Costa Rica Highlights

Spend the first days exploring famous Tortuguero and then Arenal volcano and Monteverde, relaxing at the beach in Manuel Antonio

12 Days / 11 Nights

Costa Rica Highlights

Spend the first days exploring famous Tortuguero and then Arenal volcano and Monteverde, relaxing at the beach in Manuel Antonio

12 Days / 11 Nights

San José-Tortuguero-Arenal-Monteverde-Manuel Antonio

Discover the most amazing destinations in Costa Rica

This 12-day itinerary combines tropical rainforest with volcanoes and cloud forests with a bit of a beach holiday. Spend two days in Tortuguero National park exploring the jungle canals by boat. Then travel deeper inland to cross suspension bridges in the jungle, zip-line over trees, and enjoy hikes in La Fortuna and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You'll end your trip by traveling to Manuel Antonio for relaxation on the beautiful beaches.
Day 1
Arrival to San Jose

Welcome to Costa Rica! Once you have passed immigration and customs and stepped out of the airport doors, you will have one of our representatives waiting for you outside with a sign with your name on it. He will drive you to your hotel in San José.

Private Transfer from International Airport to San José

Option A: Parque del Lago (1 Night)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Option B: Hotel Grano de Oro (1 Night)
Room Type: Deluxe Patio Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast and Taxes Included

Day 02
Bus & Boat Transfer to Tortuguero

Marvel at the spectacular scenery as you make your way through the city to Braulio Carrillo National Park. En route, you’ll pass through the agricultural region of the Limon Lowlands, where crops of pineapples, paddies of rice, and various forms of cattle flourish. An opportunity to enjoy a delicious, typical Costa Rican breakfast presents itself along the way. Once you’ve arrived at the port, you will be transferred by boat to the lodge.

Tortuguero National Park is one of Costa Rica’s most incredible destinations on the Caribbean coast.  It’s beaches attract thousands of nesting sea turtles. The surrounding rainforest is filled with wildlife. And because there are no roads to Tortuguero National Park, just getting here is an adventure. Tortuguero is one of the wettest places in Costa Rica, receiving over 6 meters (20 feet) of rain each year. This is an eco-travel paradise, filled with stunning biodiversity. Each year between June and October, tens of thousands of green sea turtles returned to the dark sand beach to lay their eggs. Tortuguero is more than just sea turtles. Lying just beyond the beach are a handful of serpentine rivers that reach deep into the jungle, opening up a lush wilderness filled with wildlife. You can explore the rivers by motorboat, kayak or canoe. As you cruise through the waterways, look for monkeys, sloths, parrots, crocodiles, caimans and dozens of other exotic animals. All told, Tortuguero is home to 60 mammal species, 57 amphibian species, 111 reptile species, over 300 bird species, over 400 tree species and over 2,000 plant species! With so much biodiversity, it’s no wonder Tortuguero is the Caribbean coast’s top eco-destination and Costa Rica’s third-most visited national park.

Option A: Pachira Lodge (1 Package)
Room Type: 3D/2N Standard Room
Meals Plan: Meals

Option B: Manatus Hotel (1 Package)
Room Type: 3D/2N Deluxe Room
Meals Plan: Meals and Taxes Included (Beverages are not included)

Tortuguero is a very remote place in the Costa Rican Caribbean. Finding A/C, hot water, cable tv, mini-bar and Wi-Fi in local hotels and lodges is not an easy task. Manatus Hotel is an exclusive way to enjoy Tortuguero with fully equipped luxury rooms.

Day 03
Programmed activities at Tortuguero

Rise and shine bright and early this morning, where you have a chance to enjoy a famous Costa Rican coffee, or tea at the restaurant before heading out in search of adventure. Join a guided Canal Tour to experience the jungle which surrounds the nearby canals. Through an infinite network of river canals and mangroves, you will experience a truly unique contact with nature. Your guide will explain what they’ve learnt about this beautiful jungle flora and fauna.  Their experience in the field has provided them with plenty of knowledge about the many species of wildlife that call this jungle home.

