Costa Rica

Costa Rica Ecotours

Costa Rica is coffee plantations in rich volcanic soil, cool mountains, cloud forests with exotic birds and brilliant butterflies, deep humid lowlands of tropical rainforest with heliconia plants, sloths and monkeys, the turtle nesting grounds of Tortuguero National Park and the criss cross maze of slow water creeks and channels. Costa Rica is unforgettable.

Costa Rica Turtle Nesting Special


This season we are offering out clients travelling in Costa Rica from July to October a free Night Turtle Walk in Totuguero.

Located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica Torguguero National Park is composed of vast forests connected by rivers and canals, has abundant and diverse wildlife and is bordered by a long wilderness beach on its eastern flank. Thousands of green sea turtles lay their eggs on this beach at night during the July to October nesting season. This guided tour will enable you to see the female turtle nesting above the beach high tide line.

Costa Rica: Nature Up-close

Day 1: Arrive San Jose

You are met at the San Jose Airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 2: San Jose – Tortuguero National Park

This morning you transfer by land to a coastal estuary for a boat trip to Tortuguero and your lodge. There are no roads in Tortuguero National Park. Travel is by boat along rivers and canals or by foot on forest paths. The park is surrounded by large tracts of rainforest and is one of the best places to observe toucans, parrots, caiman, monkeys, iguanas, crested basilisk lizards, and sloths. During July to October, green sea turtles come ashore to nest on the beach at night. A complementary guided night turtle walk is included from July to October. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Tortuguero National Park
 
Today you board a flat bottom boat to explore the canals and waterways of Tortuguero in search of wildlife. Your guide will point out wildlife that includes shorebirds, monkeys, caiman, toucans, parrots, iguanas, and sloths! Remainder of the day is yours to explore Tortuguero independently. You may want to walk into the village of Tortuguero to meet the locals, visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy Project, or just relax at the lodge. Or you may want to book a kayak tour. (B,L,D)
Osa Peninsula
Day 4: Tortuguero - Savegre Valley 

Today you will be picked up at your hotel and taken by boat to the Tortuguero airport for a scenic 45 minute flight to San José passing over rainforests, farmlands, banana plantations and mountains. From the San Jose airport you begin a drive to the Savegre Valley, nestled between 10,000 foot mountain ranges dominated by majestic oak trees and bisected by the pristine Savegre River. This cool area is noted for its colorful high-elevation birds including resplendent quetzals which are frequently seen by visitors. Numerous species of brilliantly-plumed hummingbirds also live here and are easily viewed at close range as they visit flowers on hotel grounds. You will spend the day exploring the area. (B,L,D)
Osa Peninsula
Day 5: Quetzales National Park Hike 

Today you hike for about 4 hours over a distance of approximately 7 kms through the cloud forests of Quetzales National Park and the Savegre Valley. The trail is a bit challenging as it travels up and down hills and may have some muddy sections. However, you will experience the wonders of a cloud forest up-close! These cool and moist cloud forest habitats are dominated by large oak trees that may be centuries old and are often covered by dense mats of mosses, bromeliads, ferns and orchids. (B,L,D)
Osa Peninsula
Day 6: Savegre Valley - Uvita             

In the early morning before breakfast you may take an optional bird watching tour around the lodge gardens. After breakfast you continue your journey south to the Pacific Coast to the beaches of Punta Uvita. Here you enjoy a guided walk in the nearby Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Reserve. The reserve protects a number of habitats including beach, mangrove estuaries, wetlands and forests. Your guide will point out the variety of wildlife unique to each habitat. (B,L,D) Alternative Excursion to the Guided Walk: Mangrove boat tour in Sierpe River. Explore the beautiful maze of canals, rivers mouths and estuaries that flood the largest untouched mangroves in all of Costa Rica. There is a wide variety of opportunities to see tropical wildlife in primary mangroves, some accessible by boat only.
Osa Peninsula
Day 7: Whale WatchingTour 

Today you will enjoy a whale watching boat tour. Humpback whales reside here seasonally in annual migrations between northern feeding areas and tropical wintering areas where they mate and give birth to calves. The chances to observe whales are quite high, but not guaranteed every day because their exact location is not always easy to find. However, you may encounter a diversity of other local sea life including dolphins, sea birds and sea turtles near the water surface. Every tour can yield its own surprises! (B,L,D)
Osa Peninsula
Day 8: Uvita - Manuel Antonio National Park  

