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Costa Rica in 12 Days

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Rainforests, Volcanoes & Tropical Beaches

Alex, Travel Expert


Our classic tour of Costa Rica, from the magnificent Arenal volcano to the rainforests of Monteverde and the laid-back beaches of Tamarindo.

Trip Highlights
San José
All flights
All transfers.
Breakfast only
Departures Available
until December 2022
From + £ 420
Categories available
semi luxury
From + £ 500
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Discover the abundant nature of Costa Rica and enjoy the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. Stroll through the historic streets of San Jose, discover the rich diversity of the country's rainforests and feel the strength of the Arenal Volcano. Explore the abundant cloud forests of lush Monteverde and enjoy the Guanacaste sunshine in the tropical paradise of Tamarindo. 

1st Day: UK/Ireland - San José

Arrive at your UK departure airport to board a flight to San José*. Arrive in the capital of Costa Rica and transfer to your hotel. Overnight stay in San Jose.

* If either your outbound or inbound flights depart in the early hours (before 4:00 a.m.) you must arrive at the airport the night before the indicated departure day.


2nd Day: San José - Arenal

Breakfast at the hotel. Set off early in the morning towards Arenal, passing by the lush landscapes of the interior of the country. Arrive and check-in to the hotel. In the afternoon, meet your guide in the hotel lobby and embark on a guided hike to the Arenal Volcano. Enjoy a hiking experience through trails marked with the remains of previous lava flows of the impressive and majestic Arenal Volcano. The main attraction of La Fortuna is the Arenal Volcano with its nearly perfect cone shape and a height of 1633 meters. Along the hike you will discover the abundant flora and some fauna which inhabits the rainforest under re-generation; your guide will tell you all about the Arenal Volcano history and activity. After the hike, you may choose two different options to experience the popular hot springs in the area to relax in the warm waters, heated by the volcano (optional extras).* Overnight stay in Arenal.

* Thermal Hot Springs in Tabacón: Enjoy one of the main natural wonders of the country with waterfalls that form natural pools whose thermal waters emerge directly from the impressive and active Arenal Volcano. Dinner included. 

* Paradise Hot Springs Pass: Enjoy an evening of indulgence with a pass to the Paradise Natural Hot Springs, heated by the Arenal Volcano. Enjoy access to three different hot pools and two hydromassage hot tubs, perfect for relaxing in the beautiful tropical surroundings. 

3rd Day: Arenal

Breakfast at the hotel. Set off for an exciting morning of rainforest activity. Enjoy a Hanging Bridges Excursion through the lush, abundant rainforest of Arenal. Admire the beauty of the forest and the backdrop of the Arenal Volcano and gain valuable insight into the native plant and animal species from your expert guide. Return to the hotel and enjoy an afternoon at your leisure, exploring at your own pace or relaxing in the abundant hot springs. Overnight stay in Arenal.

4th Day: Arenal

Breakfast at the hotel. Free day to enjoy the tranquillity of this beautiful natural environment. We recommend the optional horseback ride excursion.* Overnight stay in Arenal.

Optional Half-Day Horseback Ride Excursion: Set off on a scenic horseback ride to appreciate the beauty of nature and the sounds, colour and energy of the rainforest. Ascend to a viewpoint where you will have an impressive view of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. Also, enjoy a brief walking tour to one of the park's suspension bridges. Lunch included. 

5th Day: Arenal - Monteverde

Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, set off towards Monteverde, travelling along the banks of Lake Arenal for breathtaking views of the volcano. Cross the lake on a shared boat service*and continue by road for the remainder of the journey. Arrive in Monteverde, one of the richest and diverse rainforests in the world, home to extensive trails, abundant wildlife including several monkey species, and astounding natural beauty. Check-in to the hotel and enjoy an afternoon at your leisure. Overnight stay in Monteverde. 

Please note: The shared boat service across the lake may be replaced by a road transfer around the shore of Lake Arenal.

6th Day: Monteverde

Breakfast at the hotel. Get up close to the wildlife of Costa Rica this morning on an excursion to Monteverde Cloud Forest. Explore the rich cloud forests and extensive nature trails of Monteverde Cloud Forest. Observe wildlife ranging from jaguars to butterflies and quetzals as you traverse a number of different trails through 8 different ‘life-zones’ ranging from swamps to cloud forests. In the afternoon, return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. We recommend an optional Canopy Tour.* Overnight stay in Monteverde.

Optional Monteverde Canopy Tour: Explore the canopy on one of the longest cables in the country and cross suspension bridges and zip lines of more than 900 feet high, from where you can explore the treetops and the wide biological diversity of the rainforest. We recommend wearing long trousers, a light jacket and comfortable shoes. 

7th Day: Monteverde

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy the day at your leisure, relaxing in the tranquil surroundings or exploring the diverse eco-system of this magical place. As the sun sets, set off on a Night Walk in Monteverde. Discover the abundant wildlife of Monteverde as you take several different trails around the well-preserved reserve. Your guide will provide you with the necessary equipment for the best chance of spotting the unique wildlife in the reserve, especially the hard to spot nocturnal species. After an evening of exciting wildlife spotting, return to the hotel. Overnight stay in Monteverde. 

