The Costa Rica Safari vacation fully immerses you in Costa Rica’s diverse natural world in three separate locations where you will experience amazing opportunities to see tropical wildlife in their native habitats. Your adventure begins with a trip to one of the most remote locations in Costa Rica, Tortuguero National Park, only accessible by small plane or boat. Here you'll go on a guided riverboat safari through the narrow jungle canals and visit the local Caribbean beach town of Tortuguero. Next, you’ll be driven to the majestic Arenal Volcano to explore the lush rainforest canopy walking over hanging bridges with a naturalist guide. Later you’ll bathe in Tabacon’s luxurious natural volcanic hot springs. Your last adventure will take you across scenic Lake Arenal by boat and by land up into the mountainous old growth highland cloud forests of Monteverde. Here you’ll go for an informative guided hike while observing the unique biology found only in the beautiful Monteverde Cloud Forest area. When you first arrive, you’ll stay at a luxury hotel in the capital city of San Jose, afterward, you’ll be staying in nature-friendly ecolodges, putting you as close to nature as possible for a full immersion experience. As with all of our specialty vacations, the Costa Rica Safari value-packed itinerary can be 100% customized to meet your specific budget and needs. Check pricing notes for details. Take Advantage of Green Season Savings! Add a FREE NIGHT to your stay at El Establo Hotel in September or October 2023!
Costa Rica Safari will thrill nature enthusiasts who want to see the exotic flora and fauna of Costa Rica. After your first night in the city of San Jose, you’ll stay in a variety of ecolodges exploring three different climate and biological life zones to observe Costa Rica’s amazing diversity of tropical wildlife. Guided by professional experts, you’ll cruise the remote Caribbean coastal canals of Tortuguero National Park, then travel to Arenal Volcano where you’ll hike the rainforest over hanging bridges before luxuriating in Tabacon’s world famous natural volcanic hot springs. A scenic boat ride will take you across beautiful Lake Arenal, then by land, you’ll continue up the mountains to the Monteverde Cloud Forest to experience yet another unique biosphere. This incredible Costa Rica Safari nature vacation is also fully customizable, so you can craft the itinerary as you wish to make it your own.
Number of nights: 8 (customizable)
Per person price from *$1,749 - And add a FREE night to your stay at El Establo Mountain Hotel in Sep & Oct 2023!
$100 Low Lifelong Deposit, No Charge Rescheduling**
When you arrive in Costa Rica, our representative will be waiting to greet you at the airport and provide private transportation for you to stay at the lovely Hotel Grano de Oro located in the capital city of San Jose. This boutique style hotel offers luxurious accommodations including rooftop Jacuzzis and personalized service. Your room will be the well-appointed Standard Room of this beautifully converted Victorian mansion. Enjoy your first night in Costa Rica!
You’ll be picked up early the next morning for your transfer over to Tortuguero, remotely located on the northernmost Caribbean coast. Along the way, you’ll stop for a traditional Costa Rican breakfast and continue on until paved and unpaved roads eventually end at a river. You’ll board a boat that will take you through the remote Tortuguero canals, one of the wildest and rarest wilderness sites in Costa Rica only accessible by boat or small plane. Your guide will point out and help you identify the abundant jungle wildlife surrounding you. You will land at the Mawamba Lodge at Tortuguero, a rustic ecolodge embracing nature’s beauty and providing visitors with a base camp for enjoying the wonders of Tortuguero. The lodge offers a refreshing swimming pool, nature trails, butterfly gardens, and a beautiful dining area. Your clean, rustic Standard guest room is basic with beds, bath, porches, hammocks and rocking chairs. After eating lunch, you’ll go on a tour of the village of Tortuguero, stopping at the interesting historical museum, the beach where turtles come to nest annually, and then to pay your national park entrance fee (not included). The next day, a naturalist guide will take you hiking the lodge’s grounds to see two butterfly gardens, a frog habitat, and a sustainable bio-composter, plus point out any wildlife visible on the property. In the afternoon, you’ll explore the dense jungle cruising by boat on a guided riverboat safari through the canals. Tortuguero is home to many species of wildlife including but not limited to caiman, tapirs, manatees, monkeys, sloths, jaguars, river otters, tropical birds, and sea turtles, so bring your camera!
