Active Costa Rica

9 days
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£1,799
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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 10 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
AUF
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–16
Min age:
16

Multi activity adventure taking in the rainforest, volcanoes and coastline of captivating Costa Rica

From rumbling volcanoes to sweeping, sandy beaches, Costa Rica’s beauty is evident in every corner. On this action-packed adventure we try grade II, III and IV whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River, kayak around Lake Arenal, have a go at zip-lining in the forest and try canyoning and rappelling through spectacular waterfalls. Our adventure ends in the lush Manuel Antonio National Park, where we can appreciate the picture-perfect coastline on another kayak excursion before snorkelling in the Pacific.

Highlights

  • Get your adrenaline pumping on this mixed activity trip - whitewater rafting, canyoning, kayaking and zip-lining included!
  • Experience rainforest, volcanoes and coastline of this diverse ecological paradise
  • Sea kayaking around Manuel Antonio's coastline and snorkel in the Pacific
  • Optional visit to the thermal waters of Ecotermales Hot Springs near Arenal Volcano
  • Stay in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges with the majority of activities included

Key information

  • Travel by air-conditioned minibus and raft
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • 8 nights comfortable hotels and eco-lodges

What's included

  • All breakfasts 4 lunches and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

San Jose
to
San Jose Airport
  • Day 1

    Start San Jose.

    The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this morning. Free arrival transfers are avaialble for all clients. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.

    Accommodation: Balmoral Hotel (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Class II and III whitewater rafting expedition on the Pacuare River to Rio Tropicales eco-lodge.

    Leaving San Jose we head towards the Pacuare River, an area blessed with abundant vegetation and scenic beauty in the middle of the rainforest. This is a great spot for adventure seekers and one of the best rivers to raft in Costa Rica! After a safety briefing and instructions, we board 6-person rafts and begin our grade II and III whitewater rafting excursion. Rafting is the only way to reach this evening's accommodation - an eco-lodge surrounded completely by nature. Please note that we need to pack overnight bags for this experience, which will follow separately on another raft. We can access our main luggage again tomorrow. 

    Our journey takes us through 13km of exhilarating rapids and clear pools of the Pacuare River, with rainforest towering over the river at either side and colourful birds flying overhead. There will be a short stop for lunch and plenty of time for a refreshing swim near a waterfall in one of the calm sections of the river. On arrival at the Rio Tropicales eco-lodge a welcome drink and snacks await us, and we'll have plenty of time to relax and soak up the tropical surroundings and vibrant sounds of the jungle. 

    Accommodation: Rio Tropicales Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Class III and IV whitewater rafting expedition back from the Pacuare River; to Arenal.

    After a healthy breakfast at our eco-lodge, we pack up and prepare to continue our expedition on the Pacuare River through lush rainforest. Today see's us raft class III and IV rapids on the lower Pacuare and gorge, which is sure to be an adrenaline boost and gives us another chance to experience the intimate nature of the rainforest. Eventually we reach our exit point from the river and will continue our journey by road from here on. Today's destination is the area surrounding Arenal Volcano. Following a massive eruption in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. As well as the volcano, this region has plenty to offer, with thermal waters, waterfalls and Lake Arenal waiting to be discovered. The drive time takes around 3 hours. 

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel, Arenal Paraiso, Volcano Lodge (or similar)

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Hike in Arenal N.P.; visit La Fortuna Waterfall; optional visit to Ecotermales Hot Springs.

    There is a guided hike this morning through Arenal Volcano National Park. The park has a great system of trails passing through secondary rainforest and near lava fields created by previous eruptions. The high vantage points on this walk allow great views overlooking Lake Arenal, and the birdlife is plentiful. 

    Waterfalls are abundant in the region of Arenal and this afternoon we visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a 65 metre cascade of water plunging into an emerald pool below. A short trail through the rainforest brings us to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to the exit - the hike/climb takes around 20-30 minutes and is within the capabilities of anyone with reasonable fitness. Reward your efforts with a dip in one of the natural pools punctuating the foliage to cool off! Alternatively you could visit the lookout point and wait for the group.

    There is a lot of geothermal activity in the area and you'll have the chance to visit one of the excellent hot springs in the late afternoon, as part of an optional excursion. 

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel, Arenal Paraiso, Volcano Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning canyoning adventure; afternoon rainforest zip-lining.

