- Pacific Coast, Caribbean Sea, volcanoes, primary forests: disconnecting from everyday life and getting your fill of family adventures
- The itinerary includes whale watching, canopy hiking, rafting on the Saraquipi and visiting a veterinary shelter.
- White sand and coconut groves - three days to chill the Caribbean way
- Our local Concierge service makes travelling as a family easy
Contact one of our Costa Rica specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Together in Costa Rica
Your accommodation - In San Bernado de Bagaces, you'll stay in intimate lodge in the heart of the forest, whose bungalows are scattered among the tropical vegetation - you can enjoy swimming at dusk in the warm waters of the river: heated by the volcano, the waters reach between 32°C and 40°C. In Arenal, the hotel occupies the old volcano observatory, which has an incredible view of the volcano. On the Caribbean coast, you'll spend three nights in wooden bungalows opening out onto a terrace where you can enjoy a nap in a hammock. A small trail through gardens with ferns as big as birch trees, avocado trees and hibiscus, leads to a beautiful white sandy beach.
Flight to San Jose
Arrive in San Jose in the afternoon, private transfer and overnight stay at your hotel. From the outside, the hotel stands out for the large, brightly-coloured fresco that covers its exterior facade. Inside is equally charming, although slightly more muted. The communal areas have beautiful parquet floors. and the rooms are very well-appointed. At the restaurant, you can enjoy simple food, made well. In the evening, the roof terrace is perfect for enjoying the cool night air.
San Jose - Dominical
Pick up the hire car and drive to Dominical. Spend two nights in a villa, a little way away from Costanera Sur, at the foot of a hill. The access road is a little bumpy but when you get there, the setting makes it all worthwhile. The villas are spacious and comfortable, decorated in the hacienda style. You'll love the swimming pool, and the 180° view from the restaurant overlooking the bay is amazing.
Included in the itinerary - Private cruise along the Pacific coast in Ballena National Maritime Park. There is no better place in Costa Rica - and perhaps in the world - to watch humpback whales. Despite all it has to offer, the park isn't filled with tourists, which is even better. It's easy to go spotting for birds and bottlenose dolphins. In the morning there'll be time to go snorkelling. At low tide, you can admire the famous natural strip of sand which looks like a whale's tail.
Option - Surfing lesson.
Dominical - Tarcoles
Head south on the Pacific coast to Tarcoles.
Included in the itinerary - Tickets to Manuel Antonio National Park. Nestled away in a rocky hollow, Costa Rica's most beautiful national park offers beaches with fine, clear sand, a coral reef and a jungle full of animals. Walking along the trails, you'll most likely come across capuchin and saimiri monkeys, sloths and raccoons, which even come to the beach to steal the odd mango or piece of chocolate from swimmers.
Opposite the Gulf of Nicoya is the small village of Tarcoles which sits at the mouth of the river of the same name and provides a great site for crocodile and bird spotting. The wet primary forest in Carara National Park is particularly famous for its populations of scarlet macaws, parrots, parakeets and hummingbirds. Those who are lucky enough might get to see peccaries, agoutis and kinkajous. Some of the world's largest crocodiles, which can measure up to 23ft long, live in Rio Tarcoles.
Spend the night in a hotel where simplicity is the key. The best things about the lodge are the layout of the rooms, which are great for families, as well as the lush garden where macaws and monkeys hang out.
Tarcoles - San Bernado de Bagaces
Route to San Bernardo de Bagaces. Off the beaten track, and barely visited, the misty, leafy landscape is bisected by an intensely blue river - according to legend, God washed his paintbrushes in the Rio Celeste after painting the sky blue. Two-night stay in an intimate eco-lodge in the forest. The property sits in the valley of a river, giving it the feel of a charming oasis. The bungalows are dotted among the forests, a beautiful example of an eco-project. The restaurant has a spherical architecture and is open-air, so there is no need for air conditioning. The best part of the resort is its spa river, nestled in a canyon. The water temperature ranges from 32°C to 40°C and is heated by the Miravales volcano, making it exquisite to bathe here at dusk.