This morning drive north to the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. Along the way you visit the waterfalls of Uvita, where you may take a refreshing swim in the natural pools surrounded by tropical jungle. Manuel Antonio is noted for its gorgeous cream colored beaches, lush forest growing to the beach edge, abundant wildlife, warm waters, easy forest trails and scenic ocean overlooks. Enjoy a 2.5 hour guided nature walk in Manuel Antonio National Park forest. You may see a variety of wildlife including squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and sloths. (B,L)
Osa Peninsula
Day 9: Manuel Antonio National Park

A day to enjoy the beaches of the national park before returning to San Jose. (B)
Day 10: Departure

Transfer to airport for your onward journey. (B)

Tour Information

Tour Length: 10 days /9 nights
Departures: Daily Departures July to October 
Minimum Number of People: 2 based on Double Occupancy
Costa Rica: Nature Up-close Includes:
  • All ground transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • One-way flight Tortuguero-San Jose
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Meals per itinerary (B= Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner) Excursions, activities, and entrance fees as noted in the itinerary English-speaking guide on excursions and activities
Costa Rica Nature Up-close Doesn’t Include:
  • International flight
  • Departure tax if applicable
  • Domestic Flights 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Pre- or post-tour accommodation
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees not included in the itinerary
  • Gratuities to guides and driver
  • Personal items

Costa Rica Coast to Coast

Day 1: Arrive San Jose

You are met at the San Jose Airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 2: Osa Peninsula

This morning return to the San Jose airport for your flight to Palmar Sur. From here you board a boat and travel down the Sierpe River to your lodge. Your lodge is set above a palm-fringed beach, in tropical gardens and surrounded by 170 acres of pristine rainforest. The view from the top is awe-inspiring of both ocean and rainforest.

Spend the next 3 nights exploring and relaxing in this beautiful and tranquil setting. (B, D)
Osa Peninsula
Day 3: Osa Peninsula

You take a forty minute boat ride to Cano Island. Depending on the time of year you may see humpback or pilot whales and dolphins along the way. You snorkel within a marine reserve protected by coral reefs where you may see manta rays, turtles and small white-tipped sharks. Relax with a picnic lunch on the beach. (B,L,D)
whale
Day 4: Osa Peninsula

Today hike the last remaining Pacific lowland rainforest of sustainable size in Central America. It has been called one of the most biologically rich places on earth. There are dense populations of tapir, jaguar and scarlet macaws.

San Pedrillo is the closest ranger station in Corcovado National Park to Drake Bay. You hike through primary and secondary forest. The astounding sightings may include four types of monkeys, coatis, sloths, and anteaters. Birders will be enthralled by the variety of birds including tanagers, flycatchers, kingfishers, trogons, scarlet macaws and toucans. (B,L,D)
exotic bird
Day 5: Osa Peninsula

A free day to organize other tours offered by the lodge, take a birding tour, hike the trails around the lodge, or just enjoy the amenities of the lodge. (B,L,D)
Osa Peninsula monkeys
Day 6: Turrialba

Today fly back to the San Jose airport where you are met and transferred to Turrialba. Turrialba is located in the rural and lush Central Highlands. Agriculture is the main industry as well as the popular Costa Rican cheese, “Turrialba”. There are cattle ranches, milk processing plants, coffee plantations, sugar cane plantations and Macadamia nut plantations. It is also manufactures Rawlings baseballs used in the Major leagues.

If time permits, the following activities can be arranged for an additional cost: tour a farm, horseback ride, kayak, canoe or raft, or visit a serpentary and CATIE, an important research station for tropical agriculture. (B)
Turrialba
Day 7: Puerto Viejo de Limon

You travel from the Central Highlands to the Atlantic coast and your hotel on Playa Chiquita. Remainder of the day at your leisure. (B)
Puerto Viejo de Limon
Day 8: Puerto Viejo de Limon

Cahuita National Park features the coral reefs and great hiking trails with lots of wildlife. Today combine snorkeling and hiking with a visit to Cahuita National Park. Explore the coral reefs with your guide followed by a hike through the rainforest. Monkeys, sloths, several reptiles, frogs and beautiful insects are common sights. (B,L)
Day 9: Puerto Viejo de Limon

This morning the guide meets you at your hotel. You begin your day with a hike through the rainforest to a waterfall for a refreshing swim. Look for birds and wildlife as you hike.

You then head to the Bri-Bri indigenous reserve to visit a family that uses plants for medicinal purposes. There is also the opportunity to learn more about their customs, everyday life and handicrafts.

Your last stop is an Iguana farm on the Kekoldi Indian Reserve. A local indigenous family have dedicated themselves to recovering the Green Iguana, an endangered species. You visit with the family and learn about their operation to save the iguana. (B,L)
Puerto Viejo de Limon
Day 10: San Jose

Today you transfer back to San Jose. En-route visit the Sloth Sanctuary.

