At a Glance
Experience the true meaning of pura vida “pure life” on an adventure that takes you through a rainbow of Costa Rica's most fascinating regions. From the Caribbean to the Pacific, unearth Monteverde Cloud Forest, Tortuguero National Park, La Fortuna and more. Investigate the alluring secrets that lie inside its intricate ecology and get in tune with nature alongside a heap of bewildering discoveries that will leave you mesmerised on this 13-day cultural discovery into Costa Rica.
Your adventure begins in San Jose with a first step to Tortuguero National Park. Take in a breathtaking view of nature and find some peace and quiet here. Discover the vast network of canals and waterways teeming with animals in Tortuguero. Hike along the flanks of Arenal volcano, and soak in the healing natural springs ...
- All breakfast, 3x lunch and 7x dinner
- 12 nights' accommodation on a twin share basis
- Guided hike in Arenal 1968 Park
- Guided hike to La Fortuna Waterfall
- Selvatura Park's treetop hanging bridges excursion
- Guided nature walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest
- Guided nature walk in Rio Perdido private reserve
- Access to hot springs at Arenal Springs Hotel
- Access to thermal pools at Rio Perdido
- Sundowners at the Tamarindo Diria
- Tipping for all hotel, drivers and local staff
- Named tour leader, chosen for their expertise and great customer feedback
- Airport transfers to/from San Jose Airport
Arrive at beautiful Costa Rica with your senses heightened and your soul yearning where a representative will meet you upon arrival at San Jose Airport. The majority of flights into San Jose that land in the late afternoon or early evening will enjoy complimentary shuttle service from the airport to your accommodation, approximately 25 minutes drive.
You'll stay at the elegant Gran Hotel Costa Rica, located on the pedestrian thoroughfare Avenida Central, an architectural landmark overlooking the National Theater. Relax in and unpack in the midst of this lodging's immediate sophistication and modern urban decor. Views of the natural beauty of the area may be seen from the wide, elegantly decorated rooms. Unwind in one of the many cosy social lounges or tantalise on a soothing drink by the bar.
The hotel is in a prime location, within walking distance to restaurants, shopping, museums, and more, if you wish to explore.
It's an early start today as we depart San Jose for the wild and wonderful Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica's northeast. Tortuguero's huge network of waterways, canals, and wetlands is incredibly peaceful, pristine, and noise-free since it is only accessible by boat or light aircraft. Travelling the main lagoon in a small motorboat for 1 hour and 15 minutes, we will arrive at our resort, which is perched on a calm strip of land, surrounded by wonderful views and sound.
Tortuguero is well-known as a nesting habitat for the critically endangered green turtle, which may be seen coming ashore to lay eggs on the beach between late July and early October (as part of an optional excursion). Throughout the months of November through January, this area is teeming with young hawksbill, loggerhead, and huge leatherback turtles who have just hatched and are making their way to the ocean. The whole length of today's trip, including a break for breakfast, is estimated to be about six hours.
You'll stay at the Aninga Lodge, which is located across the main canal from the centre of Tortuguero and only 5 minutes from the beautiful Tortuguero National Park. The esteemed lodge is a fascinating destination due to its abundance of rare and exotic plants and animals and its magnificent canal system. Further inside, enjoy the lodge's elegantly built crystal-clear pools, exciting paths, breathtaking vistas of the surrounding tropical rainforest, and an elegant onsite dining option.
The early morning takes us on boat voyage through the extensive network of freshwater creeks and lagoons behind the beaches of Tortuguero. Settle on to one of the paddle canoe or boats as we begin our exploration of the remarkable flora and wildlife of Tortuguero, cruising through the tranquil canals of the National Park. Early dawn is peak wildlife viewing time, and with our expert guide's help, we should be able to see monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies, and many of the more than 300 bird species that have been spotted in this region.
After our early morning bout, we will return back to the lodge to enjoy a delightful breakfast by the river amidst the unreal scenery that clad this place. The noon takes quite a different twist with two insanely satisfying options to pick from. The first option available to trip members is a second boat ride down a distinct canal to see the picturesque waterways or staying at the resort to rewind and make the most of your time with the lodge's great amenities. Alternatively, you could take a walk down a narrow route that meanders through the beautiful forest if you like to be more immersed in the natural world.
