- Arenal volcano
See how Arenal’s past eruptions have shaped the land on a lava trail walk.
- In the treetops
As you explore on foot, don’t forget to look up to spot sloths and monkeys.
- Jungle nature walk
Take a walk on the wild side and get closer to the local flora and fauna.
- Peñas Blancas river floating
Keep an eye out for a variety of bird species as you cruise through the jungle by raft.
Get ready for the glorious natural paradise of Costa Rica with its rich wildlife & tropical landscapes
Not only is the coast rich in Costa Rica, the vast rainforests and verdant countryside are too. This is where you’ll find the idyllic locally rated 4-star Tilajari Resort Hotel (3Q+), set in 35 acres of tropical gardens on the San Carlos river. From this base in the heart of a diverse ecosystem, where rivers meander through fertile plantations and unspoilt wilderness, you can experience all the area’s natural glory.
Here in the Alajuela province, you’ll be surrounded by the sights and sounds of the rainforest with dazzling greenery and an array of spectacular birdlife. The region is naturally lush and fertile where family farmers work in harmony with nature as you will see when you visit a traditional ‘finca’ farm. You’ll take a trip along winding rivers – the very best way of spotting the wildlife usually hidden by the trees. There is so much to enjoy on your doorstep it will be a wrench to head off elsewhere, but the rewards are great as you first catch sight of the Arenal volcano rising out of the jungle, before walking its lava trails. Although enveloped by nature, you’ll also get a taste of real life (and coffee!) at a local country house and with plenty of cultural insight from the convivial host at your hotel.
11 nights in hotels and one night aboard aircraft
32 meals: 11 breakfasts (B), 10 lunches (L) and 11 dinners (D)
Free bar up to 12 hours daily serving local drinks
Plus all this...
- Return flights and transfers
- Nature walks
- Local speciality dinner
- Talk on Costa Rica once per stay
- Butterfly centre visit
- Botanical garden walk
Excursions and visits
- Don Juan’s farm (half day)
- River safari (half day)
- Arenal Volcano lava trails (half day)
- Sarapiqui safari (full day)
- Jungle Walk (half day)
Use of audio headsets on guided tours
- Day 1 UK to San José
- Day 2 San José-Muelle de San Carlos
- Day 3 Organic farm visit
- Day 4 River safari
- Day 5 At leisure
- Day 6 Sarapiqui
- Day 7 At leisure
- Day 8 Arenal volcano walk
- Day 9 Jungle walk
- Day 10 - 11 At leisure
- Day 12 Muelle de San Carlos-San José-UK
- Day 13 UK
Hotel Barcelo Jose
Tilajari Resort Hotel
Day 1 UK to San José
After enjoying your VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly from the UK to the Costa Rican capital San José, where you’ll stay the night at the locally rated 4-star Hotel Barcelo Jose (4Q). D
Day 2 San José-Muelle de San Carlos
After breakfast you’ll leave the city and travel to the locally rated 4-star Tilajari Resort Hotel (4Q) in Muelle de San Carlos, arriving around noon. B, L, D
Day 3 Organic farm visit
You’ll visit a small organic farm owned by Don Juan who will show the group around his lush plantations and tell you about the different fruits and vegetables that grow there. He also mills his own sugar cane, and while your lunch of local produce is prepared, you’ll have a chance to try some cane juice and cane pieces, and a shot of sugar cane liquor known as ‘güaro’. You’ll return to your hotel after lunch where your afternoon is at your leisure. B, L, D
Day 4 River safari
This morning you’ll get a closer look at the natural surroundings with a river safari down the scenic Río Peñas Blancas. Keep an eye out for some of the species that make this area home, including sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, monkeys, as well as birds such as herons, egrets and kingfishers.
