• Duration

    14 Days

  • Location
    San José to San José
  • Price starting from

    € 820

  • Package by Tucan Travel

This is the ultimate tour for nature lovers who want to experience Costa Rica’s complete spectrum. From outstanding national parks to volcanoes, exceptional beaches, coral reef and a plethora of wildlife, Costa Rica has it all. Explore the misty cloud forest of Monteverde, hike up Arenal Volcano, then enjoy some amazing underwater scenery at the reefs of Cahuita National Park.

Day 1 to 1 – Arrive San José

The capital city of Costa Rica, San José, is nestled in a fertile valley among coffee and sugar-cane farms. There is not much left of the colonial era architecture, due to the damage done by earthquakes, but it is certainly worth seeing the National Theatre, built in 1897. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a performance whilst you’re here. The Gold, Jade and National Museums are also particularly recommended for a visit

There are plenty of interesting optional day trips that can be undertaken within a close vicinity of San José such as visits to the Poás or Irazú volcano, white water rafting, the Turu BaRi Tropical Park or the Rain Forest Aerial Tram.

Please note: If you are are travelling into Costa Rica from Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama then you will need a valid yellow fever certificate.

Optional Excursions: Jade Museum – US$15 • Museum National – US$4 • Theatro National – US$5

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Rosa del Paseo Hotel or similar

Day 2 to 2 – Manuel Antonio National Park

Today we travel through lush green countryside to the small village of Manuel Antonio, the base for Manuel Antonio National Park. The journey takes around three hours by local bus and you will start to witness the tropical countryside. After check in the rest of the day is free to relax and recharge, wander the charming streets or beach front and start to experience the beauty of Costa Rica.

Approximate Travel Times: 3h by local bus.

Included Excursions: Entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park

Optional Excursions: Manuel Antonio National Park Catamaran Tour – from US$75 • Zip Coaster – US$12 • Enjoy the beach – free!

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Manuel Antonio or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 3 to 3 – Manuel Antonio National Park

Today we explore Costa Rica?s most celebrated and beautiful nature reserve, Manuel Antonio National Park. The area consists of around 1,680 acres of rainforest containing lush vegetation and white sandy beaches. Even though Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the smallest in the country, it is considered the most biodiverse with more than 100 species of mammals and almost 200 species of birds. While exploring one of the many hiking trails you may come across the three toed sloth, pelicans, white-faced monkeys, anteaters and iguanas.

Other activities in the area include horse riding, kayaking, hiking, guided tours and plenty other water sports such as white water rafting and sailing tours.

Optional Excursions: Manuel Antonio National Park Catamaran Tour – from US$75 • Zip Coaster – US$12 • Enjoy the beach – free!

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Manuel Antonio or similar

Day 4 to 4 – Santa Elena & Monteverde Cloud Forest

We travel to the old town of Quepos, once a very important port for the exportation of bananas. We then ascend a steep and bumpy mountain road that offers great views over lush green hills that flatten to meet the Pacific Ocean. We reach the small town of Santa Elena, nestled up in the clouds and established by American Quakers in the 1950’s.

Santa Elena is the base for the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve which we will visit tomorrow.

Approximate Travel Times: 5h on a private vehicle including 3h30 on paved road and 1h30 on dirt road.

Included Excursions: Entrance to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Optional Excursions: Wildlife night walk – US$27 • Sugar cane tour ?? US$36 • Zip Lining ?? US$54

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Don Taco or similar

Day 5 to 5 – Santa Elena & Monteverde Cloud Forest

Today we visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve on a private transfer. There are several paths to explore in this privately owned reserve, one of which takes you to the continental divide. On a clear day both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen! We’ll also stop at the Hummingbird Gallery where you can grab a drink and a slice of cake. Here you can watch dozens of these energetic birds buzz around sipping on nectar. The area around Santa Elena is famous for its ziplines and hosts the longest zip line in the world. Here you’ll have the option to go flying over the cloud forest on a series of cables strung out between the giant trees. For the less courageous, you may opt for a sky walk along a series of suspension bridges above the forest canopy. Along with the lovely horse treks, nature-spotting twilight walks, visits to coffee and dairy farms, you may find it hard to choose between all of the exciting excursions!

