Costa Rica holiday, encompassed

“A two week, small group tour, covering a wildlife filled circuit of this magnificent country. And both beautiful coastlines, Pacific and Caribbean.”

Highlights

San Jose | Manuel Antonio National Park | Costa Rica wildlife watching | Quepos | Santa Elena | Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve | Lake Arenal | Arenal Volcano | La Fortuna | Tortuguero National Park | Cahuita National Park

Description of Costa Rica holiday, encompassed

This Costa Rica holiday is a two week wildlife watching tour through some of the country’s most magnificent wildlife habitats and national parks. Following a carefully crafted itinerary, which starts and ends in the capital city of San Jose, your first natural nirvana is Manuel Antonio National Park. This is the country’s smallest national park, covering coastal forest, mangroves, beach and ocean, and a wonderful place to start your journey.

Head north and inland to the world famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for two days to take in its misty environs, orchids and bromeliads as well as over 400 species of tropical birds, particularly hummingbirds. Monteverde is a truly magical place. Equally magical is the Arenal region with its eponymous lake and volcano. Hiking up the latter is a firm favourite with our guests although this is outdoor adventure central, so you can partake in an array of exciting activities including white water rafting or horse riding.

The last few days of this holiday are dedicated to two very different national parks. First, the world renowned Tortuguero National Park, only accessible by water and famous for the sea turtles which it is named after. Second Cahuita National Park where you have time to chill out at the end of your trip on its Caribbean beaches where sandy shores are intertwined with tropical forest, all home to monkeys, sloths, lizards, frogs and many more.

Travel Team

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27 Oct 2019
£1479
£888
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10 Nov 2019
£1479
£1080
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24 Nov 2019
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08 Dec 2019
£1499
£1095
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22 Dec 2019
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05 Jan 2020
£1539
£1124
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19 Jan 2020
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02 Feb 2020
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16 Feb 2020
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01 Mar 2020
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15 Mar 2020
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29 Mar 2020
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26 Apr 2020
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10 May 2020
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24 May 2020
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07 Jun 2020
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21 Jun 2020
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05 Jul 2020
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19 Jul 2020
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02 Aug 2020
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16 Aug 2020
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30 Aug 2020
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13 Sep 2020
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27 Sep 2020
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11 Oct 2020
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25 Oct 2020
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08 Nov 2020
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£1065
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22 Nov 2020
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06 Dec 2020
£1539
£1093
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20 Dec 2020
£1539
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Holiday type

Small group adventure holiday

Whether you are travelling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is plenty of free time to explore at your own pace. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places.

Responsible tourism

Costa Rica holiday, encompassed

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

This Costa Rica holiday utilises both local transport and private minivans in order to give passengers a unique cultural experience and to put profits directly back into the local community. Travelling on local transport keeps the group carbon emissions low, while also providing the chance to meet locals and other travellers. When using private minivans, we always use a local supplier to ensure they money is going back into the community. This method of transport allows us to stop over in restaurants and markets where local transport does not go, thus providing business for these establishments.

We keep our groups small (max 19) so that the overall socio-environmental effect of our tours is kept as low as possible. We employ local guides to organise all of our optional excursions and activities in order to give profits back to the local community.

During visits to the Monteverde Cloud Forest and several National Parks passengers can learn about the endangered species in the region and spot the native wildlife. This teaches them about the local environment and encourages them to respect their surrounds. Our tour leaders encourage passengers to behave in an eco-friendly manner at all times by ensuring no waste is deposited and advocating the ‘take only photos and leave only footprints’ philosophy at all times.

We recognise that it is not only on-location staff who have environmental responsibilities but also our administration staff in our offices around the world. All our offices endeavour to be environmentally sound through practising energy conservation, implementing recycling plans and being responsible for the surrounding physical environment. We believe in leading through example and operate in this manner to encourage other businesses and individuals to be considerate of the environment and conserve the natural beauty we currently share.

Community

We stay at 100% locally-operated hotels (as opposed to international hotel chains) to ensure that we continue to support the local community. An example of this is when we stay in Tortuguero as we stay overnight in All Rankin's Lodge. The Rankin family were some of the first settlers in Tortuguero. The lodge is still owned locally and the owners are the ones that take the groups around the national park and into the village. They are very involved with the community and this is a properly family experience for the groups.

We encourage our passengers to join in on responsible optional excursions that benefit the community. For instance from Cahuita they can visit the Jaguar Rescue Centre which is a great example of sustainability through tourism. Passengers have the chance to donate to the local wildlife that has been rescued and nursed back to health. They can also visit the Lava Lounge, Dog Rescue centre, walking the dogs and taking care for them. Eating at these establishments also puts money back into the centre’s much needed funds.

2 Reviews of Costa Rica holiday, encompassed

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 14 Aug 2019 by

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


Watching a large green turtle lay her eggs on the beach in Tortuguero under the stars, with lightening flashing over the ocean in the distance.

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


If you like wildlife, being outdoors in nature and being active then you'll love this trip. Lots of water-related activities (rafting, snorkeling etc.) and travelling
via boat so you should ideally be comfortable with water. You should take advantage of the optional activities and expect to spend money. Take both US dollars and local currency, but you can also pay by card in some places. Take a bag that you can carry/lift, but you can use the wheels most of the time. Take a
waterproof, cool clothes, walking boots, sun cream and insect repellent. Wifi is widely available.

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


Yes, yes and yes. No global hotel or restaurant chains, used public transport and local drivers, gave money to national parks and the people who work there,
recycling bins available. Obviously all tourism has environmental impacts but restricting numbers will reduce the impacts.

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


Excellent! Lived up to my expectations and more. I want to go back to that beautiful country.

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2017 by

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


Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat

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


Don't take a rucksack unless you really want to- a bag on wheels is fine. This time of year is really humid, so very lightweight clothing is important. Expect to get wet! Take your own hairdryer. Some of the hotels are very basic.

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


Yes: if local people can make money from tourism, they have a financial incentive to maintain and protect the environment. E.g. In Tortugero, people who once killed turtles and ate their eggs are now keen to conserve their heritage and have other means of income. We used small scale tour operators, used local cafes and restaurants and paid local wildlife guides.

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


In most respects it was a great trip, and one which I couldn't have done on my own. I was with a great group of people, we had very good guide and I enjoyed all the places we visited and trips I went on. The only negative was that some of the hotels were really bad. The tour operator were very non specific about the accommodation for a long time, which I found worrying, but of course you can't tell just by looking at a website. For the amount of money I paid, I expected better. "Simple " accommodation doesn't have to mean dirty, dilapidated and badly maintained.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback. Our tours are designed to limit our environmental impact and give as much back to local communities as possible.

The hotels we use are quite basic and they do vary from place to place. We avoid large western chains, using locally owned hotels. However, we are trying to source new hotels in some parts of Costa Rica currently. This is proving quite tricky as hotels need to be safe, reliable, centrally located and able to take large groups. We do now list all of the hotels we use on our website so that you are able to research the accommodation used in advance.

We always recommend a rucksack on our tours as they are more versatile and easier to use than suitcases on wheels which can often get damaged and dirty on uneven and sandy roads. However, it is just a recommendation and you are free to bring any type of luggage as long as you can carry it over some distances and up flights of stairs when lifts aren't available.

Thank you again for your feedback and we hope to see you on another tour soon.

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