We've just released new departures on this trip! Check out the Dates & Prices section for more information.

Discover Costa Rica

15 days
from
2 749 €
View Trips
Loading...
Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 248 reviews >
Leisurely
Learn more
Trip code: 
WUC
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made 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
  • Countries visited: Costa Rica

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:
353 (0)1 804 7153
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.

Post-trip Extensions

Tamarindo Beach Extension Costa Rica

Extend your stay in Costa Rica with a few nights of rest and relaxation at Tamarindo on the Pacific Coast. Once a sleepy fishing village, Tamarindo was discovered by surfers in the late 1980's and has steadily grown its reputation as one of Costa Rica's best beach destinations. Located in Guanacaste Province, known for its good weather and predictable sunshine, Tamarindo has a great mix of facilities and retains an authentic laid-back atmosphere. The town has accommodation catering to all budgets, from high-end boutique hotels to smaller, comfortable and characterful properties. Its big draw is the long expanse of beach, with a curved bay backed by palm trees, cafes and restaurants. The waves are strong and loved by surfers, with swimmers mostly staying to the shallow surf breaking on the shore. Facing west, the sunsets in Tamarindo are dramatic and not to be missed! There are plenty of excursions that can be organised locally if you want to discover the surrounding area. Or simply sit back and soak up the laid-back beach life, which is a real contrast from the other areas you will have visited in Costa Rica.  

We have hand-picked a selection of properties in Tamarindo and selected transport options to suit all budgets and group sizes - all that's left for you to decide is how long you want to go for, and we'll do the rest! 

ACCOMMODATION:

Please note that rates shown below are per room (not per person) and all hotels include breakfast 

Capitan Suizo Hotel: This beachfront boutique hotel is set in a privileged location to the south of the bay, with rooms surrounded by tropical gardens. Thoughtfully designed accommodation with excellent dining options, wonderful service and a friendly team waiting to welcome you. Just away from the main town, it has a lovely pool area and private loungers on the beach. Prices from £245 per room per night for a Superior Room.   

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel: This luxurious hotel is nestled in native trees and lush vegetation, just a short walk from the beach of Playa Langosta which is around the headland from Tamarindo's main beach. Consistently rated as one of the Top 10 hotels in Costa Rica by Trip Advisor! Elegant accommodation and surroundings with every need catered for, this is pure R&R. Prices from £225 per room per night for a Deluxe Room. 

Tamarindo Diria Hotel: Located right in the middle of the beach, this is one of Tamarindo's original hotels and has the most spectacular palm tree-lined view from its pool/dining areas. It is split into different areas, with the majority of rooms located away from the beachfront. Prices from £145 per room per night for a Standard Room.  

Wyndham Esplendor Hotel: One of the best infinity pools we've seen with extensive views across Tamarindo bay, thanks to it's hillside location above Tamarindo. Elegant rooms and facilities, but a fair walk from the beach and Tamarindo town - there is a free shuttle transfer provided at set times. Prices from £140 per room per night for an Ocean View Room.  

Arco Iris Hotel: A great option for value, with comfortable rooms surrounded by lush tropical gardens. A tranquil location set back from the street, around 500 metres to the beach. Prices from £100 per room per night for a Bungalow Room. 

Pasatiempo Hotel: A small, intimate property with real character and comfortable rooms. We think Pasatiempo is a hidden gem and it is our preferred choice if you are looking for great value and don't mind being located a short 5 minute walk to the beach. There are some great restaurants and shops nearby. Prices from £90 per room per night for a Standard Room or £95 per room per night for a Deluxe Room.  

How to reach Tamarindo?

There are three options to reach Tamarindo from San Jose, depending on your budget and how much time you have:

Shuttle bus: This is the most economical way to reach Tamarindo, particularly for solo travellers. The shuttle bus system is easy, safe and reliable and will drop you directly at your hotel. Shuttles usually pick up from hotels in San Jose at 7:15am or 2:30pm. From Tamarindo the departure times back to San Jose are usually 8am or 2pm. The journey takes approximately 4-5 hours. You can also leave or return by shuttle directly from the airport - please specify at the time of booking and double check timings with your sales consultant as schedules may change depending on the season. Prices from £45 per person, each way. 

Private transfer: If you would prefer to travel in your own vehicle (seating up to 6 people), or need transfers timed perfectly with your international flights, we recommend a private transfer for the journey. You can either take this as a return or for just one leg of the journey. By private transfer the journey takes approximately 4 hours. Prices from £280 for a private transfer seating up to 6 people, each way. 

Flight: Perfect if you are short of time, you can take an internal flight from San Jose to Tamarindo Airstrip. During high season (Dec-Apr) there are usually 4 flights during the day in each direction. Outside of high season there are usually 2 flights in each direction. Flights usually take under 1 hour. With this service we will also arrange a vehicle transfer between your Tamarindo hotel and the airstrip. Luggage weight and size restrictions apply (30lbs, 114cm). Prices from £170 per person, one way.

