Explore the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica like never before, uncovering pristine coastline, lush, tangled jungle, characterful towns and city's all whilst meeting the locals and really immersing yourself in the Costa Rican way of life.
You’ll start your adventure from Alajuela, and head straight for the place you’ve come for, the North Pacific coastline of Costa Rica. The country prides itself on a brand of tourism that is eco-friendly and socially sustainable, and this will be very much the focus of the ten-day tour, as well as experiencing Costa Rica’s highlights on this stunning stretch of coastline.
You’ll be visiting local, rural communities like an eco-farm in the Puntarenas Province on your first day, where you’ll be immersed in rural Costa Rican culture, getting to know how the farm runs and learning how to cook real, authentic Costa Rican cuisine.
Then, you’ll be off to Ensenada Wildlife Refuge, a stunning stretch of protected mangrove forest that offers some of the best bird watching in the world, as well as the opportunity to see crocodiles and howler monkeys as you cruise your way through the otherworldly forests by boat.
From surfing at the world-renowned Santa Teresa one day, to soaring on a zip-wire through the steaming air, the jungle canopy stretched out beneath you, there are magical waterfalls, atmospheric little towns, and stunning beaches to be found all the way to Jaco, where your once in a lifetime adventure ends.
As well as the adrenaline-pumping activities, incredible food and stunning scenery that you’ll experience, this tour offers an opportunity to really get under the skin of Costa Rica and see the hidden gems, off the tourist trail, that you would otherwise miss.
Thanks to your local drivers and guides, you’ll meet and interact with local people and stay in their homes, get to know their ways of life and establish human connections that create long-lasting memories, from spending a day with fisherman in the islands of the Nicoya Gulf to making wonderful, sociable meals at Betty’s house.
At the end of your trip you may choose to book your own accommodation and relax on the beaches of the picturesque Pacific coast, and why not? With beautiful weather year-round, this tour of Costa Rica makes the perfect winter sun experience.
Get off the beaten track and see the local side to Costa Rica most tourists miss
Discover incredible wild spaces like dense jungles and pristine beaches
Thrill at adventures like ziplining, surfing and quad-biking in stunning settings
Meet the locals, try their food, and see how life really is in Costa Rica
Your Local Host:
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
Arrive in San Jose airport, where you will be picked up and driven to your first accommodation. Recover from your long journey and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Located in Alajuela, Costa Rica, Hotel Aeropuerto is conveniently situated 4 kilometers from Juan Santamaría Internacional Airport. The hotel boasts 24 rooms, each features air conditioning, cable TV, Queen size beds, telephone, and coffee maker. Guests can enjoy dining at the onsite Las Planchas Restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hotel amenities include Wi-Fi, garden and a swimming pool.
Head to the Coast and Get Off the Beaten Track
On your second day in Costa Rica, fully-refreshed and ready to explore this incredible country, you will be collected by your driver and will head towards the wild Pacific coast, stopping at a Zapotal de Miramar, your first taste of authentic, rural Costa Rica.
In this community of just 100 people, visit an eco-farm where you’ll learn just how ingenious the Costa Rican people are at making the best of their natural surroundings, whilst working harmoniously with them.
You will learn about the wastewater purification process, how to maintain an organic garden with medicinal plants, but most importantly, you’ll learn how to use the fruits of this fertile land to cook proper Costa Rican cuisine.
Then, you’ll continue your journey to the tropical dry forest of Ensenada Wildlife Refuge. A private refuge with a family-run lodge, this lush, biodiverse area is legendary for its birdwatching and mangrove forests.
Thanks to the refuge, much of the area has been reclaimed and re-wilded by the atmospheric, twisting branches of the mangroves, and they provide an absolute haven for all manner of exotic birds, crocodiles and howler monkeys.
Hacienda La Ensenada
Located on the Pacific Coast in the province of Puntarenas, on the Gulf of Nicoya. The Hacienda La Ensenada has comfortable villas facing the gulf with a spacious terrace. Guests can enjoy an unforgettable sunset relaxing in a hammock, take a dip in the swimming pool and savour delicious cuisine at the on-site restaurant. It is an ideal place for horseback riding, bird watchers and nature lovers.
Explore Unique Eco-Systems
The mangrove forests for which this area is renowned work to create a unique ecosystem and environment, as they act as a water purifier and as a nursery for all kinds of native wildlife.
On your third day in Costa Rica, you’ll begin exploring the otherworldly landscape by boat, slipping silently through the dappled sunlight beneath the twisting mangroves.
Spot roseate spoonbills, hawks, black-bellied whistling ducks, and egrets over your two-hours gliding through the shade of the trees.
Hacienda La Ensenada
Ferry to Surfer Paradise
The next day, you’ll be heading to the Nicoya Peninsula by ferry, then crossing it to the west coast and the stunning little town of Santa Teresa.
