Costa Rica wildlife tour
Services not included: drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Note: stops can be extended, added or cut - just ask us!
Description of Costa Rica wildlife tour
This two-week, tailormade tour of Costa Rica from the capital, San Jose, is a vivid journey into the spectacular biodiversity and natural landscapes that make this Central American country a paradise for ecotourists.
Book a holiday between July and September for a chance to watch sea turtles making their way up the beach to lay their eggs in the sand at Tortuguero National Park. The following few months are the wettest and hottest of the year but otherwise any time is good to visit Costa Rica.
Explore Tortuguero’s canals and nature trails for a couple of days before moving on to the San Gerardo de Dota region, notable for its old-growth forests, the Savegre River, and for being the habitat of the Resplendent Quetzal. You’ll take a guided tour into the cloud forest in search of this aptly named bird, with its vibrant green plumage and red breast, before continuing to Costa Rica’s gorgeous Central Pacific Coast.
Here, besides the idyllic beaches, you have dense forest that echoes to the chants of monkeys and tropical birds, with the odd iguana perching around too. Stay in a private nature reserve as you trek through pristine virgin rainforest in search of howler monkeys, Morpho butterflies and ‘Jesus Christ’ lizards that walk across water.
Finally reaching Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula you might do some more hiking, snorkel with manta rays and dolphins, or visit with the local communities in this remote and wild part of the country.
Costa Rica is about the world’s most epic destination for nature tourism, and this trip promises a deep dive that will leave you amazed.
4 Reviews of Costa Rica wildlife tour
Reviewed on 22 Feb 2023 by Kalman WinstonExcellent. Read full review
Reviewed on 08 Nov 2015 by Mike AdamsCan't pick any one memorable moment, there were too many. Cable car across a forest valley? Wild toucans and Macaws? Being buzzed by humming birds? Exotic fruit and food?... Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Apr 2015 by Una CarterBrilliant! Most places we stayed in were run by local people and I made sure I bought all my souvenirs from a craft cooperative. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Feb 2015 by Jemima JewellFantastic. Cannot recommend the agent highly enough. They listened so carefully to what we were looking for, and tailored the itinerary and accommodation perfectly. As such it was a brilliant mixture of wildlife, walking, landscapes, relaxation and adventure. Read full review
PlanetOur Wilderness and Wildlife itinerary takes you to some of the country’s most ecologically diverse areas, offering you the chance to experience some of the amazing wildlife Costa Rica has to offer. Except from your first and last night in San José, every day is spent in either a publicly or privately owned reserve (5 in total), ensuring that the majority of your money will go back into conservation.
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.
Many of the accommodation options we offer in Costa Rica are located in rural communities, natural reserves, or indigenous territories that 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.
Often, the lodges go well beyond this: 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 initiatives such as environmental education, watershed and forest protection, solar energy, organic farming and biogas production.
PeopleWhilst this is a wildlife and nature-orientated itinerary, it also incorporates various ways to benefit the communities in the areas you visit. Each of the visits to reserves include a local guide, in addition to the main guide who accompanies you throughout your holiday.
The two lodges that you will stay at both have strong ties to their local community. Playa Nicuesa Lodge employs 98% of their workforce from the nearby area and provides them with ongoing training in English and business development. The lodge has spent a considerable amount of time developing a relationship with local hunters, who have often been involved in poaching in the private reserve. The lodge runs a programme to retrain these hunters and employ them as guides and trackers for the lodge’s guests. It also buys all of the produce for its operations from the nearby area, supporting the local economy.
Cusinga Lodge not only employs staff from the local area, but also works with indigenous communities to offer sustainable tourism experiences that generate additional income for them. They have close relationships with schools in the area, offering them year round complimentary visits to increase their pupils’ knowledge about science and conservation issues.
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.