Discover some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful locations in exploring this biodiverse Central American country. Begin in the nation’s vibrant capital city, relax in the surfer town of Dominical on the Pacific Coast and explore the cloud forest in San Ramon. Then soak in thermally heated hot springs in the shadow of Arenal Volcano, and complete your trip at the calm seas off the beautiful beaches of Samara. Journey in comfort, stay in high-quality accommodation, and be personally guided through the natural wonders of Costa Rica for the vacation experience of a lifetime.
- 12 nights lodging (at hotel detailed here or hotels of similar standard)
- 12 daily breakfast (days 2-12)
- Transfer on arrival and departure
- 10 days of transportation in a luxury bus (days 02-8 and day-12)
- 10 days of bilingual guide(days 02-08 and day 12)
Included Activity Package
- Kayak Tour to Hatillo Mangrove Swamps(day 03)
- San Luis Canopy Tour(day 05)
- Safari Float(day 07)
- Hanging Bridges(day 08)
- Tip for driver(day 01)
- Tip for guide(day 01)
- Costa Rica departure tax(need to verify if airline ticket has it included)
Arrive at SJO airport and be transferred to the hotel. After Check-in, relax and enjoy the swimming pool or the other excellent facilities, depending on arrival time. Costa Rica’s capital is located in the Central Valley and above sea level, so is pleasantly warm during the day, but can be cooler in the evening.
The hotel’s proximity to San José makes it an ideal base location for exploring the points of interest and cultural activities available in this small country’s largest city. Discover the must-sees of the capital city such as the National Theater, Gold Museum, and Jade Museum are just a short walk from your accommodation for a glimpse into the history of Costa Rica.
San José – Dominical
After your hotel breakfast, board the bus to travel in air-conditioned comfort to Dominical. Traveling to the South Pacific, you will pass some of the country’s beautiful beaches on your way to this quaint beach town. Enjoy the views over the ocean along the coastal highway, before arriving in Dominical, where visitors are rewarded with the panorama from the cliffs overlooking the sea. The warmer temperatures and humidity in contrast to the Central Valley’s relative cool.
After Check-in at the hotel, enjoy a swim in the infinity pool with views the verdant mountains and down to the beaches of the South Pacific. For the chance to really unwind, why not book a session in the spa or take a soak in the Jacuzzi? This is where the vacation really begins!
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before taking the day’s Add-On tour * Kayaking to Hatillo Mangrove Swamps, or exploring the area independently. This quaint beach town in the South Pacific is well known for its consistent waves and attracts surfers of all levels. The main surfer beach , Playa Dominical is 4 km and can be rough for swimmers. Beginner surfers and swimmers should head a little bit south to Playa Dominicalito for gentler waves.
Although known for surfing, Dominical has many other activities. Bird watchers will be intrigued by the various species that live in the surrounding marshes and mangroves. Other activities include: Nauyaca Waterfalls, canopy tours, horseback riding, scuba diving and snorkelling. The famous “Whale’s Tale” in Uvita is about 20 minutes’ drive away.
Dominical – San Ramón
After eating breakfast at the hotel, the day begins with the journey to San Ramon. Surrounded by hills covered with coffee and sugarcane fields, San Ramon is known as the city of ”Presidents and Poets” because it has been the chosen home of four former presidents and many important architects and literary figures. The most well known is former President, Jose Figueres Ferrer, who abolished the Costa Rican army and granted women and Costa Ricans of African descent the right to vote.
After Check-in at the hotel, relax or explore. The hotel is fortunate be located at the edge of the 2,000 acres of the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve. This protected area is especially important since only 2% of the worlds remaining woodlands are cloud forest. Walk along one of the hotel’s trails to experience the bio-diversity, or visit the research station that has made many discoveries into the lives of butterflies.
Enjoy a cup of locally grown coffee with your mountain breakfast, after waking up to the sights and sounds of the various bird species in the surrounding area. Take today’s Add-On tour * San Luis Canopy Tour or relax at the hotel. The cloud forest is the habitat for the elusive and much sought-after Quetzal, the legendary bird of Mayan myth and once revered throughout Central America. Take a guided tour to catch a glimpse of its incredible plumage, and to see the other birdlife that thrives at this altitude. The cloud forest’s nocturnal life is visible on a night tour, which offers the best opportunity to see the animals that are normally hidden from the human eye, including wild cats. The hotel offers spa treatments for those who are ready for some well-deserved pampering with massage and beauty reatments.
