Costa Rica tailor made holiday, highlights

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip is only for tailor made departures throughout the year to suit your requirements

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.

The Costa Rica Uncovered itinerary takes you to some of the country’s most ecologically diverse and sensitive areas and offers you the opportunity to visit two its remaining indigenous communities at Térraba and Los Campesinos. Our partners 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 itinerary has been developed around 6 protected areas which are managed by local communities, using ecotourism to bring in money for community development and conservation. Any 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 knowledgeable about the impacts of tourism, and will offer advice on how you can keep your environmental footprint to a minimum during your stay.

The Impacts of this Trip

The communities we and our partners work with are a fantastic example of how tourism can bring benefits for both visitors and hosts if properly managed. They have decided how they want to present themselves and they direct and run their own operations to make you feel more like a family guest than a tourist. They are proud to share who they are and what they do, plus the impressive natural and cultural riches they have inherited - you will get to participate in everyday life and gain a unique insider’s view of the country. Community-owned lodges bring income to the community as a whole and they are often involved in a range of other community development activities.

In other areas of the country we have found hotels which meet our minimum requirements that they are locally-owned, employ and provide training to Costa Ricans and support local projects or charities. For example, the Danta Corcovado on the southern Osa peninsula is a small, family-owned business that is involved with several local conservation organizations. The hotel also supports a youth organisation that aims to provide economic alternatives, including tapping into tourism, to young people in the area.

When there are options (much of this trip is spent is rural and isolated locations), our guides will recommend the best local restaurants that are not only delicious and unique, but also let you support small Costa Rican businesses directly.

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.


2 Reviews of Costa Rica tailor made holiday, highlights

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 14 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The wide variety of wild life we saw and our trip to Corcovado National Park.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Costa Rica is a fabulous destination so allow yourself enough time in the remote places.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes and we very impressed with the local knowledge and enthusiasm of our guides and drivers on our trips in supporting conservation/being clear about
environmental impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was a fabulous trip from start to finish: we stayed in beautiful places, ate great food, saw amazing wildlife and were really well looked after.

Reviewed on 07 Feb 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The stay at Cerro Escondido. It was not touristy, the hike there was great, and the managers were very welcoming. A beautiful, peaceful spot, off the beaten track.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you go to Tortuguero, go for as good a lodge as you can afford. We felt our guide was not as good as the one from the other lodge. Don't just stick to the well known bits, get off the beaten track a bit to experience the real Costa Rica.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes! Most guides were local, most hotels had environmental policies in place, especially the lodge in Osa, which was totally off grid, and built from very local materials. The staff at Cerro Escondido were passionate about conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Mixed. Some bits were crowded and touristy (but beautiful), especially the famous national parks Monteverde and Manuel Antonio.
Some of the transfers and tours were uncomfortable. The trip to Poas volcano involved 1 1/2 hours driving around San Jose before leaving for Poas. The coffee tour and lunch were ok, but the other stops selling tourist tat were annoying. The drive to Tortuguero was uncomfortable, the bus was full and my husband and I could not get seats together, and I had to sit in the back corner, which
was bad for travel sickness! But the more remote bits were amazing.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you very much for your review and we are glad that you had a good time in Costa Rica.

As a country that offers many incredible experiences, especially for wildlife lovers, Costa Rica is rapidly growing in popularity. Therefore some of the more accessible spots, like Manuel Anotnio and Monteverde, can feel busy at times and we certainly agree that it's a great idea to get off the beaten track as much as you can.

We're very pleased that you liked the peace, beauty and sustainability of Cerro Escondido and El Remanso - if you would ever like to explore Costa Rica further, we would be delighted to take you to meet some of our local partners in the more remote and less well known areas of the country.

As we discussed when we were developing the itinerary, we did include a few shared tours and transfers as they are often a great way of bringing down the cost, but we apologise if you were uncomfortable and we will take care to make it clearer what they entail in future.

Thanks again for your helpful comments and we hope that we can help you again soon.
Simon and Dave

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