ceiling fan, Wi-Fi,  coffee maker. The on-site restaurant specialises in typical Costa Rican dishes. Other amenities include a swimming pool and a beautiful garden.

 

 

 

Accommodation

Autentico Hotel

swimming pool in hotel in san jose

Meals

Breakfast

Volcanoes and Traditional Haciendas

Your first visit will be to Irazú Volcano National Park. Irazú is the highest volcano in Costa Rica at just over 3400 meters above sea level.

Then you drive to the Turrialba Valley, a city that was once the gateway to the Atlantic coast, now an important agricultural region and tourism destination. Turrialba is named after the volcano (Torre=tower and alba=white). The volcano sits along the southeast of the Central Volcanic Corridor and currently it is the most active volcano in the country.

A combination of reliable rainfall, numerous powerful rivers and rich volcanic soils have made Turrialba an important agricultural region which has been carefully developed to ensure a balance with nature and conservation.

The lush mountainous landscapes, pristine tropical forests, thundering rivers and wildlife ensures that there is plenty to do here, and it is also a great place to discover the agricultural side of the country with a visit to one of the plantations to sample some of the best organic produce in Costa Rica.

You will stay in a Costa Rican Old Hacienda, where a guide can show you the farm animals and the beautiful tropical gardens, or you could take a kayak out on  the beautiful lake of the Reventazón River Dam.

The hotel features stunning views of the Turrialba volcano and all guest rooms have a balcony with beautiful views of Angostura Lake.

The rooms are comfortably furnished an all have ceiling fans. The hotel has a gourmet restaurant which serves traditional Costa Rican and international dishes and guests may enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa which offers a variety of treatments including a volcanic rock body wrap.

 

Accommodation

Casa Turire Hotel

deluxe double room in costa rica

Meals

Breakfast

Cooking with a Local Family

Turrialba hosts a beautiful reserve full of tropical plant species and today you will take a guided hike through La Marta wildlife reserve to a research station administrated by a local private university, drinking in views of jungle-covered hillsides.

After this experience immersed in nature, you will have the opportunity to enjoy cooking lessons with a local family, discovering the secrets of local Costa Rican cuisine, before enjoying your delicious hand made lunch, a truly local experience.

 

Accommodation

Casa Turire Hotel

Meals

Breakfast and Lunch

The Costa Rican Amazon

Transfer to the Caribbean plains on a scenic drive as you cross the green mountains that divide Turrialba and the Caribbean Coast.

Boca Pacuare is today’s destination, the fascinating canals of the Caribbean coast, known as the Costa Rican Amazon, as they snake their way through the jungle.

A boat will take you up to this area through the extensive system of canals to the lodge where you will spend the next two nights.

Your guide will provide invaluable insight into this complex ecosystem, before you reach the miles of untouched Caribbean beaches.

The worlds largest Turtles, Green sea turtles, nest in this region from June to October, peaking in numbers during July and August, whilst the mighty leatherbacks, measuring up to eight feet in length, nest from March to July.

For the next two nights you will stay in Barra de Pacuare on the banks of the Mother of God Lagoon, at the Lirio Lodge hotel, surrounded by tropical rain forest and overlooking an unspoiled natural canal.

The lodge offers comfortable wooden bungalows raised on platforms, equipped with double beds, private bathrooms, porches, and decks with either lagoon or garden views.

The on-site restaurant is located on the water, providing guests with fantastic views while enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The tranquility of the water and the area brings wildlife near to the lodge making it the ideal destination for nature lovers.

 

Accommodation

Lirio Lodge

lodge accommodation in costa rica

Meals

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Sea Turtle Experience

Today you’ll have a full day to explore the Boca Pacuare area. Start with a floating trip on the canals of the Madre de Dios lagoon, a great opportunity to see a huge variety of birds, reptiles, monkeys, and butterflies.

To top it off, you will also visit the Pacuare Biological Reserve. Head to the Sea Turtle Conservation Project and spend time with the volunteers in charge of the program to get an idea of local life in the area. If you visit during the weekdays, you will also visit the local rural school.

When in season, there is an optional night tour to see the green turtle laying eggs on the beach. All the visits will be done with a local naturalist guide.

