Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets

15 days
from
£3,399 £3,149
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Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
WUR
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Group size:
5–16
Ages:
16+

Unrivalled wildlife viewing and Costa Rica's coastal wonders 

From the wildlife rich waterways of Tortuguero to the dense jungle coastline of the Osa Peninsula, an area labelled by National Geographic as 'the most biologically intense place on Earth', Costa Rica reveals its secrets: Scarlet macaws rule the roost adding brilliant flashes of red, blue and gold to the foliage; Humpback whales breed in the waters off-shore, and sloths lazily crawl along cecropia branches.

Highlights

  • Three nights in Drake Bay - the remote gateway to some of Costa Rica's premier wildlife destinations 
  • Corcovado National Park - the 'most biologically intense place on Earth'
  • Discover the wildlife and waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Unrivalled wildlife viewing - monkeys, sloths, dolphins & whales (in season) 
  • Visit both the Caribbean and Pacific Coastline

Key information

  • Travel by minibus and boat 
  • 14 nights comfortable hotels and lodges
  • Green turtle nesting season: July to October
  • Countries visited: Costa Rica

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • We use fairly small, family run and locally staffed establishments which ensures that we are benefiting local communities.
  • Although this is a largely nature-based trip, we incorporate as much benefit to local people as possible. One of the ways to support local people and boost the economy is to buy crafts in some of the remote regions that we visit, such as Tortuguero and Cahuita. Having the opportunity to purchase locally made handicrafts encourages cultural exchange and provides a significant form of alternative income.
  • Our local guides are careful to explain that any souvenirs on sale over the duration of the trip which are made from animal parts, shells or local hardwoods should not be purchased.
  • This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.
  • Our local operator is very involved in supporting community projects. Our local operator cares about our impact on the destination, which is why we carry out several actions. For instance:

        * The celebration of the International Tourism Day of 2019 by cleaning a beach at Guacalillo, that allowed to recollect 150 Kg of waste.
        * Plastic lids collect and donation them to Fundación Proparques, to develop walkways to improve accessibility for people with mobility problems, in the country's protected wild areas.
        * The establishment of an alliance with the Recycling Program of the Municipality of San José, since May 2015 until December 2020, that led to recycle 43 tons of recoverable resources during that period. During pandemic, staff members continued with the recycling process from their homes. Collection and recycling include paper, cardboard, plastic items and lids, batteries, and electronic devices, among others.
        * The purchase of souvenirs from local artists, to promote local benefits.
        * Days have been held on the beach with older adults living in care homes.
        * Elimination of single use plastics in our operation
        * Reduction of printed documents by having all the information in a secure drive.

  • Our local operator continuously develops activities for the benefit of personnel who work for the company, through its Human Resources Department and the Brigada Pintando Sonrisas. Since it is part of the TUI Group, different activities are carried out, such as "More 4 You", which has the purpose of creating strategic alliances that promote health among collaborators. In addition, the "New Work" project is responsible for promoting healthy spaces that promote the work environment of the staff.
  • The local staff is given the option of free therapy with BetterHelp, the world's largest provider of online therapy.
  • In 2017 Exodus Travels introduced the Inspiration Project, where we’ve worked with our partners to take more than 6,000 children in 30 countries on a day of adventure and exploration. Each inspirational day out is designed to introduce young minds to the wonders of our world and their place in it. From visiting cultural heritage sites to natural wonders, each trip has been packed with firsts – their first time leaving their own village, their first time seeing the sea, their first time visiting a busy city. We continue to operate these days out to inspire children to protect and preserve the world as they grow up.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • Being a wildlife-based tour, we are very conscious of our effects on the environment and how we can reduce negative impact and aid conservation. On this trip we visit national and private parks, including Tortuguero and Corcovado, where entrance fees directly support conservation efforts alongside maintenance and upkeep of these areas.
  • Our local operator has a policy of Animal Welfare that requests suppliers to comply with the minimum conditions of animal welfare.
  • Our local operator has been awarded by the Costa Rican Tourism Board for their sustainable tourism practice & dedication to improving sustainability standards. This means that efforts are made to rationally use water and electricity, provide adequate waste management, and positively impact communities, among many other actions.
  • Most of the accommodation and restaurants we visit on this trip use locally sourced food such as fruit which is always sourced locally and abundant.
  • Vegetarian options are available if notice is given which include a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, and rice.
  • To reduce our carbon emissions, we use a shared coach at the beginning of the tour to transport clients from San José to Tortuguero rather than an internal flight. During the trip, we travel responsibly using appropriate methods of transport; therefore, depending on group size, a minibus/coach will be used.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • An example of eco-friendly accommodation on this trip is the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, a family run business in a stunning location on the Osa Peninsula. The restaurant here provides delicious American/Costa Rican style dishes freshly made with lots of natural ingredients, many of which from their farm. By using local produce this means a reduction in food miles.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.

Itinerary

Expand all
San Jose
to
San Jose
  • Day 1

    Start San Jose.

    The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. 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: Presidente Hotel or Park Inn (or similar)

  • Day 2

    To Tortuguero N.P.

    Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero's vast network of waterways, canals and swamps are remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge, which is nestled on a small strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the main lagoon. Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum (a donation will be requested at the entrance). Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean. Today's travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast.

    Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Boat tour around Tortuguero waterways.

    Just after sunrise we board a small boat, enabling us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero as we pass serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast near the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax this afternoon if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities, or alternatively you can join a second boat trip (included).

    Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    To Cahuita; relax on the Caribbean coast.

    We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived, by taking a small boat to Siquirres pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of Cahuita on the Caribbean coast, where we check into our hotel. Caribbean culture pervades this part of Costa Rica and is reflected in the music, food and laid-back lifestyle. Cahuita’s famous white-sand beach is fringed by tall palms, behind which the dense, wet tropical forest of Cahuita National Park can be found.

    Accommodation: Ciudad Perdida or Villas del Caribe (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Wildlife walk in Cahuita N.P.

    Cahuita National Park has 2711 acres of land and an impressive 600 acres of coral reef, forming Costa Rica's largest reef system. Today we visit the national park, taking a 7km walk from the southern entrance of the park which follows the coastline, leads through rainforest and passes impressive Caribbean beaches. Although a fairly small park in terms of size, there is plenty of diversity here. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the beach, join an optional snorkelling excursion to discover the underwater world or simply relax.

    Accommodation: Ciudad Perdida or Villas del Caribe (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free day in Cahuita

    Today is free to relax into the Caribbean pace of life and enjoy some free time around Cahuita. It is possible to join an optional excursion to the indigenous communities of Kekoldi & Bri Bri Reserve, where you'll learn about the properties and uses of native plants, as well as the process of making artisan chocolate. Chocolate is very important in Bri Bri culture and used for purification rituals, food and medicine. 

    Accommodation: Ciudad Perdida or Villas del Caribe (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Walk in La Marta Wildlife Refuge; to Turrialba Valley.

    Our next destination is Turrialba Valley, a rich agricultural region located in the Central Highlands. On the way to Turrialba we visit La Marta Wildlife Refuge, an area of both primary and secondary forest within La Amistad Biosphere (recognised as a UNESCO World Patrimony of Humanity). The topography of this region is mountainous, with waterfalls, rivers and caves - the varied elevation supports a wide range of plants (such as orchids, bromeliads, lichens and mosses) and animals (such as anteaters, ocelots and tapirs).

    Accommodation: Villa Florencia or Guayabo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    To Savegre Cloud Forest.

    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! After lunch we take a short walk into the cloud forest.

    Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa or Trogon Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Free day to discover walking trails in 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 enjoy the incredible view from the lodge. Your leader will suggest walks for today so that you can discover the tropical cloud forest and sub-Alpine vegetation of the area. Birds that may be seen in this area include hummingbirds, colibri, tanagers and trogons, whilst tapirs and Squirrel monkeys may also be seen.

    Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa or Trogon Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    To Sierpe; boat to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula.

    Our journey continues towards the small town of Sierpe, where we board a small motorboat to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula. Passing the huge mangrove swamps that line the Sierpe River, our boat crosses the ocean before arriving into Drake Bay. This region is very remote and with extremely limited road access, which means the majority of supplies, as well as visitors and locals, must arrive by boat. Originally discovered by Francis Drake, getting here is part of the adventure! The bay is spectacular, with just a handful of lodges scattering the horizon and the rest thick verdant forest and rocky coves as far as the eye can see. Our next three nights will be spent at the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, a family run property positioned close to the 'town' of Drake Bay and with ocean views from every corner.

    Accommodation: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Boat trip to Caño Island.

    Board a small boat to Caño Island, located 12 nautical miles from Drake Bay. During this 45 minute boat ride there may be opportunities to spot migrating whales or playful dolphins in the surrounding waters (Orca whales might be seen between approx. December to April and Humpback whales might be seen between approx. July to November). The interior of the island is thought to have been a burial ground for the indigenous Daquis tribe during pre-Columbian times, and many perfectly spherical man-made stones have been found here. But it's the marine life that is the biggest highlight of Caño Island, with Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles, Manta rays and White-tipped reef sharks being just some of the likely encounters on today's snorkelling excursion. This area has been rated as having the best snorkelling in the whole of Costa Rica, with excellent water visibility and a huge marine diversity awaiting beneath the waves in the protected reef. Enjoy a picnic lunch on nearby San Josecito beach, where Capuchin monkeys, Coatimundi and lively Scarlet macaws may make an appearance.

    Accommodation: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Boat trip to Corcovado N.P.; discover the park on foot.

    When National Geographic describes an area as ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’ it has to be worthy of investigation! This morning we board a small boat for a 30 minute journey to San Pedrillo Ranger Station, 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: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Mangrove boat trip; to Sierpe; to San Jose.

    After breakfast, we board another boat to depart from Drake Bay and return to Sierpe town. On the way our boat will take a short tour of the huge mangrove forest that lines the Sierpe River. Delving into the network of tributary rivers and streams is fascinating and a chance to learn more about the role of mangroves in the eco-system and the numerous creatures that depend on them, such as fish, crabs, birds, molluscs and shell fish. In Sierpe town we transfer to our private minibus and commence our journey to San Jose.

