14 days

Rainforest Adventure

Rainforest Adventure

The wildlife of Torteguero National Park's canals

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Manuel Antonio National Park's beaches

Trip rating

    Sloths are so incredibly sluggish that algae can grow on their fur. They spend as much as 20 hours per day sleeping, clinging tightly to tree limbs and often hanging upside down. Despite only being able to climb 2.5 metres per minute, sloths are pretty competent swimmers and an extra vertebrae in their neck means they can turn their heads some 270-degrees.

    Why we love it

    • The stunning national parks of Costa Rica are endowed with some of the greatest diversity of flora and fauna in the world.
    • Tortuguero on the northern Caribbean shore is the nesting ground of the rare green turtle, whilst the lush maze of deltas host a seemingly endless array of tropical birds and reptiles.
    • Further south, by the pristine gold and black sand beaches of Puerto Veijo we pay a visit to the Bri Bri Indigenous Reserve to experience life with an indigenous family.
    • After time for some relaxation we depart for La Fortuna where we can explore the base of the mighty Arenal Volcano and its unique surrounds.
    • At Monteverde we discover large areas of untouched forest considered by many to be one of the world's most outstanding tropical cloudforest and wildlife sanctuaries.
    • Finally we come to the Manuel Antonio National Park which features some of Costa rica's finest beaches, with long stretches of beautiful white sand backed by lush jungle.


    Day 1 - San Jose

    • On arrival at San Jose airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel located in the heart of the city. In the evening you will meet your tour leader and the other members of the group for a pre-tour briefing. This is normally held at 6pm but please check the notice board at reception to confirm the time and place. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents along with you. Following the briefing there is generally an optional group dinner at a nearby restaurant.
    • Costa Rica’s capital sits in the centre of a lush, wide valley which has a comfortable subtropical climate. The streets of the town are laid out along a grid iron pattern, with avenidas running east to west and callés running north to south. Many of the most interesting buildings are in the region of Avenida Central – the Teatro Nacional is an elaborate confection of marble staircases, statues, frescoes and mirrors.
    • There are a number of interesting museums in the city; the Museo de Oro has a good collection of golden pre-Columbian figurines. The Mercado Central is the main market which dates back to 1881 – there are some good food stalls here as well as countless artefacts for sale.
    • Elsewhere in San Jose there are some good restaurants – you can dine out on Chinese, Indian, Italian or the more traditional variations on the theme of rice and beans.

    Day 2-3 - Arenal Volcano - La Fortuna

    • An approximately four-and-a-half hour drive will take you to La Fortuna, your base for exploring the Arenal Volcano and its wild surrounds. Vulcan Arenal lay dormant for 400 years until finally erupting in 1968. Today it is the most active volcano in Costa Rica and with some luck you might be able to observe the red lava.
    • The volcano's almost perfect cone, which soars 1,633 metres above sea level, has a crater 140 metres deep formed over an ancient Caldera. Huddled in the shadow of the looming Vulcan Arenal the small town of La Fortuna is an ideal location from which to explore the surrounding region and to witness the volcano’s dramatic fireworks display.
    • During your stay there will be time for some optional activities including a visit to the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, an excursion to the Arenal Volcano and Tabacon Resort Hot Springs, fishing in Lake Arenal, as well as opportunities for mountain biking, caving and horseback riding.
    • In the evening you will visit hot springs in the area.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 4-5 - Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

    • You will travel by minibus and boat to the cool cloud forests of Monteverde (approximately 4 hours). Your leader will take you on a walking tour through the Monteverde National Park.
    • In addition, you can choose from some great optional activities. There is the Skywalk, a combination of suspension bridges and platforms built in the cloud forest, that allow you to explore the forest canopy in a safe and easy manner. You can also venture away from the Monteverde Reserve to the Children's Eternal Rainforest, the first international children's rainforest in the world.
    • Then there is the Monteverde Butterfly Garden and the Hummingbird Gallery, a must for those with a penchant for these winged, colored jewels of the forest.
    • At night you will enjoy a night hike in Monteverde, hiking at dusk in the forest. Some of the wildlife you might see include porcupines, toucans and other sleeping birds, owls, agoutis, coati mundis, snakes, walking sticks, tarantulas, katydids, and an array of other cool insects.
    • Of course, there are no guaranteed sightings, so don't expect all these creatures to be waiting just for you! Typically though this time of transition into night offers a good opportunity to view nocturnal mammals as well as diurnal animals as they prepare for night.