    We start today with a canyoning adventure in a spectacular rainforest slot canyon around 30 minutes drive from La Fortuna. If you haven't tried canyoning before, you're in for a real adventure! Find yourself rappelling down waterfalls from 18 to 50 metres in height, and hiking along rainforest trails from waterfall to waterfall as we pass through the canyon. There are four rappels (3 waterfalls and 1 rock wall) to complete, a monkey drop (zip line and rappel) and a rock climb as part of today's adventure. All necessary equipment is included and full training and safety instructions will be given - just come prepared to get wet with a stomach for heights! 

    In the afternoon, once we've dried off and changed clothes, we'll board the Sky Tram for a gondola ride to an observation platform across the highest point of Arenal Reserve where you can enjoy views of the volcano, lake and surrounding forests. From the observation platform our Sky Trek zip-lining adventure begins, crossing canyons and flying inbetween the tree tops as we cover around 3 miles of cables to reach the bottom. There are 10 different zip lines ranging in height from 30 metres to 200 metres. Full training and a safety briefing will be given, and all equipment is provided. There is also a free locker available to store your belongings whilst on the tour. 

    In the late afternoon we return to our accommodation to relax after an exciting day! 

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel, Arenal Paraiso, Volcano Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Kayak excursion on Lake Arenal, to Manuel Antonio.

    Sitting at the base of Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal is the country's largest landlocked body of water and this morning we get to enjoy the tranquility of the lake on a kayaking excursion, combining nature with sport. An experienced guide will introduce us to the correct paddling techniques, as well as telling us about the natural history of the area and the impressive volcano. 

    In the afternoon we set off to Manuel Antonio, located around four and half hours drive away on the Pacific Coast.  

    Accommodation: Playa Espadilla Hotel or Karahe Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Nature walk in Manuel Antonio N.P.; kayaking and snorkelling by the Pacific Coast.

    Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica's smallest national parks. This morning we take a guided nature walk in the park to reach one of the higher elevations for incredible coastal views of dramatic rocky headlands, and we'll find a beautiful spot where the forest meets the sea. With the help of our guide we'll hopefully see monkeys (White-faced, Squirrel and Howler), iguana, sloths and agouti. Most of the walking trails lead to beautiful beaches within the borders of the national park. 

    In the afternoon we put our paddling skills to use once more, this time to try sea kayaking along the Pacific Coast, passing islands, cliffs and rock formations. There are a number of nesting grounds for birds and marine wildlife here as well as plentiful vegetation, so seeing the area by kayak is an excellent way to approach quietly. We also have the chance to visit Bisanz beach, where we can don a mask and snorkel to discover the underwater world (parrotfish, angelfish and starfish might be seen). Please note that water visibility varies depending on the season and the snorkeling activity is weather permitting. 

    Accommodation: Playa Espadilla Hotel or Karahe Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day to choose from optional activities such as horse-riding, catamaran or mangrove boat tour.

    Manuel Antonio is a great area for some free time and so today has been left free for you to choose what to do. Visit the beach or join one of the half day optional activities available, such as horse-riding, catamaran or mangrove boat tour. 

    Accommodation: Playa Espadilla Hotel or Karahe Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Return to San Jose; end

    A four hour journey takes us back to San Jose, where those on group flights will be transferred to the airport in time for their return flight. Land only clients end in San Jose and are advised not to book a flight leaving San Jose before 4pm today, as arrival at the airport will be timed to co-incide with the group flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Costa Rica

Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica - we suggest you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them. All passengers flying via the USA will have to clear immigration during transit. Prior to travel you must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (USD14) under the Visa Waiver Programme. Please see here for more information. The same applies to travel via Canada which also requires an Electronic Travel Authority. If you are not a UK citizen please check with your local U.S. Embassy. 

Vaccinations

Costa Rica

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

If you have travelled to a country at risk of Yellow Fever prior to arriving in Costa Rica you will be expected to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate with you.  

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 1 dinner included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style, with toast, cereal, eggs, fruits and tea/coffee all available. For lunch and dinner, the tour leader will recommend various options in convenient locations, usually booking restaurants and eating with the group. Vegetarians are generally well catered for in Costa Rica but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Costa Rican specialities include 'Gallo Pinto', a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruit is abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics.

Weather

Costa Rica is located 10º north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average temperature range is 10ºC - 13ºC in the highlands, and from 22ºC - 26ºC in the lowlands. There is a rainy season from May to November when there are daily downpours, though these are usually quite short and there is still plenty of bright sunshine, so midsummer is not necessarily a bad time to go. December to April is the driest time of the year but you should still expect some rain.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 3 (Moderate).

