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Costa Rica Holidays

Pacific and Caribbean wetlands, mountain habitats and volcanoes

12 Night Itinerary from  £4,082

Macute Tour

Explore unique wetlands on the Pacific coast and Tortuguero National Park, mountain landscapes and eco-systems by Arenal Volcano and continue to the mangroves and beaches of Nicoya Peninsula.

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Stay in luxury lodges, boutique hotels and a Costa Rican estancia
  • Visit San Jose and Poas Volcano with its enormous crater
  • Trek and hike in diverse ecosystems with expert naturalist guides
  • Explore the wildlife of Tortuguero National Park by boat 
  • Admire awe-inspiring Arenal volcano and relax at Tabacon thermal springs
  • Take a boat trip on the Frio River, part of the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
  • Enjoy a wetlands tour in the Tempisque River region
  • Travel between July and December and observe nesting Olive Ridley Turtles
  • Relax on remote golden Pacific beaches at the Nicoya Peninsula

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

Poasvolcano 350X300

San Jose - 2 Nights

Day 1 - Departure from UK

Day 2 - Full day tour to Poas Volcano

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Saturday, 09 December 2023

Departure from UK

Depart from the UK on a direct flight to San Jose arriving later the same day. On arrival, transfer to your hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis. You will be met by a Veloso Tours guide who will give you a short introduction to San Jose and the area surrounding your hotel.

Sunday, 10 December 2023

Full day tour to Poas Volcano

Today enjoy a full day guided tour to the Poas Volcano, stopping the way at the Doka coffee plantation, owned by Costa Rican Vargas Ruiz family, pioneers in coffee production since 1931. We continue past coffee plantations, fern, flower and strawberry farms to Poas, one of the most spectacular volcanoes in Costa Rica. We hike to the enormous crater for some amazing photo opportunities. Continue to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and explore the walking trails that lead to the beautiful white magic waterfall.

Buena Vista Hotel

San Jose - 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

Finca Rosa Blanca

San Jose - Luxury Resort

Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn is situated above the beautiful Central Valley of Costa Rica, offering amazing views of volcanoes, cloud forests and coffee plantations and nestled amongst 10 acres amid hundreds of fruit trees and tropical flora. It offers luxurious rooms including mini bar, Jacuzzi bath and private verandas overlooking the Valley. Each room has its own decoration allowing its unique atmosphere.

The hotel provides lots of amenities such as games room, large swimming pool, TV and reading area and 2 large dinner tables for group dining. The restaurant offers a spectacular view of the coffee plantation and serves delicious local cuisine with fresh products.

4810 Finca Rosa Blanca

Hotel Presidente

San Jose - First Hotel

The Presidente Hotel is located in the heart of San José in the pedestrian zone of Central Avenue, 2 blocks from the National Theatre and the Cultural Square. The hotel has over 100 comfortable and spacious rooms, which all include cable TV, air conditioning, safety box and en-suite bathroom. The hotel offers amenities such as a restaurant-bar, a casino, and a spa with beauty treatments.

4807 Hotel Presidente
Canals through the tropical forest

Tortuguero National Park - 2 Nights

Day 3 - Transfer to Tortuguero National Park

Day 4 - Exploring on foot and by boat

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Monday, 11 December 2023

Travel to Tortuguero National Park

Up early today to travel to Tortuguero National Park. Admire the biodiversity of an astonishing protected area in Costa Rica as the bus drives through Braulio Carrillo National Park. Stop on route to have a delicious typical breakfast. Along the road, you can observe many different kinds of products grown in this area such as pineapples and bananas. Board a comfortable boat upon arrival to Caño Blanco pier and let this extraordinary exotic paradise enchant you, as you travel through the Tortuguero canals. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious lunch as you arrive to the lodge. After lunch, visit to the picturesque town, the green turtle information centre and the beach area.

Tortuguero beach is the most important nesting site of the endangered green turtle in the Western Hemisphere. Giant leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles also nest here. The green turtle population is believed to have come perilously close to extinction in the 1960s when nearly every female turtle arriving to nest in Tortuguero was taken for the export market for turtle soup.

Working closely with the Costa Rican government, the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) helped establish Tortuguero National Park in 1970, a move that offered protection to the turtles and strictly limited the number of turtles that could be taken. STC researchers and volunteers, who are based at STC's John H. Phipps Biological Field Station, continue to monitor nesting trends, growth rates and reproductive success begun by Dr. Archie Carr in the 1950s. We visit the field station in the afternoon.

We stay at the Manatus Lodge on a full board basis for 3-nights.

From July to September you can take an optional night tour to observe turtles nesting.