Today we go on the first leg of our adventure, returning to Tortuguero's main dock via boat. Our tour of Arenal's several zones will begin on this pier, where our next mode of transportation is ready and waiting. As we forge ahead, the immense fields of sugarcane, pineapple, and bananas that you'll pass through on today's adventure are sure to be a highlight. The trip, which is expected to take around 5 hours and 30 minutes in total including a lunch stop.
The later part of day sets in with a trip to your accommodation for the next two nights, the 4-star deluxe Arenal Springs Resort and Spa. The colonial-style architecture and clean, modern design of this tropical paradise set the tone for a sophisticated visit even before you set foot there. Take a moment to appreciate the thoughtfulness with which this place was selected to suit your preferences.
Relax in the comfort of your sumptuous lodging and make use of the hotel's many first-rate services. The hotel has two beautiful pools, fed by a thermal river that originates in Arenal. Soothe your tired muscles in the mineral salt and ion infused water while taking in the breathtaking scenery of the Arenal Volcano and its surrounding jungle. The effect is undeniable; it's like being in the thick of a tropical rainforest.
Your journey today will take you on an adrenaline plunge into a picturesque experience that will feature the captivating Arenal 1968 National Park. Here, you will walk through a secondary rainforest as well as lava fields that were formed by eruptions. While our experienced guide leads us on a stroll around the base and sides of the volcano, we are presented with breathtaking vistas and are informed about the extensive history and historical landmarks of the region that are still in existence.
You should take the time to stop and take in the broad views over Lake Arenal from high vantage points, as this will provide you a clearer line of vision to see the wonders and all the majesty that the lake has to offer.
Today's afternoon is free for you to choose the optional activities available in this region. There's bountiful options that offer thrilling experiences sure to keep you immersed in the mesmerising wonders of the Arenal National Park. From hot springs, ziplining to sky walk hanging bridges and more (at an additional cost).
To start the day off well, we begin by immersing ourselves in the unreal wonders of La Fortuna Waterfall, a 215-foot-tall (65-metre-tall) waterfall that drops into a verdant lagoon. Arenal is home to several stunning waterfalls, many of which have crystal clear pools ideal for a refreshing swim. Hiking or climbing the stairs down to the waterfall and back up again takes around 20 to 30 minutes and is doable by anybody with average fitness. The path takes us through a lush jungle. Indulge in a refreshing swim in one of the natural lakes dotted around the forest. And while waiting for the group, absorb the breathtaking scenery that envelopes this place.
Following that, we journey towards the Tilaran Mountain Range, located in the Central Highlands and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so that we may enjoy the cloud forest of Costa Rica.
As we make our way up the slopes into Monteverde, a location that is covered in trees and whose name literally translates to "Green Mountain," we are treated to breathtaking panoramas of the islands and the Gulf of Nicoya making the backdrop. The high altitude helps to sustain a diverse ecology that is conducive to the growth of plants, orchids in particular. Here you will learn about different species of orchids from over 400 species present here. The trip today will take around four hours; the last 25 miles (40 kilometres) of the way is a gravel route and may be a difficult walk, especially when it has been raining heavily.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has remained a scenic delight and a favourite hub for bird watching and exonerating wildlife encounters due to the topographic, geographic and climatic conditions that exist in the forest.
Taking a stroll around the preserve will lead you to see enormous old-growth trees that are festooned with moss, all while the surrounding mist pervades the air. See its four biological living zones, each of which is home to a distinct ecosystem that is inhabited by hundreds of different species, including mammals, birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and arachnids. In addition to that, we may see a wide diversity of mosses, vines, and trees that are typical characteristics of cloud forests.
One of the routes will take you to a viewpoint that is exactly at the top of the continental divide. From this lookout, on days when the air is clear, you will be able to see both the Caribbean and the Pacific coastlines of Costa Rica. The endangered resplendent quetzal calls the Monteverde Cloud Forest one of its few surviving homes.
The afternoon is spent exploring Selvatura Park, a remarkable ecological park that has a total area of 850 acres (345 hectares) of protected territory and is devoted to both the outdoors and outdoor activities. Go over the canopy of the forest while enjoying one of the most popular activities in Costa Rica: the treetop walkway. Appreciate the splendour of the cloud forest thanks to the network of walkways that have been constructed far above the canopy of the trees. You will also be able to see its diverse population of animals.
