Best of Costa Rica

  • Trip Type
  • Adventure
  • Length
  • 10 Days / 9 Nights
  • When to Go
  • Year-Round

  • Costa Rica's must-see regions: volcanoes, cloud forest & pristine beaches

    Take in the scope of Costa Rica on an incredible adventure through a natural wonderland of unimaginable proportions. Trek through thick, lush rainforest and climb the slopes of the magnificent Arenal Volcano, soak in incredible alpine views in the cloud forest of Monteverde, and continue on to sample the laid-back tropical vibe of Manuel Antonio, amid a backdrop of picturesque beaches, steep jungle hillside, and breathtaking technicolor sunsets.

    Trip Highlights

    lush jungle & white-sand beaches • exotic wildlife • Río Celeste hike • Arenal volcano climb • natural hot springs with dinner • zip line • catamaran sail • beach time

    Full Package per person from:

    $1,825.00 low season (May - Oct)
    $2,050.00 high season (Nov - Apr)
    Prices vary based on departure season.

    Click a day for more details.

    • Day 1: San José - Arrival

      When you touch down, you’ll be met by your driver and taken to the charming, family-owned Apartotel La Sabana. Explore the bustling metropolis of San José on foot, or lounge by the pool and unwind before the excitement begins tomorrow.

    • Day 2: San José to Arenal - Towering volcanoes beckon

      Your Costa Rican adventure begins with a ride through the scenic highlands north of San José to La Fortuna, nestled in the shadow of the majestic Arenal Volcano. Check into the beautiful and serene El Silencio del Campo hotel, and spend the afternoon acquainting yourself with one of Costa Rica’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.

    • Day 3: Arenal - Volcano trek & natural hot springs

      Get acclimatized with a hike to a scenic viewpoint to observe the picturesque feature that dominates this landscape – the Arenal Volcano. One of the most iconic attractions in Costa Rica, the volcano stands 1,657 meters (5,437 feet), looming large and ominous over the pastured green hillsides that surround its base.

      Spend your evening soaking tense muscles in the beautiful natural hot springs at Tabacón, the largest network of naturally flowing thermal waters, surrounded by an expansive private rainforest reserve. Enjoy a gourmet dinner at the hot springs before you return to your hotel for a restful night’s sleep.

    • Day 4: Arenal - Rio Celeste: a jewel in the wilds

      Local indigenous legend has it that after painting the sky, God washed his paintbrush in the Río Celeste. Upon seeing the ethereal turquoise hue of this river, you’ll understand why. Your naturalist guides will lead you through dense primary rainforest in Tenorio Volcano National Park, where you might spy impressive Costa Rican wildlife, such as toucans, sloths, and monkeys. Arrive before the impressive Río Celeste Waterfall, plummeting from a height of 90 meters (295 feet) into a deep blue pool. Paradise, found.

    • Day 5: Arenal to Monteverde - Gateway to natural wonders

      Today you’ll board a lancha across Lake Arenal before transferring to a shuttle for a scenic drive through winding highland roads. Beautifully poised along a mountain ridge in northeastern Costa Rica, the alpine town of Monteverde is the gateway to a bounty of photogenic cloud forests that carpet the surrounding slopes. Check into the luxuriously appointed Monteverde Lodge & Gardens, and set out to explore the magic of this setting, settled by Quakers in the late 1940s. Pay a visit to the Monteverde Cheese Factory to savor some freshly-churned ice cream, peruse artisanal wares at the artists’ co-op, or indulge in a free tasting session of local coffee at the Monteverde Coffee Center.

    • Day 6: Monteverde - Zip lines & hummingbirds

      After a hearty breakfast, an exciting adventure awaits you up in the treetops! Fly through the cloud forest canopy at thrillingly high speeds as you take in the lush, cloud forest surrounds and breathtaking greenery. Next, pay a visit to the butterfly and hummingbird gardens to watch these colorful, beautiful birds dart quietly from feeder to feeder, flower to flower.

    • Day 7: Monteverde to Manuel Antonio - Trade the jungle for the coast

      It's time for some sun! Trade the misty cloud covered mountains for the blissful Pacific Coast, where you’ll settle into your superb, adults-only hotel, Gaia Boutique Hotel, with stunning panoramic views over the hillside and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Laze away the afternoon catching some rays poolside, swing in a hammock in the shade, or walk down the hill to explore the small but lively town of Manuel Antonio.