Tuesday, 12 December 2023

Exploring on foot and by boat

After breakfast, enjoy a guided walking tour through the trails. In the afternoon, we visit Tortuguero National Park, exploring the canals in small, open boats to allow a better visibility. 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 macaws, 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.

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

Arenal Volcano - 3 Nights

Day 5 - Drive to Arenal National Park

Day 6 - Arenal volcano trek and hot springs

Day 7 - Frio River tour

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Wednesday, 13 December 2023

Drive to Arenal National Park

Today take a scenic drive around Lake Arenal to your hotel in Arenal National Park for a 2-night stay on a bed and breakfast basis. Here, discover a great diversity of birds, mammals and lizards, as well as a large variety of plants. There is much on offer in this area, the most exciting observing the active Arenal Volcano at night where streams of red hot lava cascade down the mountainside.


Thursday, 14 December 2023

Arenal volcano trek and hot springs

Today we take a full day guided tour to explore the active Arenal Volcano. At 5437 feet, its tall and conical shape stands imposing over the pastured green hillsides. You will see extraordinary views during a gentle hike along the lower slopes of the colossus.

After the hike, enjoy a relaxing soak into the natural mineral waters of the Tabacon Hot Springs, the finish to a perfect day. Thanks to geothermal activity beneath Arenal, the area surrounding the volcano is home to a number of natural hot springs.

Friday, 15 December 2023

Frio River Tour

Today take a full day guided tour including a boat ride on the Frío River, starting at Los Chiles, a small town only 4 km from the Nicaraguan border. This river is part of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, a Ramsar site, where you will find one of the most diverse flora and fauna habitats in Costa Rica. Here, observe snake-birds, herons, cormorants and animals such as howlers, spiders or even white face monkeys, and three-toed sloth's. You can also see reptiles like caimans, Jesus Christ lizards and turtles.

Nayara Hotel & Gardens

Arenal Volcano Park - Deluxe Resort

Located in the outskirts of the Arenal Volcano, Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens provides a uniquely natural experience. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, each one of its 24 spacious casitas provides an exclusive retreat in which you can relax amidst the breathtaking view of the volcano. Interwoven with rich gardens its tropical grounds create the perfect setting to rest and enjoy nature. A large Jacuzzi and wet bar provide a place to rest after enjoying the various guided activities, including white water rafting, hiking, mountain biking, volcano treks, and hot springs. Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens offers a full service restaurant, where local ingredients blend with a world-class cuisine to provide an incomparable dining experience. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and boasts a direct view of the active volcano. 

Every (room) casita at the Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens has been designed to provide the utmost in comfort and style while maintaining a close connection with the natural surroundings. With the guests' experience in mind, Arenal Nayara offers a unique concept of individual casitas separated by lush tropical gardens. Each one of its large suite-size casitas provides independent space and privacy that includes a private backyard with an outdoor shower and a front balcony overlooking the volcano. For a full pampering experience select the Nayara Suites featuring in-room breakfast, bathrobe, and the best panoramic volcano view. Each of the casitas is equipped with a King or two full size beds, Plasma 27" Cable TV, DVD / CD Player, IPod Stand, Internet Access, Safe Box (Laptop capacity), Air Conditioning, private bathroom with hot water and rain shower, backyard with outside shower, in room "mini" bar service, coffee maker, front balcony overlooking the volcano with jacuzzi for two, high speed internet connection. Accommodation includes room and breakfast. 

Nayara Hotel & Gardens

Arenal Springs

Arenal Volcano Park - First Resort

Arenal Springs Resort is the ideal combination of modern comfort and exuberant tropical surrounding. The rooms are all in semi-detached bungalows spread over a wide area directly facing Arenal Volcano. Each room has a patio with seating, as well as air conditioning. The hotel also has its own hot springs, which feed into a number of hot tubs and pool of different temperatures, all of which guests can enjoy at their leisure. There is also a spa, a yoga studio, and two restaurants.

2043 Arenal Springs
Health 8

Guanacaste estancia experience - 2 Nights

Day 8 - Drive to your rural estancia

Day 9 - Wetlands Tour

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Saturday, 16 December 2023

Drive to your rural estancia

Today head north to Guanacaste National Park and check into Rancho Humo Estancia for a 2-night stay on a full board basis including a tour of the wetlands Located at the riverside of the Tempisque River, amidst mangroves, wetlands and dry forest converge, enjoy the facilities of the estancia as well as self-guided walks, horseback riding and yoga.