A surfer’s paradise, it combines sea, sand and beautiful trails winding inland to create the perfect spot for nature lovers. The town of Santa Teresa sits snugly on the long line of palm-fringed beaches, and exudes a deliciously laid-back, surfer town kind of vibe.
Pair this with great restaurants, buzzing nightlife and great spots to sleep, and you’ve got yourself the perfect base for exploring the North Pacific coast.
Located in the small town of Santa Teresa and is within walking distance of the beach. Accommodation is available in spacious bungalows which feature modern amenities including air conditioning, minibar, satellite TV, and a fully equipped bathroom. The hotel features an in-house restaurant which serves light dishes including pizza and pasta. An in-house bar is also available and serves a range of cocktail drinks and tropical beverages. Guests may also relax at the beautiful outdoor swimming pool which is surrounded by lush vegetation.
A Day of Adventure and Adrenaline
Strap yourself in for a day of adventure, because today you’ll be jumping onto a zipline that carries you through the tropical dry forest canopy. As you soar through the cool coastal air, you will see the incredible landscape unfold beneath you, for one of the highlight activities of the tour.
Then, get your hiking shoes on and strike out through the jungle for the great Montezuma Waterfall. Nestled in the deep jungle, white water cascades into a deep blue lagoon totally surrounded by pristine nature.
Take a dip in the refreshing pool, or add more adventure to your trip by leaping from the heights of the waterfall into the water below.
Ride the Waves in Santa Teresa
You can’t visit this surfing haven without trying your hand at the most popular activity there. So on your final day here, you’ll be taking advantage of the perfect surf that comes rolling into the stunning beaches from the Pacific with a surf lesson from a local expert.
Learn to ride the waves and immerse yourself in the natural environment in the greatest way possible, and enjoy the freeing sensation of standing and surfing to shore in beautiful settings.
Glamping on a Remote Tropical Island
You’ll be heading back across the Nicoya Gulf today, in order to head south towards Jacó. As you hop on the ferry though, there is a beautiful little island in the gulf known as Jesusita Island.
A glorious, untouched gem of lush green forest and golden sand beaches set in glistening blue waters, it’s an incredible place to get off the beaten track and experience nature at its purest.
After a day getting to know the slow life of the local fishermen, relax and take in the sunset from your lounging deck, stopping to notice only the sounds of nature, the gentle hissing of the surf and the call of tropical birds, on your day in your own private paradise.
Isla Chiquita Camping
Located on the shores of Costa Rica’s Gulf of Nicoya, each of the 15 glamping tents features a king bed, a daybed lounger, and a spacious lounging deck with stunning ocean views.
The dining experience at Isla Chiquita brings together the best of two worlds; the stunning natural beauty of the Gulf of Nicoya and the freshest ocean-to-table seafood to be found in Costa Rica. Guests can enjoy a diverse array of excursions, from self-guided kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding to bird watching, sports fishing and island and beach hopping tours.
Journey to the Coast of Punta Leona
Your ninth day will be spent travelling by boat from Jesusita Island south to the central Pacific and the beautiful Punta Leona.
A locally-owned resort boasting a private reserve where you can explore the inland forest on trails that snake of into the jungle, head to watch the wildlife in on the fringes of the trees or simply relax on one of the two stunning beaches, this will be your base for the next couple of nights.
Hotel Punta Leona
Set on the beachfront in the Tarcoles District, San Jose. Guest rooms are equipped with private bathrooms, air-conditioning, cable TV and coffee makers. For guests’ enjoyment there are on-site restaurants, bars, an outdoor swimming pool, spa, beach volleyball, and mini golf. Guests can choose optional extra activities such as a guided walk through the rainforest, aquatic sports, yoga, tai chi and bird watching.
Jungle Adventures in Jacó
Today, experience the thrill of exploring the wild, untamed jungle as you ride quad-bikes along the dirt trails and river beds, splashing through the forest on a unique journey through nature.
Enjoy a white-knuckle ride through the forest and then a dip in a natural swimming pool, a great way to cool off and refresh as you swim immersed in nature at its richest and most vibrant.
Hotel Punta Leona
Transfer to San José and Departure
It’s time to say goodbye and head back to San José and the airport, after an incredible ten-day journey around the beautiful, unspoilt North Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
The tour begins in Alajuela, heading south through Abangaritos, Santa Teresa, the Central Pacific Coast and then down to Jaco.
All transport is provided, including all ferries and transfers from accommodation to accommodation, so you can simply relax and watch the stunning scenery unfold before you.
On your final day, you will be driven back to the airport in San Jose.
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 bird and wildlife viewing. Always bring mosquito repellent for both day and night.