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Over the years, Costa Rica has proven itself as the trailblazing destination for natural preservation and ecotourism. This 12-day adventure is designed to showcase Costa Rica’s commendable vision for sustainability by introducing you to some of the finest conservation initiatives in the world, whilst staying in some of the most environmentally friendly ecolodges.
Immersive experiences are in abundance - bringing you closer to the communities, wildlife, and tropical landscapes that make Costa Rica such a wonderful destination.
Day 1 - San José
Days 2 & 3 - Selva Bananito Sur
Days 4 - 6 - Arenal
Days 7 & 8 - Quepos
Days 9 - 11 - Osa Peninsula
Day 12 - Depart San Jose
Any element of this holiday can be tailormade to your requirements, including the places you want to see and the things that are important to you. Just contact one of our Travel Specialists today.
Arrive in Costa Rica’s capital and transfer to your centrally located hotel
Travel to the Selva Bananito Lodge on the eastern coast in Costa Rica. This is the only lodge in the country that has been almost entirely constructed using recycled wood from the logging industry, helping to preserve the 2,000 acres of primary forest in which it sits. The family-run lodge also provides more than 100,000 people with their drinking water supply and your hosts will be delighted to share their efforts and dedication to social and environmental protection. The surrounding forest is a haven for an unfathomable amount of bird species and this afternoon take a gentle walk through the forests with an expert naturalist.
As part of a growing reforestation project, the Selva Bananito Lodge has planted thousands of tropical trees in land that has been greatly diminished by logging. This morning you will aid this important work by planting your own tree, contributing to the conservation of the endemic and endangered species that inhabit the area. Your guide will show you how to give your tree the best chance of survival and, with a 91% success rate, your tree will hopefully become part of the tropical rainforest. The afternoon is at leisure although the lodge does provide several optional activities including forest hikes and natural history walks to immerse yourself in the vegetation.
Meals, Day 2 & 3: B, L & D
Travel to Arenal for a three-night stay at the Chachagua Rainforest Lodge, located in the northern plains close to Arenal Volcano. The ecolodge maintains an esteemed ethos for ecology and preservation and the sustainably built structure is complemented by its organic farm and commendable conservation projects. The rest of the day is free but we recommend engaging with the many on-site eco-specialists to learn about the important work of the lodge.
Spend the next day at the Proyecto ASIS Wildlife Rescue Centre. The centre helps animals that have been injured or mistreated with the aim of reviving them back to full health to be released back into the wild. This is not just an educational experience though and visitors are encouraged to help with the daily duties which may include anything from preparing carefully planned diets for the wildlife to constructing enclosures.
Your last day in Arenal is at leisure although there are several immersive experiences provided by the ecolodge that you can participate in. One recommended option is a farm experience at the nearby small town of Agua Azul. Learn how to milk cows, taste homemade chocolate, and observe the distillation process of liquor, all of which combine natural processes with Costa Rican traditional methods. Alternatively, embark on a raft cruise to observe the wildlife along the Peñas Blancas River. Spot basking crocodiles, swinging primates and colourful bird species before disembarking and participating in a tortilla-making demonstration.
Meals, Days 4,5 & 6: B
Travel to Quepos to stay two nights in the Santa Juana Rural Mountain Lodge which overlooks the panoramic pacific coastline. En route from Arenal make a stop at the Rainmaker Conservation Project to explore the majestic forest canopies along elevated walkways. The labyrinth of bridges and observation platforms will unveil a myriad of wildlife and natural wonders.
The mountain lodge is located approximately an hour’s journey from the Manuel Antonio National Park in an isolated and idyllic spot amongst a pristine nature reserve. The day is at leisure to revel in your remote surroundings and to bathe in the flow of the natural spring waterfalls created from the cloud forest. Those who wish to explore the Manuel Antonio National Park can do so on guided walks with expert naturalists or alternatively take part in a rural mountain adventure tour organised by the lodge to discover the nature, conservation, and rural culture of the jungle-shrouded slopes.
Meals, Days 7 & 8: B, L & D
Your next three nights are spent at the Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge reached by a road and boat journey. Serenely located on the Osa Peninsula within the lush rainforest of the Piedras Blancas National Park, the lodge exemplifies Costa Rica’s pioneering efforts for sustainability and preservation of the natural environment. Sustainable tours of the lodge and surrounding national park are included, as is the use of kayaking and snorkelling equipment to enjoy the crystal-clear waters.
One of the most exotic and pristine regions of Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula is an exquisite stretch of Pacific coastline that leads into the gentle Golfo Dulce. There is no shortage of immersive excursions in the area and the next two days are free to explore at a pace that suits you. More than half the species native to Costa Rica can be found on the peninsula and wildlife spotting opportunities are plentiful. Many visitors head to the Piedras Blancas and Corcovado National Parks for hiking, birdwatching and canopy tours or some head to the ocean for boat trips and fishing experiences.
Meals, Days 9 - 11: B, L, D
You will take a short domestic flight back to San Jose to connect with your onward international flight.
(Valid for 2021 & 2022 departures, based on 2 people sharing a room)
International flights to Costa Rica from the UK start from £499 per person
Send an enquiry and your travel specialist can find you the best available options from your local airport
11 nights’ accommodation as detailed
31 meals; 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Birdwatching and tree-planting experiences at Selva Bananito Sur
Full-day visit to Proyecto ASIS Wildlife Rescue Centre
Visit to Rainmaker Conservation Project
Transfers & domestic flights as per itinerary
International flights if not added
Meals not indicated in your itinerary
Local departure taxes payable locally
Items of a personal nature such as laundry and drinks etc
Tips for guides and drivers (discretionary)
Camera or video fees at any sites
Our Truly Individual Holidays allow you to choose the destinations, inclusions & budget
Our Escorted Small Group Tours offer fantastic itineraries, travelling with like-minded people
Winner of 'Best Tour Operator' at the 2019 & 2018 L.A.T.A. Achievement Awards
All of our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind