Discover Costa Rica

16 days
from
£2,769
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 184 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
WUC
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

Experience the rainforest, mountains and coast of this tropical paradise

Costa Rica is renowned for having proportionately more protected land than any other country, making it ripe for wildlife tourism. What is less known is the marvellous, often bizarre variety of animals from catatonic sloths, screaming Howler monkeys, screeching toucans and nesting Green turtles. Throw in the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines and it is easy to see why so many return.

Highlights

  • Unrivalled wildlife viewing — Howler monkeys, caiman and sloths 
  • Visit the beaches and waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Verdant rainforest, lush mangroves, lava fields and serene cloud forests
  • Relax on idyllic Pacific coast beaches 
  • Stay in comfortable eco-friendly lodges and hotels

Key information

  • Travel by air-conditioned bus and boat
  • 14 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges
  • Some departures with specialist birdwatching guide 
  • Green turtle nesting season: July to October

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 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 tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

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

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

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

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

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to San Jose.

    The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this 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 is 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: Laguna Lodge or Pachira Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Boat tour around Tortuguero waterways.

    An early morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing 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 or follow a short walking trail through the forest.

    Accommodation: Laguna Lodge or Pachira Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    To La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano.

    We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived by taking a small boat to the pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of Arenal, passing huge banana, pineapple and sugar cane plantations on the way. Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until fairly recently when it entered a resting phase, and can no longer be seen spitting ash, smoke or lava. However there is still a lot of geothermal activity in the area and you'll have the opportunity to visit one of the excellent hot springs this evening. In clear weather there are great views of the volcano from our overnight base in the nearby town of La Fortuna. Today's travelling time is around five and a half hours including a lunch stop.

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari or San Bosco Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    La Fortuna Waterfall hike; visit Arenal Volcano.

    Waterfalls are abundant in the region of Arenal and this morning we visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a 65 metre cascade of water plunging into an emerald pool below. A short trail through the rainforest brings us to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to the exit - the hike/climb takes around 20-30 minutes and is within the capabilities of anyone with reasonable fitness. Reward your efforts with a dip in one of the natural pools punctuating the foliage to cool off! Alternatively you could visit the lookout point and wait for the group. After lunch we take a short scenic hike within Arenal National Park, walking through secondary rainforest and passing some of the lava fields from past eruptions. The high vantage points on this walk allow great views overlooking Lake Arenal, and the birdlife is plentiful.

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari or San Bosco Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    To Monteverde in the Tilaran Mountains.

    From Arenal we travel to the Tilaran Mountain Range in the Central Highlands for our first taste of a Costa Rican cloud forest. The journey provides breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below as we ascend the hills towards Monteverde, a forest-cloaked region whose name literally means 'Green Mountain'. The high altitude supports a complex eco-system where plants thrive, particularly orchids of which there are some 400+ different varieties here. Today's drive is around four hours — the last 40km of road is gravel and can be bumpy, particularly following heavy rain.

    Accommodation: Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 7

    Visit Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.

    This morning we have a guided walk in Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the first community-managed reserves in Costa Rica and an area that is world-famous for its biodiversity. To this day the reserve is managed by the Santa Elena High School with funds channelled into protecting the reserve and providing environmental education classes within the local community. Thanks to its high elevation, Santa Elena is bathed in thick misty clouds which support a huge range of flowers, ferns, mosses, vines and orchids. Birdlife thrives in the cloud forest with over 425 species recorded here. Santa Elena is also one of the best places to spot noisy Howler monkeys swinging through the trees!

    In the afternoon it's possible to join an optional coffee tour to learn about the importance of this crop to the socio-economic development of the country, or join a canopy tour to get a different view of the forest.

    Accommodation: Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    To Manuel Antonio.

