This wonderful itinerary will give you a real taste of the astonishing range of habitats, bird and wildlife that is Costa Rica. It moves at a fairly gentle pace, giving you time to stop and enjoy each area with some included trips and some time for doing your own exploration and also to relax in between activities. You will stay at four very individual hotels and lodges in very different parts of the country, but travelling distances are relatively short. This is truly a wonderful holiday at a very affordable price.
Days 1-4 Three nights at Bougainvillea Hotel – Breakfast Included.
Our representative will meet you at the airport and will provide transfer to Bougainvillea Hotel for your first three nights in Costa Rica.
Hotel Bougainvillea has the charm you would expect of a family owned and operated hotel. Rooms are large with two double beds, a sitting area and the full range of facilities. Here you will easily forget that you are just 15 minutes from downtown or the airport. Set amidst the coffee farms of Santo Domingo de Heredia, the hotel has extensive grounds dominated by tall trees, gorgeous flowers and bushes, Hotel Bougainvillea’s gardens are particularly attractive to birds. Hummingbirds, Blue-crowned Motmots, Palm Tanagers, Tropical Kingbirds, Boat-Billed Flycatchers are frequently sighted in the gardens.
Every Saturday, starting at 5:00 am to 12 noon, you can get a taste of the local customs by visiting the nearby Feria del Agricultor (Farmer’s Market) where farmers sell their fresh produce.
Included Guided Private Poas Volcano Tour –
Today you will pass through coffee plantations, dairy and strawberry farms on the way to the Poas Volcano National Park. You will climb gently up to the Volcano, along a road dotted with ferns and flowers. Once there, there will be time to observe the impressive main crater with its sulphur fumaroles. Then you will hike on a trail to the beautiful Botos Lagoon, which will give you the opportunity to learn a little about the different ecosystems in the Park.
Days 4-8 Four nights at Selva Verde Lodge – Breakfast & Dinner included
You will have a private transfer to Sarapiqui, the area located at the junction of the Puerto Viejo and Sarapiqui Rivers that is quickly becoming a main destination for adventure-seeking tourists and nature enthusiasts.
Selva Verde is more than a lodge and more than a rainforest reserve, it is your gateway into a magical world of towering Almendro trees, Mantled Howler Monkeys, and Keel Billed Toucans. Immerse yourself in tropical nature as you hike through deep green forest or reflect quietly in a comfortable hammock. Selva Verde is a 204 hectare (500 acres) private rainforest reserve complete with covered walks, birding trails, lookout points and a suspension bridge. Some of the 370 native and migratory birds found in the area include the endangered Great Green Macaw, White-winged Becard, Sunbittern, Acadian Flycatcher, as well as 80 species of mammals and 100 species of amphibians and reptiles.
Days 8-12 Four nights at Maquenque Eco-Lodge – Full Board Included.
Maquenque Eco-lodge is a new 60 hectare reserve located just north of Boca Tapada, San Carlos and offers easy access to the newly created Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge, which is 60,000 hectares in size. Surrounded by tropical rainforests and bordering the majestic San Carlos River, it has become famous for being a unique region for ecology, wildlife observation, birding and adventure tours. There is a great variety of flora and fauna, making this the perfect place for bird lovers. Currently, more than 410 species of birds have been identified here, including the endangered Great Green Macaw (Ara Ambiguus) and Scarlet Macaw (Ara Macao). The Lodge consists of just 14 beautiful bungalows, each equipped with private bathroom and beautifully decorated and furnished bedrooms. Included in the room rate are one guided hiking tour, a ‘plant a tree’ tour, a visit to the local school and a canoeing tour.
Included Early Bird Watching Tour –
Some of the species that can be found in these forests in addition to the Macaws are Toucans, Oropendolas, Honeycreepers, Tanagers, Euphonias and Jacamars, just to mention a few!
The tour will start at 5:30 am and the local Ornithologist Guide will take you through the gardens and lagoons until there is enough sunlight to enter the forest paths, the nesting place for many of the bird species.
Included Rainforest Tour –
After enjoying a delicious breakfast, you will enter the tropical rainforest within the hotel’s property, where you will begin a guided trek of 3 km, lasting about 2.5 hrs. During this tour it is possible to observe a great variety of flora and fauna, while your local Naturalist Guide explains everything. You will also visit the Botanical Garden and the Medicinal Garden, finishing the tour at the Hotel’s Gardens.
Days 12-15 Three nights stay at Arenal Observatory Lodge – Breakfast Included.
Today you will depart Boca Tapada and head towards La Fortuna and Arenal.
Set on a ridge 1.7 miles from the Arenal Volcano, Arenal Observatory Lodge offers the adventurous traveller front-row seating for one of the world’s most famous volcanos. The hotel sits in a private nature reserve in the heart of one of Costa Rica’s greenest areas, where volcanic ash supports primary and secondary rainforest, while waterfalls and crystalline rivers offer sparkling jungle refreshment. The lodge features 45 comfortable rooms, most of them with a great view of the volcano and the extravagant green surroundings. A well-marked and manicured trail system traverses the property and provides easy access to the breathtaking rainforest and magnificent views of the volcano. There is an infinity swimming pool tiled in cobalt blue and a sunken bubbling Jacuzzi providing soothing relaxation beneath a glass gazebo that frames the volcano’s peak against a starry sky. As well as bird watching, a host of other activities await the spirited adventurer: mountain biking, whitewater rafting, canopy tours, fishing, horse-back riding among others. Dinner here is not included and this will give you the opportunity to try recommended local restaurants.
Enjoy strolling around Arenal Observatory’s trails, where more than 400 kinds of birds having been spotted in the forest, including hummingbirds, kingfishers, woodpeckers, falcons, parrots and toucans. Since this 870-acre lodge is located within the Arenal Volcano National Park, bird watching is a must here!
Included Shared Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge by Boat Tour –
The wildlife reserve Caño Negro is one of the most important reserves for incredible bird watching and observation of wildlife in Costa Rica. Caño Negro is also home to many sloths, monkeys, caimans and bats, as well as numerous tropical plants. After a welcome drink and a snack, slowly and silently cruise to this exceptional national refuge in a comfortable boat, from which you can enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna. Upon returning, you will be served a typical, delicious lunch at “El Caiman” restaurant, which is nicely placed on the Rio Frio riverbank.
Day 15 Private transfer to San Jose airport
Private transfer to the international airport for your flight back home.
Day 16 Arrive back to the UK