8th Day: Monteverde - Tamarindo

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Tamarindo, in the province of Guanacaste, known for its beautiful beaches and surfing. Arrive at the hotel and begin to enjoy your stay surrounded by idyllic beaches, bathed in Guanacaste sunshine. Overnight stay in Tamarindo.

9th Day: Tamarindo

Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning enjoy a boat safari in Las Baulas National Park to discover the unique flora and fauna which inhabit the lush mangroves. Look out for noisy howler monkeys, crocodiles and iguanas, whilst appreciating the colourful birdlife above. Slowly travel along the channels, so as not to disturb the wildlife, and admire the wonderful natural beauty of the reserve. Return to the hotel and the remainder of the day is at your leisure to relax on the paradise beaches of the Pacific Coast. Overnight stay in Tamarindo.

10th Day: Tamarindo

Breakfast at the hotel. Free day to enjoy this tropical Costa Rican paradise located on the Pacific North Coast, with dreamy beaches bathed by the Guanacaste sun. We recommend an optional morning Catamaran Tour.* Overnight stay in Tamarindo.

* Optional Catamaran Tour: Set off in the morning on a relaxing catamaran tour. The route is the same as the afternoon but with much less boat traffic. Look out for marine life such as whales, dolphins and rays, and enjoy snorkelling in the clear waters. Buffet brunch included. 

11th Day: Tamarindo - San José

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer back to the capital, to spend your last night in San José. We suggest taking a stroll through this beautiful city, visiting the National Theatre of Costa Rica or enjoying a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. For a great overview of the city, we recommend an optional city tour of San Jose.* Overnight stay in San José.

* Optional San Jose City Tour: Visit the most prominent sights of the city such as the National Theater, the Art Museum, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the charming Central Market, among other places. Traditional dinner included. 

12th Day: San José - UK/Ireland

Breakfast at the hotel. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport to board your flight* back to the UK. Arrive in the UK and end your trip.

* If your return flight departs in the evening, your arrival in the UK will be the following day and the total duration of your trip will be 13 days.

12 days trip including flights*

12 days and 11 nights in destination



San José




















San José



* It may change depending of your departure city, departure date and arrival date.

The calendar does not display internal flights, trains or other transportation included in the itinerary.

Accommodation: 11 Nights

Select your hotel category:

Available Activities

Activities availability is subject to departure dates and itinerary selected.
See the price of optional activities after selecting the date in the next step

Arenal: Thermal Baths Excursion Tabacón

Enjoy a dip in the thermal water which rises directly from the impressive and active volcano Arenal. Dinner and transfer included.
Suggested activity for day 2

Half-Day Horse Riding Excursion

Set off on a scenic horseback ride to appreciate the beauty of nature and the sounds, colour and energy of the rainforest. Ascend to a viewpoint where you will have an impressive view of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal.
Suggested activity for day 4

Monteverde Canopy High Ropes Tour

Explore the canopy on one of the longest cables in the country and cross suspension bridges and zip lines of more than 900 feet high, from where you can explore the treetops and the wide biological diversity of the rainforest.
Suggested activity for day 6
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The price includes

  • Included in all our trips. more information
  • Departures from main UK/Ireland airports.
  • International flights: UK/Ireland - San José - UK/Ireland.
  • 11 nights accommodation in Charm and Superior category hotels.
    See hotels included
  • 11 Breakfasts.
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Visits and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary with an English speaking guide.
    See itinerary
  • All air taxes and fuel surcharge.
  • Boat Safari in the Tamarindo Estuary.
  • Exclusive access to Langosta Beach Club. *
    more information
  • ATOL Protection.

Not included

Drinks, tips and any other services not mentioned in what's included. 

* As a guest of Wyndham Tamarindo you have exclusive access to Langosta Beach Club, located in Tamarindo, on the road to Playa Langosta.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office offer up-to-date travel advice by visiting

  • Entry requirements
    Valid passport with at least six months validity.
  • Visa
    Visa is not required for stays less than 90 days.
  • Currency
    Costa Rican Colon
  • Language
  • Electricity
    110 V. Adapter required.
  • Health
    Please consult your doctor regarding malaria prophylaxis.
  • Time zone
    UTC - 06:00
  • Other useful information
    Local emergency number: 128
  • Tourist Office website

Remember to download your e-ticket to confirm the times of your flights and to complete online check-in using the airline’s website, or directly at the check-in desk at the airport.

Accommodation at the hotels is as indicated. In the event of any changes to accommodation, they will always be of the same, or a higher category. The category of hotels is not standardized across all countries in the world. For this reason, the criteria may differ depending on the destination country's own standards.

In the case of adverse weather conditions, for safety reasons or for any other reasons deemed appropriate, the order and duration of the excursions included in the itinerary may be changed or cancelled without prior notice.

Children: 2 - 10 years.


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