Day 04
Boat & Bus transfer to Guapiles. After Lunch, you receive your rental car and self-drive to Arenal Volcano / La Fortuna

The Northern Plains of Costa Rica showcases some very scenic countryside towns. Small agriculture communities and cattle ranches cover rolling hills and deep valleys. The plains, rainforests and rivers make the north-central a must-see in any Costa Rica program.  The main attraction is the iconic Arenal Volcano. The Arenal Volcano area is Costa Rica’s premier region of exploration and excitement: Arenal is synonymous with adventure and Eco-discovery, where you can embark on a wide variety of activities. Enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting or canyoning, or combine adventure with ecological discovery in a canopy tour. Hike the volcano or explore the rainforest strolling through hanging bridges. Feel transformed by the beauty and variety of our wildlife and tropical jungle. Get ready for a life-changing adventure!

Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Nayara Gardens.

Nayara Gardens is a luxury boutique hotel and spa set against the panoramic backdrop of the Arenal Volcano, surrounded by the Costa Rican Rainforest. Guests at Nayara Gardens can book a safari through the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, or a horseback ride to the Fortuna Waterfall. They can also hike along the Celeste River. For relaxation, the spa at Nayara Gardens offers coffee scrubs and volcanic mud treatments. Guests can unwind with an exotic cocktail from the outdoor pool and wet bar. The bamboo decked restaurant offers 360-degree gardens views and serves Costa Rican cuisine, while the wine bar features a selection of South American and Spanish wines and canapés.

Option A: Arenal Volcano Inn (2 Nights)
Room Type: Deluxe Room
Meals Plan: Buffet Breakfast

Option B: Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens (2 Nights)
Room Type: Casita Deluxe
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 05
Free Day at Arenal volcano / La Fortuna

From bird watching, waterfalls, exotic plants and of course the majestic Arenal Volcano, the Arenal area features a great diversity of attractions and activities to enjoy. Enjoy a natural walking in the primary forest of Costa Rica, through the Arenal hanging bridges. They are 14 in total. La Fortuna River Waterfall boasts a beautiful scenic surrounded by abundant vegetation and a great variety of flora and fauna. The hot springs are very important for your body because they have minerals coming from the volcano. You can relax in them after having enjoyed a tour or spending one day in La Fortuna.

Arenal Volcano Tours
Day 06
Self-drive to Monteverde

A startling haven for all that is living and natural, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve promises a journey that will make you one with nature–at a whole new level. Located in the Cordillera de Tilarán, Monteverde is one of the top ecotourism destinations the world over, being one of the most spectacular wildlife sanctuary and nature reserve in the world. It is actually home to some of the most endangered species in the planet. Its elevation is from 600 meters to 1800 meters above sea level in some isolated areas. It currently houses about 2,000 plant & tree species, 400 bird species, 100 species of mammals and around 1,200 amphibians and reptiles as well as hundreds of unique fern and orchid species. Birds are one of the main attractions in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve as a lot of them would migrate there and a variety of species are for everyone to see alive and freely hovering. Some of the famed birds found in the cloud forest are the bare-necked umbrella birds, the endangered Bellbird, quetzals and over 30 species of hummingbirds.

Option A: Trapp Family Lodge Hotel (2 Nights)
Room Type: Superior Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Option B: Monteverde Lodge & Gardens (2 Nights)
Room Type: Forest View Downstairs Room
Meals Plan: A la Carte Breakfast

Day 07 
Free Day at Monteverde

What’s there to do in Monteverde? Tours are available for all nature lovers or first-time nature explorers alike. Considering the size of the reserve, hanging bridges and trails are good for hiking and sight-seeing. There is even a special private birding tour if you’re interested in learning more about such famous flying species as the quetzal. For the more active we offer zip lining!

Day 08
Self-drive to Quepos / Manuel Antonio National park

A place of swaying palms and playful monkeys, sparkling blue water and a riot of tropical birds, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is the country’s smallest and most popular national park. It’s a truly lovely place; the clearly marked trail system winds through rainforest-backed white-sand beaches and rocky headlands, the wildlife (iguanas, sloths, monkeys) is plentiful, and the views across the bay to the pristine outer islands are gorgeous. Manuel Antonio National Park combines the rainforest with breathtaking white-sand beaches, among the most beautiful in Costa Rica. The Manuel Antonio Region has received plenty of coverage in travel magazines, earning it the distinction of one of the 10 most beautiful places in the world! Manuel Antonio’s humid tropical forest remains green year-round. The town itself is spread out across a hilly and curving road. Along this main road, near the top of the hill, are the area’s most luxurious hotels and fine-dining restaurants, surrounded by rain forest with amazing views of the beaches and offshore islands. From Manuel Antonio, you can experience whitewater rafting, guided rainforest waterfall walks, horseback riding, snorkelling and sports fishing.

