Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets

14 days
from
£2,449
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 27 reviews >
Trip code: 
WUR
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

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'
  • Visit the beaches and waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Unrivalled wildlife viewing - monkeys, sloths, dolphins & whales (in season) 
  • A tour of Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary 
  • Snorkel in both the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean

Key information

  • Travel by minibus and boat 
  • 13 nights comfortable hotels and lodges
  • Green turtle nesting season: July to October

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)

What's not included

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

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

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

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

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

Itinerary

San Jose
to
San Jose
  • 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 similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

  • 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)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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 by 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) or follow a short walking trail through the forest.

    Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Wildlife hike in Cahuita N.P.

    Today we visit Cahuita National Park, with its 2711 acres of land and an impressive 600 acres of coral reef, forming Costa Rica's largest reef system. From the southern entrance of the park we take a 7km hike along the coastline following a trail that leads through rainforest and passes the 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 enjoy the hotel.

    Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary.

    After breakfast we visit Aviarios del Caribe, Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary. This rescue and rehabilitation centre conducts research into sloths and works tirelessly with the goal of releasing sloths back into their natural habitat. In 2013 it was the subject of an Animal Planet TV show called 'Meet the Sloths'. You'll learn all about these fascinating animals on a two hour tour of the sanctuary, where you find out about the rehabilitation process and take a boat tour along the river to see sloths, monkeys, butterflies and birds in the wild. In the afternoon there is free time to relax in Cahuita.

    Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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 similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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 similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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 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 and Squirrel monkeys may also be seen.

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

    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)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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 similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    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.

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. If you are not a UK citizen please check with your local U.S. Embassy.

Vaccinations

Costa Rica

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

Accommodation

Hotels & Eco-lodges

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

We use fairly small, family run establishments: wooden lodges set in tropical gardens or eco-lodges nestled in the forest. The highlight of this trip will probably be our stay at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort on the Osa Peninsula, a rustic property that can only be reached by boat due to its remoteness, and affords 180 degree views out across the vast ocean!

Optional single supplement available, see Dates & Prices.

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

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

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

Expert Blog Entries

Here at Exodus we are incredibly passionate about wildlife and the conservation efforts to save it.

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Derek Holwill

    Brilliant wildlife trip

    Tremendous trip for wildlife. Great photographic opportunities every day - very varied.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Humpbacks repeatedly breeching next to our boat

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get up early to enjoy sunrise and the early morning birdlife. And have a camera with good low light capabilities
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Caroline Fielden

    Two weeks of wildlife bliss

    This was our second trip to Costa Rica (we travelled with Exodus 3 years ago and loved it) and it didn't disappoint. If you love the natural world this trip is for you. The entire holiday is spent immersed in the diversity of nature visiting some of Costa Rica's amazing locations From tiny leaf cutter ants to majestic whales this trip offers it all. Each stop on the itinerary offers its own unique view of the natural world with a abundance of wildlife in stunning surroundings.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip was memorable it would be hard to narrow it down. We saw numerous wild sloths (actually moving - very unusual) the magnificent show of the humming birds, snakes and lizards. The moment which took my breath away were the close encounters with humpback mothers and their calves and two sleepy tapir who were totally relaxed in our presence.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pedro had an obvious love of his country and its wildlife and was enthusiastic about even the tiniest animal. He loved his hikes through the rain-forest and gave up his free day to lead walks through Saverge's cloud forest.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If Exodus don't change their itinerary consider paying extra for a tour to Sirena rather than San Pedrillio while staying on the Osa Penninsula. The wildlife in Sirena is more abundant and varied. Although the trip notes recommend taking dollars, take as many colones as you can as some places don't give the best exchange rate when paying in dollars. Don't forget a good poncho and dry bags, it will rain!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Philip Wood

    Costa Rica

    The enthusiasm for wildlife of our guide Alex castro really made the trip special

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably snorkeling whales, turtles and humming birds

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent see previous comment

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You have to have an interest in flora and fauna
  • Reviewed August 2018
    denise gillott

