Sandy Beaches and Jungle Costa Rica Tour
This authentic Costa Rica tour will enable you to experience first-hand the cultural and natural beauty that symbolises the country and its stunning Osa Peninsula. You will go off-the-beaten path and actively support local rural communities, with the opportunity to explore the most incredible national parks and protected areas along the way. During this tour of Costa Rica, you will also get to experience unbelievable nature and pristine beaches.
- Discover San José and stay in a charming hotel in the heart of the city
- Plunge yourself into the lush and magical rainforest of Corcovado National Park
- Observe incredible marine wildlife during a day trip to the magical Caño Island
- Enjoy a hike in a natural reserve with the rural community of Playa Hermosa
- Relax and enjoy on the white sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park
This is a private tour, but you will have guided excursions that can be either private or as part of a small group. The price displayed is per person based on two people sharing. All of our tours can be tailor-made to suit your interests and requirements.
This Costa Rica tour is designed for those with an adventurous spirit and love of nature. It takes travellers off the beaten path to some truly stunning locations, and brings them into contact with amazing nature, incredibly friendly people and authentic local culture.
The tour starts in the capital city, San José, where travellers will have time to rest and acclimatise depending on their time of arrival into the country. The next morning we will start by visiting one of the best preserved rainforests in the world. The Osa Peninsula is home to the Corcovado National Park, which has the greatest variety of plants and animals of any national park in Costa Rica. It is a place that is crowned by National Geographic as one of the ‘Biologically Most Intense Places on Earth’. Its tropical forests are considered to be the richest in Central America. The Osa Peninsula is a fascinating destination, with no mass tourism. On top of that you will discover the Caño Island, an ancient sacred place and with an abundance of marine wildlife.
Next, we move along the Pacific Coast to reach Uvita and Marino Ballena National Park, where you will enjoy great activities such as dolphin and whale watching, hiking in nature reserves and cultural activities with the rural community of Playa Hermosa.
Finally, do you know those places that look like a picture from a post card? Manuel Antonio beaches and National Park offer you a breathtaking tropical environment, no wonder why it is a top destination in Costa Rica. Here you can enjoy the white sand beaches, and be surrounded by incredible amounts of wildlife: white faced capuchins, Morpho butterflies, toucans, to name but a few!
Day 1: Welcome to San José (-/-/-)
Flight to San José, Costa Rica. Welcome reception and transfer from the airport to a well located hotel (approx. 1 hour). On the way to the hotel, our driver will give you all the tips and recommendations to make the most out of your trip in Costa Rica.
Day 2: San José to Drake Bay (B/L/D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a 50-minute flight to Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula, in the South Pacific Coast. On arrival, transfer to a beautiful and well located ecolodge, where you will enjoy a welcome lunch. In the afternoon you will have time to explore the area and to walk around the property trails. Dinner will be served after sunset.
Day 3: Corcovado National Park Day-trip (B/BL/-)
After breakfast, your captain and guide will be ready to take you to San Pedrillo national park ranger station, where a hiking tour starts within Corcovado National Park (small group excursion). Here you will have the chance to admire many species of wildlife such as monkeys, scarlet macaws and toucans. Your guide will explain about this primary forest and will try to point you as many animals as possible. A box lunch will be served during the excursion. You will be back at the ecolodge in the afternoon. Free evening.
Day 4: Caño Island Day-trip (B/BL/-)
Today your captain and guide will be ready to sail with you to Caño Island (small group excursion). This is an excellent spot for snorkelling and the observation of marine wildlife such as dolphins, sharks and may be even whales. A box lunch will be served on the island, Then we will explore the island's trails, which lead along the dense forest above the coastal cliffs and sandy beaches. One trail passes by a pre-Columbian sacred site. The objects found here are displayed at the ranger station. You will be back at the ecolodge in the afternoon. Optional: add scuba diving to the excursion.
