Costa Rica wildlife holiday, Coastal Secrets

“A two week holiday, travelling in a small group with expert guides, from coast to coast, national park to nature reserve. This is where wild dreams come true.”

Highlights

Tortuguero National Park | Cahuita National Park | Sloth Sanctuary | La Marta Wildlife Refuge | Turrialba Valley | Savegre Cloud Forest | Osa Peninsula | Drake Bay | Caρo Island | Dolphin and whale watching in season | Sierpe | Corcovado National Park

Description of Costa Rica wildlife holiday, Coastal Secrets

This two week Costa Rica wildlife holiday, travelling with a small group and expert wildlife leader, takes you from one stunning Costa Rican coast to the other, with a cornucopia of creatures in between. Even though it is a small country, it is bursting with biodiversity, and this trip certainly covers many of its most beauteous spots.

With a quarter of Costa Rica protected, on this trip we visit national parks, wildlife refuges, cloud forest and marine reserves. It is also superbly set up for tourism, allowing us to stay in wonderful, small and locally owned accommodation along the way, from eco lodges located in tropical gardens to a stunning waterfront accommodation on the Osa Peninsula, only accessible by boat.

The trip starts inland, in the capital San Jose and then, using private minibus, we head to the Caribbean Coast to explore two amazing national parks, with two days in each. First, we go to Tortuguero NP, which we travel through by boat as this is the only way to access it and see its eponymous turtles, otters, caiman and manatees. On land, we hope to see monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and myriad birdlife. From here to Cahuita NP, where you can hike on trails that dip in and out of coast and jungle, or take an optional snorkelling trip out on the reef.

These wildlife experiences, combined with adventures into some of the world’s most stunning natural environs continue back inland for a few days, discovering the fantastic flora and fauna of La Marta Wildlife Refuge. This is a more mountainous area, richly forested and opening up into a tropical world of waterfalls, rivers and caves.

One more inland idyll before hitting the Pacific coast is Savegre Cloud Forest, where we have two nights to enjoy, in particular, its extraordinary birdlife. The Forest is most famous for being home to the elusive and exquisite Resplendent Quetzal. There are few things more resplendent, however, than the final few days of this trip which are spent on the Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park. This is home to about fifty per cent of Costa Rica’s incredible wildlife, from scarlet macaws to manatees, tayras to tapirs. We take a trip to Caρo Island, where we hope to see dolphins and, in season, humpback or even orca whales. The former come here between July-November and the latter December-April. Osa Peninsula is one of the most exotic ways to end a wildlife holiday, with plenty of beach time too so that you can chill out before your return to the real world.

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Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation and Meals:
We spend two weeks in a combination of hotels and eco-lodges around Costa Rica. We use fairly small, family run and locally staffed establishments which ensures that we are benefiting local communities. Our local operator is a leading member of the Rainforest Alliance and has been awarded a "4 Leaf" award from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute for their sustainable tourism practice & dedication to improving standards. An example of eco-friendly accommodation on this trip is the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, a family run business in a stunning location on the Osa Peninsula – the first resort of its kind in the area.

Activity:
Being a wildlife based tour, we are very conscious of our effects on the environment and how we can reduce negative impact and aid conservation. On this trip we visit national and private parks, including Tortuguero and Corcovado, where entrance fees directly support conservation efforts. We also visit Aviarios del Caribe, the sloth sanctuary, an educational visit to increase awareness of the dangers that sloths face and the rehabilitation process for those injured animals coming into the centre.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.


Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Local Craft and Culture:
Although this is a largely nature based trip, we incorporate as much benefit to local people as possible. One of the ways to support local people and boost the economy is to buy crafts in some of the remote regions that we visit, such as Tortuguero and Cahuita. Having the opportunity to purchase locally made handicrafts encourages cultural exchange and provides a significant form of alternative income. Guides are careful to explain that any souvenirs on sale over the duration of the trip which are made from animal parts, shells or local hardwoods should not be purchased.

Climate

8 Reviews of Costa Rica wildlife holiday, Coastal Secrets

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 13 Feb 2020 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was the wild life and diversity of the country. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Feb 2020 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was seeing the country Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Nov 2019 by

Great/ fantastic wildlife. Country is stunning and trip well organised with very knowledgeable guide. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Oct 2019 by

The moat exciting part of the trip was the walks. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Aug 2019 by

I loved the boat rides and seeing the humpback whales, and also the humming bird garden. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2019 by

A full-on trip! Wildlife galore. I will definitely be back in Costa Rica soon. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Jan 2019 by

I loved the Cloud forests and the rainforests especially being able to walk some of the trails on my own as then I can experience the forest more quietly and directly... Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2019 by

Didn't see as many birds as I expected; one needs to be interested in lichen, lizards, termites, ants, spiders etc as well! And I was also disappointed by the lack of mountain scenery. Read full review

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