    Accommodation: Presidente Hotel or Park Inn (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Visit the Irazu Volcano National Park and the Orosi Valley for a coffee tour

    Today begins with a trip to the Irazu Volcano National Park in the Cartago province of Costa Rica, located within the Central Mountain Range around a 1.5 hour journey from San Jose. Passing different types of vegetation from coffee plantations to ferns, we'll drive towards the summit and then follow a path that leads to a wonderful view across the huge crater, overlooking the mystical green lagoon and jagged rocks. Irazu is one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes, though it has recently entered a dormant phase which has brought great relief to the farmers and property owners who make their living on its fertile slopes. On a clear day, both the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines can be seen from the summit. Remember to bring a jacket as it can be windy and cold at the viewpoint of this elevation (Irazu summit is 3,432m).  

    Following this we continue to the city of Cartago with its famous Basilica, and the Orosi Valley, an area of natural beauty. After lunch in one of the many traditional restaurants, we join the Orosi Coffee tour to learn about the ancient techniques used to produce some of the best coffee in the world! This involves understanding the cultivation, harvesting and roasting of coffee beans, before you have a chance to savour the end product yourself. Afterwards we return to San Jose for our last night of the holiday. 

    Accommodation: Presidente Hotel or Park Inn (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End San Jose.

    Our adventure comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Free transfers to San Jose airport are available to all clients today.

    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.

Post-trip Extensions

Tamarindo Beach Extension Costa Rica

Extend your stay in Costa Rica with a few nights of rest and relaxation at Tamarindo on the Pacific Coast. Once a sleepy fishing village, Tamarindo was discovered by surfers in the late 1980's and has steadily grown its reputation as one of Costa Rica's best beach destinations. Located in Guanacaste Province, known for its good weather and predictable sunshine, Tamarindo has a great mix of facilities and retains an authentic laid-back atmosphere. The town has accommodation catering to all budgets, from high-end boutique hotels to smaller, comfortable and characterful properties. Its big draw is the long expanse of beach, with a curved bay backed by palm trees, cafes and restaurants. The waves are strong and loved by surfers, with swimmers mostly staying to the shallow surf breaking on the shore. Facing west, the sunsets in Tamarindo are dramatic and not to be missed! There are plenty of excursions that can be organised locally if you want to discover the surrounding area. Or simply sit back and soak up the laid-back beach life, which is a real contrast from the other areas you will have visited in Costa Rica.  

We have hand-picked a selection of properties in Tamarindo and selected transport options to suit all budgets and group sizes - all that's left for you to decide is how long you want to go for, and we'll do the rest! 

ACCOMMODATION:

Please note that rates shown below are per room (not per person) and all hotels include breakfast 

Capitan Suizo Hotel: This beachfront boutique hotel is set in a privileged location to the south of the bay, with rooms surrounded by tropical gardens. Thoughtfully designed accommodation with excellent dining options, wonderful service and a friendly team waiting to welcome you. Just away from the main town, it has a lovely pool area and private loungers on the beach. Prices from £245 per room per night for a Superior Room.   

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel: This luxurious hotel is nestled in native trees and lush vegetation, just a short walk from the beach of Playa Langosta which is around the headland from Tamarindo's main beach. Consistently rated as one of the Top 10 hotels in Costa Rica by Trip Advisor! Elegant accommodation and surroundings with every need catered for, this is pure R&R. Prices from £225 per room per night for a Deluxe Room. 

Tamarindo Diria Hotel: Located right in the middle of the beach, this is one of Tamarindo's original hotels and has the most spectacular palm tree-lined view from its pool/dining areas. It is split into different areas, with the majority of rooms located away from the beachfront. Prices from £145 per room per night for a Standard Room / Tropicana Poolview.  

Wyndham Esplendor Hotel: One of the best infinity pools we've seen with extensive views across Tamarindo bay, thanks to it's hillside location above Tamarindo. Elegant rooms and facilities, but a fair walk from the beach and Tamarindo town - there is a free shuttle transfer provided at set times. Prices from £140 per room per night for an Ocean View Room.  

Arco Iris Hotel: A great option for value, with comfortable rooms surrounded by lush tropical gardens. A tranquil location set back from the street, around 500 metres to the beach. Prices from £100 per room per night for a Bungalow Room. 

Pasatiempo Hotel: A small, intimate property with real character and comfortable rooms. We think Pasatiempo is a hidden gem and it is our preferred choice if you are looking for great value and don't mind being located a short 5 minute walk to the beach. There are some great restaurants and shops nearby. Prices from £90 per room per night for a Standard Room or £95 per room per night for a Deluxe Room.  

How to reach Tamarindo?

There are three options to reach Tamarindo from San Jose, depending on your budget and how much time you have:

Shuttle bus: This is the most economical way to reach Tamarindo, particularly for solo travellers. The shuttle bus system is easy, safe and reliable and will drop you directly at your hotel. Shuttles usually pick up from hotels in San Jose at 7:15am or 2:30pm. From Tamarindo the departure times back to San Jose are usually 8am or 2pm. The journey takes approximately 4-5 hours. You can also leave or return by shuttle directly from the airport - please specify at the time of booking and double check timings with your sales consultant as schedules may change depending on the season. Prices from £45 per person, each way. 

