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Costa Rica Holidays

Volcanoes, Tortuguero, Arenal and wonderful Playa Esterillos Beach

14 Night Itinerary from  £3,844

Family Adventure Tour

A complete family adventure from the Caribbean side to the Pacific Ocean, exploring volcanoes, wildlife, rain forests, waterfalls and relaxing in the laid-back beach resort at Playa Esterillos.

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • The perfect family adventure including Tortuguero National Park
  • Admire Irazu Volcano, the highest in Costa Rica
  • Visit a butterfly garden and reptlle sanctuary
  • Explore the wildlife in Tortuguero National Park on foot and by boat 
  • Hike in the foothills of the Arenal volcano and take a dip in the thermal hot springs
  • Enjoy a range of optional activities in Arenal National Park
  • Relax at a hotel on a quiet Play Esterillos beach, with many watersports for the family to enjoy

This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.

Tour Itinerary


San Jose - 3 Nights

Day 1 - Fly to San Jose 

Day 2 - La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Day 3 - Irazu Volcano and Lankester Gardens 

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Fly to San Jose

Depart the UK and fly (via Madrid) to San Jose. On arrival, you will be met by our guide and transferred to your chosen hotel for a 3-night stay including breakfast.  

Wednesday, 24 April 2024

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Enjoy a day at this private reserve featuring stunning waterfalls and safe hiking trails in the forest. There is also a butterfly garden, laboratory and Serpentarium with 30 of the most beautiful and deadly snakes of the country including the Golden Eyelash Viper. The La Casita de la Paz offers a cultural insight into the lives of rural Costa Ricans. The park has also a refuge for wild birds and felines. A super family day out.

Thursday, 25 April 2024

Irazu Volcano and Lankester Gardens 

Today we travel to the Irazu volcano, at over 3400 feet above sea level it is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica and it is easy to see why Neil Armstrong said that its desolate landscape looks like the surface of the moon. We continue to the lush Orosi Valley with its panoramic view of the Reventazon River and the Cachi Dam and onto Lankester Gardens, one of the largest collections of orchids, bromeliads, ferns, and anthuriums of the region. The gardens are the legacy of Sir Richard Lankester, an English botanist who made Costa Rica his home in the late 19th century and are now managed by the University of Costa Rica.

Balmoral Hotel

San Jose & Alajuela - Tourist Hotel

The Balmoral Hotel is located on Avenida Central, San Jose’s most famous street and walking distance to the historic centre. It is easy to visit  the Iglesia de la Merced, the cathedral, the central and Morazán parks, as well as the impressive gold and jade museums.

The hotel’s rooms include double beds, complimentary coffee, safe, hair dryer, FREE Wi-Fi, desk, and private bathrooms with power showers and complimentary toiletries.

There is a bar, restaurant, café, pizzeria and even a wine shop. The award-winning El Patio del Balmoral restaurant serves a variety of authentic Costa Rican specialties and international dishes in a casual and relaxing setting. There is also an on site gym.

New Gallery 7

Buena Vista Hotel

San Jose & Alajuela - First Hotel

Buena Vista hotel is a Spanish colonial style resort located just outside San Jose, at the top of a mountain offering panoramic views of three volcanoes in the Central Valley - Poas, Barva and Irazu. It is a super place to stay when you arrive in Costa Rica.

The hotel has 30 air-conditioned and comfortable rooms. Deluxe standard rooms have private bathroom, TV and mini-bar.

Public facilities include the Quetzal Grille restaurant, of international and typical cuisine, a bar, an outdoor pool, gift shop, masseuse, free WiFi, and lush gardens ideal for walks.

Buenavista Hotel 01
Canalestprtuguero 18

Tortuguero National Park - 3 Nights

Day 4 - Travel to Tortuguero National Park

Day 5 - Explore Tortuguero 

Day 6 - Family Adventures

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Friday, 26 April 2024

Travel to Tortuguero National Park

An early morning departure by road from San Jose to Tortuguero National Park. Transfer to a small boat for the final transfer on the canals to your chosen lodge for a 3-night stay including all meals and excursions. In the afternoon, visit Tortuguero town, the green turtle information centre and the beach. 

Saturday, 27 April 2024

Explore Tortuguero 

After breakfast, enjoy a guided walking tour through the forest trails. In the afternoon, visit to Tortuguero National Park, exploring the canals in small, open boats. Tortuguero is a network of navigable lakes, rivers and canals (both natural and man-made) that are used for transportation and are a great place for observing local wildlife such as birds, monkeys, two and three-toed sloths, American crocodiles and caimans. The canals also provide shelter to endangered animals such as the Oriental Indian Manatee, crocodiles, a large variety of crustaceous and about 30 species of sweet water fish, including the Gaspar, considered as a living fossil.

