Wild Costa Rica

13 days
from
£3,449
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Trip code: 
WUP
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Remote landscapes that show off Costa Rica's wild side

An absurdly colourful country with the faunal volume turned up - this tour will captivate, offering an earful of the exotic. Capuchin monkeys rustle the dense jungle canopy as Green macaws squawk overhead and an army of leaf-cutter ants patrol the forest floor. Come and discover why the world is ‘wild’ about Costa Rica.

Highlights

  • Visit the rainforest, cloud forest and coastline of this ecological paradise 
  • Boat safari's and nature walks through pristine wilderness 
  • Corcovado National Park - the 'most biologically intense place on Earth'
  • Comfortable or Premium accommodation throughout in eco-lodges and hotels 
  • Unrivalled wildlife viewing and birds - visit the habitat of the endangered Green macaw and the Scarlet macaw 

Key information

  • Travel by air conditioned bus, 4WD and boat 
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 years
  • 11 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges (some Premium)

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 7 dinners
  • 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:
+44 (0)20 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

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to San Jose.

    The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this afternoon/evening. Land Only clients can arrive at the hotel from around 2pm. Free transfers are available for all clients. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.

    Accommodation: Bougainvillea Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    To Boca Tapada in the Northern Lowlands; nocturnal wildlife walk.

    Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the Northern Lowlands of Costa Rica and our destination: Boca Tapada. Located on the San Carlos River, this area is highly regarded for its tranquillity and beauty. Our eco-lodge is nestled amongst the Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge and has just 15 bungalows, each with a balcony overlooking the large lagoon. The surrounding rainforest and wetlands have been designated as a biological corridor and provide habitat for sloths, Howler monkeys, White-faced Capuchin monkeys and over 500 bird species, of which the endangered Great Green macaw is one and has an important nesting site here. This afternoon is at leisure to settle into the eco-lodge, before joining a night walk on private trails to see a different side to the forest. 

    Accommodation: Maquenque Ecolodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Nature walk through San Carlos Rainforest; afternoon boat safari on the San Carlos River.

    After breakfast we set off on a nature walk in the San Carlos Rainforest on one of the trails surrounding our eco-lodge. Our naturalist guide will help interpret the fauna and flora found in this area. There is also a botanical garden and medicinal garden located in the grounds of our eco-lodge, which are very interesting to visit. In the afternoon we take a boat safari on the San Carlos River. During this 3-hour excursion we travel downstream, towards the Nicaraguan border, where there is a chance to stop and visit the small town of Boca San Carlos. During the tranquil boat safari it’s likely to see crocodiles, tortoise, herons, kingfishers and possibly even sloths, monkeys and hawks. 

    Accommodation: Maquenque Ecolodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    To Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve near San Ramon; afternoon nature walk.

    From the steamy rainforest around Boca Tapada we transfer to the cooler climate found in the area of San Ramon, where the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve is located. This area is regarded as one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets! Located on land once owned by a former president, this mostly private park offers the chance to visit a serene and peaceful cloud forest with low visitor numbers – it’s common to spot more wild animals than other tourists here. Howler monkeys, coatimundi and an impressive bird list of 258 species are just some of the wildlife found here amongst the mist. This afternoon we enjoy a nature walk in our new surroundings.

    Accommodation: Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort and Nature Reserve (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To the Central Pacific Coast; discover the transitional forest of Carara N.P.

    Today we travel towards the Central Pacific of Costa Rica - our destination is just moments from Carara National Park and the mangroves of the Tarcoles River, a wildlife haven around the otherwise developed area of Jaco. Carara is a transitional forest where species of dry and tropical forest meet, resulting in a wonderful diversity of fauna and flora – White-faced Capuchin monkeys, sloths, peccaries, agoutis and coatis are just some of the species we may encounter here. As one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks, Carara is a favourite with bird watchers – see if you can spot a Scarlet macaw. Its position in the transition zone means that species of both dry forest and tropical forest are likely to appear. Being located near Tarcoles River and its mangrove system also provides a lot of diversity and there are some of the tallest rainforests in the country found here. With our guide we discover some of the walking trails in Carara today, before continuing to our eco-lodge resting amongst the hills and forests of Cerros de Turrubares.

    Accommodation: Macaw Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Guacalillo Estuary and Tarcoles River boat safari; afternoon spent on private nature trails surrounding our eco-lodge.

    This morning we take part in the Guacalillo Estuary and Tarcoles River boat safari, a tour designed to introduce you to the incredibly bio-diverse mangrove system found in this part of the Central Pacific. One of the largest populations of crocodiles – some measuring up to five metres in length – can also be found here. This mangrove and river system is a very important habitat for birds, with kingfishers, heron, Roseate spoonbills and Scarlet macaw often sighted here. In the afternoon we enjoy a birdwatching walk on the private nature trails surrounding our lodge. Set between the humid tropical forest and pre-montane forest this area has an abundance of bird species which your guide will help locate and identify. 

    Accommodation: Macaw Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Rainforest nature walk at Hacienda Baru; to Puerto Jimenez; 4WD to the Osa Peninsula.

    The day begins with a rainforest nature walk at Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge - 330 hectares of wetlands, secondary rainforest in the lowlands and primary rainforest in the highland costal ridge. There are numerous walking trails and 3kms of pristine beach to be discovered. We’ll spend around two hours at Hacienda Baru with our naturalist guide, before transferring to Puerto Jimenez, the largest town on the Osa Peninsula. From here we are met by 4WD vehicles to transfer to our eco-lodge in the wilderness, near the captivating Corcovado National Park. This region is very remote with limited road access. 