    • Day 8: Manuel Antontio - Catamaran sail & spectacular sunset vistas

      Head out for a day of sun, sand and sailing aboard a luxurious catamaran. Cruise along the Central Pacific coast in search of playful dolphins, and migrating whales, then stop in a protected bay to explore the colorful undersea gems of a healthy and vibrant coral reef. Don a snorkel and jump in while the crew prepares a delicious barbeque with tasty tropical fruits, local vegetables, and freshly-grilled skewers of chicken, beef, and fish.

    • Day 9: Manuel Antonio - Beachfront R&R

      Enjoy an entire day at leisure, free to relax at your luxurious hotel or take in all the wonders that Manuel Antonio has to offer. If you’re up for a day of adventuring, Manuel Antonio National Park can’t be missed – striking white-sand beaches, tranquil turquoise waters and abundant wildlife. Enjoy your last spectacular Pacific sunset from El Mirador Restaurant, where you'll dine at a romantic, candlelit table for two as the stars come out. Indulge in exotic flavors, tropical smoothies and warm breezes to wrap up a truly memorable vacation.

    • Day 10: Manuel Antonio to San José - Departure

      Bid adios to the tropics with a quick 30-minute flight back to San José’s international airport.

    Click hotel image for details.

    What's Included?

    We'll give you everything you need, everything you want, and a few little surprises to make your trip extra special. We've got you covered, from start to finish. Unique, unforgettable destinations; private tours with local experts; authentic local cuisine; lessons, demonstrations and new cultural insights; more adventure than you can handle; perfect romantic touches; blissful relaxation; and a feeling of total freedom. We take care of everything so that you can enjoy an unparalleled, hassle-free journey without worrying about a thing.

    • Airport pickup

    • All hotel accommodation

    • Meals as indicated

    • Detailed maps and trip preparation guide

    • All special events and tours

    • All vehicle and regional air transportation from rendezvous to drop-off

    • All baggage transportation

    • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

    Stay Longer

    If our off-the-shelf itinerary is almost a perfect fit, but just doesn’t feel long enough, extend your stay to make it the best vacation possible. Spend a few days in the region before or after – we can customize any trip, and no ask is too big!

    Let us know what you have in mind using the contact form below, and we’ll get in touch to create your perfect travel experience.

    Know Before You Go

    • Itinerary prices are dependent on season of departure. Christmas, New Years and Easter (Semana Santa) are peak season, and prices during these periods are significantlky higher than other times of year. High season runs from November through April, and green season from May through September.

    • Arrival: hotel check-in times are at 3:00pm, but you may arrive at any time during the day. If you arrive prior to the scheduled check-in time, we will arrange for early check-in wherever possible.

    • Departure: hotel check-out times are at 9:00am. International flights on your departure day should be arranged to depart after 1:30pm.

    • All prices in USD.

    • For vaccination recommendations, please visit the CDC website.

    • For American, Canadian, and British citizens, a valid passport with 6+ months remaining is required for entry to Costa Rica.

    • Debit cards may not work in Central America, but most establishments accept major credit cards.

    • Please ensure you have immediate access to a minimum of USD $250 as an emergency fund to be used if circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster) require changes to your planned route.

    • If departing Costa Rica by air, most major airlines include exit taxes in the price of your airfare; if departing via ground or boat, departure tax is USD $29.

    • It is customary to tip service providers (waiters) around 10% depending on service. Tipping taxi drivers is not required.

    • Gratuities for guides and drivers are deeply appreciated, and provide an important supplement to their income. If you are pleased with the tour services you've received, a guideline for tipping in Central America is USD $8-10 per person per day for multiple-day tours, or USD $5-10 per person for day tours.

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    Getting There

    From North America: several airlines offer direct and connecting flights to Costa Rica’s two international airports: Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José (airport code: SJO) and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia (airport code: LIR). Including connection time, flights from the USA typically range from 2.5-9 hours in duration, while most flights from Canada range from 9-15 hours in duration.

    From the UK: there are currently no direct flights to Costa Rica from the UK, but there are several flight options connecting in the United States and/or Canada. Including connection time, flights from the UK typically range from 12-18 hours in duration.

    When you arrive in SJO or LIR, there will be an airport transfer waiting to take you to your hotel downtown, or in some cases, your next destination. If you have questions about flights, or require assistance booking, please contact us here. We're here to help!

    Ready to book, or just want to get more information? Let's get started! Fill out the form below, and we will send you a no-obligation quote.

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