Day 5: Drake Bay to Sierpe to Marino Ballena NP (B/-/-)
After early breakfast, pick-up for a beautiful private boat ride through the mangroves and the rivers’ mouth to Sierpe, with a naturalist guide who will teach you all about the flora and fauna of this incredible ecosystem (approx. 3 hours). On arrival to Sierpe, you will take a shared shuttle service to Uvita (approx. 1 hour), located right next to Marino Ballena National Park. Check-in at a well located hotel with beach access. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening.
Day 6: Discover Playa Hermosa and surroundings (B/L/-)
After breakfast, go on a full-day private excursion to the community of Playa Hermosa, 30-min from Uvita. In the morning, you will go on a guided hike to Playa Hermosa Reserve, which is a singular example of the community members’ efforts to focus on protection from poaching and deforestation. Once you are at El Mirador, enjoy the marvellous view of the Marino Ballena National Park and its tombolo, a perfect tale whale. Then enjoy a homemade lunch back to the community. In the afternoon, you will have a medicinal plant workshop at the community, and then a cacao tour with chocolate tasting. Free evening back to Uvita.
Optional: Replace this day trip by a visit to a Boruca indigenous community: Once at Territorio Indígena de Boruca (Bruncajc), a local bilingual tour guide will lead the group to a downtown tour, in order to experience the ancestral and modern lifestyle of the local people. You will then get to the Comunitario Indígena Boruca Museum, which is managed by the Regional and Community-based Museums Program of the Costa Rica’s National Museum, and is maintained by the Artesanos y Artesanas La Flor Association, as a means to keep the bond between the past, present and future of its community. It is in an effort to preserve their cultural and natural heritage, and also a way to keep their lifestyle, knowledge, traditions, identity and values. Then we will visit the Boruca Waterfalls, an ancestral sacred place known as the door to Cuasrán’s house (legendary man figure, in the brunka language) where the tour guide will share this legend. A traditional lunch with seasonal food will be given to the visitors at one of the shelters of the Asociación de Turismo y Arte Auténtico So Cagrú. After that, a wood carving, paint and history of the Borucan’s masks workshop will be given, allowing each visitor the opportunity to paint a small mask and take it home as a souvenir of the visit to the indigenous territory. Art crafts can also be purchased directly from the local artisans.
Day 7: Uvita to Manuel Antonio (B/-/-)
Free morning. Optional: go dolphin and whale watching to Marino Ballena NP. Humpback whales are seen in two well defined seasons from December to March and from July to October. The half-day tour goes through the Marino Ballena National Park, Isla Ballena, Las Rocas Tres Hermanas, Cavernas Ventanas, and the Tómbolo of Punta Uvita. Around noon, shared shuttle service to Manuel Antonio (approx. 1 hour). The epitome of Costa Rican paradise, Manuel Antonio offers arguably the most breathtaking view of the Central Pacific coast. Its beautifully lush tropical cliffs and white sand beaches have turned its National Park into one of Costa Rica’s main tourist attractions. Spend the afternoon at the beautiful beach. Accommodation is at a well located hotel in Manuel Antonio.
Day 8: Manuel Antonio National Park (B/-/-)
Today you will take a full-day private excursion to the Manuel Antonio National Park. Once in the park, your guide will take you along the easy trails and will teach you about the vegetation, the birds and the animals that live here. Several species of monkeys, iguanas, birds and possibly even the three-toed sloth can be seen. After this walk you can simply relax and enjoy the beach, sunbathe, or take another stroll around the park's trails, which will allow you to observe Manuel Antonio’s abundant flora and fauna once more. Manuel Antonio NP is a small yet super bio-diverse national treasure and on this tour you’ll be able to learn about its wildlife. Free evening back to the hotel.
