But it’s not all about wildlife. Costa Rica also offers you experiences like soaking in natural hot springs, riding bicycles through lush valleys and practising yoga in the tranquillity of the jungle. Not to mention white water rafting, horse riding and zip lining in the cloud forest or – perhaps even more appealing – chilling out on the pristine beaches of the North Pacific Coast.
London – San Jose
Your direct flight from London takes you to San Jose. You’ll be driven 15 minutes from the airport to your luxury hotel set in lush coffee plantations overlooking the San Jose Valley. Surrounded by imposing mountains and volcanoes, Costa Rica’s unassuming capital is the gateway to the lush hillsides, coffee farms and mighty peaks of the Central Valley.
The following day you’ll set off to see the La Paz Waterfall – Costa Rica’s most iconic cascades – where you can hike along 3.5km of walking trails through lush rainforest. The La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a rescue wildlife preserve, supports a wide variety of species including marmoset monkeys, two-toed sloths, pumas and ocelots plus an array of birds and exotic plants.
Stay: Two nights in a prima plus room at the Xandari Resort & Spa – bed & breakfast
A short flight will take you from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez and the wonderful world of the Osa Peninsula. Your lodge is nestled on a 1,000 acre private reserve laced with miles of quiet trails.
Poised between Golfo Dulce and the mighty Pacific Ocean the peninsula is famed for its undisturbed rainforest and its wealth of wildlife. You’ll be surrounded by Central America’s largest tropical lowland forest with thousands of different types of trees and plants, plus endangered species like jaguars, ocelots and tapirs. Keen birdwatchers can spot over 300 species, whilst photographers will revel in eye-stretching landscapes, cascading crystal waterfalls and the truly massive Corcovado Park. You can explore jungle trails or experience sea kayaking and snorkelling. Between August and November you will also have the opportunity to spot travelling humpback whales.
Stay: Three nights in a deluxe bungalow at Lapa Rios – full board & on-site tours
Bajos del Toro
Today you fly back to San Jose where you will be met and transferred to Bajos del Toro and your lodge deep in a private cloud forest reserve. Boasting one of the finest spas in the country and an open yoga deck, this is a wonderful place to relax surrounded by the pristine natural world. Those who want to get out and explore can follow trails in search of rainforest birds, go horse riding, river rafting and mountain biking.
Stay: Three nights in a luxury suite at El Silencio Lodge – full board
Day nine of your Costa Rica adventure sees you travelling to Arenal, where you will be staying in a hotel with stunning views of the iconic volcano. As well as unforgettable scenery, Arenal presents you with relaxing hot springs and the famous Hanging Bridges. You can go canoeing and kayaking, or take nature walks to view plants and magnificent lava rock formations. The Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge offers the opportunity to meet indigenous creatures like three-toed sloths, caiman, lizards and turtles as well as howler, white-faced and spider monkeys.
The next day you will enjoy an exciting and immersive rainforest experience. Accompanied by a naturalist guide you will stroll through the verdant cloud forest and zip line across canyons and in between the canopy, admiring panoramic vistas and discovering beautiful waterfalls along the way. You will board the Sky Tram to get a superb view of the jungle and its inhabitants from above.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe casita at the Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens – bed & breakfast
Time for some well-deserved relaxation at a luxurious resort on the Gulf of Papagayo. The North Pacific coast of Costa Rica has some of the country’s finest beaches, swimmable bays and clear, warm waters. You can spend your days here stretched out on deserted shores or indulging in holistic, natural treatments at the spa. Those who still want to explore can venture inland in search of Costa Rica’s famous flora and fauna.
Stay: Three nights in an andaz bay view room at the Andaz Papagayo Hotel – bed & breakfast
A short flight from Liberia airport takes you back to San Jose where you’ll be staying in a unique hotel surrounded by coffee plantations and overlooking the central valley, fruit orchards, villages and the Irazu volcano.
Stay: One night in a junior suite at the Finca Rosa Blanca – bed & breakfast
San Jose – London
Today you will be taken to San Jose’s airport from where your international flight will return to London.