Costa Rica might be tiny, but it punches far above its weight in the wildlife stakes. You’ll be on the lookout for toucans, sloths and jaguars on this small group holiday.
San JoseDoka Estate coffee tourSarchi & GreciaIrazu VolcanoGuayabo archaeological sitePacuare River raftingTortuguero National Parksail to Cano BlancoArenal VolcanoLa FortunaMonteverde Cloud Forest Reservecoastal Manuel Antonio National ParkNicoya PeninsulaCarara National Park
Description of Costa Rica wildlife small group tour
This small group wildlife holiday plunges headlong into the valleys, rainforests and white-sand coastlines that carve Costa Rica. Irazu Volcano gives you a toucan’s-eye view of the countryside that whacks out coffee and sugar for a living. Arenal Volcano comes complete with hot springs. And you’ll spend a day around the Pacuare River, choosing to white water raft through forest-cloaked canyons.
The national parks rustle with wildlife. Sail to Tortuguero National Park, where toucans and howler monkeys flit between the jungle canals and lagoons. People-shy ocelots, tapir and jaguar also hide away here. The colossal Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a mix of human and animal natural history, where tangled Mayan trails and Quaker settlements are squirrelled away between the bird-packed canopy walkways. Manuel Antonio National Park is a different flavour of reserve, backing onto the sand-swept Pacific Coast. This is the place to spot capuchin monkeys and sloths.
With two weeks under your belt – and plenty of free time – this small group wildlife holiday to Costa Rica gives you the transport and accommodation, but also the breathing room you need, to explore this country.
Prices based on 2 adults sharing. Single supplement available. Mimimum age 16.
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In Costa Rica you can zip line through cloud forests, white water raft down rushing rivers and trek up the side of volcanoes. However, Costa Rica isn’...
Small group tour:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
1 Reviews of Costa Rica wildlife small group tour
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 11 May 2019 by James Williamson
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The diversity. So much was packed in - from archaeological site to coffee and banana plantations to volcano rim to tropical and temperate and cloud forests with magnificent flora and fauna. The pace was relaxed, we were never in a hurry. We have wonderful memories of Costa Rica.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Ask for Juan Carlos Rodriguez Espinoza to be your guide and take a good camera. Many companies do the the same route in less days. Don't be tempted by the lower price you will just be rushed from destination to destination without a chance to savour any.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Difficult to answer this. Hopefully tourism is a benefit to local people. We did a lot of air and coach miles and so left a large carbon footprint. We try to be responsible tourist but the world has a dilemma; how do you share your wealth to the benefit of the local communities through tourism and not leave a large carbon footprint.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
A fantastic holiday and we have recommended it to many people.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
We consider it very important to give our support to the countries that we visit, which we do, particularly in Costa Rica in a number of ways.
We support two organizations in Costa Rica which are dedicated to preserving the ecology. On this trip you will get the opportunity to visit the CATIE institute based in Turrialba, an innovative regional training and research centre providing opportunities for new professionals starting out in rural management, agriculture and conservation of natural resources. As well as helping to raise awareness of the centre and providing much needed funds there is a fine botanical garden to relax in.
On our next stop we visit the Caribbean Conservation Corps in Tortuguero National Park which contributes to conservation in the Turtle laying area of Costa Rica’s coast. Founded in 1959 the foundation seeks to survival of sea turtles through research, education and protection of the natural areas where they live including encouraging people to help clean up the beach where turtles lay their eggs.
In Monteverde proceeds from the entry fees to the cloud forest reserve help to protect the highly endangered habitat of the Resplendant Quetzal, of which only 300 pairs remain in the world. Monteverde houses 2.5% of worldwide biodiversity; income collected through visits are used directly to fund preservation, research and educational programmes to ensure this pristine environment is preserved for future generations.
As we travel in small groups, this reduces our environmental impact and all of our internal connections are made by bus. Interestingly on this trip there are plenty of opportunities to walk and we use boats to travel around the National Parks. This initiative allows you to get much closer to the natural habitats and to protect the delicate environment.
In the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve we have a guided nature walk which gives a more in depth view of the natural environment and eco system.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
Our local partners in Costa Rica have been leading the way in promoting gender equality within the tourism sector; recognising that gender equality is a key element to guarantee social well-being and sustainable development, they are a vocal advocate of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) mission, which looks forward to achieve equal pay between women and men for work of equal value by 2030.
In addition our local partners were one of the first tour operators in Costa Rica with the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST), achieving five leaves (level 5) out of a maximum possible of five with all staff given regular training and support to promote environmental best practices including recycling, water and energy conservation. We employ local guides and encourage our clients to use restaurants, shops, and other local businesses along the way in order to benefit the communities we visit directly. We try to ensure that we have minimum impact on the flora and fauna that we see when we are exploring, so that their lives and surroundings are not affected.
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.