In the morning after breakfast, a boat will provide a ride back down the river to the mainland where you’ll meet the land transfer that will take you to a traditional Costa Rican restaurant for lunch. From here you’ll switch transfers and continue on to the Lost Iguana Resort & Spa, near Lake Arenal and the world-famous Arenal Volcano. This gorgeous Bali-inspired eco-resort with its spectacular view of the volcano is set on 120 acres of preserved jungle that is frequented by many exotic animals. This truly is a magical setting for your stay in the Arenal area! The next morning, you’ll go on a guided visit to the Arenal Hanging Bridges. This hike will take you on terrestrial trails through the jungle and across suspension bridges high up in the forest canopy so you can experience all aspects of the forest. Your guide will point out any animals you encounter along the way such as monkeys, toucans, sloths, poison dart frogs, and many other species that are commonly spotted here. The next day, you’ll go on a guided tour through the jungle at the base of Arenal Volcano to learn about the volcano and the natural history of the area. With a little cooperation from Mother Nature, your guide may spot and identify visible wildlife, the most commonly seen are sloths, monkeys, peccaries, agoutis, pizotes, and exotic tropical birds. Following the tour, you’ll visit the warm, inviting volcanic waters at Tabacon Hot Springs for a relaxing evening soaking in nature’s naturally heated river with cascading waterfalls and private grottos. Here in this tropical paradise, you’ll also enjoy a fine dinner.
The following day, we’ll provide a transfer to nearby Lake Arenal where you’ll board a boat to cross the scenic lake surrounded by picturesque mountains. On the other side, you’ll continue by ground transfer through the rural countryside and up into the mountainous Monteverde Cloud Forest area. At an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet above sea level, Monteverde is an extraordinary region of cloud-shrouded forests with enormous old growth trees covered by air plants and dangling vines. This is a botanist’s dream with a stunning variety of native bromeliads, orchids, fungus and lichen. The cloud forest is also home to many unique species of highland birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. You’ll stay at the El Establo Mountain Hotel built on a hillside overlooking a spectacular panoramic view. The lodge offers trails, a heated swimming pool, and spa services to give you a relaxing stay in peaceful surroundings. Your room will be the Deluxe Room. The next morning, you’ll go to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for a guided hike through the cloud forest led by a naturalist. With a little luck, your guide may point out birds such as the resplendent quetzal, emerald toucanette, trogons, and hummingbirds. You may also see pizote, sloths, and some of the many other mammal species that call the cloud forest biosphere its home. On your last day, we’ll provide a private transfer back to the airport according to your particular flight schedule.
Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica and on to San Jose
We will be waiting for your arrival at San Jose International Airport (SJO) and then provide a private transfer for you over to the Hotel Grano de Oro in San Jose, where you’ll be staying tonight.
Hotel Grano de Oro
Day 2: Transfer to Tortuguero and Tour of Tortuguero Village (B, L, D)
Early in the morning, a transfer will be provided to take you to the Mawamba Lodge in Tortuguero. On the way, you’ll stop at a traditional Costa Rican restaurant for breakfast and then continue until the road ends at a remote boat dock. Here you’ll board a boat and continue on into the wilderness area of Tortuguero until you reach Mawamba Lodge. After lunch, you’ll visit the town of Tortuguero, including stops at the museum and beach area famous for nesting turtles. While in town, you will need to pay cash for the mandatory national park entrance fee ($15 per adult, $5 per child between the ages of 5 - 11, and free for children 4 years or less) which is not included.
Day 3: Guided Hike on the Mawamba Trails and Tortuguero Canals Boat Tour (B, L, D)
A naturalist guide will lead you on an easy morning hike over the lodge’s property to see 2 butterfly habitats, river turtles, frogs, and a bio-composter. In the afternoon, you’ll go on a guided riverboat jungle safari exploring the Tortuguero Canals. You’re likely to see plenty of wildlife on both tours, so bring a camera!
Day 4: Transfer to Arenal Volcano (B, L)
After breakfast, you’ll board a boat back to the mainland and then a ground transfer will take you as far as a typical Costa Rican restaurant for lunch. Here, you’ll switch transfers and continue on to the Arenal area, located just outside the town of La Fortuna and check into Lost Iguana Resort and Spa next to Lake Arenal and right by Arenal Volcano. Enjoy the resort’s trails, wildlife, views, heated swimming pool, and maybe even indulge in a spa service.
Lost Iguana Resort and Spa
Day 5: Arenal Hanging Bridges (B)
Today you’ll go on a guided hike at the Arenal Hanging Bridges. Walking leisurely over both terrestrial trails and suspension bridges through the tree canopy, you are sure to learn all about the rainforest and hopefully see plenty of wildlife! In the afternoon you might like to take a taxi into the small but lively town of La Fortuna to explore the tourist shops and variety of restaurants.