    What an adventure

    What an amazing trip! Walking through jungle, swimming beside a waterfall, snorkelling in clear blue waters, boat rides along canals and through mangroves. Incredible wildlife everywhere, huge crabs, monkeys, sloths, turtles, whales, dolphins, caimen, crocodiles, frogs, snakes ,hummingbirds, butterflies. ...i could go on and on..The trip was full on. Early starts, that are not really a problem because of jet lag and extra walks included by our guide Alex who ensured that we all made the very best of our time in Costa Rica. We saw so much on our excursions but also lots just in the areas around our accommodation. We were a group of 14 , plus guide Alex, ranging in age from 19 to 70. It was very special being in a group of like minded people who were all there to get the most out of the trip, see a lot of wildlife and have lots of fun at the same time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We joined an optional evening tour in Tortugero to a beach where we watched a turtle laying it's eggs in the sand and then burying them. This image will stay with me forever. It was truly an honour to have witnessed this.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex, our group leader, really helped to make the whole trip special. His knowledge of birds and animals was incredible. His enthusiasm for any "find" made by any member of the group was infectious. Many species he must have seen so many times but his enthusiasm was real. He made a point of finding out what each member of the party wanted to see most of all and then made it his duty to make that sighting a possibility. On the last evening he even found a red eyed green tree frog that we had not seen until that time and came running to our rooms to call us over to ensure that we didn't miss it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you have winter walking boots. A pair of walking sandals that can go in water are useful for some trails and then for beach boat landings ( water shoes otherwise for landings). A pair of lightweight flip flops dry quickly for use around the lodges. Clothes/shoes do not dry very easily in Costa Rica...having items inside the lodge when the fan was on was more efficient than leaving items outside as the air is so moist. You MUST have a poncho. Insect repellent needed for all days and evenings so take plenty. Antihistamine cream is also very useful even if you have used deet. Much cheaper and more readily available in UK ,Use high factor suncream when snorkelling AND remember to apply more before going in for a second swim. Take a good camera if you have one and good binoculars. Many birds, bats , snakes etc can be at a distance, through foliage. We didn't have good binoculars but seeing things through Alex' was a whole different experience to seeing without. In the cloud forest the evenings were cool and the nights cold. I slept with 2 duvets and a blanket. I wished I had taken something warmer to sleep in. There is a free laundry service at Drake Bay. Enjoy!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Celia Akers

    Coastal secrets of Costa Rica

    I had booked this trip to celebrate "big birthdays" for both me and my daughter, so my expectations were high and this fantastic holiday exceeded my expectations. Walking in the rainforest and cloudforest and sailing in the mangrove swamps was magical and thanks to the sharp eyes of our guide we saw at very close range howler and capuchin monkeys, two and three fingered sloths, poison dart frogs, blue jean frogs, transparent frogs, crocodiles, caiman, lizards, basilisks, snakes (the yellow eyelash viper was stunningly beautiful seen through our guide's telescope), green turtles, humpback whales, dolphins, hummingbirds, anteater, racoons, coatis, scarlet macaws, parakeets, heron, egrets and lots more. It was a safari! We experienced the diversity of the ecology and cultures of Costa Rica while avoiding the touristy areas. The eco-lodges varied from good to excellent and all had air conditioning to ensure a good night's sleep. The food was excellent and special diets were well catered for. We were warmly welcomed wherever we went. There was quite a lot of travelling in our air conditioned minibus but the journey was made more interesting by the guide's stories about the local area and frequent stops to sample local fruit at the side of the road , eating in family run restaurants where you could watch the birdlife at the same time, or stopping to see archaeological remains such as the stonospheres. If you want to experience the great outdoors in the tropics and fall exhausted but happy into a comfy bed at the end of every day, this is the holiday for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was something inspirational every day so it's impossible to name just one. Sailing alongside a family of humpback whales was awe-inspiring. Hearing the calls of howler monkeys in the early hours of the morning. Seeing and hearing scarlet macaws while walking to get breakfast. Watching monkeys watching us. Sitting in the hotel garden in the cloudforest and being dive-bombed by hummingbirds. The exhilarating sail to Drake Bay across the waves where the mangrove swamps meet the pacific. Snorkelling off Cano island and seeing so many colourful fish, turtles and a white-tipped shark.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If Johnny Villalobos had not already won the Exodus guide of the year, I would be nominating him! His knowledge of nature, wildlife, history and his country was exemplary and he imparted his knowledge in an interesting and entertaining way. He clearly loves his job. Johnny was sensitive to the group's needs, was very flexible in accommodating people's requests, and never lost an opportunity to give us an impromptu experience of real Costa Rica. He was highly respectful of wildlife and ecological issues. Johnny went the extra mile for us and regularly put on extra walks or experiences on his own initiative that were not listed in the trip notes. He was also quietly observant of individual's needs : when I was dehydrated and a bit seasick he arrived at my door with a jug of coconut water after finding the fresh coconuts in the lodge garden himself. A thoroughly decent and modest man. Thank you Johnny for a fantastic holiday that was fun and mind-broadening.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A waterproof poncho is probably more comfortable in the (hot) rain than the waterproof breathable jacket I wear in the UK. Dry bags to line your day rucksack and for cameras are useful. Drink LOADS more water than you think you need as its very easy to get dehydrated. Take earplugs if you don't want to be woken by howler monkeys in the early hours of the morning (or just enjoy the experience). Expect to have wildlife in the lodges and remember we're in their habitat not vice-versa. Don't keep food in your room unless you want a close encounter with ants! There's no need to take food supplies for a vegan or wheat free diet as the lodges always have options. Don't buy chocolate souveniers to bring home at the start of the holiday as it will be heat damaged after 2 weeks! The best mozzie protection is to cover up and just spray the exposed bits with Deet 50%; even then, be prepared to get a few bites sometimes. Be wary of traffic in San Hose...it does not stop for pedestrians! Take the opportunity to see the National Museum, the Jade Museum and the market.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had the same driver (Didier) all the time. He was a good, calm, safe driver at all times even when stuck in the madness of San Hose rush hour madness or when driving close to a precipice in the cloudforest. I am a poor passenger and I felt safe at all times.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Joanna Wilson