There is also the option to arrange your return flights from Liberia airport, around 1 hour 30 minutes from Tamarindo, with a private transfer to Tamarindo. Please speak to your Sales Consultant to discuss this option. 

We recommend visiting Tamarindo for at least 3 nights. Please speak to your Sales Consultant for more details, to check hotel availability or to make a reservation. You may need additional hotel nights in San Jose depending on the end date of your trip and your flight schedule. Also please note that some hotels in Tamarindo are not available in September. 

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:
353 (0)1 804 7153
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.

Accommodation has been chosen for its location: typically wooden lodges set in tropical gardens or eco-lodges tucked away in the heart of the rainforest. We aim to use family run establishments as much as possible. Our list of preferred hotels is below: 

In San Jose the comfortable, modern Presidente Hotel has been chosen with easy access to downtown areas of the city. 
In Tortguero, Laguna Lodge combines a number of wooden lodges surrounded by beautifully kept gardens where wildlife often roams freely (look out for sloths and monkeys here!) - please note there are celing fans but no air-conditioning at this property.
Arenal Montechiari Hotel is located within a 10 minute walk of La Fortuna town. Each chalet bungalow is set amidst the tropical gardens where hummingbirds like to gather, and there are wonderful views of the Arenal Volcano. 
In the cloud-forest we use the Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge, a comfortable property elevated to have a panoramic view across the forest from the main restaurant area. Rooms are cosy with duvets for the change in climate you'll notice here. 
In Manuel Antonio we stay at Villa Bosque Hotel due to its close proximity to the entrance of the National Park which enables easier access to and from the park. 
The highlight of this trip will no doubt be your stay at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, a 100% carbon neutral property within Piedras Blancas National Park — wake up surrounded by the sound of birds! This is a unique and simple property, with ceiling fans rather than air-conditioning due to its location in the heart of the forest. 
Our final accommodation is Savegre Hotel, located in an ideal position within the Savegre Valley this lodge has plant-filled gardens, multiple walking trails to use and cosy wooden lodges.  

Please note that one or several of the named properties might be substituted for similar alternatives in order to secure hotel availablity. Please discuss with your Customer Operations Executive if you require more details regarding your specific departure date. 

Optional single supplement available, please see Dates & Prices.

Call for general departures:
353 (0)1 804 7153
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.

  • Reviewed August 2019
    Heather Kerr

    Discovering Costa Rica

    Exceeded Expectations Excellent Guide Extraordinary range of wildlife and flowers

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a quetzl flying

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Holiday of a lifetime - do it before you die !
  • Reviewed June 2019
    michael blake

    two wonderful weeks in costa rica

    A superb tour that delivered pretty much everything it promised. Good accommodation and comfortable transport. Wonderful scenery, amazing birds, mammals and vegetation throughout.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cruising the quieter backwaters of the Tortaguero National Park, Seeing a mother and baby Sloth at close quarters, incredible birdlife on the Tarcoles river and magical two nights at the Esquinas Nature Lodge.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armando was an excellent group leader who was very good at locating, identifying and explaining about all the myriad life forms we saw.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A must for lovers of birds and nature

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Spending two nights at each stop made for a fairly relaxing trip.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Maureen Cross

    Discover Costa Rica

    Excellent trip in all aspect, better than I expected

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip but very impressed with the beauty of Costa Rica

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jonny Villalobos is a lovely man and a great tour leader. He is very passionate his country. His knowledge of the history, the people and what the country is doing to improve and conserve the country is incredible. The depth of knowledge about the wild is fantastic. More importantly is the way he imparts his knowledge in all the areas, with passion and in a way that is so captivating. He is more than a guide, he cares deeply about the group ensuring all their needs are met. He puts in a lot of time and effort & works hard to ensure our welfare is met and that we feel comfortable. I know he has previously been voted best tour guide but he should be voted again as 'the very best tour guide'

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    maybe to let people know that there are some quite steep climbs. Although Jonny did make it clear that we didn't have to do the climbs and when we did to take it at our own pace.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No, just that it was a great trip and to thank Exodus, and in particular Jonny Villalobos, for all the effort that they put into organising the trip. For the thought that has gone into the selection of the places that we stayed at and the consideration for the local communities and ecology of the country
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Glenda Beale

    Great Wildlife in their natural habitat

    Beautiful Costa Rica tour with an amazing and passionate guide who expertly led us through the different geographical landscapes and wildlife. We saw so much in 2 weeks, very active, and understood what we saw. Great group of people sharing the experiences with. Highly recommend the tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting up at 5 am to go Quetzal watching and 2 hour later actually clearly seeing the resplendent bird.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Johnny Villalobos was a beautiful person who was passionate about Costa Rica and the wildlife. He was extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and both what we both heard and saw.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring Binoculars and a good zoom camera. My small compact umbrella was very useful. Waterproof boots a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    14 people on the tour was enough to all see the wildlife in walks. Do the optional Monteverde Sky Walk through the Cloud Forest canopy and suspension bridges.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Annie Marshall