Private transfer: If you would prefer to travel in your own vehicle (seating up to 6 people), or need transfers timed perfectly with your international flights, we recommend a private transfer for the journey. You can either take this as a return or for just one leg of the journey. By private transfer the journey takes approximately 4 hours. Prices from £280 for a private transfer seating up to 6 people, each way. 

Flight: Perfect if you are short of time, you can take an internal flight from San Jose to Tamarindo Airstrip. During high season (Dec-Apr) there are usually 4 flights during the day in each direction. Outside of high season there are usually 2 flights in each direction. Flights usually take under 1 hour. With this service we will also arrange a vehicle transfer between your Tamarindo hotel and the airstrip. Luggage weight and size restrictions apply (30lbs, 114cm). Prices from £170 per person, one way.

There is also the option to arrange your return flights from Liberia airport, around 1 hour 30 minutes from Tamarindo, with a private transfer to Tamarindo. Please speak to your Sales Consultant to discuss this option. 

We recommend visiting Tamarindo for at least 3 nights. Please speak to your Sales Consultant for more details, to check hotel availability or to make a reservation. You may need additional hotel nights in San Jose depending on the end date of your trip and your flight schedule. Also please note that some hotels in Tamarindo are not available in September. 

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, however, if you have travelled to a country at risk of Yellow Fever prior to arriving in Costa Rica you will be required to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate with you. 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. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners are included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style, and lunches and dinners at Tortuguero are also 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. However, the road which leads to the river on the way to and from Tortuguero has a poor surface and this can result in slow driving times, particularly following heavy rain. Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula are two of the most remote areas that we visit on this itinerary - there is very limited road access or facilities in these areas and we will use boats as the main form of transportation.

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!

Please note that in the region of Tortuguero and Cahuita the sea has very strong rip currents and is not suitable for swimming from the beach. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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 & Eco-lodges

14 nights spent in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges, alll with en suite facilities and most with swimming pools.

In San Jose the comfortable, modern Presidente Hotel has been chosen with easy access to downtown areas of the city. We also use the Park Inn on some dates of this holiday.

In Tortuguero, Evergreen Lodge is ideally situated for access to Tortuguero National Park by boat and offers comfortable accommodation in wonderful natural surroundings.  

At Cahuita, Ciudad Perdida offers bungalow style accommodation within tropical gardens, just moments from the national park and a short walk from the town and coastline. We also use Villas del Caribe on a few departures.

In Turrialba, either Villa Florencia or Guayabo are great places to enjoy nature with comfortable facilities and are well positioned in the Turrialba Valley. 

We stay at one of two properties in Savegre (Savegre Hotel or Trogon Lodge), both occupying an ideal position within the Savegre Valley with plant-filled gardens to discover. 

The highlight of this trip will probably be our stay in the area of Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula, somewhere that can only be reached by boat due to its remoteness. For most departures we stay at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort which affords 180 degree views out across the vast ocean!

Please note that one or several of the named properties might be substituted for similar alternatives in order to secure hotel availablity. Please discuss with your Customer Operations Executive if you require more details regarding your specific departure date. 

Optional single supplement available, see Dates & Prices.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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.

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  • Reviewed April 2022

    An excellent tonic after two years isolation

    Interesting and varied wildlife opportunities every day at a very leisurely pace. Some long journey times but with adequate breaks that made it manageable. A great driver (Carlos) and an excellent guide (Jorge) made for a great journey.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day there was something different from animated sloths, ant-eater, racoons and the vivid colours of the birds through to an encounter with a turtle, humpback whale and a Sailfish. Expect to be woken early morning by Howler monkeys (you'll need to be up anyway). If you want to see the Quetzal expect to wait and wait and wait. You might get lucky and see one in five minutes but that wasn't our lucky. One day we waited for two hours, we saw the tail feathers of the male and nothing else. Another day we waited for another two hours. This time we were rewarded with a glimpse of the head and shoulders of a female Quetzal. The programme didn't schedule this much time but we just made the time after all not that many Costa Ricans have seen their National bird.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant! Any other comment would be superfluous.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As the Trip Notes mention you need to be prepared for all weathers. 30 minutes before a 6am departure to look for wildlife on the river the heavens opened and the rain was torrential. Just a few minutes before our departure it stopped. We were lucky, a few minutes either way and we'd have been soaked to the skin. Throughout the trip the humidity was high - bottom line, you will not completely dry any clothes. Savegre will come as a shock after many days at 28-30C because at night in the Rain forest you'll be looking for fleeces and trousers to wear (unless you're Canadian). On the journey to Drakes Bay you will spend around an hour in a high powered motorboat. Sitting mid-point in the boat the sound levels were consistently around 100dB. You might want to consider some ear plugs. Cold is not an issue at Irazu but the altitude could be. It effects different people in different ways but just remember that at 3,400m you'll be above the clouds and the air will be thin.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our visit as the pandemic declined was well appreciated by all the local people we met. We were well looked after by our guide and driver who ensured we had a memorable visit to their country while maintaining safety for us and the wildlife we wanted to see. It's a country well worth at least one visit and I'd be very happy to travel with Jorge and Carlos again.
  • Reviewed April 2022