Accommodation

Lirio Lodge

Meals

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Transfer to Caribbean Paradise

Your adventure in Costa Rica continues after breakfast, when you get back on the boat through the canals so you can rejoin your driver and head to the South Caribbean.

On the way, you will visit an iguana conservation project lead by the Bribri Indigenous Group of the Kekoldi Reserve.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and night immersing yourself in the relaxing Caribbean lifestyle, music and gastronomy, as you reach one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and your hotel, Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel

There are just 23 rooms in this boutique hotel each has air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, iPod docking station, minibar. The hotel has a spa, daily yoga classes, and a beach club. Guests can enjoy dining at the on-site restaurant, Ocho y Medio, and at the on-site market cafe.

 

Accommodation

La Camelion Boutique Hotel

sun loungers by swimming pool in costa rica

Meals

Breakfast

Relax on the Caribbean Coast

Spend your final days in Costa Rica relaxing on the beautiful Caribbean coast, drinking in the rays on white-sand, palm-fringed beaches.

On one of the days, you will meet a local guide in Manzanillo, and head out on a hike of this amazing refuge. It was created in 1985, to protect both marine and coastal land areas. It also includes communities whose traditional lifestyle has always been to care for their natural environment, so it has some residential/ecotourism zones.

After the hike you will board a boat to search for dolphins: between Punta Mona (Monkey Point) and the mouth of the Sixaola River you can observe three species of dolphins, including the rare Small Pink Tucuxi.

Accommodation

La Camelion Boutique Hotel

aerial view of swimming pool

Meals

Breakfast

Coffee Highlands and the Central Valley

Transfer back to the Central Valley for your last night in Costa Rica. On this day, enjoy a great last experience of authentic Costa Rican culture and cuisine on a day that includes a visit to a sustainable forested coffee farm.

Taste cuisine that creatively honours the culinary traditions of the coffee highlands, and drink in the richness of the local culture, views of steaming volcanoes, cloud forests and the splendour of the lush natural surroundings.

You will stay the night on the stunning coffee plantation, a unique place to stay that help you feel truly immersed in authentic Costa Rican culture.

Surrounded by coffee plantations, volcanoes and lush gardens, Finca Rosa Blanca is a renowned hideaway, famous for its organic gourmet cuisine, superior comfort and service and its sustainability credentials.

Rooms have volcano and valley views and upscale dining in the hotel restaurant is available with fresh local products.

Accommodation

Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort

reception at a coffee plantation in costa rica

Meals

Breakfast

Farewell to Costa Rica

The time has come for you to say farewell to Costa Rica and your new friends who have helped you see the country through the eyes of a local.

We hope you have had an incredible 10 days in Costa Rica, and are returning home with wonderful travel memories that will last a lifetime

 

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Location Information

The tour starts and ends at San Jose Airport, where you will be picked up to begin your adventure before you’re dropped back off there at the end of the 10 nights. From there you’ll head west to Turrialba to explore national parks and authentic rural life, before transferring to the coast at Barra de Pacuare.

After your time in the ‘Costa Rican Amazon’, you’ll head south to Punta Cocles for some quality beach time, finally heading back to San Jose via a spectacular coffee plantation resort.

1) San Jose

2) Turrialba

3) Barra de Pacuare

4) Punta Cocles

5) Santa Barbara de Heredia

  • Accommodation (1 night hotel, 2 nights hacienda hotel, 2 nights jungle lodge, 4 nights premium boutique hotel, 1 night coffee plantation resort)
  • All breakfasts, lunch and dinner at jungle lodge
  • Local guide throughout
  • All transfers (including airport transfers)
  • Irazú Volcano National Park tour
  • La Marta Wildlife Refuge tour
  • Cooking class and lunch with a local family
  • Sea Turtle Conservation Project visit
  • Local school visit (weekdays only)
  • Turtle hatching night tour (season dependent)
  • Manzanillo hike and dolphin spotting

FAQs

Lightweight cotton and linen clothing is recommended for most of the year with warmer clothes for cooler evenings. Waterproofing is necessary during the rainy season. Loose-fitting clothing is best. Wear neutral browns and greens for birding and wildlife viewing. Always bring mosquito repellent for both day and night.