    Don’t miss this

    A couple of friends and I joined this trip. It’s an amazing wildlife adventure that’s not to be missed. Tropical rain forests and cloud forests, some in the mountains, by the Caribbean coast on waterways and on the Pacific coast with beach time. Always options carefully explained by Johnny our superb guide whose enthusiasm, passion for wildlife and humour made it all come alive. He answered all our questions about the history, culture, birds, animals and plants of Costa Rica with great patience! Hotels very comfortable, delicious breakfasts and the provided meals were good, the staff friendly and helpful. It was hot and humid in the lowlands and cooler in the mountains. Rain was mainly in the afternoon and in May it was dark by 6pm. I took walking poles but didn’t use them though a couple of people did. Plastic bag for camera and binoculars is wise. Rain gear is essential. There is sound daily advice about open or closed footwear, long trousers or shorts. In summary, if you’re keen on wildlife book! I intend to add the Coastal Secrets trip to my list- near the top.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Very difficult to decide as the whole point of had trip is the biodiversity. Seeing sloths, monkeys, coatis, anteater, beautifully coloured birds with such varied songs, colourful butterflies and other insects, listening to and searching for frogs were all so interesting. The range of colourful and varied plants and fungi are surprising . If I had to choose one it would be our walk in Savegre in the cloud forest where we saw our 4th Resplendent Quetzal and our second Trogon. But the optional canopy walk was incredible too. Don’t miss it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader deserved his prize 2 years ago ...Guide of gbe Year. He is nominated again this year and I have voted. Johnny Villalobos is an outstanding guide. He is a wildlife expert. He took us out to look for the shy Quetzal at 5.30 am, chatted to the farm manager and we joined a group of photographers in the field . He led us on the canopy walk and on our nature walks, checking each of us had seen each bird or animal before moving on. He was always patient and polite , has rather a wicked sense of humour, gave us options, advice about clothing to wear for each excursion and fielded our endless questions with great patience . 5 stars for Johnny.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on the trip. Do the canopy walk. Take rain gear , walking sandals and shoes with some grip. Carry rain gear and a plastic bag for your camera and binoculars every trip. Take quick dry clothes and insect repellant. Take a small torch. I did the zip lining which was great fun. There were Howler monkeys in the trees! I did the thermal pools with lots of the girls, we bought cocktails and had great fun. I also did the waterfalls at La Fortuna. Johnny took us on a short nature walk to get there. The many steps back up are ok. I enjoyed both of these optional extras but the best one was definitely the canopy walk and bridges. This was a highlight of my trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Like- minded travelling companions who gelled, shared sightings, photos , stories and looked out for each other were another highlight of the trip. Our driver Jose was great fun, very helpful and got us safely to each destination despite some hairy driving and overtaking by others on the roads. The Costa Ricans we met were helpful and polite. However don’t wear any valuables in San Jose as they may get ripped off you- a n attempt was made on one of our group on arrival day. No other incidents. The National Museum gives a history of the country and lots about the indigenous people. We enjoyed our visit. We also went to the Jade Museum. Too big and a bit repetitive unless you’re interested in the different pots made in each region.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Linda Kirby

    Excellent

    This was a joint celebration of our 70th birthdays so we wanted it to be extra special. It was an amazing experience, with a wonderful group of people, led by an extremely professional, knowledgeable and proficient guide, Johnny Villalobos. Thanks to Johnny's extensive knowledge of bird calls and habitats, we were able to see a huge number of birds, including the elusive Quetzal. Johnny also had a wide knowledge of the many mammals we encountered. Apart from overnight stays in San José, we stayed 2 nights in each destination which was enough to enable us to explore what each habitat had to offer. Johnny ensured that we maximised our time in each location, though you always had the choice to opt out of an activity. Each location was well chosen in terms of being a representative sample of what Costa Rica has to offer, from hot steamy jungle, to cool, high altitude cloud forest. The accommodation was excellent in each place but we particularly enjoyed the remoteness of Esquinas Lodge, surrounded by the sounds of the forest, especially the frogs. An added bonus was the stream fed pool and later, a night walk in the forest, led by a guide from the lodge who was able to identify the many frogs contributing to the incredible cacophony of frog calls. We were given a warm welcome in each location by the hotel/lodge staff and served some delicious food. However, crucial to the success of this holiday, was Johnny's enthusiasm for what his country had to offer and his exceptional knowledge, organisational and people skills.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing the huge diversity of flaura and fauna in such a relatively small country. Seeing the vital work being done by Costa Ricans like Johnny, to protect their environment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We couldn't have wished for a better group leader. Johnny Villalobos was extremely professional, very knowledgeable about birds and mammals and was passionate about caring for the environment. His enthusiasm for his country, it's people and Costa Rica's biodiversity, was infectious. He ensured that every aspect of organising our travel about the country and the transport of our luggage ran most efficiently. Johnny was attentive and caring to two group members who felt unwell. Also, he did his best to maximise our experience of Costa Rica and often gave over and above what was reasonable to expect from a group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good poncho, insect repellent (We used Picaridin), binoculars and a camera. Make the most of the time you have there, the plants and wildlife are amazing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The enjoyment of the holiday exceeded our expectations.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Alan Walker

