Natural Highlights of Costa Rica

8 days
Activity level:
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Wildlife Holidays
Group size:

Jungles, mountains and coast: Costa Rica is a natural paradise

A tropical paradise bursting with wildlife! Costa Rica his home to 6% of the world’s plant and animal species, many endemic. The country's rich biodiversity is extremely colourful. Over 850 bird species have been recorded here - far more than found anywhere in North America, Europe and Australia. A cornucopia of exotic flora and fauna, Costa Rica is a nature lover’s delight.


  • Visit multiple wildlife habitats in one week: verdant rainforest, lush mangroves, lava fields and serene cloud forests
  • Abundant wildlife viewing with sightings of monkeys, birds and sloths expected
  • Discover the tranquil waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Comfortable eco-friendly lodges and hotels throughout 
  • Two boat trips included at Tortuguero and a boat safari in the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge 

Key information

  • Travel by air-conditioned bus and boat
  • 7 nights in comfortable hotels and lodges
  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners included
  • Green turtle nesting season: July to October
  • Countries visited: Costa Rica

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 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
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
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:


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 Cano Negro. 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.


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 Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, 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.


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

        Pachira Lodge: The Lodge has sustainability policies and one of them is protecting the environment with practices of energy saving; that is why the rooms do not have air conditioning (all rooms have ceiling fans). In addition, as part of the Company vision, it seeks to generate a positive impact in the community, being an important source of employment for the inhabitants of the region. An important part of sustainability policies is to contribute appropriately to the community, assuming the commitment to reject children and youth commercial sexual exploitation and will report and condemns those who use the touristic activity to promote this kind of practices.
        Monteverde Country Lodge: The Lodge aims to achieve a sustainable level of efficiency through the program SIGAS (System of Environmental Management and Sustainability according to the INTE/ISO 14001:2004 standard in hotels and other tourist accommodations). Among the most outstanding practices are: Currently building a wastewater treatment plant or Biodigester to decontaminate wastewater; Recycling Program; Buy to local producers safe vegetables, cheese, milk and others; Support to reforestation programs sponsored by local organizations involving the guests, co-workers, children and families.

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.


Expand all
San Jose
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: Park Inn hotel (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 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 in the heart of 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 five to six hours including a break for breakfast.

    Accommodation: Pachira Lodge (or similar)

    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. This afternoon we return to the waterways for a second boat trip along a different canal. Alternatively, the lodge is a tranquil spot to relax this afternoon if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities or follow a short walking trail through the forest.

    Accommodation: Pachira Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    To La Fortuna, near Arenal.

    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. Alternatively have a go on the Sky Tram / Sky Trek, departing at 3pm. In clear weather there are great views of the volcano from our overnight base, the nearby town of La Fortuna. Today's travelling time is around five and a half hours including a lunch stop.

    Accommodation: Eco Arenal, Arenal Montechiari or Arenal Paraiso (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Boat tour of Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge.

    Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and the Frío River combine to create a humid area that is very biodiverse and harbours a great variety of resident and migratory birds, three different species of monkey, iguanas, sloths, turtles and caimans. We transfer approximately 1.5 hours to the village of Los Chiles, found close to the Nicaraguan border. From here we board a boat for our river adventure, which lasts around 2.5 hours and passes through tropical rainforest and pastures until we arrive at the marshlands. The Olivaceous cormorant makes its nests in the area and Wood storks and jabiru (the largest bird in Central America and much endangered) can also be seen. Along the river we may also see Howler monkeys, Three-toed sloths, caimans, lizards, and turtles.

    Accommodation: Eco Arenal, Arenal Montechiari or Arenal Paraiso (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    To Monteverde in the Tilaran Mountains; nocturnal wildlife walk.

    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. 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.

    This evening we set off on a night walk in Monteverde Wildlife Refuge. Situated within primary cloud forest, this reserve is committed to the preservation of native flora and fauna. Taking a nocturnal walk allows for a completely new perspective on the forest, which our guides will bring to life for us!

    Accommodation: MTV Country Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve; to San Jose.

    Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a favourite destination for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. A walk through the reserve will reveal huge old growth trees covered in moss whilst the surrounding mist permeates the atmosphere. The reserve’s geographic, topographic and climatic conditions have allowed for a surprising biodiversity to thrive. There are four ecological “Life Zones” that harbour different ecosystems for hundreds of species - mammals, birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, insects and arachnids. We can also find a variety of mosses, vines, other plants and trees typical of the cloud forest. One of the trails of the reserve leads to a lookout point right at the top of the continental divide where, on clear days, you can be privy to the breathtaking view of both of Costa Rica’s coasts: the Caribbean and the Pacific. These forests are also one of the few remaining habitats of the endangered Resplendant Quetzal. Following today's activity we transfer to San Jose.

