Costa Rica activity holiday

“A 12 day adventure holiday traversing Costa Rica by trekking, mountain biking, rafting and a lot of laughing. A small group tour, following a circuit through rainforest, highlands and coast. Staying in camps and lodges. ”


San Jose | Trekking in Central Highlands | Cycling along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast | Santa Maria | White water rafting on Pacuare River | Kayaking on Pacuare River

Description of Costa Rica activity holiday

Our Costa Rica activity holiday is a twelve day adventure where we take on the challenge of traversing the country, totally under our own steam. In summary, we hike, raft and kayak across this spectacular natural wilderness and so this fully supported expedition will appeal to active adventure seekers. We start in the capital city of San Jose, cycle along the Pacific coast, trek through the Central Highlands, raft through the Pacuare River Valley on Class II-IV rapids, and then take a slightly slower route down another day by kayak. Finishing at Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast at Caño Blanco.

We stay in the heart of local communities on this Costa Rica adventure tour, in eco camps or lodges, while also meeting indigenous communities living in the famously beautiful cloud forests. Costa Rica is also famous for its prolific wildlife too, of course, and our adventures will take us into rainforest where we are often enveloped by bird song and monkey calls.

You do need a good level of fitness for this trip, with some moderate to challenging hikes or bike routes along the way.

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?


Check dates, prices & availability

06 Feb 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Feb 2021 departure
13 Mar 2021
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10 Apr 2021
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01 May 2021
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04 Sep 2021
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13 Nov 2021
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Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Nov 2021 departure
20 Dec 2021
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Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Dec 2021 departure
Holiday type
Small group holidays
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. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

On this traverse of Costa Rica, you will be travelling entirely under your own steam by raft, kayak, mountain bike or on foot. This means that travel by motor vehicle is kept to a bare minimum of just your transfer from the airport.

The environment of Costa Rica is extremely fragile and it is our responsibility to minimise the impact of our presence. We operate in harmony with our natural habitat and ensure that our guests appreciate their surroundings but do not intrude upon it. Our private camp, El Nido de Tigre, whilst being situated in the heart of the rainforest, operates in harmony with the environment, without intruding upon it. Our tree house was built using trees that had already fallen up river. The wood was transported by raft, dried and used for construction.

The natural landscapes we explore are some of the richest, often most challenging, yet at the same time some of the most fragile environments on earth. With education, experienced leadership and appropriate equipment and techniques, it is possible to travel responsibly through these regions. For us, it is critically important that such wilderness travel experiences do not diminish the natural values of the environment.

Our environmental sustainable principles: True sustainability is a guiding aspect in all aspects of our business planning and operations. Specifically our tour operations should be managed in a way where the natural and cultural values of the host region are undiminished in the long-term.

Where possible, we engage in partnerships with local environmental groups and/or land managers to actively campaign for conservation or promote environmental protection and/or rehabilitation.

Our Responsible Travel Guidebook: Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while travelling.

Global Warming and Carbon Balancing: The root cause of Global Warming is society's dependence on emission creating fossil fuel. Planting trees is not going to reverse this trend or cancel our carbon emissions very quickly or effectively. We believe the way to reduce these dependencies is to create clean energy production. Therefore, we support renewable energy projects like wind and solar power, and we are aligned with Climate Friendly, the gold standard setter in effective, meaningful action addressing climate change. So, while we believe that tree planting can play a small role in greenhouse gas abatement, we have gone the extra mile in promoting a longer term solution. Is this cheap? No. Is it responsible? Absolutely!

The Impacts of this Trip

Our responsible travel principles: Our company aims to maximise the positive benefits of tourism for host communities. This includes training and employment of local staff, using local suppliers and assisting in the development of sustainable local businesses.

We actively minimise the negative effects that tourism can have by ensuring that tourism does not divert resources away from local communities or drive up prices on local resources.

We provide opportunities for real cultural exchange, where locals and visitors alike can share and learn from each other in an environment of mutual respect.

We contribute to the welfare of the host community. This is epitomised in our Community Project Travel program where we organise for our travellers to spend time in disadvantaged villages upgrading basic facilities such as health, education and water access.

We strive to educate our travellers about the destination and its local cultures as well as providing guidelines on appropriate behaviour to minimise impact.

No local payments policy: Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. This policy seems to benefit the tour operators more than the local economies or the travellers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the costs and risks of cash handling onto the travellers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices, we have chosen a policy of not asking for such payments.


2 Reviews of Costa Rica activity holiday

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 13 Apr 2018 by

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

Waking early in the morning to hear the strange bird calls and seeing the dawn.

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

Make sure you don't pack too much, keep very light. But bring the essentials.

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


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

A holiday of a life-time.

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2018 by

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

Achieving crossing the country from coast to coast only by bike, hiking, kayaking and rafting. A great adventure and experience.

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

Just go for it. We did it in a small group size of 6 persons. I think that is ideal, probably a large group would have been a worse experience.

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

Yes. No means of transportation other than those fueled by our own body (bike, kayak,etc.) were used by us. No animals where used for transportation. It was
all the time away from crowded touristic destinations. We spent a night in a local family house. All guides and support crew were locals. We were in contact with wildlife in a respectful way, only looking at them from the distance without disturbing the animals.

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

I loved it!

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