    Day 6-7 - Manuel Antonio National Park

    • It is a four to five hour drive to Manuel Antonio National Park. Situated on the Pacific Coast 132km from San Jose, the area of mangrove swamps and beaches now known as the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio was first documented by Spanish Explorer Ponce de Leon in 1519 during his (unsuccessful) search for the Fountain of Youth.
    • Long, white beaches extending around the headland of Punta Catedral are set against evergreen forest backdrops that grow up right up to the high tide line. Incorporating 12 small islands scattered just off the coast where migrating whales can sometimes be observed, the park is home to 109 mammal and 184 bird species in a region of lagoons and fertile mangrove swamps.
    • Your time here is your own to enjoy some of Costa Rica's finest beaches or you can take to the many fine hiking trails through the tropical forest.

    Day 8-9 - San Jose

    • You will spend the morning in Manuel Antonio. At about midday you will travel back to San Jose (approximately 4 hours). The following day will be free to check out some of San Jose's museums.

    Day 10-11 - Puerto Viejo

    • You will travel by private minibus to Puerto Viejo today, renowned throughout Costa Rica for its beautiful beaches. The famous Salsa Brava beach in Puerto Viejo is an excellent surfing spot (experts only!).
    • The harbor after which Puerto Viejo is named, is calm and peaceful, with beautiful still-blue waters and inviting shores. Several bars and discos are located right on the beach, making this a great spot to hang out at night. Puerto Viejo has managed to maintain its small-town atmosphere and rustic local appeal. The surrounding lands are rich in exotic flora and fauna, and is considered one of the country's prime bird watching regions.
    • You will have free time here to explore the National Park, visit a wildlife rescue centre, or sharpen your surfing skills with some lessons.
    • The following day you will take a boat trip to Punta Mona, a permaculture farm and education centre, teaching people about sustainable living practices.

    Day 12-13 - Tortuguero National Park

    • You will travel by minivan up the Caribbean coast today, stopping at a sloth rescue centre for a tour and to learn all about these unique creatures. You'll then continue north to Tortuguero National Park.
    • Tortuguero is home to howler monkeys, brightly coloured parrots and a wide variety of other wildlife. This is where green and leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs once a year (June-September). Only accessible by either boat or plane, Parque Nacional Tortuguero encompasses 290km² of Caribbean lowland rainforest and the park plays host to an abundance of extraordinary flora and fauna.
    • Comprised of eleven different types of habitat, the National Park is home to three species of monkey: the spider, howler and white-faced. The lush humidity of the tropical rainforest combines with the natural ecology and geography of Costa Rica resulting in the formation of habitats ideally suited for 300 species of bird.
    • Manatees are sometimes seen in the channels, and other species in the park include jaguar, ocelot, peccary, tapir and sloth. You will spend two nights in a lodge in the rainforest.
    • If the season is appropriate, you will embark on a turtle watching night tour. The following day you will have a walking tour of the national park.

    Day 14-15 - San Jose

    • Today you will return by minibus to San Jose, where you may wish to join the group for an optional final dinner.
    • There are no activities planned for the final day and you will able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local leader throughout the tour.
    • 2 nights in a lodge in Tortuguero National Park, including a jungle walk and boat ride.
    • 2 days in Monteverde Cloud Forest, including a night hike.
    • 2 days in Manuel Antonio National Park.
    • Free time to explore San Jose, Puerto Viejo and La Fortuna.
    • Park fees.
    • Arrival transfer.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure tax
    • Visas where required
    • Meals not included in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry
    • Any optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips and items of a personal nature
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Rainforest Adventure

    Marisa - Switzerland, 20 Jan, 2014
    Overall Rating

    It was an awesome trip and I really enjoyed my time in Costa Rica.

    Rainforest Adventure

    Joanne - United Kingdom, 19 Jan, 2014
    Overall Rating

    This trip was great fun and fantastic for wildlife spotters like myself! Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about animals, birds and his country, and took us on some wonderful hikes where I saw wild sloths up close. The activities on offer were excellent and i will never forget galloping on horseback up a hill to watch the sunset over the Pacific ocean! Do remember to pack rain gear, as some areas of CR are very rainy and a little cold!

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PSRF
Group size 1 - 16
Start City: San Jose
End City: San Jose

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