    Accommodation: Park Inn Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End 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
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! 


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


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. 


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, 4 lunches and 2 dinners are included.

In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day. 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.


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. 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 the sea has very strong rip currents and is not suitable for swimming from the beach. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

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.


Hotels & Eco-lodges

7 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges, all with en suite facilities and some with swimming pools. Where possible we use family run establishments: wooden lodges set in tropical gardens with eco-credentials. 

In San Jose the Park Inn Hotel is conveniently located for the downtown area of the city, with spacious and comfortable rooms.  

At Tortuguero, we stay at Pachira Lodge, a property set in beautifully kept gardens where wildlife often roams freely (look out for sloths and monkeys here!) 

In Arenal we usually use the Eco Arenal Hotel which is set in tropical gardens and offers excellent panoramic views of the volcano. It is located 15-20 minutes walking distance or a 5 minute taxi ride from La Fortuna town. We also use the Arenal Montechiari Hotel and the Arenal Paraiso on some departures.

We usually stay at the MTV Country Lodge in Monteverde, a cosy option for the cool climate of the cloud forest. 

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

Optional single supplement, 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 March 2019
    Karen White

    Fantastic Holiday!

    Considering we only had a week, the holiday had a packed itinerary, was brilliant and just went too quick! A stunning country with a wealth of wildlife, trees and plants made even better by a terrific guide!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of it! I learnt so much about Costa Rica. Scenery was stunning. Difficult to pinpoint an inspirational moment but was taken by surprise by how much I enjoyed a stop-off at a banana processing plant and loved the tour of the coffee and chocolate plantation. And, of course, spotting my first sloth!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miguel Alfaro Lopez was the best guide I have had on an Exodus trip and all my guides have been great. There was nothing he didn't know about Costa Rica right from when it first formed millions of years ago. His knowledge of the culture, climate, wildlife, trees, plants, bird song, politics, education system - everything was mind-blowing. He told us on day one that he would do all the worrying - and he did, not that we had anything to worry about. He looked after us incredibly well and was a joy to spend the week with. He was friendly, had a good sense of humour and nothing was too much trouble. If you have Miguel as your guide, you are extremely lucky!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There's a lot of travelling but enjoy the views of this beautiful country. Definitely recommend the coffee plantation tour and the hanging bridges. When it rains in the rain forest it rains hard but just embrace the experience. Enjoy every minute because this week goes far too quickly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A massive thank you to Miguel for everything and if my 7 fellow travellers are reading this - thanks for being a great bunch to travel with.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Julie Griffiths

    Wonderful wildlife

    Wonderful wildlife, great guide, highly recommended

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The night walk

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jorge was great, very knowledgeable, highly professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long drives between locations

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly recommended
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Robert Constable

    Fab trip with great guide and driver but be prepared for long journey times and chaotic airport

    Very enjoyable holiday with similar minded folk with a superb guide and driver. Thoroughly recommend but be prepared for chaos at the airport on arrival and exit - took us over 2 hours both times and long travel distances and early starts. But overall worth it. Thanks

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots of highlights but daft as it sounds really liked that although mid Jan still had Christmas decorations up - bizarre but fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - one of best ever had and his level of English was amazing

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Chill out / be patient at airport and enjoy the scenery on the long journeys

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take head torches for night walks and appropriate wet gear
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Emma Shubrook

    Fabulous trip!