Sunday, 28 April 2024

Family Adventures

Today is free for you to choose on your preferred family adventure. Perhaps take a zip wire tour of the forest canopy, further explorations in the forest or by boat with a local guide, or relax at your lodge and enjoy time relaxing in the pool in this most unique environment. 

Evergreen Lodge

Tortuguero Forest & Canals - Tourist Lodge

Located near the entrance to Tortuguero National Park, Evergreen Lodge offers a sustainable way to explore the rainforest from the Penitencia Canal that flows directly in front of the Lodge.

The lodge has 66 rooms and private bungalows constructed over pillars designed in a Caribbean style, with wooden and bamboo furniture. Each has comfortable beds, ceiling fans, security boxes and private bathrooms with warm water.

Public areas include a swimming pool and dining room. 

The lodge offers various excellent value packages that include guided excursions exploring Tortuguero National Park.

Evergreen Lodge has a commitment with the environment and sustainable development, due to this we have been working hard to obtain sustainability certifications by implementing different measures and programs such as but not limited to energy and water saving, recycling programs, and training programs in topics such as sustainability, and others. The objective is to use and treat the resources appropriately, as well as to contribute with the environment and the community.

Lodge walkway

Manatus hotel

Tortuguero Forest & Canals - Luxury Hotel

The Manatus Hotel is located 2.5km from Tortuguero town centre, very close to the airstrip that you fly into thus avoiding a long transfer by road. It is also one of the few properties that sit directly on a strip of land separating the Caribbean Sea from several canals. With only 12 bungalows with 2 Queen beds each, it really is a unique place to stay surrounded by stunning scenery. Each air-conditioned luxury bungalow has a private patio with an outdoor shower - plus TV, bathroom, FREE Wi-Fi and mini-bar.

Public areas include a bar, excellent restaurant with a la carte international menu combined with the exquisite traditional Costa Rican cuisine, a spa, gym and swimming pool. There is also a small, on-site gallery of local art.

Manatus Hotel also features some private trails to enjoy the natural surroundings and the possibilities to observe the wildlife, as well as a dock where you can enjoy the views of the calm waters of the lagoon. Kayaks can be rented to cruise the canals.

One of the biggest attractions of the region are the nesting of the sea turtles. As well as our included adventures by boat, you can also take optional guided hikes into the jungle.

Manatus Hotel
Arenal Volcano 09

Arenal National Park - 4 Nights

Day 7 - Travel to Arenal National Park

Day 8 - Exploring Arenal Volcano

Day 9 - Optional tours and excursions

Day 10 - At leisure 

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Monday, 29 April 2024

Travel to Arenal National Park

Drive to Arenal National Park and check into your chosen hotel for a 4-night stay including breakfast. the rest of the day is free to relax at your hotel.

Tuesday, 30 April 2024

Exploring Arenal Volcano

Take an included half day tour of Arenal Volcano, beginning with a 1km walk at the El Silencio Private Reserve along a volcanic rock path to reach the observation point that is the closest to the base of the volcano. Enjoy the incredible views of the Arenal volcano and lake! We continue to the regenerated forest and a small area of primary forest that is at the base of the Arenal Volcano and discover a great variety of biodiversity, such as toucans, turkeys, orioles, peccaries, snakes and monkeys. 

Wednesday, 01 May 2024

Optional tours and excursions

Today is free for you to relax at your hotel, or enjoy an optional family excursion. Choose from: 


  • A hike to the Hanging Bridges Hike
  • Paddle boarding on Lake Arenal 
  • A full day enjoying the Aerial Sky Tram & Trek Zipline
  • Rafting on Rio Balsa 
  • A river safari at Rio Frio or Penas Blancas
  • A volcano hike at Arenal
  • A hike to the waterfalls at Rio Celeste 
  • Mountain Biking to Arenal Lake and El Castillo Villages 
  • Tabacon hot springs swim 
  • A coffee and chocolate tour 
  • A visit to the Maleke Indigenous Village
  • Sloths and birdwatching nature tour 
  • Cano Negro and Rio Frio boat tour

Thursday, 02 May 2024

At leisure

Your final day in Arenal National Park. Relax at your hotel or take another optional excursion, depending on your interests.

