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Explore Costa Rica

14 days, San José to San José

Passengers taking a ride through a canal in Toruguero, Costa Rica

With a quarter of its land covered in national parks and wildlife refuges, Costa Rica is a dream for the nature lover and adventure buff. On this unforgettable journey, discover the country’s diverse and breathtaking landscapes, from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific. Explore the lush waterways of Tortuguero National Park, where thousands of sea turtles come to nest every year; assist in a tree-planting program in the cloud forests of Monteverde; and cap off your journey on Manuel Antonio’s pristine beaches, experiencing the true meaning of “Pura Vida”—the Costa Rican way of life.

14 days - San José to San José

From$2399USD
Valid on May 2 2021
Trip Code: CRENG

Need a flight? We can help.

Search for the perfect flight at time of booking.

Round-trip to San José from

Looking for another airport? Search when you book. (details)

With a quarter of its land covered in national parks and wildlife refuges, Costa Rica is a dream for the nature lover and adventure buff. On this unforgettable journey, discover the country’s diverse and breathtaking landscapes, from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific. Explore the lush waterways of Tortuguero National Park, where thousands of sea turtles come to nest every year; assist in a tree-planting program in the cloud forests of Monteverde; and cap off your journey on Manuel Antonio’s pristine beaches, experiencing the true meaning of “Pura Vida”—the Costa Rican way of life.

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 - Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 12.

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Visa Requirements

14 days - San José to San José

From$2399USD
Valid on May 2 2021
Trip Code: CRENG

Need a flight? We can help.

Search for the perfect flight at time of booking.

Round-trip to San José from

Looking for another airport? Search when you book. (details)

Creating ripples that change lives

The Ripple Score is an honest evaluation of how often we use local businesses and services to create each tour. With this score you can see the percentage of our local expenses that stay in the communities you visit. Learn more

Ripple Score

100

The diversity of terrain astounds. You can explore a lowland rain forest or snorkel a coral reef in the morning and steep yourself in the mist-shrouded cloud forest or hike the rim of a steaming volcano in the afternoon.” —Christopher Baker, National Geographic Traveler: Costa Rica guidebook, 2013

Map of the route for Explore Costa Rica

Places visited

  • Costa Rica
Itinerary Notes

Occasionally, the Sea Turtle Conservancy is closed to visitors as it is an active research facility. In the event this happens, you'll visit the nearby Ca?o Palma Biological Station, which includes a sea turtle and marine conservation presentation, a hands-on turtle measuring experience on the beach, and optional beach clean.

Itinerary

Day 1San José

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2San José/Tortuguero

Travel by land and motorized canoe to Tortuguero National Park. Located on the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero—translated as “land of the turtles”—is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for the endangered green sea turtle. Settle into our secluded lodge, then enjoy a guided boat trip along Tortuguero’s tropical waterways. Later, opt for a nighttime boat excursion to spot some of the park’s nocturnal creatures—such as the caiman.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3Tortuguero

This morning, we’ll explore the wildlife-rich canals of Tortuguero National Park once more, seeking out howler, spider, and capuchin monkeys, sloths, and a variety of birds. Afterward, visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy, the world’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting sea turtles. Founded in 1959, the organization was inspired by the work of pioneering conservationist and National Geographic Grantee Archie Carr. Later, enjoy time to relax at the lodge pool, take a stroll along the beach, or head out on a kayaking excursion.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Sea Turtle Conservancy Experience

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4Tortuguero/La Fortuna

Depart early for the town of La Fortuna, situated at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano. En route, visit a G Adventures–supported coffee cooperative to gain insight into the process of coffee production, from bean to cup. After a typical lunch—accompanied by an aromatic cup of coffee—continue to La Fortuna. Check in to your hotel and unwind by the pool, taking in views of the surrounding jungle, the verdant hills, and the dark silhouette of the volcano.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your G for Good Moment Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 5La Fortuna

Spend the day exploring La Fortuna and its surrounding areas on your own. In 1968, the Arenal Volcano erupted after centuries of laying dormant, converting this quiet agricultural town into a hot spot for adventure travel. This evening, visit a local home to learn how to make tortillas. Chat with your welcoming hosts and dig into a traditional Costa Rican meal of black beans, plantains, and your own handmade tortillas.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Tortilla Making and Home Dinner

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 6La Fortuna

Enjoy a full free day in La Fortuna. Choose to go stand-up paddleboarding on the tranquil waters of Lake Arenal, or venture into a world of stalactites, stalagmites, and subterranean species on a visit to the Venado Caves. Take a boat tour of the Ca?o Negro Wildlife Refuge, one of the world’s most important wetlands; rappel down a rushing waterfall on a canyoning excursion; and relax in the shadow of Arenal Volcano at a naturally heated outdoor spa.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Discover Moment

