Costa Rica Revealed: Our Signature Journey
Costa Rica is a wonderful destination for honeymooners, families and independent travellers of all ages. It is Central America’s prettiest country and although it is small by Latin America standards (slightly smaller than Wales, roughly two-thirds the size of Scotland) Costa Rica offers immense variety and is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity with volcanoes, cloudforest, waterfalls, good beaches and some 500,000 species of flora and fauna – including amazing birdlife, mammals and insects. Approximately 25% of the land is protected.
Costa Rica has, a pleasant, tropical climate, good-natured people and a well-established tourism infrastructure. Costa Rica regularly appears high on the index of the world’s happiest country. There is a direct flight between Gatwick and San Jose.
Highlights: San Jose – Tortuguero – Arenal La Fortuna – Monteverde Cloud Forest – Pacific Coast
Natural Beauty; Rivers; Lake; Waterfalls; Volcanos and Mountains; Rainforest; Cloud forest; Jungle; Tropical Wildlife, Birdlife, Flora and Plants; National parks; Zip-lining; Hot Springs
Length: 14 Days/13 Nights
Costs: From £1,949 pp excluding transatlantic flights
Costa Rica Hotels: Premium, Mid-Range & Value
We book a full range hotels, hideaways , haciendas and lodges throughout Costa Rica to suit all levels, from de luxe premium properties to four star mid-range hotels to budget accommodation providing value.
We have outlined here some of our preferred hotels, based on our considerable experience over the last 10 years as travel specialists for Costa Rica and helpful feedback from our passengers. If there is a particular property not listed here where you would like to stay, please let us know, We are here to help.
Days 1-3: San Jose
2 nights’ accommodation at the hotel of your choice.
Meet & Greet arrival transfer to your hotel.
Included excursion: Half day city tour.
San Jose has a population of around 350,000 which makes it much smaller than most Central American capitals. Our half-day city tour includes the Jade and Gold Museums. We offer additional optional excursions to other areas of interest close by such as Sarchí known for its artisan crafts, the Poas and Irazu Volcanoes, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, the ancient archaeological ruins at Guayabo and the Spanish colonial basilica at Cortago.
Days 3-5: Tortuguero
2 nights’ accommodation at a local lodge.
Transfer to Guapiles and onward to Tortuguero.
Included excursions: Tortuguero wildlife channels.
Tortuguero National Park was created in 1975 to protect the most important nesting site of the green turtle in the Western Hemisphere and is one of the most-rewarding places in Costa Rica for spotting wildlife such as iguanas, caimans, sloths, toucans, turtles and monkeys. The park covers a total area of 194 square miles including a 15 mile stretch of coastline and 20 miles out to sea. The labyrinth of deltas, canals, and lagoons are best explored by boat.
Premium Mid-Range Value
Manatus Mawamba Pachira Lodge
Days 5-8: La Fortuna & Arenal
3 nights’ accommodation.
Transfer from Tortuguero to La Fortuna.
Included excursions: Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, Arenal volcano hike; Tabacon Hot Springs with dinner.
Lake Arenal is the largest and the most important artificial lake in Costa Rica. It was man-made in 1974 to provide hydroelectric energy for the country. We include a boat tour on the Frio River within the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge where there are great opportunities to spot fresh water turtles, iguanas, capuchin monkeys, sloths and abundance of birdlife. Arenal volcano has recently been very quiet after almost continuous eruptions between 1968 and 2010 so it is now safe to hike on its lower slopes, following a trail close to the volcano and through the forest over recent lava flows. The Tabacon Hot Springs offers the opportunity to experience a series of well-designed pools, waterfalls and cascades which are filled with naturally-flowing thermal waters with temperatures ranging from 25oC to 50oC. With five springs within the complex, the waters here do not require pumps or artificial heating.
Premium Mid-Range Value
Arenal Naraya Arenal Manoa Lomas del Volcan
Days 8-10: Monteverde Cloudforest
2 nights’ accommodation at cloudforest lodge.
Transfer by road and boat from La Fortuna across Lake Arenal and onwards by road to Monteverde.
Included excursion: Sky Adventure in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, including cable-car and zip-lining.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve extends over 35,000 acres and contains over 400 species of birds, 1,200 types of amphibians and reptiles and more than 100 species of mammals including ocelots, jaguars, pumas and margaus. The Sky Adventure starts with a journey by open cable-car gondola taking you up to the Continental Divide and to one of the highest mountains of Monteverde. To descend there is a system of 8 different zip lines with a total of 2½ miles of cable enabling you to fly through the air from one mountain to another at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. There follows a 2½ hour hike along trails to visit two amazing waterfalls and a stunning cantilever platform 30 meters high with spectacular views of the forest, volcano and lake. There is also a butterfly and an orchid garden which can be visited without any additional cost.
