Costa Rica highlights holiday & beach

“A two week, tailor made holiday in Costa Rica, taking in volcanoes, cloud forest, turtle beaches and totally deserted ones too. Staying at a lovely mix of accommodation. ”


San Jose | Tortuguero National Park | Arenal Volcano - Monteverde cloud forest | Samara Beach, Nicoya Peninsula | Isla Chora | Sea kayaking | Ecolodge accommodation | Mix of public and private transport

Description of Costa Rica highlights holiday & beach

This Costa Rica holiday is a tailor made trip and so this is only our suggested itinerary, which of course we can adapt according to your interests. Although we believe it captures many of Costa Ricaís highlights, both cultural and coastal, wild and wonderful. It is quite a busy schedule, and so you will definitely have earned your few days at Samara beach on Pacific coastís Nicoya Peninsula by the end of it.

Starting in the capital city of San Jose, youíll be given a guided tour of this busy city to get your first experience of daily Tico life, sample some great Costa Rican food or visit its excellent museums. Moving quickly into more rural Costa Rica, which is what most people want to experience here, your first stop is the much revered Tortuguero National Park. Your final leg of this journey is by boat, as it is the only way to access these wild habitats for an array of wildlife from monkeys to manatees, the most famous being the green turtle which gave the park its name. Spending several days here, you will be guided by different local experts, all highly trained members of the local community and totally dedicated to conservation of Costa Ricaís precious heritage.

From water to fire, your next stop is Arenal Volcano, the most iconic of Costa Ricaís many volcanoes now protected by national park status. Go walking here on suspended walkways, along nature trails, look out for monkeys and wonderful birdlife, and rest your muscles in thermal springs. With your final stop at a charming ecolodge in nearby La Fortuna.

The cooler cloud forests of Monteverde are a wonderful contrast to the volcano, where you can walk on a canopy through these fairytale like forests that are shrouded in mist, protecting the precious orchids, mosses and bromeliads below. And from there to the beach, where you have several days to really chill out, enjoying the palm lined beach at Samara, free of large hotels and coastal crowds, but a place to find a hammock and relax. Or take a guided kayaking trip out to Isla Chora for true desert island dreaminess.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

Everything is tweak-able, giving you the freedom to build a unique and personal trip for your chosen date. Upgrade your accommodation for all - or just part - of your trip, slow down the pace with few extra nights here and there or add a few more active adventures along the way.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Costa Rica highlights holiday & beach


In Costa Rica we work with a local partner who are committed to sustainability and have achieved the highest sustainability accreditation possible in Costa Rica of 5 leaves as part of the Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program, this is based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management. Our small lodge accommodation in Samara, where our customers will stay during this trip, also has this accreditation and are 100% carbon neutral. They have a sustainability manual outlining their aims to reduce their negative impact on the local environment through their own practices as well as those of companies they use the services of.

The eco-lodge we use in La Fortuna are committed to protecting the natural resources. This covers wildlife protection through recycling, environmental education for the local community, energy saving light bulbs and using biodegradable products at the eco-lodge.


Throughout our trips we use guides and drivers local to each area so you can take advantage of their local knowledge of the areas you are visiting. This is benefiting not only for our customers but also for the guides and drivers by helping put money directly into the pockets of the local people. We encourage our customers to stop along the way at local restaurants, shops and stalls to buy food, drinks and souvenirs, whether using a driver or self-driving. In Tortuguero we use three guides throughout the trip who are local to the area. One is from a small village where you will learn about day to day lives of the villagers and turtle conservation in the area. For the forest walk we use a guide who is training his son and often accompanies him with group tours. This benefits the community through income from tourism and training of future generations to ensure this is sustainable.

We use small locally-run accommodation throughout Costa Rica from simple lodges with indigenous communities to traditional haciendas near to National Parks. During this itinerary your accommodation in Samara on the Pacific coast is one such place. There are no large hotels in this area and instead you'll stay in a small family lodge just behind the beach. In Monteverde during our Cloudforest trip you will stay in an eco-lodge run by a local couple who employ local staff with lots of knowledge.

4 Reviews of Costa Rica highlights holiday & beach

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 01 Jun 2018 by

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

Travelling to the next place - Costa Rica is so diverse and awesome!

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

Take a rain jacket and plenty of sunscreen also - small dollar bills!

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

Absolutely, some of the local guides were really diligent about it.