    Please note that there is a luggage allowance of 25lbs per person for the 4WD transfer. We suggest that you repack on the evening of Day 6 for your 3 night stay at Luna Lodge. Luggage can be stored with the main vehicle until Day 10. 

    Accommodation: Luna Lodge (or similar)
    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Full day to discover Corcovado N.P. the most 'biologically intense place on Earth.'

    When National Geographic describes an area as ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’ it has to be worthy of investigation! This morning we leave the lodge by vehicle to Carate and then walk on the beach for 30 minutes to our entrance point to Corcovado National Park. This is undoubtedly Costa Rica's most secluded and tranquil region. Protecting around one third of the Osa Peninsula (some 164 square miles), Corcovado is Costa Rica's largest national park and encompasses 13 major ecosystems across various elevations, with montane forest, cloud forest, freshwater and mangrove swamps being just some of these. Scientists have recorded half of all of the species in Costa Rica on this peninsula alone. On today's hike along the parks trails we may see all four of Costa Rica's monkey species (Squirrel, Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider monkeys), tamandua (anteater), two and three-toed sloths, peccary, tapirs (including the endangered Baird's tapir) and of course many reptiles, insects and amphibians. Puma and jaguar are known in this area but very difficult to see. With over 500 tree species, the bird count stands at an impressive 365 and the park protects the largest population of Scarlet macaws in the country, which can frequently be seen and heard flying overhead. 

    Accommodation: Luna Lodge (or similar)
    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Discover the 60 acres of tropical wilderness surrounding our eco-lodge in the heart of the rainforest.

    Today is free to discover the enchanting and pristine environment of our wonderful eco-lodge in the heart of the rainforest. Luna Lodge is adjacent to Corcovado National Park and is set within 60 acres of private tropical wilderness – from here you’re completely surrounded by nature. The remote beaches of the Osa Peninsula are also major nesting sites for sea turtles (Olive Ridley, Green turtles, Hawksbill and Leatherback). We recommend joining one of the local excursions available directly from Luna Lodge, or simply relax, awaken your senses and discover why the world is wild about Costa Rica! 

    Accommodation: Luna Lodge (or similar)
    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    To Savegre Cloud Forest, home of the Resplendant Quetzal.

    After breakfast we depart towards San Gerado de Dota and Savegre Cloud Forest. This is said to be one of the best places in the whole of Costa Rica to see the beautiful, colourful and notoriously shy Resplendant Quetzal and we have two nights here to discover the region. These endangered birds rely on the cloud forest for their habitat - the males in particular are striking with a green crest, red breast and tail feathers that can reach a metre in length. A good pair of binoculars will be helpful for quetzal spotting as these birds camouflage themselves well amongst the wet leaves of the forest! 

    Accommodation: Savegre Hotel Nature Reserve & Spa (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 11

    Free day to discover the walking trails and waterfalls of Savegre.

    Today is free to relax and explore Savegre Valley. Bring your binoculars to spot some of the 170 bird species, trek through the tropical cloud forest or simply relax in the grounds of the lodge. For those who are passionate about trekking, an optional tour to Los Quetzales National Park can be arranged to admire the tropical cloud forest and sub-Andean vegetation. Birds that may be seen in this area include hummingbirds, colibri, tanagers and trogons, whilst tapirs, sloths and Squirrel monkeys may also be seen.

    Accommodation: Savegre Hotel Nature Reserve & Spa (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    To San Jose; depart San Jose.

    After breakfast we make our way to San Jose airport where it's time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye.  

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Arrive London.

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 www.exodus.co.uk/USVisa for more information. 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 and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The symptoms and impact of the disease is not serious, but a significant risk to foetus development has recently been highlighted. Therefore, if you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant you should seek additional advice from a health professional.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 7 dinners are included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style. Vegetarians are well catered for 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?

This trip has been graded 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) with a safari rating of 4.

Driving distances are not very long and most of the roads that we travel on are of good quality, although there is an unpaved road into Boca Tapada. Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula is the most remote area that we visit on this itinerary - there are very limited road access or facilities in this area and we must access via 4WD on a rough track.  

There are several included and optional walks on the itinerary which occasionally involve walking on rough paths. These are suitable for most levels of fitness and usually last from two to three hours. 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!

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 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 and Eco-Lodges

11 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges (some premium). 

The accommodation chosen is sure to be one of the highlights of this holiday. 

In San Jose we stay at the Hotel Boungainvillea, a property with lovely views and lush botanical gardens, yet within easy reach of the city and international airport. The Macquenque Eco-Lodge is our accommodation in Boca Tapada - a wilderness retreat set within the tropical rainforest and bordering the San Carlos River. Our bungalows all have their own balcony and hammock. At Villa Blanca we also stay in bungalows, but these come with fireplaces and traditional folklore decoration to fit in with the cloud forest surroundings. Macaw Lodge is an eco-resort that is completely off grid and uses solar power to generate all of its electricity. Made of sustainable wood, it fits beautifully with its forest surroundings.

Probably the biggest highlight of this holiday will be our three nights at the Premium Luna Lodge - nestled amongst the trees, this secluded resort can only be reached by 4WD vehicle and is a real oasis bordering Corcovado National Park and set within 60 acres of its own private, tropical wilderness. After this, we have a further 2 nights at the Savegre Hotel Nature Reserve and Spa, which is a lovely property in the heart of Savegre Valley, with a wonderful collection of trails and gardens full of hummingbirds.  

Single supplements are available - please see Dates & Prices for more information.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 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

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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]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936