Current as of: July 24, 2024 - 01:01

Hanging bridges

Costa Rica Adventure Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Costa Rica
  • Programmes: Culture
  • Activity Level:

    2 out of 7 - Easy & Moderate

  • 16 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 15 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: AHS
  • Carbon Footprint: 16kg CO2e

Trip Overview

From Tortuguero to the Pacific Coast, embrace the wild side of Central America

Take in the wildlife-rich waterways of Tortuguero, marvel at the rainforest on a night walk, hike among unique vegetation in Arenal Volcano National Park and visit the bubbling mud pools and hot springs of Rincón de la Vieja. On this two-week trip, we focus on the natural side of Costa Rica and try plenty of activities to discover the heart of this tropical country. Have a go at zip-lining and take a boat trip to see dolphins off Carrillo Beach, as well as choosing from multiple optional activities. The trip ends with a few days on the Pacific coastline, where the sandy bay is shaded by coconut palms and the water is perfect for swimming.

At a Glance

  • Travel by minibus and boat
  • 14 nights in comfortable hotels and lodges
  • Turtle-nesting season at Tortuguero (Caribbean coast): July to October
  • Turtle-nesting season at Camaronal (Pacific coast): May to November

Highlights

  • Embark on a boat tour of the tranquil Tortuguero waterways
  • Eat lunch at an organic farm and visit a pineapple plantation
  • Soar above the cloud forest on a zip-lining excursion
  • Discover Rincón de la Vieja with its bubbling mud pools and hot springs
  • Relax on the Pacific Coast with three nights in a hotel overlooking the beach

Is This Trip for You?

This trip has been graded Activity Level 2 (Easy & Moderate). For more information on our trip gradings please visit the Activity Level Guidelines page. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to contact us.

Most of the roads we travel on are good quality. However, the road that leads to the river on the way to and from Tortuguero has a poor surface and this can result in slow driving times, particularly following heavy rain. There are also some longer drives on the itinerary; when rest stops and meal breaks are taken into account, a 4-hour drive may take 6-7 hours in total.

There are some nature walks on the itinerary, which occasionally involve walking on rough paths. 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!

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

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 16

Itinerary

Costa Rica Adventure

Land Only

  • Start City: San José
  • End City: San José Airport

Flight Inclusive

  • Start City: London
  • End City: London

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start San José

Welcome to San José, the culture-rich capital of Costa Rica. Aim to arrive at the hotel by 5pm so that you can meet your fellow travellers and tour leader, who will give you a warm welcome to Costa Rica. If you miss today’s welcome briefing, the tour leader will give you all relevant information on the afternoon of Day 2.

Accommodation: Studio Hotel (or similar)

Day 2
To Tortuguero National Park

Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San José as we travel to Tortuguero National Park in northeast Costa Rica. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, the vast network of waterways, canals and swamps in Tortuguero are remarkably tranquil, unspoiled and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier, we board a small motorboat for the journey to our lodge (up to 1hr 30min) , which is a short distance from the main lagoon. Please note the transfer from San José to Tortuguero is not private for Exodus clients.

Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum. 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; during November to January, baby turtles hatch and head to the ocean. Today’s travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast.

Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Boat tour around Tortuguero waterways

After breakfast we board a small boat that enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero as we pass serenely along the waterways. At this time of day, wildlife is usually at its most active; with the help of our expert guide, we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300-plus bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast near the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax for the rest of the day if you want to take time out to enjoy the facilities. Alternatively, you can join a second boat trip (included but optional) or follow a short walking trail through the forest.

Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
To Sarapiqui; night walk to experience the rainforest in the dark

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 Sarapiqui region, stopping for lunch en route. Sarapiqui is blessed with abundant vegetation and the beautiful Sarapiqui River. This is one of the main areas of banana production in Costa Rica, although coffee, cardamon, cacao, corn and other fruits are also grown here. In the evening, we take a night walk through Tirimbina Biological Reserve, crossing a suspension bridge for a different perspective on the rainforest and its many inhabitants: see how many eyes you can spot staring back at you! Our guide will focus on nocturnal species, such as insects, frogs and nocturnal mammals, who are active in the dark.

