Costa Rica is a country bubbling over with diversity, allowing you to traverse through the densest rainforest one day, and relax on white sandy beaches the next. We want to unearth the untouched side to Costa Rica, so for 14 nights immerse yourself in the lush forests, tame the waves on empty beaches, and allow your senses to be beguiled by this Central American gem.
Show me the way to San Jose
On touch down in San Jose you’ll be whisked off to an urban oasis in the heart of the Costa Rica’s vibrant capital. Converted from an old colonial Victorian mansion, the Hotel Grano de Oro provides a relaxing retreat to rest up after your flight, or set out and explore the sights and sounds of the city. Spend your time in San Jose acquainting yourself with Costa Rica’s melting pot of cultures, from visiting the National Theatre, home to historical paintings from colonial days, to the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum.
After an early start you’ll begin your journey to Tortuguero, where you’ll cross the continental divide that runs through the beautiful Carrillo National Park. Once you’ve taken a few snaps of the picture-perfect views, you’ll be treated to a hearty Costa Rican breakfast at the Rancho Roberto restaurant, where you can sample the delectable Caribbean cuisine and freshly brewed regional coffee, that’s sure to tantalize those taste-buds.Read more
Once refuelled, the journey continues as you drive past tropical banana plantations to the Caño Blanco Dock. Climb aboard a boat that will skim you across the ocean towards the Tortuguero town and sandbar. As you soak in the views your expert guide will point out unique bird species soaring ahead and explain the natural history of the area.
Back on dry land you’re welcomed by lush tropical gardens at the Manatus Hotel, a tranquil place where you can relax surrounded by nature. For the next few days explore the local Town of Tortuguero and take in all the local flavours and fascinating heritage that’s a cocktail of Hispanic, Miskito Indians from Nicaragua, and Afro-Caribbean cultures. Take a tour floating down serpentine canals or hike through the coastal rainforest, keeping your eyes peeled for caimans, sloths, toucans, turtles and monkeys.
Land of turtles
As Tortuguero is translated as ‘region of turtles’, it’s no surprise that this little patch of paradise is a turtle watching haven. The piece de resistance if you ask us is watching Hawksbill, Loggerheads, Green and Leatherbacks turtles nesting at night (from July to October) at Tortuguero Beach. ‘Ooh’ and ‘aah’ as you watch the majestic creatures crawl up the beach to lay their eggs in the sand – you’ll think you’ve stumbled into a David Attenborough documentary. For the rest of your time in Tortuguero enjoy the untouched beaches and forests at your leisure, flopping on the golden sands or taking to the crystal waters for a dip.
Into the wild
Once you feel totally immersed in the Costa Rican wildlife, it’s time to jet off south to the Osa Peninsula on the country’s Pacific Coast. Once you touch down in Sierpe Town you’ll take a boat ride weaving its way through the mangroves, before heading out into the vast blue ocean to Casa Corcovado, your eco-haven for the next few nights. One of the isolated parks in the country, the untamed Osa Peninsula is home to the largest and only tropical primary lowland rainforest in the world. The next few days are a hiker’s dream, where you’ll be guided through lush rainforest, where around every corner you’ll be met by hidden beaches and lagoons. As you head deeper into the 41,000 hectares of virgin jungle you’ll settle down for a picnic lunch by a cascading waterfall, where you can take a cooling dip to escape the heat. Head back to your beautifully rustic lodge for a freshly prepared diner of locally sourced produce, as you get ready to awe at the magnificent sunsets that illuminate the sky.
The last day in Corcovado National Park will be an unforgettable tour of Caño Island Biological Reserve, where your guide will let you in on the best snorkelling spots around the island, where you can observe dolphins and whales as they surface from the depths.
After a few days in the secluded forest it’s time to emerge and head north to the glorious Punta Islita for surf, sun, and relaxation. You’ll hole up at the Punta Islita hotel where eco-luxury is fused with spectacular ocean views, a distinctive architectural style, and a warm, friendly ambiance. Enjoy your days at Punta Islita lounging on sun-kissed beaches, kayaking through the shallow waters, sport fishing, or taming the waves on a surf board.
For the last few days of your trip it’s time for a little change of scenery, as you head over to Guiones Beach. The aptly named Hotel Harmony is the ideal place to finish off your secluded Costa Rican adventure. This coastal utopia offers up prime surfing on vast stretches of sand. We recommend the daily yoga classes, where you can calm the mind and revitalize the body, just what the doctor ordered before heading home.
After 2 days of bliss, a final short air transfer from Nosara lands you in San Jose to spend the last night in tropical paradise at the Xandari hotel. Take in the last panoramic views of Central Valley in Costa Rica before reluctantly heading home refreshed and suitably sun-kissed.