    A

    On our second night in Costa Rica I had a huge wave of emotion hit me... I was sleeping in the rainforest during a tropical thunderstorm with frogs croaking and insects chirping.. it was AMAZING!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick out a defining part but I do have a little bit of love for whales and seeing humpbacks and drakes bay will stay with me forever. Tortoguero and Drakes Bay are by far the highlights of the trip. Everyday there was a chance to see new wildlife that you hadn't seen before.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Jorge (our guide) and Carlos (our driver) were exceptional throughout the entirety of the trip. Jorge was always on the lookout with his eagle eyes for anything moving in the bushes. His passion to make sure we got to see the best Costa Rica had to offer was only outshon by his helpfulness and that everyone in the group was well looked after. Carlos was always there with a smile on his face to greet us in the morning and to make sure all our luggage was safe and secure on the minibus. Again, always going that extra mile to make sure the experience you had was 5+.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although most reviews say to take dollars I actually had no issues with mainly using the local currency, and you will always get them in change so why bother taking multipe currancies. Drake's Bay is very hot! In the jungle its a constant sweatbox, occasionally we stepped outside onto the beach and whilst the humidity went the sun was just unrelentless. Also with Drakes Bay the "wilderness" is non exisntant. Mulitple boats doing the same thing all wanting to get the best for their customers - just somthing to be wary about. Most hotels had AC, those that didn't had ceiling fans which most of the time did the job, one hotel the fan wasn't working, but we were only their for one night. On previous trips there were optional extras suggested for free time - but I found I had to arrange some of this myself. Double check trip notes with those of the guide as the "optional (included) second boat ride at Tortuguero" was not an option.
  • Reviewed February 2022

    Great trip to see some of the many a varied aspects of Costa Rica

    This trip was an excellent introduction to the many and varied climactic zones in Costa Rica and their associated wildlife. All of the locations visited on the trip were really interesting, although perhaps a minor change could be made to improve the experience. Costa Rica is a relatively small country and so driving distances were easily manageable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Drake bay - returning by boat to the Wilderness Lodge following a rain forest walk, we saw some whales breaching. On investigating, we found that sitting in the boat with the engines off, the whales could be heard vocalising. Absolutely magical moment. Even outrguide said he had not heard that before. Nearly saw a puma at Drake Bay - pug mark in the mud only. But the forest walk was still one of the highlights. Staying in the Savegre Cloud forest area was also very good. Had a very brief glimpse of a quetzal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Jorge was excellent, as was the driver Carlos. Jorge had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the birds and wildlife that we could expect to find in each area, and was very quick in spotting wildlife and setting up his scope so that all could get a good close up view. Jorge also gave a good overview of life in Costa Rica during the longer drives. Jorge was very good at managing the group, and seemed to enjoy his trip with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although the trip is aimed at people who like to swim/snorkel etc it is not mandatory, and I found that having no interest in maritime pursuits was not a problem. Plenty of other things to do. I would recommend walking into the little village at Drake bay - an interesting place to stop for refreshments and a walk around.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We only stayed in Villa Florencia near Turrialba for 1 night. This was a beautiful place to stay, and it may well be of benefit to stay for 2 nights. Birdlife is fantastic and good food. At the end of the trip we visited the volcano at Irazu and the old capital of Cartago - both of these locations could be easily visited using the Villa Florentina as a base, rather than San Jose. The majority of hotels were good, although the hotel Ciudad Perdida in Cahuita was not one of the best. Availability of hot water in the shower was erratic to non-existent.
  • Reviewed February 2022

    Costa Rica January 2022. 1st trip post Covid.