Tonight, your home is the 4-star Hotel Poco a Poco, a tranquil resort poised amidst the Montverde’s tropical rainforest exuding a rustic elegance and charming aura. Make your way to settle in your spacious room in this picturesque setting and after, indulge in one of its amenities. The hotel has a spa, a heated pool with sun loungers and beach chairs where you can relax and kick your feet up.
We leave early this morning for the province of Guanacaste, where our next stop will be at Río Perdido (Lost River). The Rio Perdido Hotel & Thermal River is nestled on a rocky peninsula overlooking a canyon, a forest, and the river. The river's name comes from the fact that it is hidden by trees as tall as the canyon walls. Several artefacts from the Chorotega indigenous people have been discovered in this area, suggesting that it served as a meeting site in the past.
Due to its location adjacent to a thermal river, the private reserve that encompasses the hotel's 600 acres (243 hectares) has an extraordinarily diversified flora and fauna. The reserve is home to tropical dry forest, rainforest, and rough terrain. Howler monkeys and white-faced capuchin monkeys may be seen travelling in large groups.
Here, thrill-seekers may indulge in exciting extracurricular pursuits like zip lining, white-water tubing, mountain biking, and hiking. All which make this location a thrill-paradise.
The average travel time today is around three hours.
Start the day with a delectable breakfast delight in preparation for a truly adventurous day. We'll get going on a pursuit of rare animals, reptiles, insects, amphibians, and birds. Hikers may traverse 20 miles (32 kilometres) of private paths that are linked to the River Perdido Hotel by a 200-foot-long (61-metre-long) suspension bridge. During our free guided trek, we'll explore the area's trail system and get insight into the area's diverse ecosystems.
Back at your accommodation, unwind against a background of verdant foliage and the canyon walls in one of the hotel's natural thermal mineral pools. Pools of hot and cold mineralized water, fed by eight officially recorded springs, are available for leisurely soaks. However, If you'd rather get your blood pumping, you may use our free afternoon to participate in one of the many adrenaline-pumping optional activities, such as zip lining or white-water tubing.
Today we say our last goodbyes to the enchanted Perdido, as we make our way to Tamarindo on the Nicoya Peninsula. Tamarindo was originally a fishing community, but it was discovered by surfers in the late 1980s, and since then, it has progressively expanded its reputation as being one of the top beach locations in the country. Tamarindo is located in Guanacaste province, which is well-known for its pleasant climate and reliable sunlight.
The expansive beach, which curves around a bay and is surrounded by palm trees, restaurants, and cafés, is the primary appeal for visitors to this location. Enjoy the weather, the laid-back beach lifestyle, and the breathtaking vistas of the coast, which are a stark contrast to what we have experienced so far on our tour.
You’ll stay at the 4 star Ultra-chic Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort. Welcome to one of Costa Rica's most iconic beachfront resorts, located right in the heart of Playa Tamarindo.
The rest of the day is yours to explore this posh accommodation's amenities as you please. The hotel has attractively designed rooms with views of the beach, a quiet outdoor massage area, midday cabanas, four wonderfully calming pools, and a whirlpool complete with a magnificent tropical garden atmosphere and Pre-Columbian sculptures.
If you are looking for some peace and quiet away from the bustle, the Tropicana area provides ethereal pool scenery with sun loungers, daybeds, and a pool bar if you would like to have a taste of your favourite booze while basking in the sprawling vistas. The night time sets in with one of the most riveting sunsets that paints the ambiance of Tamarindo in shades of crimson and orange.
Spend the day relaxing at Tamarindo, the perfect beach town. There's plenty of fun diversion to grace your leisurely time—Try your hand at surfing, take a stand-up paddleboarding class, relax with a spa treatment at your hotel, or just take in the sights and sounds of your beachside locale; these are just a few of the many excursions available in the area; there's more than meets the eye!
As the evening sets in, we commemorate our amazing journey with cocktails at sunset on the beach. We strongly recommend the seafood delights at one of Tamarindo's quaint restaurants featuring a wide variety of cuisines and flair to draw to a close, the perfect night.
After a hearty breakfast this morning, you'll have a few hours to spend as you wish. You can either take a laid-back option to bask in the hotel's premium amenities or enjoy some airy time at the Tamarindo beach once more before we check out and transfer back to San Jose, a journey of approximately 4hrs 30min.