If you're reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and would like to try multiple activities during your holiday this is the trip for you. The included activities are whitewater rafting (grades II, III and IV), walking, zip-lining, kayaking (lake and sea), canyoning and snorkeling. Previous experience of any of the activities is not necessary - it is more important that you have a good level of fitness and physical condition, along with a sense of adventure. Whilst this is an adult trip, it is useful to note that the minimum age for whitewater rafting is 14 during the rainy season (June-Nov) and 12 during the dry season (Dec-May).

The driving distances are not very long and most of the roads that we travel on are of good quality. There are several included walks on the itinerary which occasionally involve walking on rough paths, but these are suitable for most levels of fitness. During times of heavy rain, trails can be muddy and slippery and extra care should be taken. Many of the areas visited on the trip are hot and humid and there is the chance of heavy rain year-round - this is why Costa Rica is so green!

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

8 nights comfortable hotels and lodges, all with en suite facilities.

From a rustic wooden lodge set in tropical gardens to a hotel overlooking the Pacific ocean, most of the properties that we use are small, family run establishments offering a warm welcome and relaxing surroundings.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed February 2019
    Phil Goacher

    Not just for youngsters.

    Such a great trip. Perfectly organised, great hotels, good food, superb guide, brilliant experiences and excellent fellow companions. Thank you Exodus for the adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's difficult to choose the highlight of the trip. The white water rafting was great, the canyoning was exhilarating, the zip lining was scary but safe. Kayaking was enjoyable and the snorkelling brilliant. Not to mention seeing many birds and animals native to Costa Rica.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jorge Diaz was attentive, friendly and knowledgeable. He enjoyed a good laugh and joined in all the meals, activities and generally couldn't have done more for us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As a reasonably fit 60 year old, I was concerned that I would be 30 years older than everyone else but this was not the case. I coped easily with everything and would recommend this trip to everyone with a sense of adventure. You will need a good head for heights and be willing to get wet - every day!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One change to the itinerary, I would suggest, would be to not do the lake kayaking but to go straight from Arenal area to Manuel Antonio and have the afternoon free to swim in the Pacific, rather than the long trip late in the day. Kayaking on the Pacific was much better than the lake and was the next day after the lake. This would free up a day to do a mangrove forest tour on the last day, this was optional for our trip and was a real highlight.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Olivia Dudleston

    Lots of variety!

    A thoroughly enjoyable and exciting way to see the country - walking, cycling, boat trip, ziplining, white water rafting, and plenty of jungle and wildlife. All with a manageable amount of travelling to see very different parts of the country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ziplining over the Costa Rican rainforest canopy, feeling liberated and taking in the incredible views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Adriana was really lovely, had great English, and as a Biologist by trade had an incredible eye for pointing out all sorts of flora & fauna as we were partaking in our various activities. We saw monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, coatis, as well as endless beautiful birds. Our driver Olivier was also fantastic, taking great care of the minibus every day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack a variety of lightweight clothes for different activities and quite varying climates throughout different parts of the country. Wet shoes or velcro sandals are useful for white water rafting, otherwise you will be wearing your trainers and hoping they dry out for the next day! If you wear glasses then best to take a strap to hold them on during rafting. Take a water bottle with you as a water dispenser is available on the minibus so you can refill as and when you like.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    During the dry season, the river levels are quite low and the rapids are very tame! If you're looking for true grade 2/3 rapids then best to go when the river is a bit higher
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Tony Daly

    Watching a classy act

    The trip was good with Exodus staff doing a great job. Even our non-English speaking driver, Roberto, always managed a warm "hello". Makes a lot of yards in starting each day and making it into a great day. Costa Rica is geared mainly for the American market - everything in dollars. Sadly all things American includes plastic cheese and processed meat - makes for a lousy omelette! Food was disappointing, largely because I expected some elements of 'spice and fire'. Food was plain on the Caribbean (how does that happen?). Sauces really shouldn't be offered in plastic bottles of 57 - no names! And beer at London prices???? Prevented the group from bonding at the bar on the first night. Some, like me, used the convenience store to stock up and no garden, meant a bedroom snifter before dinner - pity.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Zip Lining and Rapid descent. The guy pulling the brake on time, when I plunged (by arrangement) 150 feet - it gets higher in telling - from a cloud forest tree to Mother Earth. Then, being told to climb back up there!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Splendid! As someone who has written and led tours, I can't speak more highly of him. Great driver too!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Buy some Colonas (local currency) or you will be given change for dollars in local money at variable rates. Take Vitamin B6 for 2 weeks before trip, plus during visit (check with your (GP) - mossies will positively spit you out!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel in San Jose was utility. Better location might have been on city edge, as we had no time to look around, so why choose there?. Better a more peaceful setting. Also, insist on those bar prices being regulated for your clients, if no-one else. As I said, it directly influenced some (not just me) to avoid the bar and so delay the highly important getting to know our fellow travellers. I used to select trade shows my company attended and it was small things like this and silly lunch prices, that influenced the decision makers. Earls Court wouldn't listen, nor Olympia - said it was out of their control - REALLY? We just didn't buy stand space.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Melissa Dymond

