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Discover Costa Rica

15 days
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2 725 €
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 240 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
WUC
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Group size:
5–16
Min age:
16

Experience the rainforest, mountains and coast of this tropical paradise

Costa Rica is renowned for having proportionately more protected land than any other country, making it ripe for wildlife tourism. What is less known is the marvellous, often bizarre variety of animals from catatonic sloths, screaming Howler monkeys, screeching toucans and nesting Green turtles. Throw in the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines and it is easy to see why so many return.

Highlights

  • Unrivalled wildlife viewing — Howler monkeys, caiman and sloths 
  • Visit the beaches and waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Verdant rainforest, lush mangroves, lava fields and serene cloud forests
  • Wonderful naturalist guides who will share their love of Costa Rica with you!
  • Relax on idyllic Pacific coast beaches 
  • Stay in comfortable eco-friendly lodges and hotels

Key information

  • Travel by air-conditioned bus and boat
  • 14 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges
  • Some departures with specialist birdwatching guide 
  • Green turtle nesting season: July to October

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
316 810 698
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the nights in a combination of hotels and eco-lodges around Costa Rica, where most are family run establishments that employ local staff ensuring that we are benefiting the local community. The Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is a great example of an eco-lodge model that combines conservation, environmental research and community development in a rural area. Additionally, it is 100 % carbon neutral and is constantly helping to fund local healthcare and education.

Our local operator is one of the few companies in Costa Rica to obtain the Certification for Sustainable Tourism for Tour Operators achieving all 5 levels. This is awarded by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) to identify companies according to the degree they comply to the sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management.

We are very conscious of our impact on the environment, always looking into how we can reduce negative impact and aid conservation. Through the entrance fees, our visit to national and private parks will directly support conservation efforts. When at the rural village of Copey, we will learn about the locals way of life and have a chance to have try some snacks made by a local family, fostering cultural exchange and interaction.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

San Jose
to
San Jose
  • Day 1

    Start San Jose.

    The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are available for all clients. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.

    Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    To Tortuguero N.P.

    Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero's vast network of waterways, canals and swamps is remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge, which is nestled on a small strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the main lagoon. Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum (a donation will be requested at the entrance). Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean. Today's travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast.

    Accommodation: Laguna Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Boat tour around Tortuguero waterways.

    An early morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active, and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast by the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax this afternoon if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities, or alternatively you can join a second boat trip or follow a short walking trail through the forest.

    Accommodation: Laguna Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    To La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano.

    We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived by taking a small boat to the pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of Arenal, passing huge banana, pineapple and sugar cane plantations on the way. Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until fairly recently when it entered a resting phase, and can no longer be seen spitting ash, smoke or lava. However there is still a lot of geothermal activity in the area and you'll have the opportunity to visit one of the excellent hot springs this evening. In clear weather there are great views of the volcano from our overnight base in the nearby town of La Fortuna. Today's travelling time is around five and a half hours including a lunch stop.

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    La Fortuna Waterfall hike; visit Arenal Volcano.

    Waterfalls are abundant in the region of Arenal and this morning we visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a 65 metre cascade of water plunging into an emerald pool below. A short trail through the rainforest brings us to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to the exit - the hike/climb takes around 20-30 minutes and is within the capabilities of anyone with reasonable fitness. Reward your efforts with a dip in one of the natural pools punctuating the foliage to cool off! Alternatively you could visit the lookout point and wait for the group. After lunch we take a short scenic hike within Arenal National Park, walking through secondary rainforest and passing some of the lava fields from past eruptions. The high vantage points on this walk allow great views overlooking Lake Arenal, and the birdlife is plentiful.

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    To Monteverde in the Tilaran Mountains.

    From Arenal we travel to the Tilaran Mountain Range in the Central Highlands for our first taste of a Costa Rican cloud forest. The journey provides breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below as we ascend the hills towards Monteverde, a forest-cloaked region whose name literally means 'Green Mountain'. The high altitude supports a complex eco-system where plants thrive, particularly orchids of which there are some 400+ different varieties here. Today's drive is around four hours — the last 40km of road is gravel and can be bumpy, particularly following heavy rain.

