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Discovering Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a superb destination for biology tours, having both Pacific and Caribbean coasts, and with a remarkable array of flora and fauna in a compact and friendly country.

Here are more details of an example tour itinerary as a starting point, but at Kipling Tours, we can tailor-make any itinerary just for you.

Call or email us to start planning your trip

  • Day 1

    Fly to San Jose

    You depart from the UK this morning for the flight to Costa Rica. On arrival you will be met by your guide and then transfer to your hotel for dinner.

  • Day 2


    This morning you depart from San Jose and drive east towards the vast Tortuguero National Park.  (Tortuguero means ‘turtle’ in Spanish).  You reach a road head where you must leave the vehicles behind and transfer to motor launch for the remainder of the journey along the Tortuguero river to the town of the same name and your hotel.  In the afternoon there will be a guided walk to explore the local village.  You also visit the Caribbean Conservation Corporation’s Visitors’ Centre and Museum in Tortuguero which is filled with information on turtles, as well as on the flora and fauna in the area.  In the evening, after dinner, you head down to the beach for a night time opportunity to see the Giant Turtles nesting, laying their eggs or coming ashore, or depending on the season you may see the young baby turtles making their first venture into the waves. 

  • Day 3


    Today is a full day in Tortuguero. In the morning you go on a boat excursion on the canals to see the wildlife of the forests which comes down to the riverbank, including sloths, monkeys, great blue herons, iguanas and colourful lizards.  In the afternoon you go on a hiking tour in the forests on the El Gavilan Trail. The trail, which is about a mile long, starts at one of the park's three stations and takes you on a walk through the forests before bringing you to the beach. You will likely hear the calls of parrots, kingfishers, toucans and other birds on your walk. You might also see spider monkeys playing in the trees or iguanas resting on toppled logs.

    At the end of the trail, you will find yourself on the beach, where thousands of sea turtles come onto the beach between July and October to mate and lay their eggs before returning to the Caribbean. A short walk back along the beach gives you plenty of time to observe the turtles and take in the scenic seascape before you arrive back at the park station. If you're lucky, you might even witness the hatching of the newly-born turtles.

  • Day 4

    Travel to Arenal

    Today is a travel day.  This morning you transfer out of Tortuguero by boat and are reunited with your vehicle at Cano Blanco.  After lunch you then drive westwards to the Sarapiqui area where you visit a chocolate producer at the Tirimbina Rainforest Centre. You can see the entire process unfold, from harvesting beans though to the final product. This is no sterile factory tour – you learn first hand how ancient Aztecs and Mayans invented chocolate from raw cacao. You go in search of chocolate beans and in the middle of the rain forest you reach a small outdoor classroom where your guide will show you how cacao fruits are broken open, exposing their beans. A fermentation process of the beans soon begins, and eventually the beans are dried and ground down before being turned into chocolate that you can eat. Tasting is optional but encouraged! You then continue by road to the Arenal Volcano area and your hotel in La Fortuna.  Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant and there will also be a walking tour of La Fortuna town.

  • Day 5

    Malekus Community & Baldi Hot Springs

    This morning you travel to the Indian community of Palenque Tonjibe where you will be greeted warmly. After a short presentation, you go on a hike through the village to learn about their customs including how they bury their dead, the way they build their houses, and their art and crafts which provide them with their main means of income. You also learn about the use of cocoa in their farming. You continue your hike through a trail in the forest where you learn about medicinal plants that their ancestors used, and how they are currently benefitting from them. At the end you will be treated to a dance presentation with native Maleku language and ceremonial dress, followed by a traditional Maleku meal for lunch.

    In the afternoon you return to La Fortuna and to the nearby hot springs at Baldi.  Situated beneath the Arenal volcano, Baldi has a variety of different hot springs ascending in temperature and situated amidst green, verdant forests and is a wonderful place to take in the fabulous views of Arenal.  There are also a number of waterslides to enjoy. Dinner this evening will be at Baldi before returning to your hotel.

  • Day 6

    Arenal Hanging Bridges

    This morning you start the day with the Arenal Hanging Bridges Tour. This involves a series of suspension bridges and walkways which go through the canopy allowing you to get up close to the upper elevations of the forest.  Your guide will point out lizards, frogs, birds, snakes and monkeys and give you a great history and biology lesson at the same time.

    After lunch you depart from the Arenal area and drive south for 4 hours to the Monteverde National Park and you hotel accommodation. Depending on your arrival time there may be time to do the Santa Elena Cloud Forest hike. Otherwise it will be scheduled for the following day. Dinner this evening will be at your hotel.

  • Day 7

    Monteverde Zip Line

    In the morning you you do the famous Monteverde zip line canopy tour.  This involves a series of high wires which you zoom along through the forests whilst clipped into a harness.  The activity is supervised by experienced guides and all safety equipment is provided. The zip line tour is undoubtedly one of the highlights of any trip to Costa Rica. After lunch you walk through the Santa Elena cloud forest, exploring a lush garden of mosses, ferns and flowers growing thickly on every tree. Clouds drift in and settle among the slopes, providing the plants with the continuous moisture, whilst dangling roots and vines sweep across the trails. All around the the sounds of birds and other creatures echo throughout the forest. Dinner this evening is at your hotel.

  • Day 8

    Depart San Jose

    This morning you transfer to the airport for your homeward flight which departs in the afternoon and arrives the following morning.

  • Day 9

    Arrive Home

    Your flight arrives back in the UK today.

Prices start from

£1995 for a 9 day tour

Full board basis.  We include a full time local guide, all admissions and activities, and all local transfers by private coach

includes flights

  • Country Inn and Suites - San Jose

    Convenient 4 star hotel close to the main airport

    The Country Inn and Suites is located close to San Jose’s international airport and is the perfect place to rest and relax after the long flight.  The hotel has 92 air-conditioned rooms, all with large bathrooms with shower. The hotel grounds are surrounded by tropical plants and there are two swimming pools.

  • Pachira Lodge

    Relaxed lodge on the edge of Tortuguero National Park

    The Pachira Lodge is located on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica and is just 5 minutes from the Tortuguero National Park’s main entrance.  The lodge has thirty four comfortable rooms furnished with bamboo furniture and all with private bathrooms, and there is also a turtle-shaped swimming pool.

  • Cipreses Hotel

    In the heart of the Monteverde Cloud Forest

    The Hotel Cipreses is centrally located in Monteverde just five minutes’ drive from the National Park. The hotel boasts delightful and extensive gardens, whilst all the rooms have a fan, dining area, cable TV and a terrace with garden views. The bathrooms have a shower and free toiletries. The on-site restaurant serves regional Costa Rican cuisine.

  • Monte Real Hotel

    Perfectly located hotel at the foot of Arenal Volcano

    Situated in the town of La Fortuna, the Monte Real Hotel offers easy access to the sights of the Arenal region including the volcano itself and the hot springs at Baldi.   The hotel borders the scenic Rio Burio where visitors can escape into a forest to view colourful birds and iguanas, or relax by the poolside.

  • Playa Bejuco Hotel

    Family run hotel close to the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antono National Park

    The Hotel Playa Bejuco is located on the Central Pacific Coastline between the popular destinations of Jaco Beach and Manuel Antonio National Park. Situated by a small fishing village, the hotel is  just steps away from the ocean. There are well-maintained grounds including a tropical garden, beautiful pool, and open-air restaurant serving both lunch and dinner.

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