Sunday, 17 December 2023

Wetlands Tour

Today, enjoy a jeep tour exploring the wetlands, with its extraordinary wildlife. Hundreds of aquatic birds can be observed including Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, White and Tiger Herons, Anhingas, Neotropical Cormorants, Northern Jacanas and the Jabiru (the largest aquatic bird in America on the verge of extinction).

Rancho Humo Estancia

Guanacaste Beaches - Luxury Estancia

Located in a private reserve in Guanacaste and spread over 2642 acres of protected nature conserved lands,, the Rancho Humo Estancia is a place wildlife and birdwatching enthusiasts will find captivating. 

The Estancia was transformed from a cattle farm into a wetland conservation sanctuary where numnerous ecosystems, from mangroves to wetlands, dry tropical rainforest to pastures attract many birds such as herons, hawks, ducks spoonbills and the most exotic bird in Costa Rica - the Jabiru.

The Estancia offers a wide range of tours and excursions exploring the natural surroundings. An on your return enjoy top class meals in the restaurant (using local ingredients) and relax by the elegant swimming pool. The whole approach is underpinned with a sustainable philosophy.

The air-conditioned standard rooms, family rooms or junior suites all have TV, FREE Wi-Fi, coffee maker and safe.

The rooms are on a bed and breakfast basis.

Health 7

Nicoya Peninsula - 3 Nights

Day 10 - Travel to Nicoya Peninsula 

Day 11 - Exploring the nature reserve

Day 12 - Hikes and beaches 

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Monday, 18 December 2023

Travel to Nicoya Peninsula

Today, travel to Lagarta Lodge, located in an enviable position overlooking sandy beaches, coastal forest and two rivers entering the Pacific from the Nicoya Peninsula. We stay here for 3-nights on a bed and breakfast basis. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the fine facilities of the lodge including the two infinity pools and lush gardens. 

Tuesday, 19 December 2023

Exploring the nature reserve

As well as being a wonderful place to relax, Lagarta Lodge has a great selection of activities that can be arranged through the hotel, at extra cost. Take a guided tour of the nature reserve with a naturalist guide, or a wildlife spotting boat trip through the Mangrove forest to see the many wetlands bird species of the area. Nearby Ostional Beach is the world's 2nd largest nesting site for Olive Ridley Turtles. Their mass arrivals, called 'arribadas', mainly happen between July and December, and it is possible to see thousands of turtles arriving within 3 or 4 days to lay their eggs on the beach.

Wednesday, 20 December 2023

Hikes and protected beaches

At leisure. Relax on the beach, or enjoy one of the many available optional activities.

Lagarta Lodge

Nicoya Peninsula - First Boutique

Lagarta Lodge Hotel sits between two rivers on the Nicoya peninsula, with sandy beaches and woods to explore along the pacific shores of Costa Rica. With sustainability and social responsibility in mind Lagarta Lodge has its own private nature reserve of mangrove trees.

Public areas include the observation tower with panoramic vistas, a sun deck, restaurant and sunset bar with breathtaking views of the ocean to enjoy. The lodge also has two infinity pools, a spa and jacuzzi.

The 26 air-conditioned guest rooms include 11 Jungle suites, 8 Panorama suites and 7 Flor Blanca suites. Each has FREE WI-FI, safe, ceiling fan, king or queen size beds with luxurious bedding, terrace or balcony,  small fridge and coffee machine. 

The lodge can arrange many excursions and experiences, including guided hiking, nature tours, surfing, kayaks, boat tours, snorkelling, language courses and beach sports.

Rooms are on a bed and breakfast basis.

8676 Lagarta Lodge
San Jose

Return to San Jose & Fly Home - 0 Nights

Day 13 - Return flight to the UK

Day 14 - Arrive in the UK

  • Full Description

Thursday, 21 December 2023

Return flight to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.

Friday, 22 December 2023

Arrive in the UK

Arrive in the UK in the morning.

Price Guidelines

Season Low Season High Season
Travel Dates 31 Dec -19 Jul, 22 Aug-13 Dec 20 July - 21 Aug, 14 Dec- 30 Dec
Room Arrangement First First
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £4,082 £5,121

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

What's Included

  • 14 Days / 12 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

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READY - 4 December 2023

ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS: Friendly Wildlife & Culture

LANDMARK TOURS: Multi-Country & Cross Continent

COSTA RICA TOURS & LODGES: Rainforest Habitats

CLIPPER CRUISES: Stunning Traditional Tall Sailling Ships: Costa Rica, Barbados, Saint Martin

CHINAINDIA: Local Life, People & Unique Cultures

GUIDES by Veloso Tours, are the best Local Hosts

TRAVEL INSURANCE with extensive COVID-19 cover