San Ramón – La Fortuna
After eating breakfast at the hotel, you’ll set off to the town of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano. The journey is through picturesque rolling hills of green farmland. With its iconic cone shape, the volcano is a distinctive landmark in the area. The area around the volcano is forested, and the roaring of howler monkeys can be heard, as well as the birdsongs from dawn. The volcano’s last big eruption was in 1948 and its activity was intense until 2010; the main crater still spew forth vapor and steam on occasions. These days, the region remains popular for its natural beauty and the range of activities available.
Following Check-in at your hotel, it’s time to relax in the hot springs while gazing up at the volcano itself. The springs are heated by the volcano and contain many minerals believed to be therapeutic.
After the hotel breakfast, take today’s Add-On tour *Hanging Bridges (day 7) or *Safari Float (day 8), or relax at the hotel. Many visitors like to hike or horseback ride through the national park that surrounds the volcano’s base, and where the rainforest is in contrast to the lava scars that mark ancient eruptions on the volcano’s side. Hardy hikers may be tempted to hike to the crater lake of Cerro Chato, which is long extinct and serves as a great swimming spot after the exhilarating walk. Another popular landmark is the La Fortuna Waterfall, which can be accessed on a horseback tour or by walking down (and up) its 471 stone steps. The waterfall spray encourages ferns and similar plants to flourish around it. Take a bathing suit to cool off in the cool waters of the waterfall pool at the bottom. Head back to the hotel for a relaxing soak in hot springs to unwind after the day.
La Fortuna – Samara Beach
After breakfast in the hotel, it’s time to set off onto the last leg of your journey to enjoy the calm seas of Samara. The views across Lake Arenal are amazing, and it’s home to many water birds. The lake was constructed as part of Costa Rica’s commitment to renewable energy sources, and is a popular spot for watersports. Although, the journey remains at sea level, the difference from the lush greenery of the pastureland around Arenal to the much drier climate of the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica is soon apparent. The beaches here are quieter than in other parts of the North Pacific as they were fairly difficult to access for many years.
After Check-in at the hotel, relax by the pool or set out to explore this beautiful part of the country. Samara’s beach is the perfect place to enjoy a Pacific sunset and a moonlight stroll.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before deciding how to spend your day. The scenic, laid-back beach town of Samara is set in a crescent shaped bay and is popular with both tourists and Ticos. The gentle waves break against the shores of the white sand beach that is well known as one of the safest and accessible in the area. The surrounding coral reef is good for snorkeling and keeps the seas calm for swimming. Samara Beach is a great spot for beginners who can rent a board and lesson from locals on the beach.
Besides Playa Samara, nearby Playa Carrillo also has its charms and lies about five miles to the south. This breathtaking beach is lined with coconut palms and is well protected by headlands that keep the ocean calm for swimmers and snorkelers. The beach itself is undeveloped, so there’s no restaurants or buildings to spoil your pristine view of paradise.
Eat a delicious hotel buffet breakfast, then relax poolside or enjoy one of the activities available in the area. Why not try snorkeling and look for colorful fish at the coral reef in Cangrejal Bay? Kayak to Chorla Island, south of Samara to see the abundant species of birds that live in this maritime reserve, or into the mangroves of nearby river estuaries. Horseback ride along the beach, or to Tobacco Waterfalls. This is a great place for fishing enthusiasts, and tours leave from the nearby port of Carrillo just south of Samara daily.. Common fish to catch are Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Tuna and Marlin. You might even see dolphins or sea turtles along the way. Samara works for novice surfers, but more experienced surfers go to Playa Camaronal, seven miles to the south.
Samara Beach – San José
After breakfast at your hotel, it’s time to pack up and take a comfortable, air-conditioned ride back to the country’s capital. Leave the beach to journey through the authentic villages and countryside of the Nicoya region, before joining the Pan-American Highway for a smooth drive back to San Jose.
After Check-in at the hotel, relax on the rooftop terrace, or take the chance to explore the bustling city center from this great central location. Pick up last minute souvenirs from the stores or stalls, or stroll through the city parks and relax in the shade. If there’s time, stop at one of the capital’s museums or art galleries to enjoy exposure to Costa Rican art and culture.
Samara Beach – San José
Breakfast at the hotel and, depending on the flight time, be transferred to the airport in comfort, ready for your departure.
Wave Adios to Costa Rica — we know you’ll be back!
Day 01 & 13: Hotel Presidente
This modern 3.5 star boutique hotel in the heart of the country’s capital, combines the best of urban chic and comfort for the perfect introduction to Costa Rica. The family-owned hotel is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of San Jose while remaining within a short walk of all the well-known landmarks of this thriving city. Admire the cityscape from the roof terrace.