Optional Excursions: Wildlife night walk – US$27 • Sugar cane tour ?? US$36 • Zip Lining ?? US$54

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Don Taco or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 6 to 6 – La Fortuna

Our next journey takes us through the mountains of the cloud forest using a combination of minivans and boats. The first leg to Lake Arenal takes about one hour 30 minutes and the landscape is truly spectacular. Rolling hills eventually give way to the distant views of Arenal Volcano and we can stop for photos at some of the best lookouts. Stopping by the side of the road one last time, we walk down a dirt path to our boat on the shores of Lake Arenal. The scenery is truly stunning from the lake and we travel for approximately an hour slowly approaching Arenal Volcano. Once we reach the other side, where we board another minibus and travel for thirty minutes to La Fortuna.

After checking in you have time for lunch and to explore the town. Kick back and relax, you then have two full days to enjoy all the wonderful excursions in the area! Tonight we recommend visiting the local hot springs for the ultimate calming experience.

Approximate Travel Times: 3h15 including 1h on a boat 2h15 on a private vehicle.

Optional Excursions: Paddle Boarding – US$62 • Canyoneering – from US$100 • Mountain Biking – US$134 • Arenal Volcano Walk – US$56 • Hot Springs – US$76 • Horse riding – US$76 • Hanging Bridges – US$73 • Zip Lining – US$92 • Night walk tour – US$46

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Fortuna or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 7 to 7 – La Fortuna

The main attraction in La Fortuna is the nearby Arenal Volcano, which was constantly erupting between 1968 and 2010. Although not erupting anymore, the occasional puff of steam can be seen. The National Park consists of lush forests bursting with wildlife, gushing waterfalls and hanging bridges. You are free to enjoy the hiking trails, horseback riding, butterfly gardens or zipline tours.

Optional Excursions: Paddle Boarding – US$62 • Canyoneering – from US$100 • Mountain Biking – US$134 • Arenal Volcano Walk – US$56 • Hot Springs – US$76 • Horse riding – US$76 • Hanging Bridges – US$73 • Zip Lining – US$92 • Night walk tour – US$46

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Fortuna or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 8 to 8 – La Fortuna

Today is your last day to make sure you have soaked up the beauty of La Fortuna. If you have not already, perhaps hike to the spectacular La Fortuna Waterfall where you can swim in the pool beneath the cascading water. On your hike you will likely see toucans, monkeys and sloths enjoying this peaceful way of life.

Optional Excursions: Paddle Boarding – US$62 • Canyoneering – from US$100 • Mountain Biking – US$134 • Arenal Volcano Walk – US$56 • Hot Springs – US$76 • Horse riding – US$76 • Hanging Bridges – US$73 • Zip Lining – US$92 • Night walk tour – US$46

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Fortuna or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 9 to 9 – Tortuguero National Park

Continuing our Costa Rica adventure we board a private vehicle and head to Tortuguero. After travelling for around 4 and a half hours through more beautiful scenery, we enjoy a 2 and a half hour boat journey to reach our destination. Tortuguero National Park is located on the Atlantic/Caribbean coast and we spend two nights in a remote jungle lodge, surrounded by wildlife. Look out for more monkeys and sloths as well as crocodiles, turtles and numerous bird species. If we are lucky we might even spot the unique Jesus Lizard, aptly named because it can walk on water!

Approximate Travel Times: 7h including 2h30 on a boat and 4h30 on a private vehicle.