    There were a couple of memorable highlights over two weeks that involved a lot of travelling by bus. However, the point of the trip was to cover a lot of ground to get a broad experience of what Costa Rica has to offer, and that was achieved. Apparently, it was the first time this trip had run since Covid and lockdown, and the guide told us to ignore the trip notes as they were out of date. That wasn't always the case, but it gave the impression that the guide didn't know what to expect at each destination and whether advertised activities would go ahead. In some places, it was evident that things needed some updating. The Caribbean side in Cahuita had clearly suffered due to the dramatic fall in tourism, and accommodation facilities were very poor as a result. But this will be an issue everywhere, no doubt, and it's a case of managing expectations. If you need an escape in 2022 then Costa Rica is certainly a safe, sunny and visually beautiful place to visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt it was the Pacific side at Drakes Bay Wilderness resort. It feels quite remote, takes an hour and a half boat journey as there is no road access, and the place itself is wonderfully understated. The food is fabulous, all included in the price, and the staff are really great; helpful, relaxed, and as local folk very knowledgeable about the area and its flora and fauna. I would have spent half the trip there easily. There are many activities available though for 3 nights, 2 full days, we could only do two, snorkeling and a waterfall walk in a newly protected (since the seventies) coastal rainforest.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Knowledgeable, a bit mechanical in his delivery, and on this trip, he said his first as a tour guide in over a year, lacking essential understanding of a duty of care beyond Covid rules. Without unnecessary detail an incident occurred where one client verbally abused another in a very intimidating and threatening manner, in public and in front of the tour leader, driver and group, and although the tour guide agreed that it was unacceptable behaviour, he did nothing to address it or remedy it and as a result of ignoring that behaviour it made for a very bad atmosphere throughout the trip. When you are expected to travel with x number of total strangers for several weeks, often eating together, doing activities together, and in this case, spending long periods of time travelling together then being aware of the importance of setting clear boundaries in terms of acceptable, and unacceptable behaviour is vital in supporting a clear code of conduct. This didn't happen, and no responsibility was taken on the part of the tour leader to address it. These things do need to be nipped in the bud to avoid unpleasant atmospheres; in the case of intimidation, bulling etc of one client by another, it is the tour leader that must lay down the rules. There should be something in traveller documentation in terms of behaviour expectations, but I couldn't find anything.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I did everything, walks etc, wearing a pair of crocs so you could save packing space and leave your walking boots behind. Unless you are a big SLR camera enthusiast, then if you've got a good camera in your phone, just use that. I've never just used my phone before, as I've always used my SLR with several choices of lens, but it broke a few days before I left, so I had no choice. Photos were great. Bring good binoculars as there will be a lot of birds, monkeys and that elusive sloth hidden away high in the trees.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Evergreen Lodge at the beginning of trio and Savegre Nature Reserve and Spa in the Cloud Forest were lovely for nature and as comfortable places to stay. Hopefully, we are all over the last couple of years, but for tourist infrastructure, it's going to take time so just manage your expectations and when it's working let folk know and tip well. Conversely, it's important to let folk know when it's not.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Phyllis for her review, although we are very sorry that she was disappointed with aspects of the leadership of her tour. Alejandro is a very experienced and knowledgeable tour leader, who has recently started leading for Exodus, and the general feedback we have received about him has been overwhelmingly positive. Having discussed the incident with him, we are satisfied that Alejandro followed the steps we would expect from our tour leaders on the rare occasions incidents such as this occur. However, we will continue to closely monitor the feedback we receive from clients who join his trips to ensure that he is meeting our expectations on every departure he leads.

    We regret that the accommodation in Cahuita fell below expectations, as this is not the type of feedback we expect to receive. At the beginning of each season, our product managers and local managers use client and staff feedback to review each property used on this tour, and if any concerns are raised by clients throughout the year or identified by our staff who have also stayed at the properties, these will be addressed and dealt with accordingly. We cannot recall receiving similar feedback to Phyllis’ previously but, as this trip has only recently resumed, we are very grateful for her comments and will endeavour to ensure that any issues with this property are addressed ahead of future departures.

    Malcolm Parkinson – Product Manager

  • Reviewed January 2022

    Wildlife Superstore

    This trip surpasses all other wildlife trips I have been on, in that so much wildlife is seen on every excursion that it is almost impossible to go home at the end of each day disappointed. Wildlife seems to be guaranteed. Its like going into a wildlife superstore and witnessing all that nature wants to provide. The trip was well put together but there are a few long travel days so be prepared. The hotels were mostly comfortable with great facilities. The food was excellent and our guide and driver fantastic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the sheer amount of wildlife available for us to see especially at Tortuguero and Cahuita the remoteness of Drake Bay getting to see the quetsal, when it is like finding needle on a haystack

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alejandro was fantastic, kind, so informative about nature and could spot a bird in a tree from a mile off. We had a problem person in our group and he managed her with such professionalism, our driver Carlos spoke great English and was fantastic throughout. They made a great team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    pack some things to do on the long travel days. bring more than one costume, they dont always dry in the humidity, its cold ,4 degrees , waiting for 2 hours for the quetzal, wrap up warm. go on the direct flight from uk to san jose and get to see san jose, some lovely places to see there.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    the Park Inn was not well located it didnt feel safe to walk around that area especially when e returned it was getting dark. Please select a centrally located hotel so people can explore the lovely building in san jose and the markets and museums. I would like to have gone to the sloth research centre at cahuita , why is it no longer on the itinerary? the hotel cuidad perdita was substandard, not enough water for showers and hair washing for 3 days, no wifi , except reception which was a walk along the road away, or the pool where there was no where to sit and it was always dark by the time we got back , so a bit scary to be alone. no tv. suggest next trip change hotels, the lunch stop on the way back to san jose from drake bay was poor, awful buffet and the a la carte wasn't much better, suggest a better place, in the main the food was wonderful.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Melanie Costello

    An amazing holiday!