Shared areas are decorated in harmony with the building’s past. The exposed bricks and metal beams are softened with symbols of Costa Rica’s past for stunning contrast. The 91 soundproofed rooms are spacious and airy with the white linens only adding to the effect. With free wired Wi-Fi, gym and buffet breakfast, served in the bright restaurant, every need is catered for during the overnight stay. On site restaurant serves lunch and dinner, as well as the included breakfast.
The hotel’s central location makes it the perfect place as a base to explore the city’s cultural and historical sights, and to shop.
Day 02 & 03: Cuna del Angel, Dominical
The 4 star eco-friendly boutique hotel is set in the lush green mountains overlooking Dominical. The grounds provide a pleasant setting and opportunity for guests to see (and hear!) wildlife – expect an early morning wake up call from the howler monkeys!
Guests are housed in one of the 7 jungle rooms which are all wooden with typical Caribbean style decorations and views over the lush forest. All rooms have a terrace, A/C , ceiling fans, private bath, cable TV, mini bar, safety box. The rooms are tucked away from the main area, and are therefore very private and quiet with only the sounds of nature to lull you to sleep.
The onsite La Palapa restaurant serves up creative, gluten-free cuisine in a building designed to pay homage to the Boruca indigenous heritage. Meals are served from 6:30am until 10:00pm
The grounds boast an infinity pool and onsite spa for your ultimate relaxation.
Day 04 & 05: Hotel Villa Blanca and Nature Reserve
This upscale 3 star boutique hotel has 35 rooms and is situated in its own private reserve in the Los Angeles Cloud Forest. The superior rooms have custom queen beds, living room area with wood burning fireplace, high speed internet, complimentary coffee, minibar and private bath. The hotel itself is a re-creation of a nineteenth century mountain village with antique furnishings and artwork.
The on-site restaurant, El Sendero, features fusion cuisine, using fresh, locally farmed produce and specializing in innovative sauces. The hotel has a 24 hour business center onsite for those who need to check in on work while on vacation, and a sauna for the ultimate in relaxation.
Days 06 to 08: Volcano Lodge and Springs , La Fortuna
The 3 star lodge offers spectacular volcano views and the thermal hot springs for the exclusive use of hotel guests. Two swimming pools and hot tubs are located on the property.
The 62 rooms are equipped with mod cons and a terrace for comfort and convenience. The grounds encompass tropical gardens—don’t miss the nature trail winding through the plants for glimpse of local wildlife!
Begin the day with a hearty buffet breakfast in the open plan restaurant enjoying the aromas from the gardens, and end the day with cocktails at the Wet Bar or Lobby Bar.
Days 09 to 12: Samara Beach Hotel
This 3 star hotel is located in the center of Samara for a convenient base to local restaurants, stores and other facilities. There are 20 rooms in total. Each room features a balcony which overlooks the garden and pool. The rooms are decorated in a tropical style with private bath, air conditioning and ceiling fans, king size beds and security box.
There is an onsite Coffee shop and bar for light fare and drinks by the pool. Enjoy a local or continental breakfast while overlooking the tropical gardens.
*The order and logistics of the itinerary may change depending on weather conditions
Day 03 Dominical
Kayak Hatillo Mangrove Swamps are located 7 km north of Dominical this mangrove environment is inhabited by sloths, monkeys, toucans and other species of birds. Take in the sights and sounds as you paddle through the canals and learn about the flora and fauna with the certified naturalist guide.
What to bring: camera, insect repellant, suntan lotion, and bathing suit.
Day 05 San Ramon
San Luis Zip-line Tour will raise your pulse as you zip your way through the lush green canopy of the virgin forest over the Cataraticas River. The 12 cables are from 56 to 550 meters in length to connect 18 platforms. The platforms range from between 3 to 106 meters in height on trees and land. This two hour tour includes guides , entrance fees and lunch.
What to bring: clothes that can get dirty, closed shoes, and suntan lotion.
Day 06-09 La Fortuna
Safari River Float Launched into the calm river waters in an inflatable raft, there’s few things more relaxing than going with the flow of the water while observing the wildlife on the riverbanks and jungle. The bilingual guide will be ready to point our the river birds, sloths and monkeys in the trees, and even crocodiles and caiman in the waters.
What to bring: change of clothes, bathing suit, and suntan lotion.
The Hanging Bridges consist of 3.1 kilometers of 9 fixed bridges and 6 suspended ones that allow the visitor to experience the lush vegetation, animals and birds of the area. Observe the natural diversity of the canopy at a relaxed pace with a unique bird’s eye perspective.
What to bring: comfortable shoes, and suntan lotion.
*The order and logistics of the itinerary may change depending on weather conditions