Costa Rica wildlife holiday

“Discover what Costa Rica does best: wildlife. Private transport and comfortable lodges balance out the busy pace, while naturalist guides reveal the secrets of the forests.”

Highlights

Tortuguero | Monteverde | Arenal Volcano | Zip wires | Esquinas Ecolodge | Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve | Manuel Antonio National Park | Piedras Blancas National Park | Savegre Cloud Forest | Turtle nesting (in season)

Description of Costa Rica wildlife holiday

Immerse yourself amongst the ecosystems of Central America as you undertake a Costa Rica wildlife holiday that will have you peering through the undergrowth in jungles, cloud forests and mangrove swamps as well as checking out the beaches on both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines.

Hiking in the realm of Arenal Volcano and staying overnight in a rainforest lodge in Piedras Blancas National Park provides a real thrill for the senses with trips to Monteverde and Savegre Cloud Forest helping to make this Costa Rica wildlife holiday an incredibly exciting and immersive experience.

As you’d hope from any exotic destination for a wildlife tour, Costa Rica is blessed with an absolute abundance of animal action with sloths, monkeys and toucans all to be found occupying rainforest canopies whilst the green turtles of Tortuguero National Park make the most of protected beaches.

From hiking trails and boat journeys to free time and guided tours, this 16 day Costa Rica wildlife holiday provides the perfect introduction to the natural world of Central America with untold animal encounters to treasure once the suntan has finally faded.

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

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Our top tip:
This tour is fast-paced, so pack light. But do bring warm layers – the cloud forest gets chilly at night.
Trip type:
Small group tour, min. age 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely – included and optional walks of up to 2-3 hours.
Accomm:
Small hotels and ecolodges – many family run, often with pools.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Singe rooms available with surcharge.
Included:
Lodging, transport, transfers, listed activities. Flights if booked.
Meals:
Buffet-style breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Costa Rica wildlife holiday

Environment

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend two weeks in a combination of hotels and eco-lodges around Costa Rica. We use fairly small, family run and locally staffed establishments which ensures that we are benefiting local communities. Our local operator is a leading member of the Rainforest Alliance and has been awarded a "4 Leaf" award from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute for their sustainable tourism practice & dedication to improving standards. An example of eco-friendly accommodation on this trip is the Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, a model project combining conservation, environmental research and community development in a rural area. It is 100 % carbon neutral and helps to fund local healthcare and education.

Activity:
Being a wildlife based tour, we are very conscious of our effects on the environment and how we can reduce negative impact and aid conservation. On this trip we visit national and private parks, including the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the first community-managed reserves in the country. Entrance fees directly support conservation efforts in the areas we visit. Our activity also benefits the rural village of Copey, which is nestled in the highlands of the Central Mountain Range. By passing through this area, seeing how the locals live and work and having lunch in a typical home, we are encouraging cultural exchange and providing valuable avenues of income here.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Charity:
Last January we contributed school supplies though the Costa Rican Association of Tour Operators (ACOT). We organised the donation of school packages to children and teenagers in indigenous communities (Dueri, Cerro Alto, Tolok Saku, Jamaikiri, Tsinikicha, Mata de Limón, San Miguel, Gandoca and Yorkin). If guests would like, they are also able to support local schools by delivering a gift of educational supplies when we visit Copey area on this tour. The cost of this is included in the full price of the tour. In terms of environmental charity, we give a monetary donation on a monthly basis to the Organisation for Tropical Studies.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

15 Reviews of Costa Rica wildlife holiday

4 out of 5 stars
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10
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Reviewed on 06 Apr 2017 by

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


Quetzal bird at close quarters.

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


Fly directly to San Jose

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


Yes especially the school we visited.

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 24 Mar 2017 by

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


Seeing wildlife close-up and in wonderful country.

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


Only go if you want to be woken at 0600 regularly but if you do there are opportunities to see birds / mammals at their best. More tiring than expected so be prepared.

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


Yes, supported conservation and some benefits to locals

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


Very good experience

Reviewed on 07 Feb 2017 by

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


The vast wealth of wildlife in this beautiful country and the ability and skill of our guide to find it ... and the abiding memory is the sound of a rainforest with
all the insects, cicadas, and frogs and birds - day and night - continuous - MEMORABLE!!

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


Be ready for an energetic - often up early in the morning - quest to find what the rain and cloud forest has to offer .

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


Most definitely - not only benefited the locals in every way but is taught to children and lived out - their example could benefit us. Their of goal of being
carbon neutral soon is a very realistic goal.

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


A lovely holiday, a beautiful country, welcoming people, an excellent guide - and for an over seventy year old - two weeks of invigorating pleasure. A small
country but one that is treasuring its natural assets in its National Parks and preserves.

Reviewed on 03 Oct 2016 by

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


The whole experience was mind blowing but I guess seeing a Sloth on the first day's lunch stop has to be the one.

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


Don't pack too much and remember most hotels and lodges have laundry facilities.

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


Yes except for the flight over there.

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


Fantastic.

Reviewed on 26 May 2016 by

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


Diverse landscapes, biodiversity, wildlife viewing - loved the humming birds at Savegre Lodge

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


Take a good camera and be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions

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


Yes, to some extent

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


Excellent, had a great time

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2016 by

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


Many. Great variety of eco-lodge type locations enabled great wildlife watching. Playa Blancas area favourite location.