    Accommodation: Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Visit Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.

    This morning we have a guided walk in Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the first community-managed reserves in Costa Rica and an area that is world-famous for its biodiversity. To this day the reserve is managed by the Santa Elena High School with funds channelled into protecting the reserve and providing environmental education classes within the local community. Thanks to its high elevation, Santa Elena is bathed in thick misty clouds which support a huge range of flowers, ferns, mosses, vines and orchids. Birdlife thrives in the cloud forest with over 425 species recorded here. Santa Elena is also one of the best places to spot noisy Howler monkeys swinging through the trees!

    In the afternoon it's possible to join an optional coffee tour to learn about the importance of this crop to the socio-economic development of the country, or join a canopy tour to get a different view of the forest.

    Accommodation: Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    To Manuel Antonio.

    Our journey takes a south-easterly turn today as we follow the Pan-Am Highway along the coastline to Manuel Antonio, passing African oil palm and teak plantations on the way. Manuel Antonio National Park consists of a vast marine reserve as well as 1,700 acres of mangrove swamp, primary and secondary rainforest. The forest vegetation stretches as far as the high-tide line and provides a stunning backdrop to the expansive sandy beaches, forested islands and dramatic rocky headlands. Our drive to Manuel Antonio takes around four hours. We spend the next two nights here, normally in a hotel close to the beach and the entrance of the national park. Depending on our time of arrival we should have some time to enjoy various optional activities this afternoon or enjoy the hotels facilities.

    Accommodation: Villa Bosque Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Discover Manuel Antonio N.P.

    A guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park this morning should enable us to have some close wildlife encounters. White-faced Capuchin monkeys play in the trees and are frequently sighted on the beaches, whilst noisy Howler monkeys are usually heard moving through the trees and calling to each other before they are seen. The endangered Titi monkey (Squirrel monkey) are fewer in number but can sometimes be spotted in this area. Iguanas, agouti and two and three toed sloths are also commonly sighted in the national park. Manuel Antonio's beaches are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the country and we have all afternoon to enjoy them or try one of the optional activities available in this region.

    Please note that Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays. If your visit falls on a Monday, the timing of this activity will be adjusted so that you visit the park on the previous day, and today will be at leisure to enjoy the many optional excursions of the region.

    Accommodation: Villa Bosque Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    To Esquinas Lodge in Piedras Blancas N.P.

    Travel four hours south towards Golfito, a relatively wild and undiscovered region. The dense jungle here has hardly been explored or researched. The next two nights are spent in the beautiful Esquinas Rainforest Lodge set in the heart of primary rainforest and bordered by the newly created Piedras Blancas National Park and Golfito Nature Reserve. The lodge was originally financed by the government of Austria as a project combining forest research, development aid and nature conservation. Most employees are local and profits are used to help with projects in the nearby village. This afternoon we discover our peaceful surroundings and search for the abundant bird and insect life that resides here.

    Accommodation: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Hike on trails in Piedras Blancas N.P.

    Hike through the rainforest this morning with your guide and experience all of the sights and sounds of the jungle. During this activity we are likely to see snakes, monkeys and maybe sloths. This hike can be quite slippery after rainfall but is a real highlight and well worth the effort. This afternoon has been left free for optional activities — delve deeper into the forest on a 10 mile network of trails departing directly from the lodge, or simply relax by the stream-fed pool.

    Accommodation: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    To Savegre Cloud Forest.

    Our journey takes a north-westerly turn through San Isidro and up and over the Cerro de la Muerte mountain range to our next destination, the Savegre Valley, located around four and a half hours away from Golfito. The cloud forest of Savegre is said to be one of the best places in the whole of Costa Rica to see the beautiful, colourful and notoriously shy Resplendent Quetzal and we have two nights here to discover the region. These endangered birds rely on the cloud forest for their habitat — the males in particular are striking with a green crest, red breast and tail feathers that can reach a metre in length. A good pair of binoculars will be helpful for quetzal spotting as these birds camouflage themselves well amongst the wet leaves of the forest! After lunch we take a short walk from our lodge into the cloud forest.

    Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa or Trogon Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Free day to discover walking trails in Savegre.

    Today is free to relax and explore Savegre Valley. Bring your binoculars to spot some of the 170 bird species, trek through the tropical cloud forest or simply enjoy the incredible view from the lodge. Your leader will suggest walks for today so that you can discover the tropical cloud forest and sub-Andean vegetation of the area. 

    Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa or Trogon Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Visit the village of Copey; to San Jose.

    Visit the village of Copey this morning to step momentarily into the agricultural lives of those living in the highlands of the Central Mountain Range. We take a short walk to the picturesque village where some snacks will be prepared for us with a local family, which is sure to be a memorable touch of Costa Rican hospitality! A two and a half hour journey takes us back to San Jose, where there is time to explore the modern capital.

    Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 15

    End San Jose.

    The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Free transfers to San Jose airport are available to all clients today.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Costa Rica

Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica - we suggest you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them. All passengers flying via the USA will have to clear immigration during transit. Prior to travel you must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (USD14) under the Visa Waiver Programme. Please see here for more information. The same applies to travel via Canada which also requires an Electronic Travel Authority. If you are not a UK citizen please check with your local U.S. Embassy. 

Vaccinations

Costa Rica

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements, however, if you have travelled to a country at risk of Yellow Fever prior to arriving in Costa Rica you will be required to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate with you. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style, and lunches and dinners at Tortuguero and Esquinas Rainforest Lodge are also buffet style. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Costa Rican specialities include 'Gallo Pinto', a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruit is abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics.

Weather

Costa Rica is located 10º north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average temperature range is 10ºC - 13ºC in the highlands, and from 22ºC - 26ºC 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 bright sunshine, so midsummer is not necessarily a bad time to go. December to April is the driest time of the year but you should still expect some rain.

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded 1 (Leisurely) with a safari rating of 3.

Driving distances are not very long and most of the roads that we travel on are of good quality. However, the road which leads to the river on the way to and from Tortuguero and the road into and out of Monteverde have poor surfaces and this can result in slow driving times, particularly following heavy rain. There are several included and optional walks on the itinerary which occasionally involve walking on rough paths. These are suitable for most levels of fitness and usually last from two to three hours. 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 that in the region of Tortuguero the sea has very strong rip currents and is not suitable for swimming from the beach. 

Please note that Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays. If your visit falls on a Monday, the timing of this activity will be adjusted so that you visit the park on the previous day, and you will have a free day to enjoy the many optional excursions of the region.

BIRD-WATCHING DEPARTURES
For keen birders, we have designated a number of departures that will be accompanied by a specialist bird-watching guide. Walks and visits to national parks will be led with the intention of seeing as much bird life as possible. Please check the dates and prices for more details. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
316 810 698
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and Eco-Lodges

14 nights spent in hotels and eco-lodges, all with en suite facilities and most with swimming pools.

We use fairly small, family run establishments: wooden lodges set in tropical gardens or eco-lodges nestled in the rainforest. The highlight of this trip will no doubt be our stay at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, a 100% carbon neutral property within Piedras Blancas National Park —  wake up surrounded by the sound of birds!

Optional single supplement available, please see Dates & Prices.

Call for general departures:
316 810 698
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
316 810 698
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Paul Goldstein is one of very few people that has spent time with all five of the BBC's ‘Dynasty’ luminaries.

Here at Exodus we are incredibly passionate about wildlife and the conservation efforts to save it.

  • Reviewed April 2019
    Karen Lim

    Absolutely wonderful - totally recommend!

