“Two week overland tour from San Jose as part of a small group (max 16). Good mix of optional & included activities, free time and one or two long drives.”

Highlights

San Jose | Tortuguero National Park | Sarapiqui | Santa Rosa de Pocosol | La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano | Monteverde | Quepos | Manuel Antonio NP |

Description of Costa Rica tour

If you’re longing to tour Costa Rica then this two week holiday offers every opportunity to do just that with a round trip from San Jose featuring everything that your heart could desire including visits to both coasts and some of the country’s top national parks.

Aside from Tortuguero, Arenal Volcano and Manuel Antonio, this Costa Rica tour also includes trips to Monteverde cloud forest as well as chances to spend time with local people in Santa Rosa de Pocosol and get stuck into work at a nearby farmstead.

From natural thermal springs and waterfalls to volcanoes and white sand beaches, this is your opportunity to tour Costa Rica and experience the lot with an accompanying tropical salsa soundtrack to get your toes tapping and pulse racing.

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?

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Vouchers
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Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Costa Rica tour

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

We just can't get enough of the Amazon, not only as a jaw-dropping travel destination but also as a global treasure and this trip will help to ensure that the incredibly Amazon Rainforest is here for us to enjoy for generations to come! By booking your Latin American adventure with us you're helping us work towards a sustainable future for the Amazon.

This trip gives you plenty of opportunities to get to know the culture and vibrant history of Latin America. There are numerous chances for local interaction as we cover so much ground using all means of public transport. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from a friendly local who strikes up a conversation during your journey.

Your leader and the occasional local guide will be able to direct you to many local eateries throughout the trip, helping you discover real local fare at real local prices (and probably helping you learn some Spanish at the same time). All travellers are encouraged to explore with the group and on their own, learn a few words of the language and interact with the locals as much as possible.

Local guides are employed to help explain as much as possible about the cultural differences and the historically significant places that we visit. This also allows us to appreciate the importance of preserving and respecting these sites and to help us minimise the impact of our visits.

There are plenty of opportunities to support local merchants in the markets and stalls that we pass along the way. We can purchase traditional handicrafts from local artisans and learn more about the importance of preserving these crafts.

12 Reviews of Costa Rica tour

4 out of 5 stars
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In depth story review

“I felt really affected by being in the forest... It’s alive with birdsong, but it’s more than that. Sounds, smell, sight – it’s a kind of mixture and an amazing atmosphere.”

Reviewed on 25 May 2019 by

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


Too many to mention, really - it was all memorable! But maybe the cloud forest, the Cano Negro boat trip (brilliant guides), other mangroves boat trips, Copan, Tikal, the growler monkeys, Antigua & the Lenten procession ...

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


Try to go on the tour guided by Luis!

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


Yes - we went to locally run shops and restaurants

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


Brilliant - when I got home, I felt there was nothing negative, though it wasn't perfect, of course

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2019 by

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


Seeing the volcano Arenal in La Fortuna and the beach at Manuel Antonio. It would have been seeing the turtle but I missed that as I had already done it as a
voluntary project the week before. The tour leader was excellent, knowledgeable about wildlife and could spot and identify it when we wouldn't have stood a chance!

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


That it may be cooler in Monte Verde so bring some warmer layers too. Bring a water bottle to refill as the tap water is good to drink in many of the places and
we also bought large bottles of water to share among the group and reduce waste.

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


Yes because we had local drivers at each place and used local guides. We also ate in a lot of local 'sodas'. As the conservation efforts are based on tourism I
think that our trip benefited it. We were advised on how to behave in national parks so as not to have a negative impact. We refilled our water bottles to
reduce waste.

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


Very good. It was a well-constructed/balanced itinerary and the guide couldn't have done more. A small group was beneficial for seeing the wildlife and all getting a chance to see in the telescope and to take photos. It would have been good to have more breakfasts and a couple more excursions included, e.g. the walks which all of the group did.

Reviewed on 08 Mar 2019 by

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


Costa Rica is a lovely place to visit but had we known it was so expensive we
would never have signed up to a holiday that didn't have a lot of included activities and meals included.

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


Check out the extra cost of your holiday before booking.

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


We loved the lodge on the river and the homestay but the other accommodation was not good. At the homestay we really felt a part of a community and felt engaged with it.

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


The worst value for money holiday we've ever had.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Ian,

We write with reference to your feedback regarding your travels with us on our tour “Classic Costa Rica”.

Firstly, we would like to thank you for your patience while we investigated the matters you have raised. Information such as yours is valuable to us as it assists in identifying areas which may require improvement while also serving to highlight areas where we are meeting, if not exceeding, your expectations. It is therefore disappointing to learn that there were some aspects of the journey, which let you down.

In Particular, that you found Costa Rica to be expensive and that had you known this in advance you would not have chosen to book a holiday with limited activities and meal included. Costa Rica is more expensive that other countries in Central America. Activities here cost more, as the country invests heavily in being environmentally responsible and sustainable. The national parks are all well protected and maintained and they offer a great infrastructure.

