Costa Rica and Galapagos wildlife holiday

Description of Costa Rica and Galapagos wildlife holiday

This Costa Rica and Galapagos wildlife holiday is one for nature lovers! What a combination – a week on a wildlife cruise in the incredible Galapagos Islands off Ecuador, followed by a week in Costa Rica walking on hanging bridges through rainforest treetop canopies, spotting wildlife, and relaxing on the beach.

You will visit: Quito and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, and Arenal Volcano and Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica.

For the purposes of this explanation we've based this trip on the lovely Beluga yacht in the Galapagos (which is why it is day specific), but we can offer over 50 different Galapagos yachts to choose from.

Since this is a tailor made itinerary, any aspect of the trip can be changed for you, from accommodation, to duration or places you visit. Just talk to us so we can get it right for you.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:QUITO: (Wednesday) Arriving in Quito, you’ll be transferred to your hotel. You have the rest if the day free to relax after the flight.
Day 2:QUITO: (Thursday) After breakfast you have a private guided morning tour of Quito, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The afternoon is free. Breakfast
Day 3:TO THE GALAPAGOS: (Friday) This morning you take the roughly 4 hour flight to the Galapagos Islands. Met on arrival, you’re taken to your yacht. Your home for the next 7 nights, the Beluga yacht awaits. PM: Highlands of Santa Cruz, to see giant tortoises and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Full board.
Day 4:GALAPAGOS: (Saturday) AM: Visit Floreana Island with its harbour once used by pirates and whalers and settled by early colonists. PM: At Post Office Bay 19th century sailors left letters in the barrel, for others travelling homeward to deliver. Full board.
Day 5:GALAPAGOS: (Sunday) AM: Isabela is the largest of the islands with many visitor sites. PM: visit Puerto Villamil, the island’s capital, and the highlands where there’s a tortoise breeding centre and lagoon which attracts marine birds. Full board.
Day 6:GALAPAGOS: (Monday) AM: Visit Punta Moreno on the southwest coast of Isabela. There are superb views of 3 volcanoes from here. This is an arid location with varied plant life and impressive lava flows. PM: Boat trip to Elizabeth Bay, looking out for penguins, seeing the mangroves, and watching for turtles and rays. Full board.
Day 7:GALAPAGOS: (Tuesday) AM: Urbina Bay is on Isabela’s central west coast, flanked by Alcedo and Darwin volcanoes. Take a walk to see giant tortoises and brightly coloured land iguanas. PM: Land at Tagus Cove. Look out for inscriptions on the rocks left by pirates and whalers. Walk up the hill to Darwin Lake. Full board.
Day 8:GALAPAGOS: (Wednesday) AM: Fernandina is the youngest and most volcanically active of the Galapagos Islands. You’ll see large numbers of marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, penguins and Galapagos hawks. PM: On a panga ride along the cliffs at Punta Vicente Roca you should see blue-footed and Nazca boobies. Full board.
Day 9:GALAPAGOS: (Thursday) AM: Land on the black sand beach of Puerto Egas take a guided walk along the rocky shore and see flamingos at a lake, and maybe fur seals and marine iguanas. PM: hike to the highest point on Bartolome for one of the best known views in the archipelago. Back on the beach time for swimming and snorkelling. Full board.
Day 10:GALAPAGOS TO GUAYAQUIL: (Friday) Am A last trip to North Seymour perhaps seeing sea lions, great frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies. Then transfer to the airport to Guayaquil on the mainland, and will be taken to your hotel for the night. Breakfast.
Day 11:TO SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: (Saturday) Morning flight to San Jose in Costa Rica. On arrival, travel the 30 minutes to the lovely Finca Rosa Blanca. Breakfast.
Day 12:ARENAL: (Sunday) Travel to Arenal volcano this morning. In the afternoon walk the trails and hanging bridges in the rainforest. Enjoy Costa Rica’s flora and fauna, accompanied by an expert guide. Back at the hotel you can enjoy a soak in the thermal springs. Breakfast.
Day 13:ARENAL: (Monday) Free morning. In the afternoon join a group hike following a trail at the base of the volcano, through lush forest culminating at some thermal springs.. Full board.
Day 14:MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK: (Tuesday) After breakfast travel to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast. Combining rainforest, beach and reef, this is one of the most popular parks in the country. Your hotel is on a hill above the coast, with an outdoor pool and terrace, and a spa. Breakfast.
Day 15:MANUEL ANTONIO: (Wednesday) Guided nature walk in the national park this morning. Expect to see monkeys, iguanas, sloths and agoutis. This afternoon maybe rest on one of the beautiful beaches, or go for a swim, before returning to the hotel for a sundowner drink and dinner. Breakfast.
Day 16:MANUEL ANTONIO: (Thursday) A free day for you to do as you please. Sunbathe, swim, explore the mangroves, visit the butterfly gardens, take a specialist bird watching tour, go horse riding, zipling, bathing beneath waterfalls … Breakfast.
Day 17:HOME: (Friday) We will drive you back to the airport in San Jose in time for your flight home. Breakfast.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?


Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Costa Rica and Galapagos wildlife holiday


The Galapagos Islands are a very fragile and unique environment. It is a strange concept but were it not for the value of tourism in this area the islands would undoubtedly have been allowed to be plundered and destroyed decades ago.

By supporting responsible tourism in this sensitive area we are actively contributing to the massive conservation task. There is a National Parks tax which goes directly to the islands conservation initiatives. But most importantly, we work with a number of boats that are Ecuadorian owned and whose owners can demonstrate a positive ecological and social responsibility policy. This encompasses the broader issues of the human population on the islands as well as the more obvious wildlife conservation.

Costa Rica is known as one of the most environmentally-friendly countries in the world. They practically invented ecotourism, and over 25% of the country is a protected reserve. During this trip you will be visiting at least one of these important reserves.

The country runs a successful conservation initiative called the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). This recognises services committed to preserving the environment and sustainability of the country. Costa Rica also has a Blue Flag programme.

Flights are automatically carbon offset through The Travel Forest, which plants indigenous trees on your behalf . Whilst the primary motivation for planting the trees is to offset carbon emissions, the project also works as a poverty alleviation and environmental improvement scheme.


In Quito and San Jose as well as elsewhere, we always encourage and advise visitors to try local restaurants, and buy locally made products.

The company offering this trip works with partners on the ground in each destination, and only uses local guides. They also primarily promote locally-owned services (hotels etc). They are very clear which accommodations have good environmental and social responsibility credentials. This information is used to ensure that any traveller wanting to ensure they are really making a difference, can choose between one property and another on eco-issues.

The also back a charity with funds and administration. This is a registered UK charity whose principle aim is to relieve the poverty of indigenous communities in areas outside of the UK which are affected by tourism. The charity backs poverty alleviation, education, cultural preservation and conservation projects within these regions. It has backed schools, clinics, micro-business projects and more. They are currently raising funds for 9 different grassroots projects in nine different counties, which travellers are encouraged to donate to if they would like to give something back.

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