Accommodation: La Quinta Sarapiqui (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Pineapple plantation tour; to La Fortuna near Arenal

After breakfast at the hotel, we check out and make our way towards an organic pineapple plantation in La Virgen de Sarapiqui. This area is well known for its rich soil and excellent growing conditions. During our morning tour, we have the opportunity to discover the organic philosophy of the farm, learning about crop rotation, companion planting and the concept of rural agritourism. This is a great introduction to Costa Rican heritage. After, we transfer to the area of La Fortuna near Arenal arriving around lunchtime. We have free time to enjoy the hotel facilities or there are some optional excursions for this afternoon/evening.

Accommodation: Arenal Paraiso (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Farm-to-table culinary experience; La Fortuna Waterfall walk

Arenal was the most active volcano in Costa Rica until recently when it entered a resting phase. There is a lot of geothermal activity in this area, with natural hot springs, waterfalls and Lake Arenal. This morning, we have a farm-to-table culinary tour at an organic farm. This is a fun and interactive experience to discover some of the typical produce grown in this area. On arrival, we are greeted with fresh fruits and coffee while we learn about the history of the farm. We usually select some of the produce to be harvested that day (destined for our lunch menu) and have a tour of the greenhouse to see how some Costa Rican staples are grown. This is a great experience to see an authentic farm in wonderful surroundings – look out for the family of sloths living in the neighbouring trees.

Afterwards, we visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a 215ft (65m) cascade plunging into an emerald pool. A short rainforest trail brings us to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to exit – this takes around 20-30 minutes and can be rewarded with a swim in the emerald pool below, if you wish. It is possible to visit the lookout point and wait for the group here if you prefer. Keep an eye out for colourful toucans in the rainforest!

Accommodation: Arenal Paraiso (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7
Hike at Arenal Volcano National Park; free afternoon for optional activities

This morning, we take a short scenic hike within Arenal National Park, walking through secondary rainforest and passing lava fields from past eruptions. Walking on the base and flanks of the volcano gives extraordinary views, as our guide explains about the history and recent activity and points out landmarks left over the years. The high vantage points on this walk also provide great views overlooking Lake Arenal and the birdlife is plentiful. This afternoon is free to join one of the optional activities available in this region.

Accommodation: Arenal Paraiso (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8
Boat and transfer to Monteverde in the Tilaran Mountains

From Arenal, we travel to the Tilaran mountain range in the Central Highlands for a taste of the Costa Rican cloud forest. Reaching Monteverde involves a fast boat across Lake Arenal, which is incredibly scenic and will take roughly 30 minutes. Our journey continues by shared land transfer as we ascend the hills towards Monteverde, a forest-cloaked region whose name literally means green mountain, where we meet our private bus. The high altitude supports a complex eco-system where plants thrive, particularly orchids of which there are some 400-plus varieties here. Our total journey time will be about 3hr 30min, including the lake crossing.

Accommodation: Monteverde Country Lodge, Sibu Lodge or Montaña Monteverde (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9
Zip-line adventure through the treetops; visit the hanging bridges and butterfly garden

Today we visit Selvatura Park, 850 acres (345ha) of protected land dedicated to nature and adventure. We begin with the hanging bridges excursion, a system of treetop walkways through the forest designed to let you experience the beauty of the cloud forest and observe its many inhabitants. We also visit the butterfly garden, which has one of the largest exhibitions of butterflies in the world. After, it’s time to try some aerial manoeuvres on a zip-line adventure through the treetops. Before you fly, guides will teach you the proper technique, including how to position yourself and hold the cable correctly, enabling you to safely enjoy this adrenaline-pumping adventure suspended above the trees.