    Our journey takes a south-easterly turn today as we follow the Pan-Am Highway along the coastline to Manuel Antonio, passing African oil palm and teak plantations on the way. Manuel Antonio National Park consists of a vast marine reserve as well as 1,700 acres of mangrove swamp, primary and secondary rainforest. The forest vegetation stretches as far as the high-tide line and provides a stunning backdrop to the expansive sandy beaches, forested islands and dramatic rocky headlands. Our drive to Manuel Antonio takes around four hours. We spend the next two nights here, normally in a hotel close to the beach and the entrance of the national park. Depending on our time of arrival we should have some time to enjoy various optional activities this afternoon or enjoy the hotels facilities.

    Accommodation: Villa Bosque Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Discover Manuel Antonio N.P.

    A guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park this morning should enable us to have some close wildlife encounters. White-faced Capuchin monkeys play in the trees and are frequently sighted on the beaches, whilst noisy Howler monkeys are usually heard moving through the trees and calling to each other before they are seen. The endangered Titi monkey (Squirrel monkey) are fewer in number but can sometimes be spotted in this area. Iguanas, agouti and two and three toed sloths are also commonly sighted in the national park. Manuel Antonio's beaches are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the country and we have all afternoon to enjoy them or try one of the optional activities available in this region.

    Please note that Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays. If your visit falls on a Monday, the timing of this activity will be adjusted so that you visit the park on the previous day, and today will be at leisure to enjoy the many optional excursions of the region.

    Accommodation: Villa Bosque Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    To Esquinas Lodge in Piedras Blancas N.P.

    Travel four hours south towards Golfito, a relatively wild and undiscovered region. The dense jungle here has hardly been explored or researched. The next two nights are spent in the beautiful Esquinas Rainforest Lodge set in the heart of primary rainforest and bordered by the newly created Piedras Blancas National Park and Golfito Nature Reserve. The lodge was originally financed by the government of Austria as a project combining forest research, development aid and nature conservation. Most employees are local and profits are used to help with projects in the nearby village. This afternoon we discover our peaceful surroundings and search for the abundant bird and insect life that resides here.

    Accommodation: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Hike on trails in Piedras Blancas N.P.

    Hike through the rainforest this morning with your guide and experience all of the sights and sounds of the jungle. During this activity we are likely to see snakes, monkeys and maybe sloths. This hike can be quite slippery after rainfall but is a real highlight and well worth the effort. This afternoon has been left free for optional activities — delve deeper into the forest on a 10 mile network of trails departing directly from the lodge, or simply relax by the stream-fed pool.

    Accommodation: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    To Savegre Cloud Forest.

    Our journey takes a north-westerly turn through San Isidro and up and over the Cerro de la Muerte mountain range to our next destination, the Savegre Valley, located around four and a half hours away from Golfito. The cloud forest of Savegre is said to be one of the best places in the whole of Costa Rica to see the beautiful, colourful and notoriously shy Resplendent 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 from our lodge into the cloud forest.

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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    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. For those who are passionate about trekking, an extra optional tour to Los Quetzales National Park can be arranged to admire the tropical cloud forest and sub-Andean vegetation of the area (this is a 6-hour tour so would normally replace other activities today). Birds that may be seen in this area include hummingbirds, colibri, tanagers and trogons.

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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Visit the village of Copey; to San Jose.

    Visit the village of Copey this morning to step momentarily into the agricultural lives of those living in the highlands of the Central Mountain Range. We take a short walk to the picturesque village where some snacks will be prepared for us with a local family, which is sure to be a memorable touch of Costa Rican hospitality! A two and a half hour journey takes us back to San Jose, where there is time to explore the modern capital.

    Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 15

    Depart San Jose.

    The trip 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
  • Day 16

    Arrive London.

    Arrive London.

Trip Notes

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

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

Essential Info

Visas

Costa Rica

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

Vaccinations

Costa Rica

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

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

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

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The symptoms and impact of the disease is not serious, but a significant risk to foetus development has recently been highlighted. Therefore, if you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant you should seek additional advice from a health professional.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style, and lunches and dinners at Tortuguero and Esquinas Rainforest Lodge 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 1 (Leisurely) with a safari rating of 3.