We return to the familiar and welcoming ambiance of the Gran Hotel Costa Rica as our final home for the adventure and prepare for departure the next day.
Savour a relaxing breakfast, a perfect time to reflect on your incredible journey before a complimentary transfer to San Jose Airport for your onward travel.
NOTE: This itinerary is provided as an example only – prevailing conditions and local arrangements may cause variation.
Dates & Prices
Please contact us for private departures and group bookings. Single Supplement is available on request.
- The departure and finish point is San Jose
- Major commercial flights provide convenient access to San Jose. The nearest major airport is Tobías Bolaños International Airport and is 8 km from the center of San Jose. Another major airport is Juan Santamaría International Airport which has international and domestic flights and is 18 km from San Jose.
Costa Rica is 10 degrees north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average temperature range is 10C-13C (50F-55F) in the highlands, and 22C-26C (72F-79F) in the lowlands. There is a rainy season from May to November when there are daily downpours, though these are usually quite short and there is still plenty of sunshine. December to April is the driest time of the year but expect some rain.
Driving distances are not very long and most of the roads we take are good quality. However, the road leading 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 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. Please note, the sea in the Tortuguero region has very strong rip currents and is not suitable for swimming from the beach.
Travel in a private, air-conditioned 16-seater Coaster minibus. Boats are also used in Tortuguero. There is a shared transfer to Tortuguero on Day 2 of the itinerary in a larger coach.
The walking level on this trip is rated Level 1 Leisurely.
Level 1 Leisurely: Experience is not necessary; anyone fit and healthy enough to complete a weekend walk will thrive. Walks are often optional. Trails are seldom flat, so expect a reasonable number of ascents and descents. You normally walk for two to five hours per day; daily ascents will likely be around 985ft to 1,640ft (300m to 500m), perhaps with the odd day around 1,970ft (600m).
Level 3 Moderate: Expect easy, medium-length walks or harder, shorter walks. Some experience is useful, but not essential. Good health and reasonable fitness are important. There will be walks at higher altitudes and some longer, harder days. Generally, though, the underfoot conditions will be fair. A walking day is normally five to seven hours; daily ascents will likely be around 1,640ft to 2,625ft (500m to 800m), perhaps with the odd day around 2,955ft to 3,280ft (900m to 1,000m).
Level 5 Challenging: Fitness is vital with extended walking in mountainous terrain. You might also experience high altitude, challenging climates and remote locations. Trekking experience is desirable, but not vital if you are confident in your physical condition. Walking days are usually between six and eight hours, although they may be longer for passes or peaks. Daily ascents can be around 2,955ft to 3,280ft (900m to 1,000m), perhaps with the odd day around 3,610ft to 3,940ft (1,100m to 1,200m).
Level 7 Tough: Trekking experience is essential and preferably at altitude. You need complete confidence in your ability to trek for many days over difficult terrain. You may encounter extreme altitude and weather conditions and may need to use ice axes and crampons. Stamina is essential as walking days last six to nine hours (sometimes more on occasions). Daily ascents will likely be around 2,955ft to 3,280ft (900m to 1,000m), perhaps with the odd day around 3,610ft to 3,940ft (1,100m to 1,200m).
Split and optional grades: Where a trip falls between two grades, an intermediate or ‘split’ grade is used. For example, Level 2 (Leisurely/Moderate). Occasionally there are optional ascents available; in this case, the grade will be highlighted.
Onlyluxe Travel acts as travel agency and work with different tour operators.
All pricing is in Australian dollars and are quoted on a per person twin share basis. A supplementary price is available (see below). Bookings are not confirmed until full payment and the signed Booking Form has been received by Onlyluxe Travel.
A non-refundable 30% deposit is payable within 7 days of your booking, with the final balance due 90 days prior to departure. If a booking is made 90 days or less before departure, the full payment is payable immediately. Last minute bookings are payable before arrival. Failure to pay on time may result in automatic cancellation of a booking with cancellation penalties payable to Onlyluxe Travel. If you pay by credit card or PayPal a surcharge will be added to the total price.
All accommodation is twin share. Single guests will share with someone of the same gender. If a single room is demanded, a supplementary price of will apply. The supplementary price refers to our quotation and needs to be stipulated at the time of booking.
