Pure Nature

Costa Rica

Escape to the misty cloud forests, fiery volcanoes and tropical beaches of Costa Rica on this week-long trip that will take you straight back to nature. Volunteer with a sea turtle conservation project on the lush shores of the Caribbean Ocean, wobble through the the rainforest treetops on canopy bridges, glide through jungle canals on the lookout for wildlife and soak in volcanic hot springs. It’s all about the bare necessities, bringing you an adventure packed with colour, life and local experiences that will stick with your forever.

The tours, hotels, day trips and suggestions in this tour are just an example of what we can do for you. Contact us to customize a trip especially for your group

Trip highlights

  • Volunteer on a sea turtle breeding project perched on powdery Caribbean sands.
  • Glide through jungle canals on the lookout for monkeys, caimans and river turtles.
  • Explore the forest of La Fortuna from above on a thrilling canopy walk between the treetops, with the Arenal Volcano as your backdrop.
  • Fly through Monteverde cloud forest on a zipline tour that will take your breath away.
  • Laze beneath rustling palms trees, swim in clear lagoons and twist through the mangroves of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Costa Rica 10 days/9 nights

Adventure level: exciting!
Max group size: 40
Included
  • 7 nights in comfortable 3-star accommodation, 2 nights in a lodge in Tortuguero
  • Full board
  • Full day workshop and volunteering in Tortuguero
  • Private transport and private excursions with a bilingual certified guide. All entrance fees included.
  • 1 certified, experienced tour leader to accompany you every step of the way.
  • 1 teacher travels completely free of charge for every 10 students in the group.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: The way to San Jose

When you touch down in San José, you’ll be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your comfy hotel. After stashing your bags and freshening up, you can set out to explore. San José is buzzing, gritty metropolis perched in a high valley basin, surrounded by towering peaks. Home to over 1 million inhabitants, it’s a riot of life and action. What it lacks in colonial architecture, it makes up for with friendly locals and real spirit. Amble between stalls piled high with tropical fruit and soak up the Costa Rican sense of Pura Vida.

Day 2: Travelling to tropical Tortuguero

Today, your wildlife experience begins in earnest as you travel to Tortuguero National Park, hugging the sugary sands of the Caribbean Ocean. The beach here is a key nesting site for green turtles, while lush rainforest stretches inland away from the shore. Tortuguero is home to 13 of Costa Rica’s most endangered species, including the manatee, ocelot and jaguar, making it an incredible place to explore.

When you arrive, you’ll hop into a motor boat to glide through the twisting waterways that lead into the heart of Tortuguero, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way. You’ll spend two nights at a riverbank lodge in the colourful village of Tortuguero, a beautiful eco-tourism hotspot with a bunch of friendly locals. In the afternoon, you’ll set off on a guided walk with a nature expert, to learn all about the flora and fauna of the area.

Day 3: Turtle conservation in Tortuguero

This morning, you’ll be woken by squawking toucans and howler monkeys before getting ready for a real adventure. First, you’ll take a boat trip along the overgrown canals that snake through Tortuguero National Park, gliding through narrow creeks and across glimmering lagoons. Along the way, you’ll expert guide will help you spot monkeys, caimans, river turtles and kingfishers.

Next, you’ll roll up your sleeves for a day of volunteering with the Costa Rica Conservation Institute, helping to conserve the breeding ground of the endangered turtles in the area. The beautiful hawksbill turtle and giant leatherback turtle are hunted by poachers for their valuable meat and eggs, so the locals here look after them around the clock. During the day, you’ll learn all about the sea turtles, help clean their habitat and get a real sense of working on a critical conservation project.

Days 4 and 5: Canopy walkways and hot springs

After breakfast, you’ll wave Tortuguero goodbye, float back towards the entrance of the park and continue your Costa Rica adventure to La Fortuna, home to the gigantic cinder cone of the Arenal Volcano, rising 1,633 metres above sea level. Now resting, the picture-perfect volcano dwarfs the lush forests and pastures surrounding its base. For the remainder of Day 4, you can relax in the pool at your eco-lodge, gaze up at Arenal and feel a million miles from home.

