Activity and nature holiday in Costa Rica
Prices include all travel in Costa Rica, 14 nights accommodation, meals as indicated (all breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner), all excursions as described in the itinerary.
Description of Activity and nature holiday in Costa Rica
This activity and nature holiday in Costa Rica is perfect for anyone with a sense of adventure and a love of wildlife; anyone who finds themselves feeling a bit restless after a few hours lying on a beach. Of course, you can come to Costa Rica to chill out, but this suggested 15 day itinerary emphasises the active and adventurous fun to be had in this dynamic little country, from canopy walkways and treetop zip lines, to rafting on the Pacuare River *, hiking, horse riding and surfing.
Costa Rica is more than just an adventure playground, though. It has unique wildlife, dramatic scenery, towering volcanoes and excellent beaches on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
This activity and nature holiday can be completely tailor made to suit your interests and preferences. Choose the standard of accommodation you prefer, from mid to top range, or opt for a mixture. You can decide how you travel once here, too, choosing between self driving, private transfers and shared buses. And you can, of course, select the exact mix of activities and excursions that appeals to you – the itinerary below is just a suggested starting point from which to build your holiday.
Costa Rica’s short dry season lasts from December to April, and this is also peak season. May to November is the ‘green season’ which typically features short bursts of rain in the afternoons clearing in time for spectacular sunsets and warm, sunny mornings. Many visitors to Costa Rica prefer this time of year, as prices can be reduced, the scenery is refreshed and it’s less busy. There are other benefits, too, including seeing turtles laying eggs on some beaches. We wouldn’t recommend travel to Costa Rica in September and October, as this is when the rains are heaviest.
*Children must be 12 years or older to join in with the rafting detailed in the itinerary below.
8 Reviews of Activity and nature holiday in Costa Rica
Reviewed on 03 Sep 2023 by Mohini CoppellExcellent. The tour operator listened to our ‘wish list’ for the holiday and tailored the itinerary to our budget as well as considering the season we see travelled in to optimise our experiences... We will remember this once in a lifetime tailored holiday over 16 days for our family of two adults and two older teenagers. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Dec 2022 by Emma SpurginOverall a fantastic time if you love your wildlife with a bit of action/adventure thrown in for good measure. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 May 2019 by Linda WhalenThe most exciting part of the holiday was the white water rafting expedition. Other activities were similarly of a very high standard in terms of competence of the instructors and equipment used. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Feb 2018 by Karine GeorgeWhite-water rafting and zip lining was the most memorable. However our trip was meticulously planned and nothing was left to chance. Considering we were moving around the country a great deal, all the pick-ups and transfers were excellent. Excellent holiday. More than happy. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Feb 2015 by Ian GavinWe were thrilled by the geology (stunning volcanic craters, rainforest canopies, tropical beaches) and the wildlife (crocodiles, motmots, iguanas lurking for breakfast scraps etc etc) Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Jan 2014 by John NightingaleIt was a great holiday... the friendly people; the environmental focus; the variation in scenery & the birds & animals. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Apr 2014 by Claire EliasMany parts of it were memorable. I loved snorkeling around Cano Island off the Pacific coast. Especially when a sea turtle joined us. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Sep 2013 by Faye WhitearExcellent, highly enjoyable and eye-opening!...We loved the white water rafting on the Pacuare River and zip-lining in the canopy above Monteverde Cloud Forest, wicked! Read full review
Planet and peopleAs an in depth specialist tour operator to Costa Rica responsible tourism is at the very heart of what we do. To us, this means much more than a simple donation to a charity for each client. We try to build long and constructive involvements with local guides, guest houses, wildlife lodges, and hotels, in the course of which we, and our clients, can make lasting wide-ranging contributions to the wonderful places and people we engage with. In this itinerary we use several lodges that fit with this philosophy perfectly, employing local guides and bringing long-term benefits to the local community. We are the first tour operator in the UK to form a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance to work towards the implementation of best management practices in sustainable tourism. In real terms this means that we are working with hotels who are making a positive impact on their local community – socially, environmentally and economically.
Outlined below are a few of the hotels we use on this tour and the sustainable tourism methods they employ.
Pacuare Lodge is a good example of how a very comfortable lodge can be built in a remote forested location with a strong commitment to conservation, improving life in nearby communities, and mitigation of their environmental impact through recycling, using organic ingredients and reforestation, to offer you a carbon-neutral stay. Accessed by white water rafting Pacuare's eco-friendly bungalows are nestled between the river and their private nature reserve, which conserves 300 hectares (740 acres) of primary rainforest. The buildings are made of wood from tree farms and palm thatch collected in the rainforest by their Cabecar Indian neighbours. Each bungalow combines sustainable practices such as solar-heated water and low-impact septic systems with comforts such as orthopaedic mattresses and spacious bathrooms. They assist three primary school located along the river route used to access the lodge and a jaguar research study in the Pacuare Protected Zone. They have attained level 5 certification - the highest possible under Costa Rica's COST sustainable tourism rating system which is verified by Rainforest Alliance.
Volcano Lodge & Gardens has a very different location situated in the popular resort town of Arenal but is involved in a number of outreach projects in its local community. Their buying department is pledged to do everything in their power to locate and purchase products which are biodegradable, returnable, reusable, recycled, or recyclable. The hotel's rubbish is separated and packed then given to a local women's association Z13 who can sell the glass, plastic, aluminium. Profits are used to assist low income families and a local orphanage and safe house put in place to educate and protect abandoned children. They sell T-shirts the profits from which are used to promote urban beautification and cleaning work along local rivers and roadsides. They have a reforestation project offering guests the opportunity to plant an endemic tree at the base of Arenal Volcano.
Capitan Suizo on the coast at Tamarindo supports a non-profit organization which works towards the improvement of national parks. It carries out the responsible disposal of rubbish, produces and uses only organic fertilizer, carries out environmental awareness education in schools, financially support various local committees and have signed the Code of Conduct for the protection of children and young people from commercial sexual exploitation in Costa Rica. They regularly host events so that guests can get acquainted with Costa Rican culture. There are atmospheric evenings with Marimba music, folkloric dance performances by local students, and sometimes host local handicraft demonstrations when the artisans have an opportunity to showcase and sell their creations.
On this trip you will visit National Parks at Arenal volcano reserve, Rincon de la Vieja and Monteverde. The entrance fee goes toward the conservation of these protected areas.