Central America Tours

Premium Costa Rica

From €2,784pp excluding flights
Depart From
Add flights from Ireland
Departure Date
Regular departures throughout the year
Duration
9 days
Destination
Costa Rica
Price
From €2,784pp excluding flights
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Discover the natural and cultural paradise of Costa Rica

Embark on thrilling adventure through Costa Rica’s verdant rainforests, ancient volcanoes and glittering beaches, where wildlife waits around every corner.

This nine-day Premium journey will see you uncover the local secrets of San Jose, explore the wild wetlands of Cano Negro, marvel at the biodiversity of Monteverde and search for sloths in Manuel Antonio. A local leader will take you beneath Costa Rica’s lush surface and show you the country at its very best. Costa Rica’s natural wonders have etched it a place on the map, but you’ll soon discover its cherished traditions and welcoming people are every bit as endearing.

PREMIUM ACCOMMODATION

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

PREMIUM EXPERIENCES

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

PREMIUM KNOWLEDGE

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

 

Visit a project focused on promoting sustainable agricultural practices while preserving ancient traditions. During this Exclusive Experience, tour the farm to learn about their processes and sit down to a farm-fresh lunch.

Gain an understanding of Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity and history as you travel with an experienced local leader and explore with expert guides in La Fortuna, the Cano Negro Wetlands and Manuel Antonio National Park.

Perched on a scenic hilltop, your Feature Stay offers incredible views of the sparkling ocean and lush jungle terraces. Surrounded by its own wildlife refuge, Si Como No Resort is the perfect base for exploring Manuel Antonio National Park.

Board a raft and explore the wild Cano Negro Wetlands with a naturalist guide – this Exclusive Experience will get you up close and personal with monkeys, iguanas, caimans, bats and lizards in their natural environment.

Get beneath the surface of San Jose with a visit the workshop of an artisan who makes traditional masquerades – learn about their craft and life in Costa Rica in this Exclusive Experience.

This trip includes time spent travelling in a private vehicle with your group. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. You will make stops at interesting locations to break up the longer drives. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.

Day 1: San Jose

Beinvenidos – welcome to Costa Rica! Your adventure begins in San Jose, the country’s flourishing capital. On arrival, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Here you will meet your local leader and small group for an important welcome meeting at 6pm. Costa Rican coffee is some of the best in the world, with great cafes to match, so if you arrive with time to spare perhaps set out to sample some of the local brew. After your meeting, head out with your leader and fellow travellers to dine like a local during a welcome meal in Barrio Escalante, one of San Jose’s trendy gastronomic neighbourhoods. Your leader will share the history of the area and its famous residents as you taste local specialties.

Accommodation: Gran Hotel Costa Rica or similar (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • San Jose - Welcome Dinner

Meals Included: Dinner

Special Information: It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

The arrival transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel, as we may not be able to confirm a request made within 14 days of travel.

Day 2: La Fortuna

Depart San Jose and drive to La Fortuna, famed for its mellow atmosphere, bubbling hot springs and mighty Arenal volcano. On arrival, pay a visit to the Arenal Vida Campesina, a project focused on promoting sustainable agricultural practices while preserving customs and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Tour the property, learn about the process of sugarcane milling then sit down for a delicious farm-fresh lunch. After lunch, visit the Arenal Volcano National Park for a gentle walk to the Las Coladas lava field. Along the way, your leader will share the history of the volcano as you look out for howler monkeys, deer and parrots. In the afternoon, check into your hotel which has views of the Arenal Volcano and rooms with a terrace surrounded by tropical gardens filled with birds and butterflies. Spend some time poolside, listening to the songs of birds, then join your group for an included dinner at a great local restaurant.

Accommodation: Arenal Springs Resort or similar (1 night)

Included Activities

  • La Fortuna - Arenal Volcano Hike
  • La Fortuna - Organic farm tour
  • Arenal National Park Visit
  • Arenal Vida Campesina - SERT with lunch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Special Information: Today’s driving time is approximately 3.5 hours.

Day 3: La Fortuna

Today will be spent exploring the diverse wildlife of the Cano Negro Wetlands with a naturalist guide. Start with a drive through fields of yucca, plantain and papaya before boarding a comfortable raft to explore the Frio River. Travelling this way allows you get up close and personal with this region’s wildlife without having to undertake a strenuous hike. If you’re lucky you will spot monkeys, iguanas, caimans, bats and common basilisks, also known as Jesus Christ lizards for their ability to walk on water. Your expert guide will be on hand to tell you where to look and share information on the intriguing creatures you discover today. Enjoy a traditional lunch at a local restaurant before returning to La Fortuna for an evening at leisure. Perhaps visit one of the town’s hot springs for a peaceful swim beneath the stars.