Lost Iguana Resort and Spa
Day 6: Arenal Volcano Natural History Hike and Tabacon Hot Springs (B, D)
A naturalist guide will lead you on a hike through the rainforest at the base of Arenal Volcano while explaining the natural history of the area and telling you about the jungle plants and animals indigenous to the area. After the hike, you’ll visit the luxurious Tabacon Hot Springs to soak in geothermal river waters heated by the volcano surrounded by waterfalls and grottos. At Tabacon, you’ll also dine along the river.
Lost Iguana Resort and Spa
Day 7: Transfer to Monteverde (B)
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred over to beautiful Lake Arenal where you’ll cross the scenic lake by boat. On the other side, you’ll continue by land transfer up to Monteverde. You’ll check in and stay at the El Establo Mountain Hotel. Relax and enjoy the spectacular view, heated pool, and onsite trails!
El Establo Mountain Hotel
Day 8: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (B)
A bilingual guide will lead the way on an informative nature hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You’ll learn all about the ancient old growth forest and with a little luck should be able to see some of the native wildlife such as pizotes, kinkajous, sloths, reptiles, amphibians, and tropical highland birds.
El Establo Mountain Hotel
Day 9: Return to the Airport (B)
Today we’ll provide a private transfer back to the airport, scheduled according to your flight itinerary.
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San Jose is Costa Rica’s capital and cultural center. You’ll only be stopping by for a night but if you arrive early enough, you may have time to explore one of the many interesting museums, check out the impressive national theater, or choose to dine out at one of the country’s top restaurants. View this destination…
Only accessible by boat or plane, Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast, provides a unique opportunity for you to explore some of its eleven distinct habitats including marsh, mangroves, rainforest, and beach. Often called the Central American Amazon, this remote area of Costa’s Rica’s jungle is only navigable by water. The small village of Tortuguero is located on a sandbar and has a colorful history. Perhaps best known for the sea turtles that nest on its beaches at certain times of the year, Tortuguero is also the year-round home for an abundance of wildlife due to its diversity of biological ecosystems. A national park admission fee is required in cash and paid directly to the park. At this time, the fee is $15 for adults, $5 for children 5 to 12 years of age, and free for younger children. Expect rustic ecolodges that cater to true eco-tourists seeking a unique nature immersion experience! View this destination…
Some animals that live in Tortuguero… (actual images may have been taken in other locations)
While the Arenal Volcano region is best known for adventure activities, it also offers rich natural beauty with its iconic volcano, natural hot springs, and temperate rainforest. The east side of Lake Arenal, Costa Rica’s largest lake, provides a rainforest covered biological corridor that extends into the mountains and well past Monteverde. Rare spider monkeys, ocelots, toucans, and many other forms of jungle wildlife are found here. In the town of La Fortuna, at the base of the volcano, visitors will find a lively mix of colorful souvenir stands, local art galleries, and specialty restaurants, including chocolate and coffee shops. View this destination...
Some animals that live in Arenal… (actual images may have been taken in other locations)
Located approximately 5,000 feet above sea level, the Monteverde region typically shrouded in clouds, offers enchanting forests full of giant old growth trees covered with epiphytes and vines providing vital habitat for a number of exotic birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. The small mountaintop village of Santa Elena, with its rich cultural history, is Monteverde’s cloud forest home base inviting you to explore its interesting artisan shops, a local cheese factory, hummingbird gallery, children’s cooperative, and much more. Yummy restaurants are easy to find here as well. View this destination…
Some animals that live in Monteverde… (actual images may have been taken in other locations)
Located in the capital city of San Jose, Hotel Grano de Oro offers guests a high-end boutique hotel experience. Guests will be delighted with the personalized service, tasteful decor, and luxurious furnishings of this renovated Victorian mansion. To literally top it off, there are twin Jacuzzis on the roof with a view of the city. View this hotel…
Mawamba Lodge offers guests an authentic eco-lodge experience while visiting the remote biologically diverse Tortuguero area. Located on the canals, the only way to access the region is by boat or small plane. The lodge, positioned between the Caribbean Sea and the Tortuguero Canals, provides an amazing atmosphere totally surrounded by nature. Two butterfly gardens and a frog habitat can be found onsite within the lodge’s trails. Guests will love cooling off in the refreshing swimming pool and the buffet treats served in the open-air restaurant. The rooms, as might be expected in this rugged and remote wilderness, are basic and screened with a porch hammock plus rocking chairs, attracting true blue nature enthusiasts! View this hotel…
Set in the jungle near Lake Arenal, the Lost Iguana Resort & Spa offers guests a magical setting! This popular eco-resort offers guests amazing views to Arenal Volcano, a heated swimming pool, spa, restaurant, bar, and trails through 120 acres of rainforest! View this hotel...