    We had spent a long time saving for and planning this trip for myself and my boyfriend. It did not disappoint. It was even better than we expected. From the moment we stepped off the plane, everything was organised. We got the direct flight from Gatwick. The flight was 10 hrs and went very quickly. The rest of our group went via Miami and unfortunately got delayed so ended up arriving at the hotel in the early hours and only had a few hours sleep before the tour started. If you get the direct flight you also stay an extra night at the end of the trip so you get a day to explore San Jose which we did but we felt there is not a great deal to do there. We had 8 in our group and it was a nice mix of ages and we all got on well. The minibus is nice and comfortable with aircon and plenty of room.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a turtle laying her eggs on the beach at Tortuguero and watching Humpback whales with their calves in Drakes Bay. We also loved watching the hummingbirds in Savegre. This was something I was not prepared for, they are beautiful. Getting to see scarlet macaws up close. A pair landed in a tree right above us and posed for quite a while. Tree frogs, sloths, jesus lizards, basilisks, crocodiles, caiman, birds, bats, turtles, monkeys (howler, spider, squirrel and white face capuchin), coatis.........the list goes on!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guillermo was excellent. His knowledge of the wildlife was amazing and he spotted things we would never have seen. His enthusiasm was infectious and we were soon all trying to spot and recognise different birds and animals. It's worth noting that the leaders are 'on call' for your whole trip so they work incredibly hard. We were so impressed. One day we stopped for lunch at a tradional Costa Rican restaurant which we would never have gone to withour our leader taking us there. Olman (not sure if I spelt that right) was a lovely driver. His skill driving our bus on some of the mountain roads was impressive. Guillermo and Olman obviously got on very well and made a great team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a book, there are some long bus journeys and plenty of time to relax in the afternoons. Taking a suitcase with wheels is ideal as there are a few times where you need to move it. I would recommend a hard case or a decent level of water resistance as they may get wet if it rains on the way to Tortoguero. Savegre is cold! Take warm clothes. The temperature difference really is noticeable. I slept with 3 blankets the first night we were there. Take an umbrella. We had ponchos but sometimes they were too hot and a bit too much. US dollars are fine. You can use them everywhere. We had a travel currency card which we used to withdraw dollars as we needed them. ATMS are easy to find and your leader will take you. We thought the food was fabulous. Vegetarians are well sorted and the portions are huge. Prices are about the same as the UK for eating out but we thought that snacks in the supermarket where expensive but probably because we were buying "British type" snacks. Take dry shoes and "water shoes". You have to jump in the sea a couple of times so it's handy to have these. Also a dry bag is useful for the boats to keep cameras dry but also if it rains. All the usual that everyone else has mentioned: sunglasses, hat, suncream, insect repellent, bite cream,torch,

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    At Drakes Bay, the hotel will do your washing for free each day which is very useful if you are running out of clothes. They will also dry out all your shoes so you don't have to put wet shoes back in your suitcase. It's worth mentioning that all the boat journeys are by speed boat and can be pretty bumpy especially when first going out to the hotel from the river. Not for the faint hearted but so much fun. The boat drivers are highly skilled and we felt perfectly safe on every trip.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Sara Johnson

    Loved it!

    Amazing trip, highly recommended. The itinerary changed slightly, so there was snorkelling on the last day which was amazing, almost as if leaving the best till last! This is for the more adventurous traveller rather than the type of person who likes to sit on a beach, although not as active as it could have been! We saw a lot of beautiful animals and birds, to many to mention, and especially enjoyed the boat trips. We can't wait now for our next exodus adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was seeing a turtle laying her eggs. Magical! For my husband it was snorkelling which he absolutely loved and saw two turtles, two stingrays and tons of fish.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jorge is an excellent guide, very knowledgeable and with a great sense of humour. He has a great relationship with Henri, our driver. Jorge and Henri gave up there time off so we could get a good view of a Resplendant Quetzal which we spent a good 45 minutes watching. Magical!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the itinerary and trip notes before booking! Your move around a lot on this trip which isn't for everyone, although we loved it as we feel we've had a good snap shot of what Costa Rica has to offer. Research the hotels before you go, all details are in the trip notes to see what each one has to offer. Things to take- an umbrella as we ended up buying an one. The rain isn't like the rain in the uk as there is no wind and we noticed its what the locals use, plus you get so hot in a poncho; take a hair dryer if this is important to you as not all hotels provide them, good walking shoes, light clothing, water proof sandals or flip flops are handy for wet landings or walking through streams; towels are provided for snorkelling at drakes bay so we were glad we didn't weigh ourselves with taking a beach towel from home. Take bug spray and after bite cream. Also take plenty of money- we took colons and found we got a much better deal on things for doing so. Walking wise the only walk i struggled with (being exceptionally clumsy as i am) was to the waterfall at Corcovado as it was pouring with rain and it was quite uneven under foot. There was also a large river to wade through to get to it. If you go on the turtle watching tour (very highly recommended) you will have to wear the worst wellies known to man, so take long socks! Some people chose to ignore the advice to wear them and ended up knee deep in mud. Also ignore when told not to take a torch on the turtle watching- we were told not to by the company (not exodus!) and then got told to take our torches out for the walk! Foodwise i did struggle with eating in some places being vegan, but luckily i had taken some items of food with me, such as pitta breads. Its not that food wasn't provided for me, it was more that they only provided one vegan option and it would have meant i had exactly the same meal for lunch and dinner 2 days running. Also it means that you're not just eating fruit for breakfast as places like villa florencia that didn't provide anything i could eat for breakfast ( and all costa rican bread appears to contain milk). For us (my husband has food allergies) the best places to eat were at Cahuita and Drakes bay. Food portions can be small, especially in Totuguero, so was glad of the extra snacks i took. Hotel wise, some of the hotels are what could be deemed as basic, especially Drakes bay. Again, this wasn't a problem for us as we saw the lodges as a base to sleep only, especially as all lodges at Drakes Bay are on the sea front, and you can sometimes see dolphins swimming by. Tortuguero's lodges don't have glass at the windows, just bug nets, which we loved as it meant going to sleep listening to the thunder and frogs croaking, and waking up to the noise of howler monkeys. However, on the flip side it it meant the place is constantly damp, so I'd recommend not unpacking here as it meant clothes got wet if left out the case. Air conditioner is in all rooms except Tortuguero which has ceiling fans. For us, our favourite place was in the cloud mountains at Savegre. Quiet, not over loaded with tourists, and beautiful views. For us, it was paradise.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus should really mention that the turtle watching tour is an additional cost in the trip notes as we were all under the impression it was included in the cost. Also it would be good if Exodus, if possible, could suggest to the company that runs this trip as the wellies provided truly were awful- my orthotics wouldn't fit in them, my husbands leaked, and others in the group ended up with injuries from them. Whilst i appreciated Exodus forwarding my dietary requirements to the hotel, i think it would be helpful if they explain what the dietary requirements means. For example, Drakes bay, under the guidance of Jorge, did me egg and milk free pancakes, only to cover them in honey, which i obviously couldn't eat- although to be fair my husband did appreciate this error. My fault really as i hadn't mentioned to Jorge vegans don't eat honey, but if exodus were to explain what dietary means, especially in places where certain diets aren't common, this would be helpful. This would be especially helpful for places where the guide isn't with you like villa florencia which unfortunately made me ill despite me telling them of my diet. I can see why exodus don't offer the direct flights as standard as part of this trip. It means an extra day in San Jose where there isn't that much to do. We did the art museum and the museum of costa rica- the latter being the greater success.
  • Reviewed July 2019