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 and the road into and out of Monteverde have poor surfaces and this can result in slow driving times, particularly following heavy rain. 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! 

BIRD-WATCHING DEPARTURES
For keen birders, we have designated a number of departures that will be accompanied by a specialist bird-watching guide. Walks and visits to national parks will be led with the intention of seeing as much bird life as possible. Please check the dates and prices for more details. 

Departure date 22nd December 2018
For this departure we cannot stay in Manuel Antonio and instead will stay in Dominical at the Villas Rio Mar. This enables us to have peaceful accommodation away from the incredibly busy tourist areas of Manuel Antonio. There will be a slightly longer drive to get to/from Manuel Antonio (it is about 1 hour away), but you will still spend the same amount of time in the national park.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

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

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

Accommodation

Hotels and Eco-Lodges

14 nights spent in hotels and eco-lodges, all 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 rainforest. The highlight of this trip will no doubt be our stay at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, a 100% carbon neutral property within Piedras Blancas National Park —  wake up surrounded by the sound of birds!

Optional single supplement available, please see Dates & Prices.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

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

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

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

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

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

Expert Blog Entries

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

  • Reviewed April 2018
    June Egglestone

    Discover Costa Rica

    I would highly recommend this trip. The trip is very wildlife oriented, so if that is not your main interest, it may not be for you. However, I wouldn’t say that is normally my main area of interest, and yet I really enjoyed this trip, and it made a nice change. You get 2 nights in each place (except San Jose), so its not as rushed as some trips where it’s mostly 1 night before moving on. The standard of accommodation is very good too. Bus journeys were broken up so they didn’t feel too long, so don’t worry about the time spent on the bus. Great customer service and standards of tourism infrastructure in Costa Rica. An excellent, well organised trip, as perfect as these things are ever going to be.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip was a highlight, hard to pick one thing. Seeing the sloths moving (so slowly!) was good.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Johnny Villalobos was excellent, its no surprise he won tour leader of the year - great at managing the tour and the group, extremely knowledgable about wildlife and nature, and always arranging extra (optional) walks. His enthuiasm was infectious, and this really added to the enjoyment of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Carry a waterproof poncho at all times, even in the “dry” season. If you are prone to being bitten by mossies, DEET is best, especially for Tortuguero, so use it from day 2. Not all hotels have hairdryers, so if having one is important to you, bring one - I didn’t miss it for the few nights we didn’t have one. You do need a light fleece for 2 places which are at higher elevation and therefore cooler. Plan to wash clothes at Manuel Antonio, as it’s the hottest/dryest place. You can use dollars or colones or credit card in most places. I went on the BA direct flight, which seemed much better than the via USA options. Bring a good zoom lens if you want to photograph the wildlife, and binoculars too if you want – but the guide will have a scope for you to look through to see stuff close up, so don’t worry too much if you don’t own any and don’t want the extra expense/weight. Bring closed shoes (eg walking trainers) as well as walking sandals, as you will need them for some walks. Two swimming costumes would be useful, as they don’t always dry in 1 night. The spa at Savegre lodge was nice, reasonably priced (with Exodus discount), and you can still watch the hummingbirds from the jacuzzi!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I highly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Paul Hickson

    Discover Costa Rica

    This trip was one of the best holidays that my wife and I have ever taken. . Costa Rica is a beautiful country but the attention to detail provided by Exodus and their agents ensured that it was a magical experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a quezal and sloth

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Johnny Villalobos was outstanding Aside from his excellent communication skills and knowledge of all matters flora fauna and wildlife he knows exactly when to stop the bus for a walk to break the journey and when to talk and when not to

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It will rain in Costa Rica so be prepared at any time

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just book it
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Richard Hoey

    Fantastic all round holiday in Costa Rica

    A great way to experience all Costa Rica has to offer! Great Accommodation in a variety of hotels and eco lodges all with their own unique character. Food was excellent throughout the holiday. Very highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just too many to choose from!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Faultless! Great all round knowledge on all aspects.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good camera and binoculars a must.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Linda Felton

