Arenal, Puerto Viejo & Bocas del Toro
Costa Rica & Panama in 12 Days • 11 Nights in Destination
A nature-focused trip through two captivating Central American countries. Experience the views from the Arenal Volcano, the Caribbean charms of Puerto Viejo and the island paradise of Bocas del Toro.
Bask in the tropical paradises of Costa Rica and Panama on a wonderful journey from the rainforests of Arenal to the azure beaches of Bocas del Toro. Touch down in historic San José and explore the wildlife-rich rainforests that surround the majestic Arenal Volcano. In Puerto Viejo, soak up the Caribbean charms before crossing the border to fall in love with the paradise beaches of Bocas del Toro.
Arrive at your UK/Ireland departure airport to board a flight to San José.* Arrive in the capital of Costa Rica and transfer to your hotel. If time allows, get out and explore the vibrant neighbourhoods and colonial architecture of this charming, historic city. Overnight stay in San José.
* 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.
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, take a shared transfer to Arenal, passing by the lush landscapes of Costa Rica's interior. Arrive at the hotel and check-in. In the afternoon, meet your guide 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 can discover the abundant flora and fauna which inhabits the rainforest, which is being regenerated. Learn all about the Arenal Volcano and its history and activity from your guide. After the hike, you may choose to visit one of the popular hot springs in the area to relax and enjoy the thermal waters, which are naturally heated by the volcano (optional extra). Overnight stay in Arenal.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel and enjoy a day at your leisure to relax or explore. We recommend an optional excursion to La Fortuna Waterfall or, alternatively, explore the hanging-bridges of Arenal's cloud forest.* Whatever you choose to do, the beauty of the natural surroundings is sure to make for a memorable day! Overnight stay in Arenal.
* Optional Hanging Bridges Cloud Forest Excursion: 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. Take a 3km long route which consists of a combination of paths and 8 bridges, where you can explore the different layers of the cloud forest as well as the inhabitants of each of them from the ground up to the treetops.
*Optional Excursion to La Fortuna Waterfall: Explore the delights of the exotic rainforest as you take a guided hike to the impressive La Fortuna Waterfall. The well-kept walkways make this an accessible nature walk for most people, who will be rewarded with excellent views of the waterfall and the chance to take a dip in its crystalline waters.
Breakfast at the hotel. Free day to enjoy the tranquillity of this beautiful natural environment. We recommend an optional horseback ride excursion to explore the region in the traditional way.* 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. Lunch included.
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a laid-back morning at your leisure to relax or explore the local area. In the afternoon, set off towards the Atlantic Coast and to Puerto Viejo in the province of Limon. Know for its laid-back atmosphere, nightlife and great food and drinks scene, a stay in sunny Puerto Viejo is the perfect antidote to our busy lives. Arrive, transfer to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. Overnight stay in Puerto Viejo.
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, set off to the Cahuita National Park for an unforgettable nature hike where you can observe the local wildlife ranging from snakes to monkeys, racoons, butterflies and anteaters. Explore the 3.5 kilometres of natural trails between Punta Cahuita and Cahuita town with an expert guide, learning lots about the local animal and plant life along the way. Enjoy a traditional tropical fruit-based snack before returning to Puerto Viejo. The remainder of the day is free at your leisure. Overnight stay in Puerto Viejo.
Breakfast at the hotel. Set off early this morning to catch a shared transfer to the Sixaolo border between Panama and Costa Rica and across to the idyllic paradise of Bocas del Toro, taking the boat from Almirante to Isla Colon and continuing by road to your hotel. This gorgeous island chain, which stretches out into the Caribbean Sea, is a tropical wonderland of turquoise waters, lush rainforests and sandy atolls. Once settled at the hotel, enjoy the remainder of the day relaxing at your own pace. Overnight stay in Bocas del Toro.
Breakfast at the hotel. Begin the day by walking to the pier where the adventure begins as you set off on a boat tour to observe the dolphin pods that inhabit the waters around Bahia Honda. Continue to Cayo Coral where you'll have the chance the snorkel in the warm waters to explore the colorful underwater world and 'coral gardens'. Discover the gorgeous beaches of Cayo Zapatilla and stop at Sloth Island, where you can observe these notoriously lazy animals in their natural habitat. As the day draws to a close, return to Bocas del Toro and your hotel. Overnight stay in Bocas del Toro.
Please note: The order of the tour may differ depending on the weather. Snorkelling equipment included. The total duration of the tour will be between approximately 6 and 7 hours.
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a day at your leisure in Bocas del Toro. This is the perfect opportunity to kick-back on the beach and enjoy the tropical climate at your own pace. Tuck into the Caribbean cuisine that this region is famed for and soak up the laid-back atmosphere. Overnight stay in Bocas del Toro.