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


Leave kit behind- no need for mosi nets, towels etc, as venues all great. And do night walks where they are offered.

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


Yes, by providing jobs, income and security.

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


Great, would get top score if not for too long a time on bus at end and a day including Cartago and San Jose which I would drop from future itineraries.

Reviewed on 14 Feb 2016 by

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


All good, made even better by the local guide Gustavo and driver Carlos. Location excellent and birds and wildlife fantastic.

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


Ponchos and insect repellent

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


Yes

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


Wonderful experience with good group of people

Reviewed on 10 Nov 2016 by

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


The natural landscapes and forests along with the different mammals and birdlife. Resplenent Quetzal say no more!!

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


You will get rain - but it is warm.

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


Not a poor country but very environentally aware. Holiday fitted into this.

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


If you like every type of different forest you will enjoy. We enjoyed.

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2015 by

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


Staying in Tortuguera and floating down the canals thru the jungle watching birds,monkeys and iguanas, The cloud forest, Esquinas lodge in the rain forest where we also had free time to follow the forest trails

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


Costa Rica is very humid.Take more clothes than normal as they will be soaking wet 10 min after you put them on and will not dry. Take every optional trip offered, this is an amazing country

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


Yes, most accomodation was locally owned and run - we did not use any large chains. The food was all locally produced. The company supports a school and small local farms.

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2015 by

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


A wonderfully diverse trip visiting lots of different areas of Costa Rica seeing lots of different ecosystems and wildlife.

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


Be prepared to get wet it does rain even in the "dry" season.

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


Yes.

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


Very good.

Reviewed on 08 Jan 2014 by

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


Seeing all the wildlife and amazing natural landscapes. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and you will stand in awe at the beauty of the rainforests.

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


Travel light. There is a lot of travelling around the country and you will only stay in the one location for a couple of days. Also be prepared for it being hot. When we travelled it wasn't the 'summer' season yet it was incredibly hot and humid in the rainforests.

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


The hotels do put some effort into energy saving and conservation yet this is only in its infancy. On the penultimate day we did travel to a local school where some of the holiday fee had been donated. This was a worthy cause.

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


Fantastic holiday. The wildlife and natural landscapes are amazing and worth the trip alone. For the sheer scope of diversity, colour and experiences this trip is unrivalled.

Reviewed on 22 Dec 2014 by

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


Looking at the two poisonous snakes that the guide found for our group to see and the two that I saw only one of which one other member of the group also saw and the fourth which I showed to everyone else including the guide who did not find it for us.

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


If you are bird crazy then this is the holiday for you since this was designated as a bird watching special the guide spent a lot of time identifying the various species seen and there were many of them. Those people who like to watch birds but are not of the "twitcher" type of person should bring a good book with them as the guide will often spend 30 mins in identifing the bird sitting on a telephone wire two hundred yards away which appears in outline only against a bright sky.

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


Yes sometimes at the expense of the tourists, an example is the Esquiners lodge where the local water is only filtered but not treated in any other way so those of us with delicate stomachs could not drink the water or the coffee or eat the soup or anything made with the water as we got the "runs". All the lodges supported the conservation ideals and we paid for them locally in cash as well.

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


This was a three star holiday the people were nice touristas and locals

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2013 by

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


Seeing a rhinoceros beetle the size of a hamster.

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


Take a spare battery for your camera

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


It indirectly benefitted local people and conservation simply by distributing money in those areas.

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


One of the best we've had.

Reviewed on 15 Dec 2013 by

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


Saw lots of animals, birds, plants and butterflies. Thankfully did not see the tarantula. Seeing sloths close up, active but moving in slow motion was great as was seeing little turtles hatching and running to the sea. Saw lots of birds and had a very knowledgeable guide to help us. The quetzel fly past was pretty good!

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


If you are interested in birds then you do need a decent zoom, though good quality compact may be enough just to get pictures for identification.
May need to take an extra change of lightweight quick drying clothing.

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


Yes, there is a lot of emphasis on 'Eco-tourism', some hotels this just seemed to mean not changing the towels every day but in other places like Esquinas, the lodge was a local community project.

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


Good holiday, lots of travelling and a few places like Manuel Antonio park very noisy and touristy but other places really great.
Would like to have spent more time in fewer places but this was a good introduction to Costa Rica. Accommodation and food good.

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2012 by

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


Difficult to pick one highlight. The boat trips at Tortegua where we saw an osprey, an otter who played alongside the boat. A very angry caiman coming to protect her youngster. The resplendent Quetzel in the cloud forest is unbelievable. Looking at the frogs in a night hike in the rainforest and also finding a feu de lance.

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


Take warm clothes for the cloud forest it can be very cold at night and some of the lodges have limited heating. Expect to get wet somewhere. Have plenty of camera cards and take good binoculars - essential. This is a holiday for wildlife enthusiasts. There is lots of walking over uneven ground and some very bumpy roads.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It is obvious that the tourism in Costa Rica is set up to minimise the impact on the environment and there is much evidence to see how local people were involved in supporting the industry. We visited a local school and a family farm - lovely highlight.

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


Fantastic and tiring but nice tired! , wonderful experience, so glad we did it.

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