Included in the itinerary - A night walk through the forest. At dusk, you'll explore the rainforest as animals wake up and take over their surroundings, up to the Mirador Mesa Norte where you can see the silhouettes of the three nearest volcanoes in the distance. Accompanied by the noises of the great forest, you will encounter many insects, frogs, nocturnal mammals and maybe even some snakes. Return to the hotel by zip line.
San Bernado de Bagaces - Arenal
Departure for the La Fortuna region. The road crosses large pineapple plantations; the journey ends with the peak of the Arenal volcano as the focal point.
Things to see along the way - Tenorio Volcano National Park. It's one of the finest trails in the country, covering jungle, waterfalls and natural hot springs. The Rio Celeste, which starts at the meeting point of two rivers, passes through volcanic hot springs and sulphur springs, before forming a magnificent waterfall. It is renowned for its surreal turquoise blue colour, which is due to the minerals in the water contrasting with the intense green of the tropical vegetation.
Spend two nights in a lodge located in an old volcano observatory inside a private reserve. Most international vulcanologists stay here, and it is also one of the best viewing points in Arenal Volcano. The rooms are simple but comfortable and, above all, the view is simply stunning. Trails, pools, waterfalls and rivers invite you to explore and cool down in the middle of the tropical rainforest.
Option - A dip in the warm waters of the Arenal Volcano.
Included in the itinerary - A hike in the heart of the peaks. This is a two-stage journey through the forest canopy: first, you'll go up into the treetops by cable car - coming across monkeys and sloths among the trees - then come back down by zip line from platform to platform. Your itinerary also includes a night walk on the hanging bridges of Arenal, through the forest canopy, home to an extraordinarily rich ecosystem. A tunnel, trails and bridges lead to the heart of the rainforest.
Arenal - Saraquipi
On the way to Saraquipi, you'll wind between pineapple, cocoa and banana plantations, as well as nature reserves such as the superb forests on Heliconia Island. Here, flora and fauna are protected, and it is a haven for tapirs, sloths, coatis, and other monkeys.
Included in the itinerary - Rafting on the Rio Saraquipi, a perfect and very safe adventure. The rapids follow on from one another, but from time to time quieter stretches of water allow the opportunity to look at the flora and fauna.
Spend the night in an ancient hacienda with colonial architecture and surrounded by gardens, which has preserved a simple charm; this can be seen in the rooms, which are furnished and decorated with colonial antiques. Most of all, you'll love the warm welcome and wise advice of the owner. The food is a nice surprise.
Saraquipi - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Then it's on to the Caribbean coast and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. The beaches are immense, bordered by black or white sand and the ever-present jungle. With a surfer and reggae feel to it, this is where the legendary Salsa Brava wave comes rolling in. A must for surfers. It's the perfect place to learn about this sport which has become a Costa Rican institution, or a stroll through the dusty earth of the streets full of colourful houses, shops and relaxed eateries… You'll spend three nights in a cosy lodge with stunning gardens, a haven for those looking for peace and quiet. The service is discreet and professional. There is no TV or air conditioning, but the beautiful wooden bungalows are naturally ventilated. There is a terrace with a hammock, making it an ideal place to lounge about. The bathrooms decorated with colourful mosaics are stunning. A short trail leads to a beautiful white sandy beach.
Included in your itinerary - A visit to the Jaguar Rescue Center, an animal park that provides a refuge for sick, injured and orphaned animals with the aim of reintroducing them into their natural habitats. The park specialises in small primates, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Option - Trip to Cahuita National Park.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - San Jose - Return flight
Return to San Jose. Return the hire car and catch your flight home. Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
A la carte
Tour of Carara National Park
The park covers 11,600 acres of both dry and wet rainforest - two very different environments - and is home to 50% of all the bird species found in Costa Rica.
Option -Half day with a private guide
Bathing in the warm waters of the Arenal Volcano
The pools are perfectly integrated into the tropical jungle, with the sounds of the forest in the background. A moment of pure serenity, surrounded by nature, and totally invigorating.
Hiking and snorkelling in Cahuita National Park
Cahuita National Park is renowned for its paradise creeks and its mangrove that can be explored on wooden pontoons. The jungle is home to howler monkeys, sloths and green ibis. It's also known for its stunning coral reefs that can be explored when snorkelling.
Option - Day trip with a guide
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