Costa Rica beach & wildlife holiday

“This comfortable and relaxing holiday pairs plenty of free time with Costa Rica's best bits; it's a tailor made trip though, so if you want to pack more activities in, you can.”


San Jose | Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve | Arenal volcano | Hike to La Fortuna waterfall | Juanilama reserve & pineapple plantation | Tenorio National Park | Rio Celeste waterfall | Ocotal Beach | Optional: canopy walk, coffee & sugar mill tours, snorkelling, diving, kayaking, biking, spa treatments

Description of Costa Rica beach & wildlife holiday

This 13-day trip to Costa Rica showcases two of the country’s most celebrated highlights, the Arenal volcano and the Monteverde cloud forest. In both places, there’s the chance to enjoy a range of activities, from canopy walks, hanging bridges and a zipline through the treetops, to visiting a hummingbird garden, and coffee plantation and sugar mill tours. The trip also takes in the Tenorio National Park where you can hike to the gorgeous Río Celeste waterfall, one of the most beautiful sights in Costa Rica. Finally, end your adventure with four days relaxing by the beach or pool at a beautiful, secluded hotel on the Southern Nicoya Peninsula.

This holiday is not a packed, busy schedule, and there’s plenty of time to relax, but if you’d like a little more to do there are a huge range of activities on offer. In between chilling on the beach, you can opt to go horse riding, snorkelling or sea kayaking, for example. We have a great range of beach accommodation, too, and can happily tailor this trip to your preferences.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip is only for tailor made departures throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Take a telescopic umbrella - effective in a tropical downpour and doubles as a sunshade.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Activity level:
12 nights ecolodges and hotels.
This tour can be tailor made for solo travellers at extra cost.
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner.
Accomm., transport, listed activities, bilingual guide.

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.

Our Relaxing Costa Rica itinerary takes you to some of Costa Rica’s most dramatic and ecologically diverse areas, particularly Arenal Volcano National Park and the Monteverde cloud forest. Our partners who organise your trip on the ground represent 28 community organisations around the country which combine traditional ecotourism with community-based tourism, where visitors meet Costa Ricans who are conserving their forests and rivers and practising sustainable agriculture. As such, conservation is an integral part of all our holidays in a country which is the world leader in environmentally-friendly tourism.

All the accommodation options we offer in Costa Rica are very sensitive to their surroundings and many are located in rural communities, natural reserves, or indigenous territories which have not changed their way of life to adapt to the needs and tastes of mass tourism. They all meet our environmental criteria, including energy and water conservation, locally-sourced food and providing information to guests about ecological issues and how behave appropriately. You also have the opportunity to get more directly involved in community conservation efforts.

Many lodges go well beyond this, because the leading organisations in rural community tourism are also leaders in the protection of forests, water sources and endangered species. Using environmental education, community awareness campaigns and legal action, they confront the many threats to wildlife on a daily basis. They are involved in a large variety of other actions such as environmental education, watershed and forest protection, solar energy, organic farming and biogas production.

The money you spend on parks entrance fees goes directly to supporting national conservation programmes. In addition, your local guides on this trip are both accomplished naturalists in their own right and intimately familiar with the wonderful variety of Costa Rica’s nature. They are trained and knowledgeable about the impacts of tourism and will offer advice on how you can keep your environmental footprint to a minimum during your visit.

The Impacts of this Trip

On this trip you do not stay at any community-owned lodges, but we have looked for hotels that meet our robust socially responsible policies i.e. that are locally-owned, which employ and provide training to Costa Ricans and which support local projects or charities. Many of the accommodations exceed these basic requirements - a good example is the Celeste Mountain Lodge in Tenorio National Park.

The Celeste has an enormous range of environmentally-friendly practices such as: using local and salvaged building materials, sensitive construction techniques, solar and innovative furnace heating, water bio-purifiers, eco-friendly cleaning products etc. But it also supports the community by getting involved with local decision making for sustainable tourism development; helping local entrepreneurs to establish tourism-related businesses; bringing language and professional training sessions to the community; hiring 90% of staff locally; buying 90% of their food from local businesses and farmers (especially organic); contracting local women for handicrafts to decorate the lodge and contracting a school to help with recycling and tree planting.

In addition, the profits made by our Costa Rican partner are reinvested in capacity building programs, promotional campaigns and micro-loans for their member communities. Each year they provide technical assistance and workshops on diverse tourism related activities, such as Creole cooking workshops, marketing skills or product development, as well as running a rural tourism fair to promote responsible tourism.


16 Reviews of Costa Rica beach & wildlife holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2018 by

Excellent! Varied with wildlife focus and some activities. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2018 by

The wildlife was outstanding - egg-laying turtles on the Carribean coast; whales and dolphins in the Pacific and the plethora of monkeys, sloths, birds, lizards and snakes. However, what our boys really remembered was our white-water rafting experience which was exhilarating. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Aug 2018 by

There were many highlights - including watching a Green Turtle laying eggs, spotting the rare Splendid Quetzal, snorkelling with fish and turtles off Cano Island and watching the abundant wildlife including 2 species of sloth. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Apr 2018 by

There were too many moments that we will remember - including spotting a whale from our balcony, the sounds on the first morning waking up, the people that we met. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2018 by

The highlight was Arenal volcano and Cero Escondido as it was such a wild place and off grid. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Feb 2018 by

The highlight was seeing and photographing a wild Margay (cat family) and the resplendent Quetzal (males and females). Seeing the male resplendent Quetzal in flight. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2017 by

There were many memorable moments - the vast and overwhelming amount of nature and diverse wildlife. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Oct 2017 by

The wildlife, people and whitewater rafting. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Dec 2017 by

Seeing sloths in the wild was the most memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2016 by

It was amazing, fantastic, a revelation, and I would recommend it to anyone. Very impressive country, so much to see. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2016 by

Fantastic service from the operator - right from the first phone call it was clear that they're not only experts, but really cared about making this tailor-made trip absolutely perfect for us. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Sep 2016 by

Excellent place to relax - which is why I chose it. 10 out of 10 for that! Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2014 by

The most memorable part was Rio Celeste hike to waterfall and lagoon. River trip on Rio Frio. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2014 by

Tremendous: we loved it. My husband and I would go again for the wildlife... Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Apr 2014 by

Very good...The trip to Los Campesinos reserve was wonderful - the wildlife we saw was superb, and the friendliness of everyone involved made it a great excursion Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Apr 2013 by

Brilliant! White water rafting through the rainforest was amazing! Read full review

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