Accommodation: Monteverde Country Lodge, Sibu Lodge or Montaña Monteverde (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10
To Rincón de la Vieja; free afternoon with optional activities

After breakfast at the hotel, we check out and transfer to Rincón de la Vieja, an area that combines dry forest with enchanting waterfalls and is best known for its bubbling mud pots, steaming vents in the earth, hot springs and a whole host of wildlife.

The afternoon is free to relax or enjoy one of the optional activities available in the area such as a hike to the waterfalls with a refreshing swim in the clear waters (approx. 3 hours, payable locally).

Accommodation: Buena Vista del Rincón or Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11
Hiking in Rincón de la Vieja National Park; visit the mud baths and choose between a canyon canopy tour, tubing or horse riding

Today we discover Rincón de la Vieja National Park and its network of trails during a hike through the exotic dry tropical forest on the Las Pailas Trail. This loop walk twists through jungle around the base of the volcano, passing steam-spitting fumaroles and hopefully encountering wildlife on the way: toucans, spider monkeys and lizards are found here as well as many bird species. After, we visit a hot spring. Heated naturally by the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, these hot springs feed directly from the Rio Negro and are mineral rich with therapeutic properties. There are 10 human-made pools created to capture the steaming mineral water, surrounded by thick forest. Smooth volcanic clay over yourself, let it dry and wash off with a cool shower or jump in the river before soaking again in the hot pools.

There are three activities to choose between this afternoon: a canyon canopy tour, tubing or horse riding. The cost of joining one activity is included, so it is up to you to decide which you would like to do! The canyon canopy tour is a zip-line adventure involving rappelling, climbing, a Tarzan swing and hanging bridges over a narrow river canyon. Tubing takes place on the Rio Negro, with individual inner tube rafts across 3mi (5km) of class II and III rapids. The horse-riding excursion follows a forest trail leading to a rainforest waterfall. Experience is not needed for any of these activities and you can decide which you prefer once you’re in Costa Rica.

* If your group is staying at Hacienda Guachipelin, the canyon canopy tour, tubing or horse riding activity can take place on Day 10.

Accommodation: Buena Vista del Rincón or Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12
To the Pacific Coast; afternoon at leisure to enjoy the beach

We travel to Carrillo on the Pacific Coast, one of the best-kept secrets in Costa Rica. The broad, shady bay is backed by coconut palms and the water is calm and safe for swimming thanks to a coral reef just out to sea on which the normally large, Pacific waves break before reaching the beach. There are plenty of facilities here but there’s a noticeable absence of big resort hotels, which makes for a nice atmosphere.  We have a free afternoon here to enjoy the facilities and discover the area.

Accommodation: Nammbú Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13
Boat trip to see dolphins; have a go at snorkelling

Today we take a private boat trip in search of dolphins. You could be lucky enough to see spotted dolphins, Central American spinner dolphins or common bottlenose dolphins, which all inhabit this area year-round. Feel the ocean breeze and enjoy the scenery of the coastline as we search for these playful animals who love to swim in the bow wave of the boat. As we make our way back along the coast, we anchor near the shores of Isla Chora, a delightful white-sand beach full of hermit crabs and iguanas. This is a great spot for a refreshing swim and to explore the lively, colourful underwater world with a mask and snorkel. In total, today’s excursion will last around four hours, with the rest of your time at leisure to enjoy the area.

Accommodation: Nammbú Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 14
Wildlife and mangrove kayak tour; time at leisure to enjoy the Pacific coast

Today, we take a kayaking tour through the mangroves of Sámara Bay (the tour leader will confirm timings locally as it is tide-dependent). Paddle through the stunning ecosystem, surrounded by lush mangrove trees and diverse wildlife. We explore along the Ora River, discovering some of the more remote corners of the forest, passing through mangrove tunnels and heading towards Camaronal Beach. Be on the lookout for native birds, crabs, monkeys, iguanas and more along the way. At the beach, enjoy refreshments while you learn more about the area’s ecosystem, before returning to the hotel.