***Note that Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays.

The charming Si Como No hotel is set in the jungle above Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park and is a 5-minute car ride to the beach. It offers a cinema, spa, hot tub and 2 outdoor pools with a swim-up bar and a butterfly garden. The air-conditioned rooms at the Sí Como No Resort, Spa & Wildlife Refuge feature tiled floors and modern décor.  The Sí Como No has a contemporary characteristic restaurant.

Option A: Playa Espadilla Hotel (3 Nights)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Option B: Si Como No Hotel (3 Nights)
Room Type: Superior Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 09 & 10
Free Days at Quepos/Manuel Antonio

Explore the world-famous Manuel Antonio, National Park. The diverse wildlife, green ecosystem and three pristine beaches make up the beauty of this popular tourist destination. You can also join a catamaran cruise.  The Pacific Ocean offers a superb venue for enjoying marine animals, stunning sunsets and hosting gatherings. Or check out the Kids Saving the Rainforest! Witness how the people in this sanctuary take in injured animals, care for them and release them in the wild in due time.

Day 11
Self-drive to San Jose. Drop Off car at your hotel.

Option A: Holiday Inn Express San jose Forum (1 Night)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Option B: Grano de Oro Hotel (1 Night)
Room Type: Deluxe Patio Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 12
Departure from San Jose to the International Airport

A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer from your hotel to San José Airport today. Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

Private Transfer from San José to International Airport

  • ·       All services indicated in the itinerary above.

    ·       Personalized information, complete voucher list.

    ·       Local Travel Program Support, 24-hour emergency service.

    ·       Airport transfers upon arrival and departure.

    ·       11 nights of accommodation in hotels specified in the proposal.

    ·       Breakfast at all hotels and taxes included.

    ·       Tortuguero Package includes:

    ·      Ground transportation from San José to Pavona / Caño Blanco and back to San José.

    ·      Boat transfer from Pavona / Caño Blanco to Tortuguero and back to Pavona / Caño Blanco.

    ·      All Meals during your stay: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners.

    ·      Guided tour to Tortuguero canals by boat through the National Park (Entrance fee not included US$ 16.95 per person).

    ·      Guided visit to Tortuguero Village.

    ·       8 days car rental. (Suzuki Vitara 4×4 Auto).

    ·      Free mileage.

    ·      1st additional driver free of charges.

    ·      Free GPS and rechargeable SIM card for local calls.

    ·      Coverages:

    ·       CDW-TP-TPL: collision damage waiver-theft protection-third party liability


    • Other meals than indicated as included.
    • National Park Entrance fees.
    • Other excursions tours and activities indicated as optional or not included.
    • Airport taxes (US$ 29.00 per person not included).
    • International flights.
    • Personal expenses. Tips and extras at hotels.
    • Travel insurance.

The most important things to bring are your travel documents: a valid passport, flight and hotel information, health insurance card and driver’s license (if you plan on renting a car in Costa Rica). We advise you to make three copies of these documents. Put one copy in your carry-on bag, one copy in your suitcase and leave one copy at home.

Basic Tropical forests, colorful wildlife and spectacular beaches are part of daily life in Costa Rica. The climate varies depending on where you are, so pack accordingly.

  1. Prepare for hot, humid summers. Shorts, T-shirts, sundresses, skirts and tank tops in lightweight fabrics should keep you cool. Take a sweater for evenings at a higher elevation.
  2. Bring plenty of sunblock. Also include insect repellent, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a swimsuit.
  3. Take rubber-soled sandals or hiking boots for journeys into the rain forests. Flip-flops and sandals are great for resorts and hanging out by the beach.
  4. Pack separate clothes for evenings. Simple dresses are great for women, while men will do well in long shorts and a button-down shirt.
  5. Prepare for cool winters, particularly in the northern regions and at higher elevations. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are a must, while a fleece jacket or a sweater is advisable.
  6. Take an umbrella if you plan to travel between May and November – Costa Rica’s wettest period.
  7. A rain slicker will come in handy while hiking.
  8. Take an electric converter and adapter.