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Costa Rica Wildlife

A “Naturally” Thrilling Tropical Adventure

Overview

Costa Rica is a tropical realm with lush swaths of cloud forest, mangroves, volcanoes, and pristine beaches sheltered in world-famous parks and reserves. With our expert naturalist Trip Leader, we head out for nature walks in renowned Monteverde Cloud Forest, whose terrain supports six ecological zones, follow hanging bridges high in the forest below Arenal Volcano, and soar through the cloud forest on a zip line. In Tortuguero National Park, one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America, we glide through waterways that shelter fascinating wildlife, from manatees to three-toed sloths. Charming lodges give us a warm welcome in this natural wonderland.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
San José / Monteverde Cloud Forest

Set at a cool 4,700 feet, Monteverde is a pioneering private nature reserve established almost four decades ago and home to an array of tropical avians including the resplendent quetzal, sacred bird of the Maya and Aztecs. In the reserve’s Jardin de las Mariposas, we discover more than 40 species of butterflies. At nearby Aguti Wildlife Reserve, with its towering old-growth trees, we take a guided night walk with a spotlight to learn about cloud forest habitats and see nocturnal wildlife from armadillos to two-toed sloths.

Hotel Bougainvillea
San Jose, Costa Rica
Day 1 (1 night), Day 8 (1 night)
Monteverde Lodge
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Days 2 to 3 (2 nights)
Days 4-5
Arenal Volcano

A perfect cone rising 5,300 feet from gentle green hills, Arenal is one of the most iconic volcanoes in the Americas. We cross hanging bridges in the park, explore the high rainforest canopy below the volcano, hike to the base of La Fortuna, an impressive waterfall, and enjoy Arenal views from our boutique resort hotel.

Lost Iguana Resort and Spa
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
Days 4 to 5 (2 nights)
Days 6-9
Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero protects more than 50,000 acres along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. In this emerald world, we head out by boat to explore a maze of tranquil blackwater canals overhung with rainforest. They provide a rich habitat for caimans, manatees, monkeys, three-toed sloths, river otters, and dazzling birdlife including all six species of kingfishers found in the New World. Our riverside lodge offers us fantastic access to this wildlife haven. Depart on Day 9 via San José or join one of our extensions.

Tortuga Lodge
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Hotel Bougainvillea
San Jose, Costa Rica
Day 8 (1 night)

Highlights

Highlights

Boat in pristine rainforest, hike through cloud forest, walk along hanging bridges, optional zip line through a treetop canopy
Monteverde Cloud Forest, with its paths draped in orchids and bromeliads
Arenal Volcano’s inviting thermal springs and waterfalls
Tortuguero National Park, a rainforest realm of caimans, spider monkeys, and toucans
Our fantastic naturalist Trip Leader shares in-depth knowledge of Costa Rica’s ecosystems

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $4995  
Arrive: San Jose, Costa Rica
Depart: San Jose, Costa Rica
Lodging: 4 nights hotels, 4 nights well-appointed lodges in beautiful settings
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History, Walking
Trip Level:

Easy forest hikes and nature walks, optional zip lines

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