    Costa Rica Mixed Activity

    Excellent trip. Very busy itinerary with a variety of activities. Eduardo was a great leader and was very knowledgeable about the areas we visited and the country as a whole. His love of his country is very evident!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved challenging myself to some new activities: whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip lining!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have a long sleeved shirt or rash guard! The sun is lovely but intense! :) Bring your sun cream!
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Sarah Counter

    Costa Rica mixed activity

    Stunning scenery, extraordinary and wonderful wildlife, excellent and knowledgable guide in a wonderfully diverse and enchanting country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Exhilarating white water rafting, contrasting with the stillness of the cloud forrest broken only by the sound of bird calls. Coming face to face with white faced monkeys in Dan Antonio was fun too!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andreas was a knowledgable group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take closed wet shoes for the whitewater rafting, and plastic bags for damp clothing as items don't dry easily in the rain forest despite the high temperatures!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Djamila Stachowski

    Costa Rica with lots of activity

    I loved the trip, and would highly recommend it for everyone who loves being active, being outdoors, doing different activities during your holiday, and who does not mind being rained on (lots!). The group was fantastic, the tour leader fabulous, nature and wildlife are just amazing! We saw so many birds, reptiles, bugs and butterflies (mostly due to the unbelievably good eyes of our tour guide Ozzy), the nature is breathtaking and we actually didn't mind taking lots and lots of pictures of trees and leaves and other greenery. The activities were well balanced, and you could fill every hour of spare time with additional adventures, which all most of our group did.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the wild water rafting (grade C), the guides were great fun, and as the first activity it is the perfect ice breaker for the group. I could not fault any of the other activities, all were great fun and a memorable experience. We were all in awe when we saw a Quetzal, apparently a very rare and hard to spot bird. Seeing the sloth with a baby was fantastic, picture perfect. The catamaran and snorkelling tour was a grand finale to the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ozzy was the perfect guide. Very knowledgable, his eagle-eyes spotted every animal no matter how well it tried to hide. He feels very passionate about his country and shows this with every story or tale.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Inform yourself of any other activities you may want to do in your spare time. Every hotel or lodge we stayed in has a number of options, there is no reason to sit around unless you actually want to do that ;-) Be prepared for rain, take a good quality rain poncho.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The number of options and activities for this trip is great. I would suggest to use the longer trip and add all those activities to it, so customers can choose between the more relaxed and the active trip. I would have liked to travel to the Carribbean cost and see the turtles, but I did not choose the longer trip because the activities was what I definitely wanted.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Richard Lowry

    Costa Rica Mixed Activity

    A fun filled trip. An amazing country, influenced slightly by USA but it has not lost any of its charm. If you are looking for wildlife then this trip is for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spotting so much wildlife including Sloths, howlers, humped back whales, iguanas, birds etc Canyoning optional activity, zip lining, thermal hot springs, swimming in the Pacific, white water rafting Grade 3

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ozzie was amazing- he went out of his way to organise all optional activities, even some not on the list Super restaurant recommendations A great ability to spot wildlife and an excellent knowledge

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Several people extend the trip so they can visit other national parks e.g. to see the turtles Take a good quality poncho

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip would be even better if 2 weeks long- there is another Costa Rica trip that caters for 2 weeks and looks wonderful for wildlife but doesn't include the many activities this trip does.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Deirdre Oconnor

    Very Active Costa Rica!

    This was a great trip, with a brilliant guide and a wonderful group of people. It was a really good way to see and experience the adventures that Costa Rica has to offer. As well as the activities which were included in the price there was also time to do optional extras. It was a really active and enjoyable trip. The food was good and the accommodation very comfortable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the warm Pacific after a long ( but interesting) bus trip, and a nature walk in Manuel Antonio NP. With the help of Ozzie, we spotted sloths, lizards, squirrel monkeys and hummingbirds and avoided having our stuff stolen by the white headed monkeys. A really magical day! Also feeling the fear of the biking and zip lining, doing it anyway and having great fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ozzie took great pride in showing us his country. His love of the environment was very clear and he was able to spot and show us animals, birds and reptiles. He also took great care that everything was organised really well. A really professional and experienced Guide- he was great. Also a special mention for our driver Gerardo who kept us safe and comfortable all week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for wet weather ( condensation as Ozzie called it) , and the fact that its hard to get things dry. A good raincoat or poncho was invaluable. You also need warm weather stuff, but remember someone has to haul your bag up on top of the bus!! Investigate additional activities - each hotel had brochures as well as the additional activities identified by Exodus. Some of us did a kayak safari float, a night nature walk, surfing etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Costa Rica was recommended to me by other Exodus travellers and I would do the same. Tourism is well organised and that means it feels safe to travel there. It is also a really great place to explore diverse environments from rain forests, rivers, oceans and beaches. Go for it!
  • Reviewed November 2013
    Anonymous