This 2-hour guided tour is a thorough introduction to sloths and what makes them unique—their physiology, biology, behaviors. An added feature is a gentle canoe trip to experience the rainforest from a river perspective and look for the many colourful birds along the river.
San Jose
Day 11: Departure

Transfer to airport for your onward journey. (B)

Tour Information

Tour Length: 11 days /10 nights
Departures: Daily except September 1 to November 14
Minimum Number of People: 2 based on Double Occupancy
Costa Rica Coast to Coast Includes:
  • All ground transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Meals per itinerary (B= Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner)
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees as noted in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guide on excursions and activities
Costa Rica Coast to Coast Doesn’t Include::
  • International flight
  • Departure tax if applicable
  • Domestic Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Pre- or post-tour accommodation
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees not included in the itinerary
  • Gratuities to guides and driver
  • Personal items

Costa Rica River and Rainforest

Day 1: Arrive San Jose

You are met at the San Jose Airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 2: Pacuare

This morning you are picked up at your hotel and driven to the rafting operations centre. Here you receive paddle and safety instruction. After your orientation, put into the Pacuare River for an exciting rafting adventure (Class III rapids). Raft past tropical landscapes to your lodge. En-route enjoy a picnic lunch at a waterfall and with time for a swim.

You arrive at the lodge. Relax or hike on the trails around the lodge before the cocktail hour and dinner. (B,L,D)
Pacuare
Day 3: San Jose

After a healthy breakfast depart by raft for an exhilarating ride over Class III-IV rapids. Stop for a snack and to explore waterfalls and natural waterslides. Catch glimpses of birds and wildlife as you raft down the river. Continue your journey to the operations centre where a hearty hot lunch awaits you. From here you are driven back to your San Jose Hotel. (B,L)
San Jose bird
Day 4: Golfo Dulce

Today transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Jimenez. From here take a 40 minute boat ride to your eco-lodge on the Golfito Dulce.

Golfo Dulce or Sweet Gulf is a large bay ringed by secluded beaches and wonderful biodiversity. It is a perfect destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers and those who just want to relax. You may encounter four species of monkey, poison dart frogs, Morpho butterflies, anteaters, agoutis, coati mundis, jaguars, ocelots and margays. Colourful birds are abundant. Watch for scarlet macaws, toucans, and hummingbirds.
(B,D)
Golfo Dulce monkey
Day 5: Golfo Ducle

Each day you can choose one of the following activities: kayak the Golfo, several nearby rivers or mangroves, hike the trails in Piedras Blancas National Park, tour a botanical garden and learn about the many indigenous tropical fruits and plants, snorkel and explore secluded beaches while watching for dolphins and turtles, or take a night hike (this tour is an extra cost). (B,L,D)
Golfo Ducle bird
Day 6: Golfo Dulce

Enjoy your last day in this beautiful area of Costa Rica.

Among the wildlife frequently seen are White Faced monkeys, Howler monkeys, over 250 types of birds including toucans, trogons and parrots, numerous butterflies including the majestic blue morpho, and tropical mammals such as pizotes and tyras; reptiles such as Iguanas, lizards and amphibians such as the wondrous red- eyed tree frog. (B,L,D)
Golfo Dulce wild cat
Day 7: San Jose

An early morning flight back to San Jose. You are met at the airport to begin your visits to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls.

The drive to the 9,000 foot peak of Poás Volcano National Park is a scenic journey through coffee plantations, strawberry fields and lush dairy farms. The unusual vegetation in the park is the result of high elevation weather and acidic gases emitted from the main volcanic crater. You can stand behind a fence and look into the crater to see the hot acid steam vents and gray green Crater Lake. In contrast to the constant activity in the main crater, a ½ mile trail walk through a gnarled dwarf forest will bring you to an overlook above the extinct crater lake, Lake Botos, which is surrounded by dense forest along the circular crater rim.

Stop en-route for lunch.

