Costa Rica Wildlife

1nt San Jose, 3 nts Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, 2 nts Tortuguero, 2 nts Sarapiqui, 3 nts Arenal Volcano, 3 nts Corcovado, Osa Peninsula

This holiday starts on the Caribbean coast to spend 3 nights near Puerto Vieja de Talamanca where you will have a guided walk within the Cahuita National Park where you may see Capuchin Monkeys, sloths, leaf-cutter ants, eyelash viper snakes and a variety of birdlife.

You will then experience the steamy, humid jungle canals of Tortuguero where you will see the diversity of wildlife and birds that frequent this unique and interesting habitat. Sightings may include caimans, howler monkeys and spider monkeys. If you travel between the months of April and October you can take a guided night walk on the Caribbean beach and may see nesting Atlantic Green Turtles.

Then travel on to the Sarapiqui region an area which receives the most regular rainfall in Costa Rica and therefore has great biodiversity within its primary rainforests. A guided bird walk in the Tirimbina Reserve is included which is a chance to learn about the ecology of the rainforest and see a variety of tropical birds, you may also see bats, peccary and agouti. A night walk into the reserve at the hotel is a chance to spot the glass frog and the red eyed tree frog as well as other fascinating nocturnal forest life.

Continuing on to the Arenal region you will see a different landscape that includes the majestic and dominant Arenal Volcano. Early morning birdwalks are available and your stay also includes a guided tour of the hanging bridges for viewing the forest life at eye level and a gentle nature float along the Penas Blancas River.

To end the holiday you will fly to the Osa Peninsula on the Southern Pacific coast, an area boasting unrivalled biodiversity and where Scarlet Macaws can often be seen and heard, tapirs roam the forest floor and jaguar and puma are occasionally spotted. On guided hikes you may spot toucans, macaws and a large variety of other birdlife and dolphins can be spotted on the Golfo Dulce.

Price Guide

14 nights from £4,070 per person based on double occupancy

These prices are excluding international flights. Average flight prices vary depending on time of year and can be considerably more expensive at peak times (Christmas, Easter, Summer). Flight routes vary, please contact us for accurate flight pricing for your timings and place of departure.

Day to Day

Below is an example day by day itinerary

Day 1

Met on arrival and transferred by vehicle to Hotel Presidente in downtown San Jose. Dine on the rooftop terrace or stroll around town and dine out locally.

Day 2

Transferred in an air-conditioned vehicle along the Caribbean coastline, past Limon and through Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Hotel Shawandha. Shawandha is a small hotel with just 20 bungalows with hardwood interiors surrounded by tropical forest with a number of wildlife spotting opportunities. The windows are open, with screens to keep insects out, but allow the sounds of nature to help you drift off to sleep and awaken you in the morning. Overnight Shawandha (B).

Day 3

Enjoy a private guided hike in the nearby Cahuita National Park, this less visited park offers an abundance of wildlife such as howler monkeys, white faced capuchin monkeys, agoutis, sloths, snakes, spiders and an array of tropical birds. The hike through the forest borders the stunning Caribbean coastline. Weather permitting you can also snorkel the reefs in the Cahuita park. Overnight Shawandha (B).

Day 4

Day at leisure. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen around the Cocles beach area, many sloths can be spotted in the trees at the back of the beaches, bikes can be hired and you can cycle to Punta Uva, a beautiful secluded beach, or you can kayak along the river from Punta Uva. A fascinating experience is to visit the Jaguar Rescue Centre, which is a volunteer run centre looking after sick and injured animals such as sloths, monkeys and birds. The animals are released back into the wild where possible, or cared for at the centre when it is not possible. Overnight Shawandha (B).

Day 5

Transferred in an air-conditioned vehicle back along the southern coast to Guapiles to meet your group tour to Tortuguero, a river boat will take you and your luggage along the canals to the remote Tortuguero village and to the Evergreen Lodge. This simple lodge has a very natural setting one of the lesser canals, guests can walk the trails or take the kayaks on the canals to get close to the surrounding nature. After lunch at the lodge you will take a guided tour of the Tortuguero village and Turtle Centre. During the months of July to October you can book an evening tour to witness the large Atlantic Green Turtles haul themselves up the beach to lay their eggs. Overnight Evergreen Lodge (BLD).