The rest of the day is free for you to relax at the hotel or explore the local area.

Accommodation: Nammbú Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 15
To San José; end San José

A four-hour journey takes us back to San José, where the adventure comes to an end. We advise that you don’t book a flight leaving San José before 4pm today. Of course, if you’d like a little more time to explore, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

We spend 14 nights in hotels and lodges, most have swimming pools.

In San José, we stay at the modern four-star Studio Hotel, conveniently near the airport for an easy arrival transfer at the start of the trip.

In Tortuguero, we usually stay at Evergreen Lodge, just a few minutes by boat from the Tortuguero National Park entrance. This magical area is surrounded by vegetation and our accommodation has a rustic feel with wooden bungalows, comfortable beds and ceiling fans. There is a lovely pool area and the property is set in jungle.

In Sarapiqui, we usually stay at La Quinta Sarapiqui, a lodge with bungalow-style accommodation looking out onto gardens filled with flowers and birdlife.

In Arenal, our accommodation is normally Arenal Paraiso Hotel. This property is close to Arenal Volcano and has large natural grounds with wonderful views of the volcano. Rooms are well equipped. There are several natural pools fed by spring water to relax in.

In Monteverde, we normally stay at the Monteverde Country Lodge, a cosy hotel perfectly positioned to discover the cool of the cloud forest. We also use the Sibu Lodge or the Montaña Monteverde.

In Rincon de la Vieja, our accommodation is either the BuenaVista del Rincon or the Hacienda Guachapelin.

By the Pacific Coast, we plan to stay  at the Nammbu Hotel, a beachfront property overlooking Carrillo Beach.

Single supplement from £ 830

Food & Drink

All breakfasts, five lunches and three dinners are included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffets. Lunches and dinners at Tortuguero are also buffets. Options for vegetarians are limited, but it’s still possible to eat well. 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.

Transport

Most of our travel is in an air-conditioned 16-seater minibus or a larger 20-seat vehicle depending on the group size, but we also use small motorboats to access remote parts of the itinerary, such as Tortuguero and for the boat transfer across Lake Arenal. Due to the type of vehicles we use, it’s common for luggage to be transported on the roof, covered by tarpaulin. There is a shared transfer to Tortuguero on Day 2 of the itinerary in a larger coach.

Weather & Seasonality

Costa Rica is 10 degrees north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average annual temperature is around 26C (79F) in the lowlands and 10C (50F) in the highest mountain regions. However, it’s essential you prepare for the time of year in which your departure takes place.

Dry season (December to April): This is the driest period of the year and can get incredibly hot; on the Pacific side, temperatures may exceed 37C (98F). If passing through areas of dry tropical forest it can be hot, dusty and dry. Prepare for some rain even during this time of year.

Rainy season (May to November):  Expect daily downpours, although these are usually quite short and there is still plenty of sunshine. Typically, there are sunny conditions until approximately 1pm-2pm and then a build-up of cloud from around 3pm, resulting in late afternoon rain (most likely showers between 3pm-5pm). Usually, the sky clears by 6pm.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Studio Hotel, 50 metros Norte de la Cruz Roja, San José, Santa Ana, 10901
Phone: +506 2282 0505
Recommended arrival time: Aim to arrive in the afternoon/evening
Airport: San José Airport (SJO)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately 35 minutes’ drive from the airport. Exodus provides free arrival transfers to the start hotel from the airport for all customers. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

The trip ends at San José Airport (SJO) at a time that coincides with a chosen flight to London, UK. If you wish to join the group transfer, you must book a flight that departs San José after 4pm.

Please note, unless specified otherwise, the arrival transfer is to the start (or pre-tour) hotel on the date on which the tour starts; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Your transfer should be booked with your sales representative at least two weeks before the tour starts.