    This trip really did offer a lot - rainforest, cloud forest, canopy, beaches, waterfalls, hot springs, lots and lots of birdlife, wildlife, hot weather, cool weather, sun, rain. Costa Rica is a land of contrasts and diversity! It was one of the best holidays I have ever had.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many memorable moments - seeing the resplendent quetzals, the monkeys, the hummingbirds, the sloths, the macaws, swimming in the waterfall, the hot springs. Learning to distinguish the calls of various birds (particularly the black-faced solitaire, aka the squeaky door bird).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I've joined the Johnny Villalobos fan club - excellent guide and great guy, passionate about birdlife, wildlife, his country and the environment. It isn't surprising he was named Leader of the year 2017. A special mention to our very able driver Frank who kept our minibus clean and shiny.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring binoculars, a camera with a good zoom lens, suncream and effective mosquito repellent. No need for hiking boots, waterproof walking shoes/trainers will do. Shorts most of the time, trousers for the colder areas. Two swimming costumes (the first one may not dry in time).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Costa Rica is becoming a very popular holiday destination, so go before it gets overrun! Pura vida!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Kathryn Gregg

    Extremely Memorable Trip

    This trip exceeded our expectations in every respect. We had a fantastic holiday with a small group of like-minded people and every day we saw something special thanks to our excellent guide, Berny. Our transport and driver were also first class. Each destination was unique. The accommodation overall was excellent, especially the remote forest lodges where you really feel part of the wildlife experience. The food included was also very good, as were the optional restaurants we visited as a group with the guide when dinner wasn't included. No-one wanted to miss anything and everyone got along so well, which is always a bonus. We were very lucky with the weather and only got wet twice. We only took two of the optional (extra cost) excursions - the suspension bridges and the night hike, both at Monteverde and both very good. Berny obviously enjoyed showing us the diverse flora and fauna at each destination as he included additional walks and hikes almost every day, even if we only had an hour or so free and only one or two wanted to go while others stayed behind at the resort and relaxed. We spotted the elusive sun bittern at Tortuguero at the start of the trip and a pair of rare nesting quetzal at the end of the trip at Savegre - really exciting as we were searching for them and so special when we found them and saw them flying in and out of the nest. Really too many memorable moments to mention, but if you enjoy viewing wildlife, birds, plants and flowers without the walking being too strenuous then this is the trip for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The excitement of searching for, and finding, the quetzals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Berny was excellent, so enthusiastic, knowldgeable and proud of his country and birthplace.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No need to take heavy or expensive waterproofs if you're travelling during the 'dry' season. Shorts and a cheap poncho/light showerproof jacket will suffice as the temperature is quite warm and the showers brief. It did get a bit chilly high up in the mountains - Monteverde and Savegre - but a sweater/light fleece did the job. Also, don't forget to take a pair of lighter sandals/swimming shoes, especially if you're planning on spending time around one of the many available swimming pools. Most walks required light closed-toe walking boots, but there are a few walks where a pair of open-toed trekking sandals will do.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Peter Gornall

    A very happy traveller

    Although on paper it might look as if we were in a bus a lot, every moment was worth it for the variety of terrain and wildlife we saw, and the people we met. The wildlife was stunning, made more so through the expertise of our guide, the Tortuguera boat pilot, and the bus driver too. The accommodation was invariably clean and well looked after. The only concern was Manuel Antonio park, which is highly commercialised. We queued for a hour from just after 7 am to get in, and there was (in contrast to all the other parks) close to mayhem inside. I suspect that mangrove wildlife is not as happy as it should be there. The coffee farm and the over-canopy walkways were well worth the money. The visit to a dairy farm was very good too, and the farming ladies did so much to make us welcome. The National Museum in San Jose is excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swallow-tail Kite starting out and rising on a thermal. Being watched by a caiman The spider monkey adventuring in the dining hall in Tortuguera

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent guy - (Meyer Jiminez). He was very considerate and helpful; he knew how to rearrange a timetable when we had been held up by first road works and then an accident, and we still fulfilled the programme for the day. He is a considerable bird expert, and has a good knowledge of trees, geology, economics, ecology, farming and all sorts. I'd say we were very lucky to have him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy!! Be aware of the range of temperatures from coastal heat to mountain cool Someone on our party was able to get Colons from a Travelex office in a large Tesco. Colons work a bit better than dollars, though you are not going to be badly out-of-pocket with them.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Joan Littleton