The elegant La Paz Waterfall Gardens, located in the mountains near Cinchona, is a beautiful facility with restaurants, flower, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, aviary, rescued animal zoo, serpentarium, live frog exhibit, orchid exhibit, all surrounded by cloud forests. Stroll leisurely along the well-maintained trails to view the numerous exhibits and gardens and the famous waterfalls of the pristine La Paz River. (B,L)

Return to San Jose and overnight.
waterfall San Jose
Day 8: Departure

Today transfer to the San Jose airport for your onward journey. (B)

Tour Information

Tour Length: 8 days / 7 nights
Departures: Daily except from October- November 16th
Minimum Number of People: 2 based on Double Occupancy
Costa Rica River and Rainforest Includes:
  • All ground transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Meals per itinerary (B= Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner)
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees as noted in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guide on excursions and activities
Costa Rica From River and Rainforest Doesn’t Include:
  • International flight
  • Departure tax if applicable
  • Domestic Flights 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Pre- or post-tour accommodation
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees not included in the itinerary
  • Gratuities to guides and driver
  • Personal items

Costa Rica From Cloud Forest to Rainforest

Day 1: Arrive San Jose

You are met at the San Jose Airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 2: Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve

This morning you transfer to the cloud forest in the Los Angeles Private Biological Reserve. En-route stop to visit Poas Volcano, with its perfect crater lake and the beautiful La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

The drive to the 9,000 foot peak of Poas Volcano National Park is a scenic journey through coffee plantations, strawberry fields and lush dairy farms. The unusual vegetation in the park is the result of high elevation weather and acidic gases emitted from the main volcanic crater. You can stand behind a fence and look into the crater to see the hot acid steam vents and gray green Crater Lake. In contrast to the constant activity in the main crater, a ½ mile trail walk through a gnarled dwarf forest will bring you to an overlook above the extinct crater lake, Lake Botos, which is surrounded by dense forest along the circular crater rim.

Stop en-route for lunch.

The elegant La Paz Waterfall Gardens, located in the mountains near Cinchona, is a beautiful facility with restaurants, flower, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, aviary, rescued animal zoo, serpentarium, live frog exhibit, orchid exhibit, all surrounded by cloud forests. Stroll leisurely along the well-maintained trails to view the numerous exhibits and gardens and the famous waterfalls of the pristine La Paz River.

Today concludes at a beautifully restored hacienda in the cloud forest and your private villa for 2 nights.

After dinner, explore the cloud forest at night. The cloud forest comes alive at night with the fragrance of nocturnal plants and flowers and with the symphony of insects and frogs. Search for elusive night birds such as nightjars and owls. (B,L,D)

ALTERNATE OPTION: Bosque Cloud Forest

This 3000-acre privately-owned Biological Reserve is a natural biological corridor connecting Poas Volcano National Park with Juan Castro Blanco National Park. The setting is very peaceful and relaxing with a stream and cloud forest as the background. The birdlife here is amazing! Look for HighlandTinaroo, Scaled Antpitta, Blue Seedeater, tanagers, guans, brush-finches, and hummingbirds too numerous to list. Other wildlife is also abundant here.

For orchid enthusiasts there is an orchid garden at the lodge. The owners have a collection of diverse species including showy and less conspicuous and large and small. They began salvaging and relocating orchids that had fallen so the collection represents what orchids are found in the area.

This is a great location for birding, wildlife photography and a peaceful mountain getaway.
San Jose waterfall
Day 3: Cloud Forest Walk

Today choose from a two hour birding tour or a two hour hike.

If birding is your passion, set off with your bird specialist to search for some of the more than 256 species found in the cloud forest. Watch for Orange-bellied Trogon, Coppery headed Emerald Elvira, and dozens of others.

The two hour hike begins at the edge of the lodge. Step into the 2000 acre Los Angeles Cloud Forest Private Biological Reserve. With your guide explore the incredibly diverse flora and fauna that inhabit this lush, tropical world. You discover the layers of a cloud forest from the forest floor to the canopy, and the plants and animals found in each layer.

Return to the lodge for lunch.

The afternoon is free to relax or take optional activities such as the canopy zip line, (extra cost). (B,L,D)

Alternative: Bosque Cloud Forest

If you choose to visit the Bosque Cloud Forest, today’s activity is a three hour waterfall hike. The combination of primary rainforest in the higher areas and secondary rainforest in the lower area provides a large diversity of flora and fauna. The waterfall, named in honor of the Virgin of Fatima, is 60 metres high. It may be possible to spot the Resplendent Quetzal as well as Collared Redstart, Slate-throated Redstart, Collared Trogon, Orange-bellied Trogon, Prong-billed Barbet, Emerald Toucanet, and many more.
Cloud Forest Walk
Day 4: Sustainable Farm Tour and Ecological Center

Today you leave the cloud forest and head to the rainforest. En-route you stop to visit Arenal Vida Campesina and Danaus Ecological Center.

Arenal Vida Campesina demonstrates traditional and non-traditional farming techniques. You have the opportunity to participate in activities such as milking a cow, making tortillas, gathering vegetables from the garden, collecting water from the handmade well or milling sugar cane. Enjoy lunch made from products raised and grown on the property.