    Love Costa Rica

    Wonderful experience. This place is in my wish list from such a long time and finally my wish completed. Awesome trip and amazing experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Mary ( Candy) Duggan

    Fabulous Coasts and Country

    Wonderful, well organised trip full of interest. Great mix of forest, coasts and wildlife everywhere you looked, even sitting outside your room! Thank you to our fellow travellers who made this a memorable holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many..... seeing a flock of toucans feasting on figs, sitting watching a group of 19 coatis on the beach at Corcovado National Park, being close to hummingbirds, listening to the rain, frogs and howler monkeys in Tortuguero,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erick was great. Wildlife and bird spotting skill was remarkable. He and our lovely driver Henry had a good rapport and made a good team. Thank you.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found previous reviews very helpful. Read your trip notes! Do take a poncho, easy to take on and off and covers your back pack, and great on the open boats. Even our lightweight rain jackets were too hot! 12 members of our group took the direct flight from Gatwick to San Jose which avoided changing planes and gave us an extra day in San Jose visiting museums and galleries. San Jose duty free shops are VERY expensive, shop before you get there - try Cheiton Moren on Calle 17 a small not for profit shop and museum run by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers selling works by the indigenous tribes of Costa Rica

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The walks were leisurely, stopping frequently to look at birds, reptiles, etc. Only 2 were slightly uneven underfoot. Long drives by air conditioned, comfortable minibus and by boat but the scenery was amazing along the way. We chose this tour as we wanted to visit different eco sysyems and were not disappointed. Tortuguero was a great start, a great cabin in the forest, Cahuita unspoiled and simple with a lovely beach, Savegre, lovely detatched lodge in beautiful gardens, and Drake's Bay, fabulous remote location. Cano island snorkelling was our only slight disappointment as the sea was crowded with different groups and reduced visability due to a storm the day before. Go, you wont be disappointed!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Danuta Joyce

    Costa Rica - coastal secrets

    The geographical and wildlife diversity of Costa Rica is immense- a real treasure of a country. This trip certainly delivered in giving me an idea of its beautiful scenery and the wildlife therein. It left me wishing to revisit the country to see and experience more. My travelling companions were are bonus - we all knitted well and shared a great enthusiasm for everything. The Costa Ricans I met were engaging, helpful and enthusiastic about their country and what it had to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The diversity of Costa Rica: mountains, volcanos, beaches, forests, valleys, colour and the wonderfully diverse wildlife. What stuck in my mind most, however was one fact our guide told me: the country's energy is mainly renewably sourced- hydroelectric , geothermal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erick was great: organisationally on the ball; knowledgeable about politics, history and economics of his country (setting issues and daily life in context) as well as his knowledge of wildlife and the natural world. And ......... what eye sight! He had a great sense of humour which helped bond the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Beware the US dollar to local currency exchange - you will get change in local currency from shops and cafes which do not follow the official exchange rate! Take loads of small denomination dollars. You need to pay for the loo stop at the transfer point at Tortuguero (currently $1.00). The Osa peninsula is not that isolated (sadly) and the snorkelling was rather crowded but I managed to catch a glimpse of a white tipped reef shark - magnificent

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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