    Trip of a lifetime

    From beginning to end this trip never ceased to enthrall me. The organisation was spot on. The accommodation was first class. From the cloud rainforest to the hot and humid jungle we saw so much wildlife it was awe-inspiring. Our guide led us through this Wonderland with amazing knowledge and enthusiasm. I have travelled to many parts of the world but never been so inspired. What a wonderful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Zip wiring Hanging bridges Swimming under waterfall Early morning boat in Tortogerou

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Glenda Araya was wonderful She told us so much about her country and showed us flora and fauna with such humour and knowledge and enthusiasm

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack for hot and cold. Such variation in temperature

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go there!
  • Reviewed March 2019

    Pura Vida!

    I have been wanting to visit Costa Rica for a number of years and it didn’t disappoint. What an amazing and diverse country, so many different landscapes and microclimates in such a small country. If you are interested in wildlif and birds then this is the trip for you - I tried to make a note of everything we saw and I still only captured about half of it! You stay in every place for 2 nights which is great as you have time to relax and explore each place. All the lodges and hotels are in great locations and of good quality. Some of the best wildlife spotting was in the beautiful grounds of the lodges - you could just sit outside your room and wait for it to come to you! Driving distances are not too great and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy your surroundings- some of the roads are very uneven so you do get a good massage but our fantastic driver, Carlos did his best to keep this to minimum. I shared the experience with a great group which made the trip even better, you had plenty of time to do things together or take time out and do your own thing if you wanted.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s very difficult to pick out one moment - seeing my first sloth in Tortuguero, seeing the sunrise on a deserted Caribbean beach, zip lining through stunning cloud forest in Monteverde, being woken by howler monkeys doing what they do best, swimming in the Pacific Ocean, enjoying the amazing surroundings of Esquinas Lodge, becoming blasé about hummingbirds after seeing so many, listening to coyotes howling in Savegre or enjoying happy hour!! Make the most of every moment as it’s over far too quickly and you’re back to reality.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I chose this trip in March as it was being led by Jonny Villalobos, tour leader of the year 2017, as I’d read so much fantastic feedback about him and I can honestly say it’s all true. His knowledge of and passion for his country and it’s wildlife just shines out of him and it’s utterly infectious. He was so attentive to our groups needs, we had a number of vegetarians, vegans, gluten free and dairy intolerant in our group and he made sure there was always something for them to eat. He added extra walks and wildlife spotting opportunities if you wanted them or he gave you time to just unwind in your beautiful surroundings. March is probably the peak time to go but Jonny was brilliant at getting us away from the crowds which were really only evident in Manual Antonio national park, which you don’t want to miss as the beaches are stunning here. Jonny is a brilliant ambassador for Costa Rica and for Exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weather conditions - ensure you have a good poncho or waterproof as the only thing I can guarantee is you will need it at least once!! Dry bags are also very useful to keep your camera and other essentials dry. Avoid this trip if you don’t like early mornings - I stayed on UK time so was up early most days to enjoy the sights and sounds of Costa Rica which were at the best in the early mornings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it- Costa Rica is a very diverse country with so much to offer - no 2 days are the same. Pura Vida!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Tim McGrath

    Wuc

    Fantastic trip helped by very knowledgeable and helpful guide + driver

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Birds

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First class. He did have to go over things more than once but only because certain people preferred to talk rather then listen

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unfortunately we had a really unpleasant single woman who found time to complain about everything. She was always late (even missed cab to airport), complained about her room, the guide, other tourists and that she had to pay a single supplement. She couldn’t have read the tour notes because she expected something more cultural, had on bins or waterproofs.She upset most of the group on numerous occasions, other tourists, Costa Ricans and especially our poor guide.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Tim McGrath

    Wuc

    Fantastic trip helped by very knowledgeable and helpful guide + driver

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Birds

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First class. He did have to go over things more than once but only because certain people preferred to talk rather then listen