Set on a hillside overlooking a spectacular view of cloud forest and distant farms, El Establo Mountain Hotel provides a pleasant basecamp for guests planning to explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest and surrounding region. The lodge offers a number of amenities to enhance your stay including a heated swimming pool, hiking trails, spa services, an international restaurant, and more. View this hotel…
This tour will take you to the village of Tortuguero for you to experience the local culture, see the beach area, and visit the Tortuguero museum. While here, you will be stopping by the national park office to pay the mandatory cash entrance fee. This small coastal town, populated by the descendants of Central America’s original indigenous peoples, Spanish settlers, and Caribbean inhabitants, enjoys a rich history with delectable exotic local cuisine. Located on a sandy shoal between river and ocean, Tortuguero is also a protected nesting ground for sea turtles. View this tour…
In the morning, you’ll go on a guided nature hike through the lodge’s trails to see any visible wildlife, visiting 2 butterfly gardens and a frog garden. In the afternoon, you will go by riverboat on a safari cruise through the winding Tortuguero Canals. Both activities provide great opportunities to see rare and exotic animals living in this land of eleven distinct ecosystems! With a little luck you may see monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, caimans, poison dart frogs, and more. Don’t forget your camera! View this tour…
Offering both terrestrial trails along the rainforest floor and suspension bridges strung through the canopy treetops, Arenal Hanging Bridges provides the perfect opportunity to experience the inhabitants of the jungle from the ground up! A naturalist guide will lead the way pointing out and helping to identify the various flora and fauna found living at different levels as you leisurely hike through the forest. Some of the wildlife you may see include toucans, monkeys, sloths, pizotes, peccaries, and much more. You’ll also pass by streams and waterfalls adding to the enchanting sights and sounds of the tropical rainforest. View this tour…
This guided tour will take you on a hike through the rainforest located at the base of Arenal Volcano. Your bilingual guide will tell you all about the history of the volcano and the inhabitants found in the surrounding forest. You may see parrots, toucans, lizards, monkeys, peccaries, and more. After the hike, you’ll visit the world-renowned Tabacon Hot Springs to relax and bathe in the natural volcanic springs and enjoy dinner with an amazing view. View this tour…
You’ll hike through the amazing Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve led by a naturalist guide who will introduce you to the numerous exotic highland bird species and resident wildlife. In the ancient old growth forest covered with orchids, bromeliads and other flowering epiphytes live such birds as the resplendent quetzal, emerald toucanette, trogons, and many species of hummingbirds. It’s also home to many mammals including sloths, pizotes, monkeys, and kinkajous plus colorful reptiles and amphibians. View this tour…
Your Package Includes: (remember; you can customize any aspect!)
Award-Winning VIP Service
Hotels & Resorts (hotels can be substituted at an adjusted rate)
Tours, Activities & More (tours can be substituted at an adjusted rate)
Transportation (a rental car or other transportation options can be substituted at an adjusted rate)
Meals & Drinks (based on hotel and tour selections)
This vacation has been priced recently for as low as $1,749 per person, double occupancy. In order to offer the lowest prices possible, we work with a combination of contract and dynamic rates. These rates fluctuate daily, based on the season and hotel availability.
*Your vacation will be 100% customized to your needs. After inquiring with us, you will receive an exact price based on your custom itinerary. Please include special requests in the comments section. The rates listed here include current taxes, hotels, tours and transfers as described unless otherwise indicated. Rates may vary based on your travel dates, room occupancy, and type of transportation selected. Green season pricing and offers listed above are for select travel dates only and restrictions may apply. Inquire for details. Prices are subject to change at any time and do NOT include international airfare, travel insurance or any other services that are not expressly mentioned.
If you delay or cancel your trip for any reason, your deposit will be valid until you are ready to go. It is also transferable to a friend.
No Charge Rescheduling & Modifications
For travelers with existing bookings and for new bookings, we will waive modification fees for those that wish to change their travel dates to future travel dates for all booking plans.Restrictions may apply. Please review our policies for details.
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