Costa Rica Encounter

Wild, wondrous, green and serene, Costa Rica is a haven for nature lovers and fast becoming one of the most popular eco-adventure destinations in Central America.

Journey Overview

Wild, wondrous, green and serene, Costa Rica is a haven for nature lovers and fast becoming one of the most popular eco-adventure destinations in Central America. Venture into pockets of wilderness reached only by air and boat, and appreciate the country’s extraordinary biodiversity. Experience the easy-going pace of life here and witness first-hand the incredible rewards of Costa Rica’s visionary approach to tourism.

Journey Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in the wild world of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast
  • Hike through wildlife-rich forests in Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Discover Costa Rica’s crown jewel, the magical Osa Peninsula
  • Get up close to rare species at two luxury eco-lodges
  • Sip coffee in cosmopolitan San José, full of culture and history

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive San José.

Touchdown in San José, the nation’s small leafy capital ringed by jagged mountains and volcanoes on all sides. Meet your local A&K representative and transfer to your peaceful accommodation, named after the “golden bean”. Ease into local time and get your first taste of Costa Rica. Stroll out on your own and immerse yourself in the Costa Rican culture in this wonderfully walkable and friendly city. Alternatively spend time in the courtyard sipping speciality cocktails before retiring for a restful night’s sleep.

Hotel Grano de Oro

Day 2: San José.

Spend the morning with rescued wildlife at the Toucan Rescue Ranch. Meet orphaned baby sloths, woodpeckers and parrots, before a tour of the wildlife reserve and rehabilitation centre. Afterwards return to the city and accompanied with your private guide head to the fascinating pre-Columbian Gold Museum and seek out treasures and then discover why the National Theatre was built in the late 19th century by the ruling coffee barons.

Hotel Grano de Oro | Meals: B

Day 3: San José – Tortuguero National Park.

Private transfer to the local airport for the charter flight northeast to Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast, and on arrival, proceed for a five-minute shared boat ride to your jungle retreat. From rainforest and swamps to mangrove forest and lagoons, Tortuguero National Park boasts vast biological diversity – the headline act being protected beaches where sea turtles’ nest and lay their eggs. Drop your bags and join your local naturalist for a private expedition into the park’s backwater lagoons and creeks. Look out for egrets, tiger herons, keel-billed toucans and the ever-mischievous white-faced capuchins catching the last sunlight. Return to the lodge in time for bocas (Costa Rican hors d’oeuvres) to the music of chirping tree frogs in the dimming twilight.

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Tortuguero National Park.

Take off on another private expedition in the park, one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. Start with a guided river excursion through creeks alive with wildlife in search of breakfast. Watch troops of howler monkeys searching for figs and look out for river otters and caimans waiting for their next meal to swim by. Return to the lodge for lunch and an afternoon relaxing. Later this evening, feast on local cuisine in your own private garden setting on the banks of the river surrounded by tropical rainforest.

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Tortuguero National Park – Arenal Volcano.

Return to the airstrip by shared boat across the canal and board your flight to La Fortuna in the Arenal Volcano National Park, home to the infamous Arenal Volcano, among the world’s ten most active volcanoes. Surrounding the volcano is 500,000 acres of rainforest, rivers, lakes and lava fields just begging to be explored. En route to your accommodation stop off at the largest Butterfly Conservatory in Costa Rica. Learn about a butterfly’s anatomy, life cycle, diet and habitat before visiting the research laboratories and reproduction greenhouses. Arrive at your eco-lodge in the remote reserve to be greeted by sloths lazing in Cecropia trees. Drop your bags and stroll through the lush tropical gardens to spy rare frogs, butterflies and a cacophony of birds, or simply relax in your private bungalow. This evening you may like to join a hands-on cooking demonstration and discover more about Costa Rican cuisine.

Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens | Meals: B

Day 6: Arenal Volcano.

Venture closer to Arenal Volcano and wander high above the forest canopy on hanging bridges. Covering three kilometres, the network of bridges is located high above the forest floor. Led by your naturalist guide, you will observe a significant diversity of plants, spy birds and wildlife unseen from the ground and glimpse views of the nearby volcano. Later, follow a path through the forest to hot springs. Bathe in one of six natural mineral rich pools hidden in a river gorge and let the waterfall deliver a natural massage. Choose to sip cocktails at the spring-side bar before an included gourmet buffet dinner of Costa Rican cuisine before returning to your eco lodge.

Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens | Meals: BD

Day 7: Arenal Volcano – San José – Puerto Jiménez – Osa Peninsula.

Start early with a boxed breakfast for your journey back to San José airport. Fly to Puerto Jiménez and proceed onwards accompanied by your hotel representative to the remote Osa Peninsula on the country’s Pacific coast. See why National Geographic declared Osa Peninsula “the most biologically intense place on Earth” from your base at an award-winning and exclusive eco-lodge set in a private nature reserve. Slow down to soak up the sights, smells and sounds of the forest and ocean.

Lapa Rios Eco Lodge | Meals: BLD

Days 8-9: Osa Peninsula.

You have two full days to explore the Osa Peninsula, your way. Choose from a menu of included shared excursions and activities. Rise early to see colourful birds at their most active. Discover traditional medicinal plants and seeds hidden in the forest on the local medicine tour. Trek amongst towering trees and swim in tumbling waterfalls. Drink in breathtaking forest views on the rainforest ridge walk. Take the opportunity to contribute to the Lapa Rios reforestation programme by planting a tree and learn more about your pioneering ecolodge on their rewarding Pigs, Twigs and Garbage tour. Then, experience a whole other world in the rainforest by night.

Lapa Rios Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 10: Osa Peninsula – Puerto Jiménez – Depart San José.

Accompanied by your local hotel representative return to Puerto Jiménez airport for the short flight back to San José, where your journey ends. Connect with your onward international flight.

Meals: B

Our range of ready-to-travel private journeys can all be personalised to your individual requirements. Please contact our Travel Specialists who will work with you to create an unforgettable bespoke journey.

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Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Hotel Grano de Oro, San Jose

Costa Rica Encounter

Grano do Oro is a charming hotel in a good location just off the Paseo Colon, one of San Jose's main streets. Often described as a 'spraw... Read more

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

Costa Rica Encounter

An intimate river lodge, Tortuga Lodge & Gardens sits on a canal by Costa Rica’s northeastern seashore and is surrounded by twenty he... Read more

Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens

Costa Rica Encounter

Located on the outskirts of Arenal Volcano National Park, Nayara Resort Spa and Gardens combines the great outdoors with well-executed op... Read more

Lapa Rios Eco Lodge

Costa Rica Encounter

Set in a private nature reserve spread over 1,000 acres of Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, La... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this suggested itinerary can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey.


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