Arenal Volcano Inn

Arenal Volcano Park - Tourist Hotel

Arenal Volcano Inn is a cozy hotel located in front of the Arenal Volcano, just minutes away from the main attractions in Arenal National Park.

The hotel has just 25 rooms, from standard to deluxe. Each is air-conditioned with FREE Wi-Fi, private bathroom with shower, cable TV, mini bar, safe and telephone. Choose from a garden or volcano view.

Public areas include beautiful gardens with exotic plants, colourful birds and other animals. There is also  the Que Rico Arenal Restaurant offering excellent Italian, International, and Costa Rican cuisine. The restaurant offers a spectacular view of the volcano. The wood fired pizza is a must try for those who visit Que Rico Arenal.

The hotel can arrange a wide variety of activities, including zip wire adventures, treks, boat trips, horse riding and coffee plantation tours.


Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa

Arenal Volcano Park - Luxury Hotel

Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa is a green-friendly luxury hotel framed by the crystalline waters of the La Palma and Kioro streams, lush, vibrant gardens and private thermal water spas. It is a peaceful setting for exploring the beauty and exhilarating activities of Arenal Volcano National Park. 

There are 53 spacious, air conditioned suites designed for couples or families. All suites include two “Juliet” balconies with panoramic volcano and mountain views, hydromassage hot tubs, minibars, coffee makers, cable television and free Wi-Fi. 

Public areas include a landscaped free-form swimming pool, the Neidin Spa, and a free shuttle to Titokú hot springs including complimentary admission to the heated hot springs pools. 

Award-winning local and international cuisine and captivating volcano views is on offer at Heliconia’s Restaurant, or enjoy poolside cocktails in the garden setting of Orquídeas Restaurant. Bar El Higueron and Sport Bar Carajillos are ideal for more casual get togethers. 

There are many optional tours and excursions bookable from the hotel.

Relax in the pool

Playa Esterillos - 4 Nights

Day 11 - Travel to Playa Esterillos

Day 12 - At leisure 

Day 13 - At leisure 

Day 14 - At leisure 

Day 15 - Fly back to the UK

Day 16 - Arrive in the UK

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Friday, 03 May 2024

Travel to Playa Esterillos

Travel by road to Playa Esterillos, located on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, and check into your chosen hotel for a 4-night stay including breakfast. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Playa Esterillos is a wide sandy beach. There are few local amenities, but our recommended hotel, Alma del Pacifico, has all the services you need for a relaxing beach stay including great surfing. The small town provides a mini-supermarket. It is the perfect spot for family groups who want to enjoy some calm, sun, and beautiful pristine beach.


Saturday, 04 May 2024

At leisure

Playa Esterillos is ideal for family groups of all ages, with a good range of watersports available on the beach to enjoy. All ages will enjoy a spot of surfing in the Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, 05 May 2024

At leisure

Relax on the beach or at your hotel.

Monday, 06 May 2024

At leisure

Your final day to enjoy the delights and friendliness of Costa Rica.

Tuesday, 07 May 2024

Fly back to the UK

Enjoy the morning at leisure. After lunch, transfer to San Jose International Airport for your overnight flight back to the UK (via Madrid).

Wednesday, 08 May 2024

Arrive in the UK

Arrive back in the UK in the morning.

Alma del Pacifico

Playa Esterillos Beach - First Hotel

Situated on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast just 2 hours drive from San Jose Airport, Alma del Pacifico is a small hotel made up of 20 colourful villas set among lush tropical gardens, connected by paved walkways and fronting onto a wide sandy beach.

The spacious and comfortable air-conditioned rooms are full of vibrant works of art from artiste Charlene Broudy (the hotel in fact shows over 150 pieces of original art), and each has a large private terrace with outdoor seating, private bathroom, kitchenette, TV, hair dryer and mini bar. Most of the rooms are ocean facing, with terraces looking onto the beach, while others have a garden view with a short walk to the sea shore.

Public areas include the Alma Restaurant, beach bar, spa, gardens, swimming pool and direct access to the stunning Playa Esterillos. The hotel can arrange a wide variety of activities and excursions to suit your requirements, from nature treks to canopy tours, water sports to horse riding.

Rooms are on a bed and breakfast basis.


Price Guidelines

Season Low Season
Travel Dates Year round
Room Arrangement Tourist First
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £3,844 £4,201

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.

What's Included

  • 16 Days/14 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • Breakfast everyday and meals as described on the itinerary
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person
  • Prices for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Easter on request
  • Children aged 7-11 have a 20% reduction when sharing a room.

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