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 7La Fortuna/Monteverde

From La Fortuna, we make our way by road and boat to the misty mountain region of Monteverde. Spend two days exploring this charming little town and the nearby cloud forest reserve—a nature lover’s paradise.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8Monteverde

Set out on a hike in the stunning Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, treading past giant ferns and vibrant orchids. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the resplendent quetzal—a sacred bird in Maya and Aztec cultures. In your free time, embark on a zip-lining adventure, gliding high above the treetops and zooming through the misty foliage; or experience the astonishing biodiversity of the forest canopy on a walk across hanging bridges.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9Monteverde

Pay a visit to the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organization supported by National Geographic. Hear from a researcher about some of the institute’s conservation initiatives, including a successful reforestation project; then roll up your sleeves and head to the nursery to help plant trees and collect data for the project. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, opting to visit the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens to see dozens of local species, explore forest trails on horseback, or go zip-lining.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Monteverde Institute Lecture & Reforestation Project| Your Discover Moment

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 10Monteverde/Manuel Antonio

Leaving the cloud forest behind, travel to Costa Rica’s sweeping Pacific coast and settle into your hotel in the seaside village of Manuel Antonio. Soak up the laid-back atmosphere of the area, and opt to go surfing, horseback riding, or dolphin watching on a catamaran. Or, spend the remainder of the day relaxing on the beach.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 11Manuel Antonio

Discover the lush tropical forests and white-sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park on a guided day trip. Costa Rica’s smallest national park—yet one of the most spectacular—boasts an abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, armadillos, sloths, iguanas, and countless species of birds. Hike through the dense forest, climb up to rocky outcrops for views of the dazzling Pacific Ocean, and go swimming in the park’s lovely lagoons and tidal pools. Later, enjoy some free time at the beach.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 12Manuel Antonio

Spend a full day exploring Manuel Antonio on your own. Ride along lush jungle trails on horseback, looking for toucans in the treetops. Opt to take a surfing lesson, or head out for a snorkelling excursion on the nearby reef. Kayak amid the coastal mangroves or in the open sea, or set sail on a catamaran, keeping an eye out for dolphins and whales.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Discover Moment

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 13Manuel Antonio/San José

Return to San José. Tonight, choose to join the group for a farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 14San José

Depart at any time.

Meals included:

Breakfast
View full itinerary

What's Included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sea Turtle Conservancy Experience, Tortuguero
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner, La Fortuna
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Monteverde Institute Lecture & Reforestation Project
  • Your G for Good Moment: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí
  • Your Discover Moment: La Fortuna
  • Your Discover Moment: Monteverde
  • Your Discover Moment: Manuel Antonio
  • Arrival transfer
  • Boat tour and wildlife viewing in Tortuguero National Park
  • Guided nature walk in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Guided excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotels (11 nts), rustic jungle lodge (2 nts).

Meals

13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Allow USD470-615 for meals not included.

Transportation

Private vehicle, shuttle van, boat, walking.

Staff & experts

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.

Available extras (Add these to your tour when you book)

Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle - From $149.00

CANYONING (Half-day Arenal) Rappel, down-climb, river-trace, and descend huge waterfalls in the rugged mountains and lush rainforests around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano. ZIPLINING (Half-day Monteverde) Get a true bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy as you soar through the trees on a Tarzan swing, a giant rappel, and a 137-meter-high (450-foot) zipline. Please note that passengers must weigh between 45-100kg (100 – 220 lbs) and be at least 130cm (4'3 ft) tall to participate in these activities.

Manuel Antonio Catamaran Cruise - From $95.00

Cruise along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica aboard a beautiful catamaran, taking in the impressive scenery and lush jungle that has made Manuel Antonio famous. Be sure to look out for sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, and whales (seasonal) as you look out to the blue water that surrounds your boat. Cruise past Olocuita Island and Isla Verde, which were previously used as burial grounds by the Quepo Indians. Stop at Biesanz Beach for the perfect opportunity to throw on a mask and some flippers and jump in the waters to snorkel. This cove nestled between Quepos and Manuel Antonio houses 30+ species of tropical fish and has great conditions for clear underwater viewing. Hop back in the boat after your leisure time to towel off and enjoy a meal onboard while sailing back to the marina.

My Own Room - From $749.00

If you're travelling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip, select this option during the online booking process.

Make it a private tour

Book this tour as a private departure - with your own CEO and all the benefits of a G Adventures group tour - for any group, big or small (even just one traveller).

Explore Costa Rica

| 14 days - San José to San José - from $2399 USD
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