FLYING VIA THE USA
The US is known to have lengthy immigration queues which must be navigated by all passengers, including those in transit. We only book flights that meet the minimum valid connection time and wherever possible we will ensure there is at least a two-hour window between connecting flights. If your flight to the US is delayed and the connection becomes particularly tight, we advise you to make your way as quickly as you can from the plane to immigration where you should make yourself known to an official in an attempt to move closer to the front of the queue.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: San José
Location end: San José Airport

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Quick-drying clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof poncho or waterproofs
  • Warm sweater (for cloud forest)
  • Waterproof walking shoes
  • Swimwear
  • Overnight bag (may be needed for Tortuguero)

Water included: Single-use plastic bottles are banned in Costa Rican national parks and we are always looking to reduce the number of single-use plastics used on our trips. Therefore, we provide safe drinking water throughout this adventure. Please bright a reusable bottle to refill along the way.

Optional Equipment

  • Umbrella
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Torch (flashlight)
  • Small backpack for walks
  • Swim shoes
  • Insect repellent
  • Dark clothes are required for the optional turtle excursion (seasonal)
  • Reusable fabric tote bag to avoid using unnecessary plastic bags

Please note, when travelling to/from Tortuguero there is a luggage limit on the boats and you will be allowed one regular-size suitcase/bag and one carry-on size bag.

Practical Information

Visa

Costa Rica

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica; however, proof of onward travel may be required – we suggest you take a physical copy of your flight details in case officials ask to see them.

Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/americas/costa-rica
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/costa-rica
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/costa-rica/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Costa-Rica.html

If you are travelling via the USA and are eligible to transit under the Visa Waiver Program, you are required to register in advance for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). There is a US$21 charge, which is only payable online. Please see our website www.exodus.co.uk/usvisa for further information.

Please note, not all nationalities have the same eligibility for travel to or transit via the USA, and you may not be covered by the visa waiver program. Regulations stipulate that any person who has travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 2011, or have dual nationalities of these countries, may no longer qualify. In addition, if you have travelled to Cuba since 12 January 2021 you will not be eligible for the visa waiver program and should instead apply for a visa.

If you are in doubt of your eligibility, please check the visa requirements with your local US embassy.

Vaccinations and Health

Costa Rica

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A, rabies and typhoid. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your doctor or travel clinic for further advice.

Many travellers will also require a yellow fever vaccination certificate if arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission, Tanzania and Zambia.

Dengue and zika, both viral diseases spread by mosquitoes, are known risks in Costa Rica. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, so we strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Please check all requirements and travel vaccination recommendations with your doctor or travel clinic.

Local Time

Costa Rica's time zone: America/Costa_Rica (UTC -06:00)

Electricity

Costa Rica's electricity: Plug types A (two flat pins, US standard) and B (three pins, US standard) – 120V, 60Hz

Costa Rica Adventure

Money

Costa Rica's currency: Costa Rican colon (CRC); however, US dollars are widely accepted

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available in Costa Rica, particularly in the main tourist areas. A flat fee of up to US$5-$7 and a small commission usually applies with debit card withdrawals. Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted in the bigger hotels, restaurants and tourist shops, though not in rural areas. Always check the handling fee when paying by credit card as it can be high. It is much more convenient to carry as much of your money in cash as possible, so long as you are security conscious. We recommend you bring some small denomination notes (US$1 and US$5 notes) since getting change is often a problem when paying for small items.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

US dollars are widely accepted; however, change will likely be given in Costa Rican colón and the exchange rate will fluctuate. We suggest taking some US dollars with you but then using ATMs to withdraw the rest of your money in local currency while you’re there.

You should allow extra to cover the cost of meals not included in the price of the trip. Snack lunches are approximately US$15-US$18 and evening meals US$25-US$32 per meal (excluding drinks).

Average costs for drinks (in restaurants) are US$2-US$3 for mineral water or soft drinks, US$4-US$5 for a bottle of beer, US$7-US$10 for cocktails and US$7-US$10 for a glass of wine.