Optional activities include: Monteverde Cloud Forest or Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve guided hike; visit a coffee plantation; sugar plantation tour; Monteverde Cheese dairy; biking and/or riding.
Premium Mid-Range Value
Belmar El Establo Poco a Poco
Days 10-14: Pacific Coast (Manuel Antonio)
4 nights’ accommodation
Transfer from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio, on the Pacific Coast.
The Manuel Antonio National Park offers fantastic beaches and wonderful wildlife within easy reach of San Jose. Activities include whale watching, sea kayaking and paddle-boarding as well as hiking in the National Park. Nearby there is an interesting wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre which looks after injured and orphaned two-toed and three-toed sloths, monkeys, parrots and parakeets before returning them to the wild wherever possible. The centre is run by Kids Saving the Rainforest which was originally set up in 1999 by two nine-year old girls and which has received some support from the LATA Foundation, a charity set up by the Latin America Travel Association. Revealed Travel also books other coastal areas in Costa Rica and we will adapt the itinerary according to your preference. The Tamarindo coast on the Nicoya Peninsula, for example, has some of Costa Rica’s best beaches with surfing, sailing, kayaking and sports fishing. Similarly, if you know of a particular hotel where you would like to stay for the last few days of your holiday, please let us know: we are here to help.
Premium Mid-Range Value
Arenas del Mar La Mansion Inn Falls Resort
Day 14: Depart Costa Rica
Departure transfer from your hotel to San Jose airport in time to check-in for your transatlantic flights home.
Costa Rica Signature Journey
14 Days/13 Nights
Indicative Costs: Premium Accommodation
May-Nov: from £2,769 pp excl. transatlantic flights
Dec-Apr: from £3,065 pp excl. transatlantic flights
Indicative Costs: Mid-Range Accommodation
May-Nov: from £2,364 pp excl. transatlantic flights
Dec-Apr: from £2,745 pp excl. transatlantic flights
Indicative Costs: Value Accommodation
May-Nov: from £1,949 pp excl. transatlantic flights
Dec-Apr: from £2,394 pp excl. transatlantic flights
Indicative Costs are per person based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room for travel before June 2020. Transatlantic flights are not included but please contact us to book these for you. We deal with a range of airlines, including the direct services between Gatwick and San Jose with British Airways, and will book flights for you in first class, business, premium economy or or economy class according to your preference and budget. Supplements may apply for travel over Christmas/New Year and Easter. Please contact us for costs for families and for parties of 3 or more passengers and also for travel in 2020/2021.
What’s included in the price:
All accommodation and meals as detailed; Local taxes & service charges associated with included accommodation – All transfers & sightseeing as detailed; various activities; ATOL protection; Research, sourcing, design and preparation of your tailor-made holiday itinerary and quote; booking admin and processing; The services of our local ground agent who will coordinate your stay and ensure that everything runs smoothly including access to a local English language 24/7 telephone help line.
What’s not included in the price:
Transatlantic flights; any national park entry fees which have to be paid locally; drinks, gratuities and items of a personal nature; meals and optional excursions not listed as included; personal travel insurance; passport and visa costs (e.g. costs associated with obtaining an American ESTA visa waiver, if flying via USA); Airport departure tax on leaving Costa Rica, payable locally in US$ and currently US$29 per person.
Transatlantic Flights: We will book transatlantic flights for you in economy, premium economy, business or first class according to your preference. Many passengers prefer to travel on the direct service between London Gatwick and San Jose but there are other flights via Madrid or the United States.
Seasons and Climate: The best time to visit is in the dry season between November and April. The wet season from May to October is characterised by dry mornings, a tropical downpour in the afternoon and intermittent showers in the evenings. Costa Rica is below the hurricane belt.
Entry: British nationals travelling on a full, valid British passport do not require a visa for entry to Costa Rica. You should ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of arrival.
Internal Travel: We arrange airport-hotel transfers and all transportation whether by land or small aircraft within Costa Rica though our ground agents locally. If you prefer to drive yourselves we will arrange 4 x 4 vehicle hire and provide guidance.
Vaccinations: It is advisable to check your immunizations for Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A. If you have been to Africa within 3 months of arriving in Costa Rica you may need to provide proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever.
Exchange Rates: Costs in Latin America are subject to $/£ exchange rates. At present we are working on current exchange rates of 1.21 (revised on 29 August 2019) although this may be subject to change, particularly in the event of a No Deal Brexit.