After lunch you have a natural history walk at the Danaus Ecological Center. This small biological reserve is a model of conservation. This reserve was once open farmland, but has been allowed to revert back to rainforest and now teems with wildlife such as slow-moving sloths, tiny native red poison dart frogs, and 154 bird species. A nursery on the property is used to propagate native trees- including species in danger of extinction-for reforestation projects. (B,L)
Sustainable Farm Tour and Ecological Center
Day 5: Arenal

Your day begins at the Arenal Hanging Bridges. The Hanging Bridges are a complex of 6 hanging suspension bridges rising above the jungle canopy, and almost 4 km of hard pack trails through the lush rainforest. The bridges provide an excellent vantage point to observe the flora and fauna from the ground to the top of the trees.

This afternoon visit Eco Termales. Eco Termales consists of four pools varying in temperature, with the coolest being 32º C and the hottest being 40º C.  One of the pools has a refreshing, cascading waterfall that visitors are invited to stand beneath. (B)

NOTE: Dinner can be arranged at Eco Termales. Doña Mireya, Eco Termales’ onsite cook, prepares wonderful food in a traditional Costa Rican kitchen (extra cost).
Arenal volcano
Day 6: Sarapiqui

Today you descend to the Caribbean rainforest. Sarapiqui is mainly an agricultural region of banana and coffee plantations, cardamom, cacao, corn and other fruits. It is also known for its rich biodiversity of bromeliads, butterflies, bats, and birds. It is one of the few remaining areas home to the endangered Green Macaw. Watch for hummingbirds, quetzals, dippers, guans, agoutis, quatamundis and monkeys.

This evening attend a biology presentation on bats. Bats represent almost 50% of the mammals in Costa Rica and are important allies of the rainforest by pollinating flowers and transporting seeds.  The bat tour consists of a multimedia 30 minute presentation on the natural history of bats, diversity, adaptations, reproduction, threats and more. At the end of the presentation, a trained guide provides you with a safe opportunity to observe close up some of the bats that were captured during the evening for research projects. Finally, you visit the site of a demonstration snare net, where the careful method of capturing bats is explained. (B,D)
Sarapiqui bird
Day 7: Tortuguero National Park

This morning you transfer by land to a coastal estuary for a boat trip to Tortuguero and your lodge. There are no roads in Tortuguero National Park. Travel is by boat along rivers and canals or by foot on forest paths. The park is surrounded by large tracts of rainforest and is one of the best places to observe toucans, parrots, caiman, monkeys, iguanas, crested basilisk lizards, and sloths.(B,L,D)
Tortuguero National Park monkey
Day 8: Tortuguero National Park

Today you board a flat bottom boat to explore the canals and waterways of Tortuguero in search of wildlife.

Later walk into the village of Tortuguero to meet some of the local people or to visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy Project.

Tortuguero beach is an important nesting site of the endangered green turtle. The green turtle population is believed to have come perilously close to extinction in the 1960s when nearly every female turtle arriving to nest in Tortuguero was taken for the export market for turtle soup. The Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) was established in 1959 specifically to study and protect Caribbean green turtles. Working closely with the Costa Rican government, STC helped establish Tortuguero National Park in 1970, a move that offered protection to the turtles and strictly limited the number of turtles that could be taken. Today the park now includes over 19,000 hectares and protects 22 miles of nesting beach from the mouth of the Tortuguero River south to Parisimina. Giant leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles also nest here. (BLD)

NOTE: Turtle Nesting Night Tour may be arranged during turtle nesting season for an  additional cost.
Green Turtle Nesting Season: April to November
Leatherback Nesting Season: October to March
Loggerhead Nesting Season: May to August
Tortuguero National Park
Day 9: Tortuguero National Park – San Jose

Today take a boat back to the dock and then a ground transfer to San Jose and your hotel. (B)
Tortuguero National Park – San Jose bird
Day 10: Departure

Transfer to airport for your onward journey. (B)

Tour Information

Tour Length: 10 days /9 nights
Departures: Daily except from October- November 16th
Minimum Number of People: 2 based on Double Occupancy
Costa Rica River and Rainforest Includes:
  • All ground transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Meals per itinerary (B= Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner)
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees as noted in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guide on excursions and activities
Costa Rica From River and Rainforest Doesn’t Include:
  • International flight
  • Departure tax if applicable
  • Domestic Flights 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Pre- or post-tour accommodation
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees not included in the itinerary
  • Gratuities to guides and driver
  • Personal items
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