    Great trip! There is a lot of time spent travelling on this trip but it's a necessary evil to fit so much in! San Jose is nothing very exciting but is fine for an overnight stay before you start the proper adventure. I wouldn't spend any extra time here. Tortuguero is amazing, you head out on a boat to the hotel where you can see all kinds of wildlife. The hotel is a lodge in amongst the waterways and forest, you can see birds and reptiles in the hotel grounds. The boat safaris are good, particularly the first one, the earlier you go out in the day the more you see so the early starts are worth it. La Fortuna is another lovely place to visit. The town is small and has some good restaurants, all against the backdrop of the volcano makes it rather special. The hotel here is another wooden lodge style place, really liked it, very peaceful. The optional trip to the hot springs is the perfect antedote to a long day of travelling, we got lucky and had 30 mins alone before the Americans descended on us! The food in the restaurant at the springs was good. Monteverde wasn't quite what I expected. The walks in the cloud forest were lovely, I wish we had started earlier in the day so we might have seen more. Really didn't like the hotel here, great view but felt like a business hotel and not amongst the forest which was a shame as you missed the wildlife. Pizza place our guide took us too was fabulous! We saw lots of birds and were very lucky with the weather given that I was there in the middle of the rainy season. Even when it rains it's too hot to zip up a jacket unless you're in Monteverde where it is much cooler and rather chilly at night. Don't forget the insect repellent. You cannot avoid the rice and beans, or beans and rice and why would you want to! It's the staple dish so stock up. If you're avoiding carbs this is not the trip for you, it's carb tastic! I now have a new found addiction to fried plantain!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The early morning boat trip around Tortuguero, such a beautiful place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eduardo was absolutely fantastic. His English put native English speakers to shame. He made sure we all knew what we were doing, what to wear and what time to meet and were well fed at all times, and was very patient with us all asking him the same thing a million times over! He was very knowledgeable and a brilliant guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't leave home without insect repellent, layers of clothes, comfy walking shoes, closed toe sandals, weather proof coat, binoculars, camera. You can pay for everything in US Dollars, try to take small notes where possible. You will struggle with anything bigger than $50. Be prepared for 2-4 hours on the road at a time and 2 hours on boat safaris each time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip, have a fabulous time!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Laura Savill

    One for the lover of birds

    It is a long flight going out, 11 hours. British Airways were the airline chosen because of the direct flight, but the standard of service on the plane had much to be desired could not wait to get off the plane. The first hotel in San Jose was okay but the food and drinks were very expensive, it would have been nicer to have had a hotel in the centre so that one could go out and see the city. The adventure really begun the next day when we had a coach journey then boat to get to our first destination. If you are a lover of birds you will love this holiday as they're so many to see, however the island is very green with cloud and rain forests which you can explore. It is a country not contrasts and it should be seen.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the walk at night, to go into a forest at night and see night creatures and just to hear different sounds. I learnt to much.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent, he knew so much about the wildlife and was able to spot them while we were driving. He was able to keep the group together and on time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect to much from the food, I found it very boring and plain. The country caters mainly for American visitors which is reflected in prices. Remember to pack waterproof and warm clothing for the evening's.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This holiday packs a lot in form the time spent on the island. It would have been nice to visit some animal sanctuaries but there wasn't time, I suggest extending the trip to take this into account if one can.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Imogen Hill

    Fantastic, very well organised tour. Would highly recommend

    Breathtaking sights. Very knowledgable guide. Friendly yet not over bearing. Great variety of wildlife and flora and fauna seen. A very intense few days. Probably one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences we have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Would highly recommend this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The purity of the rainforest... So lovely to see there is still so much natural habitat in existence.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guillermo was a fantastic tour guide. He was very informative and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for him. Always happy to help.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take comfy walking shoes and plenty of change of clothes due to the high humidity and heat in Tortuguero. Would highly recommend taking luggage with wheels as its down to you to move your luggage about at all times and sometimes theres a small walk involved with this.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just book it!! Worth every penny!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Anon Anon

    Natural highlights of Costa Rica.

    This was a fabulous trip, giving you a slice of Costa Rica. There is a lot of driving between locations, ( at times 4-5 hours) some of the roads were still unmade, so can be very bumpy. The weather was extremely hot in places, but in Monteverde quite windy and therefore something warm to wear is a necessity. We saw so many beautiful birds and reptiles,on our boat trips and our guide had a wealth of knowledge of fowl and fauna. Beautiful kingfishers,herons, lizards,turtles,crocodiles to name but a few. The boat trips made it for me,but the visit to the Hot Springs was fun and a great way of getting to know your group! The suspension bridges were a lot lower than I thought they would be and it was far too short. If you are not afraid of heights and speed, go for the Zip Wire. I would recommend taking a waterproof jacket, walking boots or shoes, and mosquito repellent!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the boat trip at Cano Negro; the boat was open at the front and you could stand and view both sides of the river for the local wildlife. We all had fun trying to spot the elusive sloths,but great time had by all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He had an incredible knowledge of all the flowers and wild life, and could spot creatures from a great distance; very impressive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a weather proof jacket,walking boots or shoes, mosquito repellent and buckle up!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend tagging on a few days at the end at a beach resort to relax and have a swim after a full on week.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Alan Key

    Cost Rica for the third time.