Accommodation: Arenal Springs Resort or similar (1 night)

Included Activities

  • La Fortuna- Caño Negro boat tour

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Monteverde

After breakfast, depart La Fortuna and begin the journey to Monteverde. Drive around Lake Arenal and watch dramatic views of the Arenal volcano unfold in front of you. Your leader will be on hand to point out interesting wildlife along the way. Arrive in Monteverde in the early afternoon. Known for its spectacular cloud forests and rich biodiversity, Monteverde is a mecca for nature lovers. This afternoon, you may like to explore the peaceful town, or perhaps you’d like to view the cloud forest from overhead on a zipline. Speak to your leader about arranging this exhilarating activity.

Accommodation: El Establo Mountain Hotel or similar (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Special Information: Today’s driving time is approximately 3.5 hours.

Day 5: Monteverde

Begin the day with a tour of the spectacular Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, host to more than 100 different species of mammals and 400 species of birds. Your leader will share information on the fascinating biodiversity of the region and lend their expert eye to spotting wonderful wildlife. Look out for the resplendent quetzal and its quirky hairdo and listen for the sounds of howler monkeys and the unmistakeable call of the three-wattled bellbird. With nearly 500 unique species of orchids, the reserve holds the world’s highest diversity of this beautiful flower. After a morning with your head in the clouds, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy your way. If you would like some ideas for things to see and do, your expert local leader can help with suggestions.

Accommodation: El Establo Mountain Hotel or similar (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest

Optional Activities

  • Monteverde - Canopy Zip Lining (Entrance, Equipment & Transport) - USD50

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Manuel Antonio

After breakfast, depart for Manuel Antonio, home to a wildlife-rich national park and a string of the country’s most magnificent beaches. On arrival, check into your Feature Stay at Si Como No Hotel and Wildlife Refuge, a beautiful resort perched above the sparkling ocean and Manuel Antonio National Park. Rooms at this sustainable hotel are tucked amongst jungle across the ten acre property for an accommodation experience surrounded by nature. After a dip in one of the resort pools or a walk along the pristine beach, you may like to join your group for dinner at one of the hotel restaurants surrounded by lush tropical foliage. Don’t miss the spectacular Banana Flambé dessert!

Accommodation: Si Como No Hotel and Wildlife Refuge (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Special Information: Today’s driving time is approximately 4.5 hours.

Day 7: Manuel Antonio

This morning you will set off into the lush Manuel Antonio National Park with an expert naturalist guide by your side. This small national park packs a real punch when it comes to wildlife viewing opportunities – two and three toed sloths, white faced monkeys, anteaters and iguanas are all abundant and your guide will know all the best places to find them. The park offers criss-crossing walking trails and a stunning sweep of golden beach – just keep an eye out for crafty raccoons! The afternoon is free for your own explorations. Manuel Antonio has plenty to entice those seeking an adrenaline rush – speak to your leader about arranging ziplining, snorkelling, or kayaking. On the other end of the spectrum, there are few better places to sit back, crack open a coconut and watch the waves lap the shore. Be sure to look up, as sloths and monkeys are known to frequent the trees that line the beach.

Accommodation: Si Como No Hotel and Wildlife Refuge (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Manuel Antonio - National Park tour with a naturalist guide

Optional Activities

  • Manuel Antonio - Boogie board rental - USD69
  • Manuel Antonio – Cruise - USD95

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8: San Jose

Depart Manuel Antonio to head back to San Jose. Stop in nearby Ciudad Colon, known for its multiculturalism and artistic inclinations, and pay a visit to the masquerade workshop of a local artisan. A long-held tradition with roots in Carnival, Costa Ricans don oversized and colourful masks for parades and celebrations. Speak to the local artisan and gain first-hand insight on his craft while members of his family wear several masks for you to admire. This evening, join your leader and new friends for a final dinner at a local restaurant serving creative variations of traditional Costa Rican cantina food.

Accommodation: Gran Hotel Costa Rica or similar (1 night)

Included Activities

  • San Jose - Farewell Dinner
  • San Jose - Masquerade workshop

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Special Information: Today’s driving time is approximately 3 hours.

Day 9: San Jose

Your Costa Rican adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to stay on in San Jose, speak to your booking agent to arrange additional accommodation ahead of time (subject to availability).

Accommodation: Gran Hotel Costa Rica or similar (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Price is per person, based on 2 adults sharing, and includes:

  • 9 day Premium Costa Rica tour
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Transport: Private vehicle
  • Accommodation: Comfortable hotel (6 nights), Feature Stay (2 nights)
  • Included activities:
    • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
    • San Jose - Welcome Dinner
    • La Fortuna - Arenal Volcano Hike
    • La Fortuna - Organic farm tour
    • Arenal National Park Visit
    • Arenal Vida Campesina - SERT with lunch
    • La Fortuna- Caño Negro boat tour
    • Monteverde - Cloud Forest
    • Manuel Antonio - National Park tour with a naturalist guide
    • San Jose - Farewell Dinner
    • San Jose - Masquerade workshop
  • Premium Inclusions:
    • Arrival airport transfer
    • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
    • Luggage transfer
    • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
    • 24/7 on-ground support

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Flights from Ireland- we'll find the best fare for your chosen travel dates and departure airport
  • Travel insurance
  • Single rooms available at a supplement
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply. 

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email info@shandontravel.ie, request a call back, or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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