    A tropical paradise.

    Overall we had such an amazing trip. Our tour guide was fantastic and one of a kind. He really knew his stuff and went the extra mile above and beyond for the group. We always maintained respect for Nature and conservation, further more learning the importance of why Costa’s Rica is so special. Costa Rica was teaming with wildlife, we spotted 9 sloths including a close up chance encounter of a wild two toed sloth, A surge of 30 Coati and their young on the edge of the rainforest coastal walk at Coravado. Swimming with green turtles and white tipped reef sharks, seeing a young humpback whale calf up close with mum....an experience to see the well renowned Quetzal...Macaws, Anteaters, Howler Monkey families at the door step of our lodge facing the Pacific Ocean not to mention the many countless bird species, insects and reptiles we encountered along the way. If your looking for paradise, Costa Rica has it all and more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being surrounded by Hummingbirds close up at our stay lodge in the middle of the cloud forest was pretty sensational. Quite difficult to narrow it down to one, the snorkelling experience was also a high experience as we had never done anything like that before. It opens your eyes up to a completely different world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Johnny (Villalobos) was amazing. He really leaps out at you as a extremely proficient and interesting tour leader, not your run of the mill tour guides. I wasn’t surprised to learn he had won an award for his work. There’s something very honest about Johnny and you can see how extremely passionate he is about conservation, wildlife and his country. Also dedicated twitcher! I think if I were to re-visit Costa Rica again, I’d like Johnny to be there on the tour front.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go in with an open mind. The hotels are well placed for the locations and more than comfortable. The Drakes bay lodge, Cloud forest hotel are mind blowingly beautiful. Be prepared you may not see all the wildlife viewing that’s on your hit list but the wildlife you do see is amazing , we saw so much amazing wildlife more than any other wildlife trip I’ve been on, no we didn’t see a Jaguar or any cat family member but we pretty much saw everything else including the odd rare species. The beauty of the rugged coastal rainforests is amazing, be prepared with full rain water proof clothing, and make sure it is water proof. Water shoes are a god send, the advice another previous visitor highlighted to wear came in super handy when we boarded the speed boat. Also if you have a nice fancy camera, make sure you have rainproof protection for it. I brought a water proof camera with me for snorkelling and the local tour guides were extremely kind enough to dive down and take photos of underwater wildlife , which we are aiming to share with the rest of the group. The cloud forest is quite a change from the warmer climates of Costa Rica, make sure you are prepared with a good reliable warm hoodie. Our tour guide even had gloves and a hat on for the 5am Quetzal walk. Also make sure you have good waterproof walking boots as you do walk a fair way on special set occasions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I’d love to go back on this particular trip, hopefully with the same tour guide! This is my first experience with Exodus and from meeting well travelled faithful Exodus travellers on this trip, I’ve found that Exodus is pretty much the company to go with, it’s not touristy and is respectful to areas they visit. I’ll definately be travelling with Exodus further in the future.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    CLIVE PENWARDEN

    I really wanted to see a Tapir!