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unfortunately we had a really unpleasant single woman who found time to complain about everything. She was always late (even missed cab to airport), complained about her room, the guide, other tourists and that she had to pay a single supplement. She couldn’t have read the tour notes because she expected something more cultural, had on bins or waterproofs.She upset most of the group on numerous occasions, other tourists, Costa Ricans and especially our poor guide.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Ann Ford

    Excellent

    As someone who wasn’t bothered about our trip to Costa Rica I can honestly say I have fallen in love with this country and it’s people. The trip with Exodus was so good. The guides, the activities and accommodation was first class. I would recommend this trip and Exodus to everyone. Fabulous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Quetzel .. I have fallen in love with bird watching.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was brilliant. Helpful, inspirational and an all round wonderful guy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was just a wonderful trip, cannot thank Exodus and Camino travel enough.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Jenny Brown

    Costa Rica for variety

    This 2-week trip took us to several geographically different regions ; volcano, tropical rain forest, beach and cloud Forrest. All had their individual climate and wildlife. We travelled with our guide and driver in a comfortable air-conditioned coach, staying in each location for 2 nights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1. Seeing sloths moving around in the treetops in Tortuguero NP , and seeing a sleeping toucan through the telescope of our night-walk guide. 2. The rough Caribbean Sea and the power of the waves

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was excellent. He is also a bird-watching guide and was able to identify everything we saw. He was able to answer questions on other topics too. He was very careful about looking after the 2 people who needed to eat gluten-free meals for medical reasons. His English was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for extreme climate. It is unbearably hot in the southern rain forest and you have to realise that doing anything, even walking, is exhausting.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was great to be able to drink the tap water. Food is delicious. Toilet paper has to be discarded in a bin, not down the pan.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Harriet Woodcock

    Everyday a highlight

    We'd wanted to go to Costa Rica for some time and this holiday did not disappoint. In two weeks we saw amazing things on the coast, in the mountains, in the jungle and in the cloud forest. Our guide, Katia, was extremely knowledgeable and was excellent at spotting wildlife and explaining all about it. Indeed all the drivers and guides we encountered on the journey were excellent and also good at spotting wildlife. The accommodation was good all round including some great jungle lodges. We really felt that we 'discovered costa rica' and were really impressed with the whole holiday and the country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's hard to pick the most inspirational moment of the trip as there were so many of them. Esquina lodge was special. It was a small lodge in the jungle and everywhere you looked there was wildlife. The afternoon we arrived we had a fantastic thunderstorm so we got to truly experience the rainforest. At night the jungle came alive with the sound of frogs and other wildlife. But we also were captivated by the sloths in the cloud forest, the monkeys at Manuel Antonio, the humming birds everywhere ( who knew there were so many varieties?), colourful toucans at Tortuguero, and of course the quetzal in Savegre Lodge.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Katia was so knowledgable about the wildlife and very patient with those of us who aren't natural 'birders' . She also gave us a great insight into the country with lots of information and stories to bring the history and politics to life. She was very personable and one of the best guides I've had on a holiday like this. A big shout out to Juan Jose our driver who was also good at spotting bird and kept the bus immaculately clean and tidy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fab holiday with lots of opportunities to spot wildlife so book it now! The walks are undemanding compared to what we are used to doing, they use made paths or boardwalks and can easily be done in approach shoes or trainers. There are some steps and inclines and some of our companions found sticks useful but we didn't feel we needed them. All the lodges are designed to keep out bugs and beasties but occasionally some creep in (you are in the forest/jungle after all) so check your room before you go to sleep! The hotel staff are on hand to extract any unwanted creatures. Do try the coffee, it's excellent everywhere- non of this instant coffee stuff. There's lots of nice fish to eat fresh from the sea. You have to eat gallopinto at least once - I got quite addicted to it and will be cooking it at home. Only one downside and that was San Jose Airport. We waited three hours to get through customs on the way in so be prepared for a wait. We were told the average is around two hours.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a fab, fab, holiday. I truly have discovered Costa Rica

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 316 810 698