Day 6

After breakfast you will have a group guided walk around the grounds of the lodge where your guide will point out local flora and fauna. In the afternoon you will go on a guided boat tour along the main canal and into the lesser canals. You will see a variety of wildlife including caiman, iguanas, white faced capuchin monkeys, herons and possibly the Great Green Macaw. Overnight Evergreen Lodge (BLD).

Day 7

After buffet breakfast you will transfer by boat back and then vehicle to the pick up point in Guapiles. Here you will be met by your driver and continue a short distance further to the Sarapiqui region in the Caribbean lowlands. The rainforest here has high biodiversity, and you will stay a the Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve, a research centre that also offers simple rooms for guest. The reward for staying at the reserve is access to their private nature reserve across the Sarapiqui river which you must cross a very long and narrow hanging bridge to reach. This reserve has a plethora of wildlife and birds. Your room will have a small deck looking over the gardens where you should be able to spot a number of birds including a variety of tanagers. In the evening you will have a guided night walk in the reserve where you may see glass frogs or tree frogs, snakes, sleeping birds and other species. Overnight Tirimbina (BLD).

Day 8

Enjoy a birdwatching tour in the Tirimbina Reserve, your expert guide will lead you across the hanging bridge and help you spot a number of birds such as the Rufous Motmot, Montezuma Oropendula, Barred Antshrike, various Tanagers and possibly the Great Green Macaw. In the evening you will do the Tirimbina Bat Tour, this educational tour starts with a 30 minute presentation about the importance of bats to the rainforest and then the chance to get up close to see the bats. *Additional excursions could include the chocolate tour, see chocolate being made from Cacao beans and learn about the history of chocolate, or take a self guided walk in the reserve. Overnight Tirimbina (BD).

Day 9

Transferred to Arenal region to stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, this former Smithsonian Research Institute is the closest hotel to the volcano and offers spectacular views when the cloud clears. The grounds are extensive and there are plenty of trails that you can walk. There is a plethora of birds on the grounds and a predominant eery sound of the Montezumas Oropendula, black guans can be seen in the gardens, along with toucans, tanagers, motmots, coatimundis and monkeys. Overnight Arenal Observatory Lodge (B).

Day 10

This morning you will have a private guided hanging bridges tour, this 3 km trail offers a number of hanging bridges and a chance to see more wildlife from a different view point. Overnight Arenal Observatory Lodge (B).

Day 11

Today you will take a guided safari float along the scenic Penas Blancas river. Your guide will point out wildlife such as sloths and monkeys en route, and you will also see a variety of birdlife. Overnight Arenal Observatory Lodge (B).

Day 12

Transferred in an air-conditioned vehicle back to San Jose and then take a flight in a small propeller plane to Drakes Bay on the Osa Peninsula. Met on arrival and transferred by boat your hotel Aguila de Osa. The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet and is a remote destination. Scarlet Macaws are prevalent in this region, the smaller squirrel monkey can be found, along with tapirs, giant anteaters and five types of cat including jaguars and pumas. Although sightings of cats are rare as they are solitary, nocturnal creatures, but you never know. Overnight Aguila de Osa (BD).

Day 13

Visit the beautiful and tiny Cano island by boat, snorkelling around this island offers (in our opinion) the best snorkelling in Costa Rica, you will see coral, shoals of fish, stingrays and reef sharks. At certain times of year you may see giant manta rays, and in the months of August through to October you may see Humpback whales as they migrate along the coast. Dolphins can also be spotted alongside the boats. Overnight Aguila de Osa (BLD).

Day 14

Visit the Corcovado National Park for a guided walk from the lodge, this large park has an incredible biodiversity and you can expect to see Scarlet Macaws, white faced capuchin monkeys, toucans and a number of other species. Look out for the tiny poison dart frogs, spiders and smaller forest life. Overnight Aguila de Osa (BLD).

Day 15

Transferred by boat back to Drakes Bay and take a small propeller flight back to San Jose International Airport.

14 nights from
£4,070 excluding flights

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Highlights Include

  • Guided walk in Cahuita National Park
  • Wildlife spotting on the Tortuguero Canals
  • Night Walk and Birdwatching at Tirimbina
  • Safari River Float on the Penas Blancas River
  • Snorkelling at Cano Island
  • Guided tour in Corcovado National Park

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