Breakfast at the hotel. It's time to return to Costa Rica this morning as you take a shared boat transfer back to Almirante and a shared road transfer to Puerto Viejo, crossing the border at Sixaola. Get settled at the hotel in Puerto Viejo and enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure, taking in the beautiful sea views. Overnight stay in Puerto Viejo.
Breakfast at the hotel. Take a shared transfer back to the capital, to spend your last night in San José. We suggest taking a stroll through this beautiful city or enjoying a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Alternatively, enjoy an optional City Bus Tour for a good overview of the city sights and a memorable end to your Costa Rican adventure.* Overnight stay in San José.
* Optional San José City Bus 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.
Breakfast at the hotel. It's time to bid farewell to beautiful Central America. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport to board your flight back to the UK/Ireland.* Arrive in the UK/Ireland and end your trip.
* If your return flight departs in the evening, your arrival in the UK/Ireland 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
LON - SJO
Pueblo de Bocas
Pueblo de Bocas
Pueblo de Bocas
SJO - LON
* 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
*In case the advertised hotels are not available they will be replaced by one of these alternative hotels with the same quality: Holiday Inn Aurola San Jose, Park Inn by Radisson San Jose.
Guided hike to the Arenal Volcano
Take a guided hiking excursion to the Mirador el Silencio to discover the abundant landscapes of the incredible Arenal Volcano! Discover the rich flora and fauna of the rainforest and learn about one of Costa Rica's most iconic natural wonders.
What's included: Transfer, bilingual guide, entrance to the park
Bahia Delfines, Cayo Coral and Cayo Zapatilla
Start the tour by visiting a tranquil bay where you can observe dolphins in their natural habitat. Next, snorkel in Cayo Coral, amidst a garden of coral. Finally, enjoy white sand, exotic beaches. Optional lunch in a restaurant overlooking the ocean.
What's included: Shared boat tour - Local captain - Tour of the places mentioned with a duration of approx. 6 hrs - Snorkeling equipment Not included: Lunch is not included.
Guided-Walk to the La Fortuna Waterfall
Enjoy a guided nature-walk through the rainforest to the La Fortuna waterfall, where you can swim in its clear waters. Your expert guide will help to point our the numerous plant and bird species along the way!
Cloud Forests Excursion
Take a 3km long route which consists of a combination of paths and 8 bridges, where you can explore the different layers of the cloud forest as well as the inhabitants of each of them from the ground up to the treetops.
What's included: Transfer - Bilingual guide - Entrance to the bridges
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.
What's included: Transportation - Bilingual guide - Equipment - Horseback riding
San Jose City Bus Tour
Embark on a city tour of the highlights of San Jose including the National Theatre, Art Museum, Metropolitan Cathedral and the charming Central Market, among other sights. Authentic Costa Rican dinner included.
What's included: VIP double-decker bus - Bottled water - Bilingual guide - Authentic dinner - Walking tours: National Theater Lobby, Art Museum, Central Market Shopping, Metropolitan Cathedral, Democracy Square, Central Avenue and National Monument.
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 with an English-speaking guide as indicated in the itinerary.See itinerary
- All air taxes and fuel surcharge.
- ATOL Protection.
- Dolphin-watching boat tour in Bahia Honda.
*The cancellation policy applicable is according to the Terms and Conditions available and agreed at the time of your purchase
Entrances*, drinks, tips, border taxes and costs ($9 per person departure tax when leaving Costa Rica) and any other services not mentioned in what's included.
* The excursion to Cayo Zapatilla and Cayo Coral does not include admission to Bastimentos National Park, which is $10 per person and must be paid at destination.
Rooms in Drivers Paradise hotel come with one double bed. If you require two twin beds there will be an additional supplement.
- Entry requirementsValid passport with at least six months validity.
- VisaVisa is not required for stays less than 90 days.
- CurrencyCosta Rican Colon
- Electricity110 V. Adapter required.
- HealthPlease consult your doctor regarding malaria prophylaxis.
- Time zoneUTC - 06:00
- Other useful informationLocal emergency number: 128
- Tourist Office websitehttps://www.visitcostarica.com/en
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 - 8 years.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office offer up-to-date travel advice by visiting www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
If you have reduced mobility/require the use of a wheelchair and prefer to go at your own pace, please contact our customer service team at +44 20 8068 3176 or via our contact form.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office offer up-to-date travel advice by visiting https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Exoticca Travel Stories
Creating unforgettable memories, one traveller at a time
Everything was great and on point.
Hotels, transportation and activities, everything was as shown in the itinerary. Great communication with the local guides onsite.