There are various optional activities available during the trip (bookable locally), as follows:

Tortuguero

  • Turtle-nesting tour: from US$50 (July to October only)

Arenal

  • Ecotermales hot springs: from US$45
  • Arenal Natura night walk: from US$73
  • Sky tram/sky trek: from US$120
  • Zip-line ecoglide: from US$55
  • Hanging bridges: from US$74
  • Rainforest Chocolate tour: from US$50
  • Don Juan Coffee & Chocolate tour: from US$55

Monteverde

  • Monteverde night walk: from US$70
  • Don Juan coffee & chocolate tour: from US$46
  • Selvatura Sloth Sanctuary: from US$40

Carrillo beach

  • Stand-up paddleboard mangrove tour: from US$53
  • Wildlife and mangrove kayak tour: from US$59
  • Ocean kayak to Isla Chora: from US$53
  • Turtle-nesting tour (night): from US$53 visits Camaronal, Corozalito or Ostional beach depending on season

Optional excursions can be paid for by cash (preferably), credit or debit card.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid fairly for their work with Exodus. However, it is usual for groups to tip tour leaders and drivers, and it would be reasonable for each group member to contribute US$90 for the tour leader and US$65 for the driver. You may wish to tip more if travelling in a small group.

The tour leader may organise a tipping kitty to facilitate tips for other staff members including porters, local guides and restaurant waiting staff, which will be collected at the start of the trip. The amount may vary per departure, but we recommend a starting point of US$130 per group member.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that have a positive impact on the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Learn more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • Local guides keep you well informed about local traditions and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises, and by championing locally produced food wherever possible.
  • Read more about our other initiatives here.

Places

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

  • By travelling in a small group, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively reduce waste; this includes eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles by providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • The payment of entrance fees to natural reserves generates income used to upkeep and develop these important sites. We visit Tortuguero, Arenal and Rincon de la Vieja National Park on this tour.
  • We visit an pineapple plantation in La Virgen de Sarapiqui. During our tour, we hear about the organic philosophy of the farm and learn about crop rotation, companion planting and the concept of rural agritourism.
  • In Arenal, we have a farm-to-table culinary tour at a farm. We usually select some of the produce to be harvested that day (destined for our lunch menu) and have a tour of the greenhouse to see how some Costa Rican staples are grown. This is a great experience to see an authentic farm in wonderful surroundings.
  • We take a turtle-nesting tour on Camaronal beach, where an extensive wildlife refuge was created to protect the olive ridley, leatherback and hawksbill turtles that all lay eggs in the reserve’s sands.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices regarding working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • In Sarapiqui, we stay at La Quinta ecolodge, which is certified by the Costa Rican Tourists Board’ Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) as a sustainable lodge. La Quinta earned the maximum qualification of 5 Leaves.
  • With our partners, Rewilding Apennines, we rewild 100 square meters (1,075 sqft) of land per passenger who travels with us.
  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration hereincluding our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels with us.

Planet

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

  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring a reusable water bottle on this trip, also consider avoiding single-use hotel toiletries, which generate a large amount of plastic waste.

Important Information

Optional activities and excursions

If you would like to join an optional activity or excursion outside those listed in the itinerary, your leader may be able to assist with selecting a provider. However, Exodus has not assessed the safety standards of activities or excursions that are not listed in the Trip Notes. All optional activities or excursions are undertaken at your own risk.

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

In line with our ‘book and travel with confidence’ promise which allows you to cancel free of charge up to 42 days prior to departure, or transfer to another trip free of charge up to 21 days prior to your trip starting in country,  please be aware that this excludes ‘irrecoverable costs’. Details can be found here: https://www.exodus.co.uk/about-exodus/exodus-booking-conditions

For this trip, all cancellations received 21 days before departure are free of charge. there are no non-recoverable costs outside of 21 days. If booking flight inclusive, your sales agent will confirm the terms related to your international flights at the time of booking.

Costs are accurate at the time of writing in September 2020.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.