    There was a lot of hours travelling, however that is acceptable as the country's road system to the places we were going to do not allow shorter journey times, and some of the scenery was superb. Our drivers throughout were excellent as was our guide Glenda who worked hard to ensure we all had an enjoyable tour. We were slightly disappointed with Tortequero as the boat safaris could have been longer and we did not really go as far into the jungle as we expected, a lot of time was lost queuing up for entrance tickets and the last morning it would have been possible to do an additional safari and depart the lodge a bit later to return to the jetty. We actually saw more on the 2 1/2 hour boat safari in Cano Negro than we did in the whole time in Tortequero. The Monte Verde part was good but again more time could have been spent in the actual jungle than having nearly an hour to have coffee and shop at the information centre.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The time spent on the Rio Frio in Cano Negro where we saw lots of birds and all three species of monkey to be found here with a great showing of white faced capuchin very close to the boat feeding. In Monte Verde actually finding a male Resplendent Quetzal a very rare bird was enjoyed by all, the bird life at the accommodation was also well appreciated (note we are not specifically birders).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Glenda was escorting her very first trip and worked hard to ensure we all got the best out of the trip, She was very knowledgeable about the country, fauna and flora and the country's wildlife and birds and if anything was asked and she did not know she endeavoured to find the answers. Although she was lacking in experience which will come obviously, she made up for it with enthusiasm and in time will be a very good escort.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Costa Rica is a great place to visit and not just for the wildlife. It was our third visit having done the national parks on both coastlines on our previous visits and now the interior. If it is on your list of places to go then go, its worth it.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Roger Willis

    Fantastic tour of Costa Rica's top sites

    A fantastic tour of all the best sites in Costa Rica from coast, to volcanoes, to cloud forests. The tour exactly mirrored what was described in the itinerary and the itinerary delivered lots of opportunity to view not only the tremendous wildlife on offer, but also the different landscapes and eco systems.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We joined one of the optional tours on offer to see turtles coming ashore at night to lay their eggs. We were not disappointed and got the chance to see a green turtle scraping out its nest and laying its eggs. The included boat trips along the rivers provided the opportunity to experience the tranquility of the verdant forest bordering the rivers but also the skill of the boat skippers got us in the best positions, up close to view the wildlife.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guillermo was an excellent group leader who had an extensive knowledge of all things Costa Rica and was energetic and enthusiastic in sharing that knowledge with the group which made the trip enjoyable and informative, this was particularly important whilst travelling between locations. He provided information on the wildlife, the culture, the crops, and the eco systems. He was passionate about the environment and proud of the efforts Costa Rica has made in conservation. Guillermo and his company also provided an excellent driver, Juan, who made an excellent wingman to the group leader and was an integral and welcome part of the group. Juan was as passionate as Guillermo about his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In Costa Rica, and Tortuguero in particular, they take the conservation of the turtle population very seriously and the tours at night are rigidly controlled by the wardens with no cameras or torches allowed, to prevent disturbing the turtles. There can be quite a bit of time spent waiting in the darkness to be called forward by the wardens and tour leader to view the turtles. Light waterproof jacket, dark clothing and closed toed footwear is recommended. Secondly, although it is best to just watch the local wildlife on offer, to preserve the memories it is best to take a camera with some form of telephoto lens. Lastly, and most importantly ! They always say it is best to learn some of the language to make the most of any trip. I discovered a little known, local, Costa Rican response, to the greeting: "Como estas ?" The local Costa Rican response is: "Con toda la pata". I guarantee that if this response is used it will make any local smile, not that that is too difficult ! Apparently it is difficult to translate this into English but apparently it means: "Fantastic ! including the whole paw" (?)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fantastic tour around a fantastic country meeting local people who collectively sum up their life as "Pura Vida"
  • Reviewed May 2017

    An excellent introduction to Costa Rica

    This trip packs a lot into 8 days without ever feeling rushed. We achieved our aim of seeing sloths (2- and 3-toed) and also saw many other amazing animals and birds.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a sloth climbing down from high up in a tree to avoid the worst of a squally shower and, as she got closer, realising that she had a baby clinging to her was fabulous. The Cloud Forest in Monteverde also stood out; for me it was the epitome of what a 'jungle' should look and feel like (very green and wet!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Johnny, was friendly and knowledgeable about seemingly all aspects of Costa Rica and its wildlife. Special mention must also go to our driver Dennis who negotiated some narrow windy roads extremely safely.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for rain in the cloud forest despite what the weather may be doing in Monteverde itself! For any photographers, a 400mm lens (or equivalent) really helps get photos of sloths, monkeys etc high up in the trees.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only disappointment for me was that the hotels in La Fortuna and Monteverde (Magic Mountain(!) and Poco A Poco) were more mainstream and modern than I was expecting. The trip notes (which I know have since been updated to list these) promised small eco lodges which these two were not.

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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