We are pleased to learn that you enjoyed the lodge on the river and at the homestay you felt engaged and part of the community, but disappointed to learn that accommodation was felt to be poor. Our aim is to use accommodation which is locally owned and managed along with showcasing the local character of the destination. While we do not provide you with luxurious properties, we do endeavour to provide a comfortable place to spend the night and a convenient base for your explorations.

We wish that every aspect had met with your expectations and sincerely appreciate your constructive comments and suggestions. While we can assure you that we will continue to work toward improvements, we also wish to offer you a 10% travel Voucher, should you choose to provide us with another opportunity.

Thanks,
Faye

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2018 by

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


All of it was memorable...each place visited is so different... it's hard to choose. Monteverde for its lush vegetation, but boy can it get cold at night...and tortuguero for its wildlife.

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


Be prepared from some hilly walks, into and out if town...esp in monteverde...but it's all good exercise.

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


In monteverde yes..the hotel matched the tips that were left to help support the national parks.

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


Very good...well worth it and the driving distances were not huge, with plenty of stops along the way.

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2018 by

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


Seeing turtles

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


It can be very wet, be prepared

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


Tourism is an important industry in Costa Rica so income important

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


Very good, memorable

Reviewed on 31 Mar 2017 by

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


For my husband it was the amazing variety and beauty of the birds. For myself it was the excitement of seeing an armadillo at close quarters, although all the wildlife was extraordinary! I was also able to do the best zipwire course I've ever done in La Fortuna (although this was not strictly part of the booked tour). Soaring like a bird high above the rainforest was unforgettable.

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


Although mostly hot and sunny, Costa Rica can be surprisingly cool and wet on occasion, so pack with this in mind. Be prepared to pay quite high prices for guided tours etc, but they are well worth it for the knowledge and passion shown by the guides. Take sturdy shoes for jungle walks - they will be needed!

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


Definitely. Ticos are passionate about preserving their extraordinary environment and biodiversity. We certainly felt that our tourist dollars were mostly well spent, although we did wonder at the very high prices that some locals charged for tours, money which seemed to go directly to them rather than the wider community.

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


It was certainly one of the very best holidays we have taken. Beautiful scenery, lovely people, delicious food and the most stunning wildlife and rainforest. Our wonderful guide, Jaime, really made the holiday perfect for us. Nothing was too much trouble and he would always go above and beyond to make sure everyone was having a great time.

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

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


Mangrove tour in Quepos as wildlife was more accessible than in the forests.
Zip lining.

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


As no meals are included the cost of restaurants is approximately $10.oo-15.oo per plate. As portions are very substantial think twice about ordering a starter. Breakfasts are $6.oo
Prices rarely include taxes. Alcoholic drinks are reasonably priced: beers app $1.50,cocktails $7-8.00.
Not all tours accept credit cards.
Throughout the 2 weeks costs begin to mount up.

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


Definitely.
Costa Rica is the most environmentally sympathetic country I have visited.

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


My only quibble is having to pay for breakfasts. These should be included as part of tour price even if it makes overall cost slightly more expensive.
The tour leader, Wendy was first class.

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

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


Watching seaturtles laying their eggs on Tortuguero beach and the homestay

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


Have enough money, as most activities are not included in the holiday

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


Yes definitely

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


The basic holiday was great. Very little culture but loads of fauna and flora.
Disappointing that virtually nothing was included in the trip and had to be paid for locally. This added about $300 per person to the trip and we didn't do half of the activities on offer.Also only a couple of breakfasts were included in the trip price.Accommodation was great everywhere. Friendly people. Great group ranging from 17 to 67.Tour leader could have been a little more enthusiastic.

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2014 by

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


The trip to Tortuguera via bus and finally the boat journey through the rivers and canals was magical and the "town" itself was wonderful, a naturalist's dream!

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


Expect to take lots of photographs, light but well considered luggage to reflect the different climates and the fact you have to carry it, and that the US dollar and local currency are interchangeable virtually everywhere.

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


To some extent through the tours. It was also down to what individuals chose to do or purchase.

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


I would rate it very highly from a planning point of view in that we saw a fair variety within the country, beyond that, I can only imagine it was similar but possibly less developed. This appeared to be a confident, democratic and safe country which provided little culture shock to anyone with even the most limited travelling experience. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the beauty of nature, birds and flowers, etc.

Reviewed on 15 Nov 2012 by

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


Seeing green turtles laying eggs & watching them hatch.

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




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


Don’t know.

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


Very good & hotels good.

Reviewed on 01 Jul 2012 by

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


It was all excellent, so difficult to say. Seeing the rare Quetzal bird was exciting, but it was all memorable.

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


Just go with it and enjoy.
You don't have to be young - I'm 68.

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


I'm not sure that visiting anywhere can reduce environmental impacts, but we did little harm as we took local transport or walked. Ate local produce and did not demand any sort of special treatment. We benefited small businesses with our custom and respected the environment everywhere we went.

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


Excellent.

Reviewed on 17 Nov 2010 by

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


Seeing the baby turtles in Tortuguero National Park.

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


Keep an open mind.

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


Yes.

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


I had a wonderful experience with a very well trained, and experienced, guide. The communication was excellent.

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