GMT -6 hours
Untouched beaches, hidden coves and tropical forest
Set between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, this naturalist's paradise is a haven for a spectacular range of plants and colourful birdlife. The sun-drenched northern Pacific coastline is renowned for its beautiful untouched beaches, hidden coves, tropical forest and abundance of marine life including giant leatherback turtles. Our Highlights of Costa Rica tour takes you to into the rainforest, to a coffee plantation and through scenic National Parks where you may catch sight of monkeys, turtles, sloths and crocodiles.
Rich in tropical forest, beautiful beaches, hidden coves and wildlife and with a good range of accommodation in the resort town, it is little wonder that visitors are drawn to Manuel Antonio. As Costa Rica’s smallest national park, a lot is packed into its 1680 acres, with excellent activities from snorkelling and diving to zip lining and horse-riding tours. Spot a plethora of wildlife including the two-toed sloth, iguana and endangered squirrel monkey. Capture picture-perfect sunsets from the glorious white crescent beaches and enjoy magical views from the emerald hillsides.
Costa Rica’s untamed northern Pacific coast is home to Tamarindo, a mecca for surfers. Famous for the leatherback turtles that lay their eggs on Playa Grande, this popular beach resort boasts beautiful coastal scenery and vibrant nightlife. Just north is the Papagayo Peninsula, a sun-drenched natural paradise renowned for its incredible diversity of wildlife, untouched beaches and crystal clear waters.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a stunning natural wonder. Take the skywalk through the forest canopy for spectacular views. The nearby settlement was founded in the mid-1900s by American Quakers, and today the charming resort boasts some wonderful attractions including a butterfly farm and birdwatching trails.
Tortuguero, which means ‘region of sea turtles’ in Spanish, is a beautiful village in northeast Costa Rica that boasts pastel-coloured houses and friendly locals. Often referred to as the ‘Venice of Costa Rica’ due to its labyrinthine network of rivers and canals, the neighbouring national park is only accessible by plane and boat. This hidden paradise hosts a diverse array of wildlife including toucans, monkeys and colourful frogs. Visit July-September to witness turtles laying eggs on the beach, an unforgettable natural spectacle.
Until it entered a resting phase in October 2010, Arenal Volcano was Costa Rica’s most active volcano and its almost perfect conical peak dominates the horizon. Arenal Volcano National Park encompasses almost 30,000 acres of lush cloud forest, tropical forest, barren lava fields and rivers as well as an abundance of wildlife. Follow the park’s series of hanging bridges for incredible forest views. La Fortuna, set beneath the volcano, is a quiet rural town with charming local culture and access to nearby cascading waterfalls and thermal baths.