General Cancellation Policies
- Outside of 90 days monies will be refunded less 30% of full fee
- Within 90 days prior to arrival all monies will be forfeited
- No refunds will be given in the event of non-arrival, any unused services or unused nights due to flight or weather disruption
- We strongly recommend guests protect themselves with travel insurance and medical insurance
Please Note: Cancellations must be advised in email and will take effect from the date they are received.
We strongly recommend guests protect themselves with travel insurance.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Age Limits
You need to advise the tour operator on any pre-existing medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability that might reasonably be expected to increase the risk of your requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of a trip and the enjoyment of other trip members. The tour operator may require an assessment of your medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner. If you fail to adequately notify the tour operator of any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disability, the tour operator reserves the right, at its reasonable discretion, to cancel your participation in a trip at any time, including after the commencement of your trip, with no right of refund if your medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability could be reasonably expected to affect the normal conduct of the trip and the enjoyment of other trip members.
The participant agrees to indemnify Onlyluxe Travel, and its servant, tour operator and agents, in relation to any liability, loss and damage which the tour operator, or its servants and/or agents may incur as a result of the participants, negligence or misconduct during the tour.
Smoking is not permitted on the bus, or in tents or in other accommodation being used by tour operator at the time that a trip is being conducted.
Please consult travel consultant on age limit.
Changes to Itineraries
Local conditions may necessitate changes to sightseeing, walking and driving routes, camping and accommodation locations. While every effort will be made to provide the services and experiences as offered in our brochure, on our website, and in our trip letters, we reserve the right to vary your itinerary. In the event that we are forced to change your arrangements, substitute arrangements of a similar standard will be provided. The tour operator will not be liable where interruptions to itineraries are caused by weather conditions, technical problems to transport used by the tour operator, industrial action, political or civil commotion or other circumstances beyond our control. We refer you to the conditions regarding travel insurance.
Changes in Prices
While we will do its utmost to honour its pricing unforeseen circumstances may mean that prices may be subject to change without notice.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Age Limits
You need to advise Onlyluxe travel and the tour operator on any pre-existing medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability that might reasonably be expected to increase the risk of your requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of a trip and the enjoyment of other trip members. Onlyluxe Travel and the tour operator may require an assessment of your medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner. If you fail to adequately notify the tour operator of any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disability, the tour operator reserves the right, at its reasonable discretion, to cancel your participation in a trip at any time, including after the commencement of your trip, with no right of refund if your medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability could be reasonably expected to affect the normal conduct of the trip and the enjoyment of other trip members.
Cancellation by The Tour Operator
The walks take place in very special wilderness settings. The tour operator is at the mercy of nature in all her beauty and all her fury. The tour operator will under no circumstance knowingly place at risk the health and well-being of our guests and guides. In the case of natural threats, acts of God and the like (e.g. bushfires, impassable snow, etc) the tour operator may need to cancel a walk with very little notice. In some cases, this can occur after the walk has commenced. The tour operator reserves the right to cancel any walk up to 60 days prior to departure if a minimum of 4 walkers are unable to meet for a tour. If the tour operator needs to cancel for any reason, the cost of the walk or any other costs associated with travel to the designated pick up point, overnight accommodation, meals, etc will not be covered by the Onlyluxe Travel and therefore we strongly recommend travel insurance be taken out prior to travel.
'Force Majeure' means (without restriction) any event which Onlyluxe Travel or its third party providers could not, even with due care, foresee or avoid. Force Majeure covers events such as, but not limited to, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events beyond our control. In the case of Force Majeure Onlyluxe Travel will not accept liability, and reserves the right to change and cancel trips.
In rare circumstances, due to injury or unforeseen illness, the tour operator may need to evacuate you from a remote part of the walk. Helicopter evacuations are expensive and in most cases will be at a cost to the customer.
For Australian residents, under the Australian Government Medicare Act, it is prohibited for any domestic travel insurance product to provide any financial reimbursement with regard to ambulance or air ambulance services. We therefore strongly advise our customers to take specific ambulance cover through their health insurance provider. Evacuation cost will not be covered by the Onlyluxe Travel and therefore it is also strongly recommended that our customers take out travel insurance to cover (amongst other things) the costs associated with evacuation.
In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled reservations in certain circumstances, we strongly recommends suitable travel insurance be purchased at the time the holding deposit is paid. We recommend insurance cover that covers any loss which may be suffered due to cancellation. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance against loss of baggage and medical expenses.