Your guide will explain the tropical flora and fauna along the river banks, and point out sightings of tropical birds. During the journey, there will be a stop for a reviving Costa Rican coffee with one of the local farmers. After the safari, you can spend the afternoon as you please. B, L, D
Day 5 At leisure
Now that you’re familiar with your surroundings and the hotel, what you do today is up to you! Perhaps enjoy some leisurely birdwatching from the terrace overlooking the river whilst enjoying the free bar. B, L, D
Day 6 Sarapiqui
There’s a terrific day in store in Sarapiqui, one of the most biodiverse regions in Costa Rica with over 500 species of bird and over 150 animals to be spotted. It is verdant and fertile which means you’ll see cocoa, coffee, corn and spices being grown.
During a river trip you can admire the lush surroundings where you may glimpse the rare green macaw, as this area is one of its last remaining habitats. B, L, D
Day 7 At leisure
Today is free for you to explore for yourself or relax.
Alternatively, you can join an optional excursion to the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. B, L, D
Day 8 Arenal volcano walk
Half an hour away is the stunning Arenal volcano rising majestically out of the rainforest.
In the shadow of this perfect cone peak, you’ll walk some of the fascinating lava trails from past eruptions through the tropical national park. At only a few thousand years old, Arenal is a relatively young volcano, and is considered to be one of the most active volcanos in the world – although its last eruption was in 1968. You’ll be able to see the lasting legacy of Arenal’s eruptions, which have altered the topography in the area. The walk through the fields is fairly easy going, but the trail will get steeper as you head further into the rainforest. B, L, D
Day 9 Jungle walk
Set off on a jungle walk through the tropical rainforest that borders the hotel. B, L, D
Day 10 - 11 At leisure
The last few days of your holiday are yours to enjoy, and there is lots for you to still see and do – or ‘not do’ if you prefer!
There is also an optional excursion to return to the paradise of Arenal National Park for a cable car ride and jungle canopy zip wire trek for those who are feeling truly adventurous. B, L, D
Day 12 Muelle de San Carlos-San José-UK
After breakfast, travel to San José for your overnight flight back to the UK. B
Day 13 UK
Arrive back in the UK and to your included VIP door-to-door travel service home.
Caño Negro Wildlife refuge boat trip
The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is an important area of wetlands in northern Costa Rica and is home to three species of monkey, as well as iguanas, sloths, turtles and caymans. You'll travel to the village of Los Chiles to board a boat for a two-and-a-half hour floating safari through the rainforest and pastures until you reach the birdwatchers' paradise.
Optional on 12 nights itinerary
Sky Tram and Trek
This exhilarating experience will give you a unique view of the jungle canopy as you admire the views during a cable car ride and a zipwire trek – a thrilling memory of your time in Costa Rica.
Optional on 12 nights itinerary
What to explore
Your holiday includes some fascinating once-in-a-lifetime excursions as well as optional outings to the stunning Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge or zipwiring through the jungle canopy. The hotel also offers a great many excursions and adventures such as horse riding in the forest.
You can also spend a day with the rural community of dairy farmers and pineapple growers or head off to walk the rope suspension bridge trails through the rainforest. You could also take a wander into Muelle de San Carlos to see where the huge iguanas gather to bask in the sun.
Tilajari Resort Hotel 3Q+
This friendly family-run locally rated 4-star hotel will give you such a warm ‘tico’ welcome you won’t want to leave – and it’s one of the main reasons we’ve worked with this hotel for more than 30 years. It has stunning grounds that blend into rainforest with botanical and butterfly gardens, while its beautiful surroundings make this a peaceful country retreat. There is an outdoor pool and jacuzzi area, gym and tennis courts if the amazing landscape hasn’t lured you away. But it’s always within sight, with relaxing river views from the hotel’s cosy lounge bar and the Katira restaurant. And at the end of the day, you can unwind in one of the resort’s 76 comfortable, air-conditioned en-suite rooms. Juan Santamaría International Airport is approximately a two hour and 15 minute drive away.
On some departures your itinerary may run in a different order. Departures between January and Mar 2022, and November 2022 are 11 nights in duration (including one night on board an aircraft).