Day 9: Manuel Antonio to San José (B/-/D)
Free time in the morning to enjoy the beach. Around noon, return to San José in shared shuttle service (approx. 3.5 hours) and check in at a well located hotel. In the evening, get ready for a stunning foodie experience. We will take you on a farm-to-table food tour in trendy Barrio Escalante, to discover innovative and traditional Costa Rican cuisine. During this 5-hour private walking tour, you will enjoy a 7-course dinner and visit 4 locations: a coffee shop for a coffee workshop, two restaurants, and a cocktail room for a mixology workshop. Each dish is prepared with fresh products that are all sourced from ingredients grown within the country, and the local chefs will explain to you the concept of each dish, as well as the modern twist they have added to the country's food scene with each of their restaurants. Note: You could take the foodie tour for lunch next day, instead.
Day 10: San José to home (B/-/-)
Free day. Consider adding a half-day city tour, a day trip to a volcano (Irazu or Poas) or a foodie tour. At scheduled time, transfer to the airport for your flight back home. End of tour.
- Trip duration: 10 days
- Countries visited: Costa Rica
Adventure: Accommodation in hostels (always in a private room) and B&Bs, and sometimes in hammocks, rustic cabins or tents. Internal transport is overland rather than by plane wherever possible.
Note: this is a guideline; please refer to the tour detailed description for what is and is not included.
- Level of difficulty: Medium
2 nights in a hotel in San Jose, 3 nights in an ecolodge in Drake Bay, 2 nights in a charming hotel in Uvita, 2 nights in a hotel in Manuel Antonio
- Transport: Plane, private car, boat
- Meals included: 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
Percentage of cost going to local communities:
- Bilingual guide: Available in English, French or Spanish
- Extra services:
You will be greeted at the airport on arrival by a local guide who will take you to your hotel and will be able to answer any questions, make any additional arrangements and generally ensure everything goes smoothly.
No minimum number of passengers required. Prices quoted are per person and based on at least 2 people travelling. You should expect a cheaper price for bigger groups.
Your passport is required at time of booking. For information on visa requirements, immunisations and health formalities please visit the FCO Travel Advice Website (for UK citizens) and US Travel Advice website (for US citizens).
Information on money changing in each destination, as well as what it is customary to tip for various services, will be provided.
This tour of Costa Rica has a medium level of physical difficulty and participants can choose to do as much or as little as they like. If you have any concerns or require special arrangements please let us know when sending your travel request.
What to bring: Travel insurance, passport, binoculars, alarm clock, walking shoes, water bottle, daypack, sun protection, insect repellent, sun glasses and hat, swimwear, flip-flops, torch with extra batteries, comfortable light cotton shirts with long and short sleeves, comfortable trousers made of cotton or a light synthetic material (bring at least two sets of light clothes which can be washed and dried easily), shorts, rain coat, plastic ziplock bags, plastic bags for your luggage in case of rain.
- Best time to travel: Costa Rica has two seasons: Rainy Season (May - November) and Dry Season (December – April). December to April and July to August have very good weather. September to November is a great time to visit the Caribbean Coast.
- Extra budget recommended: Around £300 / $350 pp to cover all meals, snacks & expenses not included in the in the tour.
- What is included: Domestic flight. Accommodation. Airport transfers. Ground transport. Entrance fees to sites of interest, museums and national parks as described. English speaking guides for the activities. Drivers. All breakfasts and some meals (L= Lunch, D= Dinner). Fees for activities in the itinerary. Contribution to the social projects visited.
- What is not included: International flights. Travel insurance. Alcoholic drinks. Additional meals or snacks. Travel within and around each town. Visa fees (if any). Tips. Souvenirs. Airport departure tax.
Sandy Beaches and Jungle Costa Rica Tour
£ 1,180 GBP
This Costa Rica tour takes you through different natural wonders, visiting unique rural communities along the way. Start in Corcovado National Park and continue on the South Pacific Coast to Uvita, Marino Ballena National Park and Playa Hermosa. At the end, relax on the beaches of Manuel Antonio. As you travel along the Pacific Ocean, you’ll visit pristine beaches, lush tropical forests and incredible rainforests, spotting amazing wildlife and meeting the amazing people that live there.