    Discover Costa Rica

    Costa Rica is a beautiful island and this trip shows it at its best throughout. It is bursting with wildlife, plants and fantastic National Parks. This is a well organised and varied trip and the ecolodges and hotels were just amazing. Beautiful scenery, well tended gardens and comfortable accomodation with great food at every place. The people are friendly, well mannered and polite. The Costa Ricans are proud of their country and the land is superbly managed and protected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many! But for me watching the sloths and varieties of monkeys was fascinating. Birdlife second to none, and of course, spotting the elusive Resplendent Quetzals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Johnny Villalobos Munoz was absolutely inspirational. I can see why he has won tour leader of the year twice recently. He is so knowledgeable about everything, knows the names of all flowers, plants, trees, animals, insects and birds, and the stories behind them all. He can not only listen and say what the bird is but can make their sounds to attract them! Everywhere we went he showed us consideration and kindness, always checking that we were ok. He has a quiet confident manner with a lovely sense of humour. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he made the holiday the fantastic experience that it was. He taught us to listen and look and had huge empathy with both his group and his surroundings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good pair of binoculars! You will need a variety of clothing for the extremes of weather: hot to chilly and pouring down. A good lightweight waterproof and plenty of sun cream and mosquito repellent. I wish I had taken more lightweight long sleeved blouses as I was bitten badly by mossies. Also a good pair of walking trainers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like wildlife and spending the days walking in beautiful lush surroundings then this is the holiday for you.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Jeff Seymour

    A complete adventure in one trip

    If you are looking for diversity then this is the trip for you. From cloud forest to rain forest to mangroves; this trip goes everywhere. The drives between the accommodation stops were incredibly scenic and an adventure in themselves; even stopping our mini-coach (causing a traffic tail-back) whilst Juan and Alex were “assisting” a snake to slither across the road. We have been on many wildlife holidays around the world and were surprised that Exodus only rated this as 3 out of 5; it could easily have been given 5 paws. All our viewing expectations were met (and massively surpassed).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is impossible to single out one moment. There was not much down time but who cares when you can go on a holiday like this.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex Castro; a walking, talking encyclopaedia. A fantastic ambassador for his country, his profession and Exodus. His enthusiasm was infectious and his organisation was terrific. NOTHING was too much trouble. This was our second trip with Exodus (Ancient and Modern Japan being the first trip) and the quality of guiding is outstanding.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a thick note book; there is so much wildlife to see and identify. We flew direct with BA rather than transit through the USA. Exodus will offer this if you ask. The arrival and departure times were also much better suited for us. I understand that this is a new BA route; perhaps Exodus may adopt this in time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus for putting this trip together. From the moment we initially enquired about this itinerary to landing back in the UK, the organisation and execution of the tour was fantastic.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Andrew Newbold

    Costa Rica experience

    An excellent trip with an opportunity to experience a good range of different habitats. Accommodation all of a high standard. Eco-lodges particularly good. High standard of food throughout the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing both cloud and rain forest environments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Very informative. Knowledge of birdlife exceptional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on this trip if you are interested in wildlife - particularly birds. Take a reasonable camera with a good zoom lens.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared for quite a bit of travel on bumpy gravel roads and heat and humidity at times but it is all part of the experience.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    susan cochran

    discover costa rica

    An excellent trip around this beautiful diverse country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everything was inspirational starting on Day 2 at Tortuguero National Park where we travelled the waterways seeing numerous birds , crocodiles , baby caymans , monkeys.sloths, iguanas , otters. river turtles and more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Carlos Calvo was excellent in every way. His knowledge of birds , flora, fauna, local history was exceptional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of weather in different areas, It can be 30 degrees with 80% humidity in the Esquinas rainforest with heavy rain so waterproof poncho and sensible footwear essential. The cloud forests can be chilly so sweater and fleece needed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus for an excellent varied itinerary,
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Ken Gilbert