Included Excursions: Entrance and guided tour of Tortuguero

Optional Excursions: Night guided beach walk to spot turtles – US$25 (March-October) • Sunset beach walk to spot baby hatchlings – US$15 (May – December)

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at All Rankin Lodge or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 10 to 10 – Tortuguero National Park

Spend today further enjoying the beach and wildlife of the area. If you are travelling between July and October, there is a chance of witnessing the Green sea turtles who arrive at the beach to lay eggs. During the period seven to ten weeks after nesting the turtles hatch which, to witness, is one of life’s most inspiring events. There is an interesting visitor’s centre in the tiny village where you can watch videos and learn all about the turtles. During our excursions around Tortuguero we may also have the chance to see the tiny but brightly coloured poison arrow frogs.

Optional Excursions: Night guided beach walk to spot turtles – US$25 (March-October) • Sunset beach walk to spot baby hatchlings – US$15 (May – December)

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at All Rankin Lodge or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 11 to 11 – Cahuita

We continue on to the small beachside town of Cahuita close to Cahuita National Park. Arriving at lunch time, there is plenty of time to explore one of the Caribbean coasts best national parks. Aside from one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, there are also walkways and trails going out to lookout points. Watch out for monkeys, sloths, lizards, frogs and tonnes of other wildlife. Cahuita is also home to the only coral reefs in the country. The only way to snorkel on the reef is on a guided tour so you can hire a guide locally to take you out onto the reef.

Approximate Travel Times: 4h15 including 2h30 on a boat, 40min on private vehicle and 1h on a local bus.

Optional Excursions: Cahuita National Park ヨ US$3 entry and US$20 for a guided walk ユ Snorkelling tour ヨ From US$27

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Vaz or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 12 to 12 – Cahuita

Today is free to explore more of the national park or venture out of the town for a day. A great option is to take a short bus journey down the coast to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. This laid-back Caribbean village has some of the best surf in the country and you can hire a bike and cycle to secluded beaches for a spot of sunbathing. From Puerto Viejo you can also visit the Jaguar Centre, a place of rescue and rehabilitation of animals native to Costa Rica. The animals are all nursed back to full health and released back into the wild as soon as possible.

Optional Excursions: Cahuita National Park ヨ US$3 entry and US$20 for a guided walk ユ Snorkelling tour ヨ From US$27

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Vaz or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 13 to 13 – San José

We return for a final night in San José where our tour will come to an end. The journey takes roughly five hours leaving adequate time for one last group meal. Kick back and enjoy the nightlife or choose from one of the many restaurants dishing up traditional cuisine.

Approximate Travel Times: 5h return to San José by local bus.

Optional Excursions: Jade Museum – US$15 • Museum National – US$4 • Theatro National – US$5

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Rosa del Paseo Hotel or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 14 to 14 – Depart San José

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

What’s Included

Excursions & Activities:

  • Entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Entrance to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Entrance and guided tour of Tortuguero

Accommodation: 13 night(s) in hotels

Transportation: Private Vehicle, Foot, Public Bus, Boat, Taxi

Meals: 10 Breakfast(s)

Other: Tucan Travel Tour Leader

What you need to know

  • We will try to run your tour as close to the itinerary as conditions will allow. On very rare occasions, local events may affect the way your itinerary operates. We ask for your flexibility and understanding in these situations.
  • This tour has some long travel days to get you from A to B. We believe these days make the adventure but make sure you pack a book or two.
  • The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. You will meet your Tucan Travel rep at 18.00 for the pre-departure meeting. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation
  • This tour includes a compulsory Local Payment that needs to be paid to the Tour Leader on Day 1 of your tour. For more information on our Local Payments please click here.
  • Many countries have strict rules on the age and quality of foreign cash. We therefore recommend you bring only new, unmarked and undamaged bank notes. This includes your Local Payment on tours where required. ​

What’s not included

  • Visas and travel insurance
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes
  • Tips on excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.
  • Optional excursions – On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone’s taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don’t hesitate to ask your tour leader.
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation

This tour is subject to our general conditions.  Please read them carefully before booking.