    TRAILS OF COSTA RICA

    A unique trip to a wonderful country.  Costa Rica is beautiful, its flora and fauna are gorgeous.  This new itinerary covers northern and north/western areas with the diversity of rainforest, volcanic landscape, cloud forest and Pacific coastline.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed every single day of this trip but particularly three (optional) activities: (1) Monteverde hanging bridges.  A lovely walk in the tranquillity of the cloud forest.(2) Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve river safari.  We saw all three monkeys found in the region (howler, spider and white-faced capuchin), many exotic birds, caimen, butterflies, so much more.(3) The boat trip at Samara (although I would have preferred a bigger boat with more shelter from the sun).  We had a magical encounter with a  huge pod of spotted dophins which included many calves and several acrobats performing all the tricks - hurling themselves out of the ocean, doing flip flops and even tail walking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Saenz was excellent - everything I have come to expect of an Exodus leader.  Efficient, personable, likeable, good-humoured, extremely knowledgeable re Costa Rica's flora and fauna, soon tuning into our individual interests and concerns and going that extra mile to look after us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Three essentials for this trip - a poncho, binoculars and Deet (especially in Samara).  And a few words of Spanish - always appreciated.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Because I was visiting in the rainy season I expected it to rain a lot - and Costa Rica did not disappoint!  We had several downpours of biblical proportions and spectacular thunder and lightning storms.  However, there are real advantages in travelling at this time - fewer tourists at many of the venues and in restaurants, better access to river channels, less extreme heat.We were a micro-group (just three of us) and Jose was our guide/driver.  This was my 11th Exodus trip but the first time I have travelled in such a small group.  In fact this proved to be a very enjoyable experience (thank-you, Suzy and Tim) allowing us the flexibility to set our own schedule.  In practice, we soon realised (with Jose's input) that it was best to start our days early and complete our activities around lunchtime (after which the rains inevitably arrived), usually leaving afternoons free for us to do our own thing - swimming (all the lodges/hotels had pools), spa treatments or just relaxing. Tourism is very important to Costa Rica's economy and it shows.  The standard of accommodation was pleasing and everywhere we went we were greeted warmly and service standards were top notch.  We ate well - delicious, fresh, local produce especially fruit (pineapple - divine) and vegetables, eggs at breakfast cooked to order and we had many tasty meals at lovely restaurants (Chilean Sauvignon Blanc recommended) and pit-stop cafes.  I thought food was very good value for money (compared to London prices). I have been back from this holiday for ten days now but the feel good factor of my visit to Costa Rica has yet to wear off!
  • Reviewed November 2013
    Gail Clark

    costa Rica multi activity trip

    This trip was sold as a multi activity trip which was very misleading. While you did a variety of activities they lasted on average 1.5hrs and two activities are described as hikes when in actual fact we were shared the flat trail with a coach load of OAPs complete with their walking sticks and another was only 2.6km. The majority of the trip was spent sitting around in restaurants waiting for something to happen. If you want an active trip, to see wildlife and get a feel for a country I highly recommend you do not pick this trip. It was very disappointing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    NA

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Gail for her review, although we were very sorry to hear that the trip did not match her expectations in terms of the activities included. Although this is a short itinerary, we include white water rafting, zip-lining, mountain biking, a visit to a hot spring, two national park walks and a catamaran/snorkelling trip. In addition, there are many other optional activities available locally, but we have reviewed Gail’s feedback with our local operator to ascertain why she had so much free time; this is very unusual feedback for this trip as there are so many activities to do. Gail’s tour leader was very sorry to hear of her dissatisfaction and we are following up on the routes taken during the walks as these are not normally as short as Gail has mentioned. Although this is an active trip, the pace is often slow on walks as there is plenty of wildlife to see and to get the best results we find that it is best when group’s approach quietly.

    Vicky Boughton - Trip Manager for Costa Rica

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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