San José and the Central Valley Suggested Itinerary 

Visit the locations of some of Costa Rica’s best wildlife-spotting opportunities across the Central Valley.

Spend a week exploring two of Costa Rica’s most beloved wildlife areas — Arenal Volcano National Park and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Zipline through the wilderness, cross hanging bridges scanning the trees for sloths, or emerge at dawn to listen to birdsong and spot nocturnal creatures retreating.

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7 nights
San José, Arenal, Monteverde

Recommended itinerary

Day 1

San José

Arrive in San José, and check into the Xandari Resort & Spa, around 30 minutes from the city. It’s on a hilltop, set in 40 acres of forest trails, rivers, and waterfalls and is a real scene-setter for the adventures ahead. Take a refreshing dip in the pool overlooking coffee plantations and enjoy the nutritious farm-to-table fare served in the restaurant as you acclimatise to Costa Rica time.

Days 2-4


Head away from the city to Arenal and La Fortuna to stay with a view of the imposing Arenal Volcano. Three nights at Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa allow you to explore the area properly, and you might be in with a chance to spot sloths and howler monkeys — perhaps even an anteater.

Days 5-7

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The splendid, award-winning Hotel Belmar is an incredible place to stay when you’re exploring the enchanting Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Balance time spent deep in the trees with time at the hotel feasting on dishes with ingredients sourced from the local farm, which you can pay a visit to on an insightful tour.

Day 8

San José

Your trip concludes with a final night back at the Xandari Resort & Spa. This is your moment to savour the last of the views and the invigorating walks before departing for the airport and your journey home.