    Discover Costa Rica

    An outstanding holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Rainforest Austrians

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One word Brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take a good camera and binoculars

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our flight was tedious and we didn't realise we could have flown direct rather than via Houston, this wasn't made clear to us.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    barry tylee

    Discover Costa Rica or bust

    What an exciting adventure this trip proved to be. From the very first day to the last it was just so interesting and exciting. Whether you are interested in exotic flowers, birds or mammals it is non stop viewing. Like so many adventurers I am becoming a veteran of trips. Every day brought something new. The beauty of the bird species can only be described as "flying iridescent rainbows". Every new destination brought great delights. This is not a trip to miss, miss it and you will regret the decision. One of my fellow adventurers logged a total of 150 different birds.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This would be a very difficult question to answer, because every destination had its own moment. Could it be the siting of a Sloth, Howler Monkeys calling to awaken you in the trees above your lodge, Bearded Monkeys walking along the wires or the plethora of beautiful birds viewed from the hotel windows. Don't lets forget the Humming birds as the hover in front of you. Viewing is not confined to the final destinations, on the way is just as exciting. Frequent stops offer another opportunity, wildlife is everywhere around this beautiful country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was our tour director. A great organiser. A proud Costa Rican and an enthusiastic wildlife expert. His knowledge seemed endless. Nothing was too much trouble, any questions, just ask. He was there to make sure that you achieved the most from your trip to Costa Rica. Alex is a great asset to the Exodus team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I travelled in March. The so called "dry" season. Don't believe it, it frequently throws it down for long periods. Make sure that you have a, Poncho and an umbrella wouldn't go amiss. There is no malaria in Costa Rica, but there are mosquito and other biting insects, insect repellent is essential, (there are specialists in ankles and lower legs). As you move around the country, temperatures will vary, especially on the final destination. You will get up early for a special surprise viewing, be warned after the heat of the Pacific it is very cold in the early morning, be sure to pack a warm fleece.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't be put off by anything. Read about this trip and go and book it, don't hesitate. trust me. The rain, the insects and the cold can all be simply overcome with preparation.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Barry Cooper

    Discover (Natural) Costa Rica

    This is an excellent tour which visits several National Parks and Reserves in Costa Rica. There is a great emphasis on wildlife and if this is not your interest, do not book this tour. There are opportunities to see the very varied birdlife in Costa Rica and often you have to go no further than the Hotel bird feeders to see some of the most spectacular species. There are opportunities for walking in the National Parks and a good pair of walking boots would be recommended. The two nights spent at Manuel Antonio makes for a pleasant beach break in this busy programme.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is a question which I find impossible to answer since an Exodus tour is comprised of many unforgettable experiences. The varied wildlife of Costa Rica is the reason for the visit and we were very lucky to see the spectacular Resplendant Quetzal. This bird is rare and an early morning expedition proved to be successful. Comments from other guides indicated how lucky we had been when they said that it was the best display of the year and others had spent over two hours at the same location the previous day and seen nothing. From the restaurant in Monteverde we had superb views of the Motmot and visits from the Capuchin monkeys. In Savegre the manager has several bird feeders in his garden and you are actively encouraged to just go there and sit quietly and you will see a range of birds from woodpeckers to humming birds.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hector Castillos was an excellent leader with an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural history of his Country. He was always keen to lead additional walks and his one aim was that the Group should not lose an opportunity to experience all the Natural History that Costa Rica could provide

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Spend as little time as possible in the Capital San Jose as except for the National Theatre there is little to see in this somewhat run down City. If you are not interested in Natural History do not book this tour. I have an interest obviously but at the end of two weeks I felt that I had seen enough birds to satisfy me for some time to come. I linked the tour with Discover Colombia and I can recommend this if the dates are compatible. The tours are very different, Discover Colombia being Cultural and Historical whereas Discover Costa Rica is natural history based resulting in a four week holiday of contrasts.

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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