On Day 5, you’ll get active again, setting off on a heart-thumping canopy tour through the rainforest treetops, crossing high suspension bridges with dizzying views. Along the way, you’ll spot howler monkeys, pass three crashing waterfalls and stare out over glassy Arenal Lake. Every footstep holds breathtaking views of the forest below. After the tour, you’ll head to the volcanic mineral pools at the nearby hot springs for a well-earned soak before dinner.

Days 6 and 7: Exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest

On Day 6, you’ll make your way to Monteverde, the most famous cloud forest on the planet. With an alpine climate and quaint wooden houses, it’s like a tropical Switzerland tucked away between the trees. Swinging between bright sunshine and soft drizzle, it’s packed with mystical atmosphere and a sense of real adventure. In the afternoon, you’ll hike through the misty trails on a Natural History tour, learning the secrets of the cloud forests and passing hidden waterfalls along the way. Home to over 130 mammal species, 400 kinds of bird, 120 species of amphibians and reptiles and 420 kinds of orchid, it’s a natural playground like no other.

On Day 7, you’ll get your pulse racing again with a zipline canopy tour through Monteverde, flying through the cloud forest along 12 cables between 18 treetop platforms. It’s something that will give you a totally unique perspective on Monteverde and get your heart thumping at the very same time! After the tour, you’ll unwind with a peaceful wander through the Butterfly Gardens and Hummingbird Reserve, watching tiny rainbow-coloured creatures dart all around you.

Days 8, 9 and 10: Monkeying around in Manuel Antonio

Today, you’ll head for your final destination on the wild Pacific coastline – Manuel Antonio. A beautiful jumble of tropical forest, mangrove swamps, natural lagoons and palm-fringed beaches, it’s a wonderful place to end your trip. Sloths and squirrel monkeys peek out from between the branches, while dolphins play in the surf just offshore.

In the morning of day 9, you’ll hike through the rainforest with an expert guide, with your guide you will be able to see many animals hidden in the forest, with a bit of luck you will spot: white faced monkey, capuchin monkeys, large iguanas, slots, bats and much more. The rest of the day is all about the beach. Stretch out on pearly white sands, cool off in the crashing ocean and snooze under a swaying coconut palm.

On day 10, your Costa Rica wildlife adventure draws to a close and you’ll be transferred to the airport in San José for your flight home.

Practical Information

Taking climate and the nesting season of the turtles in account (roughly between April and October), the best time to travel on this itinerary is between end of April and end of August.

Costa Rica is a tropical country which thrives on rain and sun, both of which are ever-present throughout the year. Despite, the climate can be divided roughly into a wet and dry season and both have their advantages when it comes to the best time to travel. The wetter and greener months are generally from May to November when showers come in short, drenching down pours throughout the day, and are heaviest between September and October. The dry season runs roughly from mid December to April when temperatures  hover at around 27C-80F, with variations in the Caribbean coast which has its dry season rather in September and October.

Day 1: Private transfer from San Josè’s Juan Santamaria Airport to hotel. Overnight.

Day 2: Transfer from San José to Tortuguero. Beginning of 3 day/2 night Tortuguero activity package, including town visit, eco-boat tour and nature hike. Overnight at a lodge (B,L,D).

Day 3: Tortuguero activities continued, volunteering with SINAC and visit to the Sea Turtle Conservancy Museum. Overnight at a Lodge (B,L,D).

Day 4: Private bus transfer from Tortuguero docks to Arenal. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 5: Private bus at your own disposal. Arenal guided treetop walkway tour with SKY, all entrance fees included. Visit to Arenal Thermal Pools, all entrance fees included. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 6: Private bus transfer to Monteverde. Afternoon guided tour to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, all entrance fees included. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 7: Private bus at your own disposal. Selvatura Canopy Zip-line Tour, including visit to Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 8: Private bus transfer from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 9: Guided tour of Manual Antonio National Park, all entrance fees included. Rest of the day to relax on the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio (B,L,D)

Day 10: Transfer from Manuel Antonio to San José Juan Santamaria Airport to begin journey home.

  • 7 nights in comfortable 3-star accommodation and 2 night in Tortuguero in a lodge
  • Full board
  • Private transport and private excursions with a bilingual certified guide. All entrance fees included.
  • Tortuguero full day workshop and volunteering
  • 1 certified, experienced tour leader to accompany you every step of the way.
  • 1 teacher travels completely free of charge for every 10 students in the group.

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