    Our third visit to Costa Rica was everything we expected and more (sadly we didn't see a tapir - but that was the only disappointment!). The trip is full on - if you participate in all that is offered, you don't get much time to read your book! Early starts were the order of the day (not too difficult, due to the time difference between there and UK.) Some days there were longer journeys, but these were always broken up with stops for food or to see things of interest. The Costa Ricans are friendly and very keen on their eco-tourism. The lodges and hotels were of a good standard, with the meals (whether from the accommodation or from restaurants), were very acceptable. A holiday that starts and finishes with stays in lodges that can only be reached by a lengthy boat trip has to be very special.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One of the highlights of the holiday was our visit to a small locally run restaurant in Sitio de Mana. A large wooden terrace/balcony in a little village, sited on a mountainside, with spectacular views (which gradually appeared as the mist lifted), was almost surreal. The food was fantastic (including a chocolate cake that they had baked) was all prepared by the local village ladies, on very primitive looking cast iron stoves. While eating we were able to watch humming birds and toucans at very close quarters. Another highlight was snorkelling at Cano island - a profusion of multi coloured fish flashed by, as a turtle slowly made its way to the surface within six feet of me, before disappearing into the depths again.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Jonny Villalobos was excellent - so good that while with us he heard that he had won Tour leader of the year (2017) - voted by Exodus customers. His depth of knowledge is huge, whether it be re birds, flora, history or general knowledge on Central America. He found some very good restaurants for us and dealt well with the minor medical problems that arose.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do go on this trip - it complements the Exodus costa Rica Discovery tour. Do take plenty of sun protection - it is very easy to get burnt on the boat trips. Don't forget your camera, and if you have a waterproof one take that as well. Ensure that you have waterproof bags to line your day bag and protect your cameras etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is such a profusion of wild life - we saw all four species of monkeys that are present, some saw a big cat (there are several species.) The seven kilometre walk, alongside the pacific and the jungle was not strenuous and we saw loads of wildlife on it. Sloths were everywhere - we were educated in the sloth sanctuary, but saw more outside of it! On the faster side of life - the trip out to and from Drakes bay on a boat with twin 150 outboards was like participating in a power boat race - great fun.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Jo Mullin

    A wonderful trip

    Thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. We saw so much wildlife from sloths and monkeys and even an anteater to scarlet macaws and toucans, as well as the elusive quetzal, dolphins and lots of beautifully coloured birds, fish and reptiles. The group we travelled with was very friendly and good fun. We saw many different landscapes and the whole trip was extremely well organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is impossible to pick one - seeing so much wildlife for the first time was wonderful. And the scenery was ever changing and beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guillermo was a brilliant guide - he spotted so much wildlife, had a vast knowledge of nature and was kind and very well organised.. You will be very lucky if you have him as your guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have deet and sunscreen and good walking boots or shoes for when it is muddly and to keep things from biting your ankles. A rain poncho will keep out the rain and keep your rucksack dry. Have a good camera. Relax and enjoy it

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly recommended.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Helen Webster

    Wonderful holiday!

    I would recommend this well organised holiday to anyone who wants to explore the diverse landscapes of Costa Rica, as well as see a wide range of wildlife - sloths, monkeys, spiders, frogs, snakes, dolphins, butterflies - as well, of course, birds ( we saw over 100 different types!) The accommodation ranged from good to excellent, and the food was varied and plentiful - not just rice and beans! We were also very fortunate to be with the nicest group of fellow travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A difficult question to answer, as there were so many wonderful experiences, but the three days at Drake Bay were very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guillermo was the best of guides. He was patient and kind, he happily shared his love and deep knowledge of Costa Rica with us, as well as ensuring we all took all the photos we wanted. He also added several additional activities, which were appreciated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you pack Deet, strong suntan cream and a good poncho. Water shoes for any river crossing or the sea, would be useful at Drake Bay.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are interested in the history of Costa Rica, and have some time to spare in San Jose, I would recommend a visit to The National Museum of Costa Rica (Museo Nacional). Otherwise just relax and enjoy spending time in this beautiful, sane country.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Anna Kennedy

    Costa Rica - Coastal Secrets Jan 2018

    We had a great time on this trip. We saw lots of birds and other wildlife. Costa Rica has very diverse ecosystems and we experienced quite a variety. We really liked the limit of 16 travelers. We enjoyed the group and were made very welcome everywhere we went.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being on the waterways around Tortuguero and Drake Bay was very special. If we hadn't had the benefit of great guides, we wouldn't have seen so much wildlife. Snorkeling at Cano Island was really amazing too - fantastic to see the colourful fish in the coral reef and also a large black sea turtle.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was so knowledgeable and a really nice guy. Very thoughtful in terms of knowing what people were keen about and interested in.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We didn't factor in having to tip so many people (boat drivers, resort staff). Also, we were surprised that traffic all around Costa Rica goes much slower than you expect so time to get to some places is longer than anticipated.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall is was a great trip and would recommend it highly to others. The mini-bus was a little on the tight side for taller people - hard on the knees.

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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