    Wild Costa Rica

    We saw a huge amount of wildlife during our holiday: rain-forest habitat, mangrove, cloud-forest, dry forest and a very long list of tropical birds and many other animals. Our guide could spot creatures time and time again and he was keen to help as was indeed the driver. A dozen in our group and we were extra lucky to gel well. Accommodation was good with much to spot in the grounds. Care had been taken regarding the drinking water though travelers still need to be wary for themselves. Have good memories.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many. Coming across squirrel monkeys for myself when I separated from the group. Visiting a local family though not everyone might have that.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good. Earnest, personable, very knowledgeable on wildlife and in particular birds but with some humour. The driver too was part of our group and got us places safely however bumpy some of the roads.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be very careful in regard to drinking water and maybe buy in a bit of a reserve yourself. Be realistic in regard to how much you can comfortably carry around with you. A small bird- spotter ID book is likely to be useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    That is about it.
  • Reviewed April 2019

    Discover Costa Rica

    This trip combines the highlights of the Costa Rica’s landscape with wild life in the national parks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife was the highlight for me. The most memorable being the boat tour around Tortuguero waterways. Waking early to the cry of the howler monkeys in the canopy near by: we set off in brilliant sunlight down the waterways seeing howler and spider monkeys and an abundance of fantastically coloured birds!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Glenda our group leader was warm, friendly, professional and contained an encyclopaedia of knowledge about both the wildlife and country which she shared with our group with enthusiasm and pride. She also had telescope that she used to take photographs on peoples phones with some amazing results!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take any cash you have in USA dollars, everywhere we went accepted them, there was no need to change any into Costa Rican colon - although in some places the change given was in Colon (which we used up first). We travelled in April, the dry season, however when it rained -which it only did for a couple of hours - it poured a poncho/ waterproof coat was essential! Also a good pair of binoculars and a book of Costa Rica birds or wildlife was useful. One person bought a simple ID chart which they used to tick off species.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although we were told on several occasions that mosquitos are not a problem; they did not seem to know this and insect repellent was important - everybody got bitten at some point. Also do pack an anti-diarrhoea medication, unfortunately the majority of people were affected. Although at times we were told the tap water was safe I feel that this is maybe an area that could be looked into again. However, do not let those minor problems put you off this amazing adventure. Whenever possible, we took part in any additional activities (you never know if you will ever return to this amazing country). These activities included zip-wiring and the hanging bridges in Monteverde; the hot springs in Arenal; a night walk spotting frogs and toads in Esquinas Rainforest Lodge and horse riding (arranged independently) in Saverge. All in all, this holiday was a delightful experience.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Deirdre Duffy

    Brilliant experience

    Beautiful country, teeming with wildlife, lovely friendly people, an outstanding guide that looked after us from morning to night and made sure every minute of our holiday was amazing. This is a trip of a lifetime, we were transported to the best places in Costa Rica and guided through the national parks by an expert guide. We really had full days with as much wildlife viewing as you wanted to take part in, our guide was knowledge and passionate about the culture, the wildlife and the vegetation. I feel we had the most exposure to Costa Rica it would be possible to have within two weeks. If you wanted to our guide would show you the wildlife just around the hotel at 6am in the morning.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through beautiful forests in peace and tranquillity away from the crowds, noise, traffic and stress of everyday life. Standing quietly and listening to the sound of bird calls and rain dripping. Eating lunch while watching hummingbirds.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding, he really makes this trip with his passion and professionalism.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take waterproof clothing, it rains a lot. Take a fleece and a pair of long trousers, it's cooler in Savegre. Take closed shoes for walking in the forests. Take a camera and binoculars to get the most out of seeing the birds and wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't carry or wear anything valuable in San Jose, like every other place in the world where there are tourists there are pickpockets.
  • 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!

Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

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]

Trips you might also like

Active Costa Rica

Multi activity adventure taking in the rainforest, volcanoes and coastline of captivating Costa Rica

Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures

Culture
9 days Excl. Flights
From 2 349 €
Activity Rating - Moderate
4.7 / 5
 from 
Call us on 353 (0)1 804 7153