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

It was awesome - thank you for the great planning RT, we covered six areas
in 12 days and your planning made that seamless.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Daisy,

Thanks so much for your positive feedback about your trip.

There is so much to see in Costa Rica so its really nice to hear that you felt like you got to experience so much of what the country has to offer without feeling rushed. I'm glad you needed the sunscreen and hope you didn't need the rain jacket too much - but without the rain the country wouldn't be so beautiful and green so I'm sure it was worth it!

It's really important to us to know that everyone we work with sticks to the high standards we set so it is great to hear your comments on the local guides. I will make sure to pass your comments on to our local partners as well.

Welcome home and I look forward to helping you with your next adventure!!

Kind Regards,


Reviewed on 05 Jan 2018 by

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

Tortuguero National Park early morning canoe trip was the most memorable.

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

Go a long as you possibly can as there is so much to see and do.

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

Yes. Tourism is definitely benefiting the local people and economy. The tours raise awareness of the conservation initiatives.

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

Absolutely amazing!

Reviewed on 01 Jan 2018 by

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

The wildlife all around us, if you stood still it came past you. Amazingly beautiful birds, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches. The accommodation, though on the basic side was right in the thick of it. You could wake with humming birds outside your door, monkeys swinging across your roof or frogs croaking and singing you to sleep. Most exciting was discovering animals and other creatures on our hikes and seeing Arenal volcano at close range as the clouds moved away in the evening sunlight. Most exciting but scary was the ziplining, especially the 1 km run. The hot springs at La Fortuna was a wonderful experience at night. Visiting the BriBri Tribe was a real insight into the culture and they were such wonderfully welcoming and friendly people. Visiting the Sloth Sanctuary is a must!

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

Do your research, there are so many regions of Costa Rica with so many different things to see. Be prepared with clothing, torches, footwear, binoculars etc. Enjoy the wildlife and have a real interest in the nature around you. Spend time to look and listen for yourself, don't rely on a guide all the time, in fact don't
use a guide at Manuel Antonio.Just enjoy discovering animals yourself. Be wary of going out in San Jose, don't wear jewellery, carry handbags or cameras.
Muggings happen in broad daylight too! Check on the type of accommodation you need to be comfortable with, the Eco-lodges can be very basic though

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

Yes, we were so impressed that Costa Ricans really care what happens to their country. They are so eco-aware. You need to follow their rules about litter, their
environment and the impact tourism can have. The trip to visit the BriBri was a way to put money directly into their pockets by buying handcrafted souvenirs
and chocolate. Their ethics about their country invoked respect and you take some of that knowledge away with you.

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

An amazing adventure. We loved the variety, the range of different regions each offering something new. We were never bored couldn't wait to get up each day and have a new experience. Th tours were all good and the guides knowledgeable. We learnt so much about the animals and the environment alongside finding out about Costa Rica as a country. The wildlife was second to none. The only downside was that the accommodation was probably a bit too basic to even be comfortable but the trade in was the fantastic location.

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2016 by

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

The night walk was a wonderful wildlife experience.
Meeting the Ticos and feeling their pride in their country and how welcome they made us feel as tourists/guests was really special

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

Book in advance
Learn some basic Spanish
Take waterproof and warmer clothing than you think you may need for the volcanic area and cloud forest
Use a rucksack rather than a wheeled suitcase!
Use the Lonely Planet Guide

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

Yes to all of those - certainly hope so
We travelled on the tourist buses which I guess was better than a hire car, but the latter would have been an advantage in some areas. We accept that flying to destination is not good from an environmental point of view, however.

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

A wonderful experience that makes us want to visit Costa Rica again (for longer)

Read the operator's response here:

Dear John,

Thank you so much for taking the time to review your holiday for us.

We're thrilled to hear that you're experience of travelling to Costa Rica with us was so incredible and that it has wetted your appetite for all things Costa Rican. Itís wonderful that you could see that our trips indeed benefit local people and that by travelling in small groups we do see to reduce the environmental impacts of tourism.

It really is a gem of a country isn't it with such diverse ecology and incredibly friendly locals. We've certainly found this ourselves on our own travels and adventures over there.

We hope you'll keep us in mind if you do plan to head over there again as we would love to help you plan another adventure meeting more Ticos and seeing more incredible wildlife!

Kind regards

Jo Ramsey

Sales Manager

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