Map of Premium Costa Rica in Depth			 including Costa Rica

Discover the National Parks and cultural treasures of Costa Rica

Welcome to Costa Rica, where trendy gastronomic neighbourhoods rub shoulders with wild rainforests and pristine beaches. Join a local leader to discover the natural, indigenous and modern sides of Costa Rica on an immersive 12-day Premium journey. From the lively charm of San Jose to the cloud forests of Monteverde, culturally significant coffee plantations, pristine wildlife refuges, and spectacular scenery of Arenal National Park – this adventure takes you straight to the heart of it all. Take time to soak up quiet moments of local life and get beneath the surface of a remarkable country that will captivate you at every turn.


Start
San Jose, Costa Rica
Finish
Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Destination
Costa Rica
Style
Premium
Theme
Explorer
Code
QBPT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

premium accommodation

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • Learn about the culture of Costa Rica with Premium exclusive experiences: spend time with a local family and learn how to create traditional dishes in their kitchen, and visit Matambu, the only indigenous territory of the Chorotegan people, to learn ancient pottery techniques passed down for generations.

  • Experience the magnificent landscapes Costa Rica from all angles with a gentle hike in Arenal Volcano National Park, a cruise on the Tortuguero canals, and a treetop walkways experience in the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

  • Enjoy two nights at your Feature Stay – a stunning and sustainable jungle hotel next to the electric-blue Rio Celeste River. Settle into your cosy casita (bungalow), an exclusive retreat just for you, and surround yourself with the sounds of nature.

  • End your trip with a free day at the beach, capped off with a sunset sailing cruise and a farewell dinner – the perfect way to reflect on your journey across Costa Rica.

  • Costa Rica is a nature lover’s dream. Keep your eyes out for green turtles, sloths, monkeys, coatis, anteaters, tropical birds, and more as you cross the width of Costa Rica, experiencing a variety of different habitats and environments.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • Tortuguero is a unique natural destination with rustic, fan-cooled accommodation that offers amazing access to nature. As you are staying in the heart of the rainforest, there will be some bugs along with the other animals that inhabit this part of Costa Rica.

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Costa Rica. Your adventure begins in San Jose, the country’s flourishing capital where you will be collected from the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Here you will meet your local leader and small group for an important welcome meeting at 6pm. Costa Rican coffee is some of the best in the world, with great cafes to match, so if you arrive with time to spare perhaps set out to sample the local brew. After your meeting, head out with your leader and fellow travellers to dine like a local during a welcome meal in Barrio Escalante, one of San Jose’s trendy gastronomic neighbourhoods. Your leader will share the history of the area and tell you about its famous residents as you sample delicious local specialties at a restaurant that strives to keep Central American indigenous cultures alive through ancestral recipes.
Accommodation
  • Gran Hotel Costa Rica Curio Collection By Hilton or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Jose - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

The arrival transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel, as we may not be able to confirm a request made within 14 days of travel.
Leave the hotel early this morning and descend to the Caribbean lowlands on a scenic (and slightly bumpy) journey that ends at the port of La Pavona, your entry point to Tortuguero National Park. Next you’ll transfer to a boat and get your first taste of the magic of the Tortuguero, where roads are replaced by sun dappled canals and the only traffic noises are the calls of tropical birds. After lunch, tour the town of Tortuguero and learn about the Miskito, the Miskito-Zambo and Afro-Caribbean people who call it home. As you tour the town, learn about the lifestyle of its people, their customs and their daily life. If you are visiting between July and October, it’s possible to book an optional evening turtle tour which offers the chance to see turtles laying their eggs.
Accommodation
  • Mawamba Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tortuguero - Town Visit
Optional Activities
  • Tortuguero - Night Hike - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 5.5 hours.

Make sure you’ve packed light as there is a maximum luggage allowance of 12kgs (25 lb) per person on the boat that will take you into the heart of the Costa Rican wilderness. Your rustic hotel for the next two nights has fans instead of air-conditioning to minimise its impact on the environment and is perfectly placed for exploring the nearby freshwater lagoons and spotting local animals like jaguars and turtles.
Awaken to the sound of birdsong and perhaps enjoy a morning walk through the hotel gardens after breakfast. It’s a magical and relaxing way to experience the biodiversity of the area. During the afternoon, take a boat tour along the National Park’s canals with the chance to see up to 13 of Costa Rica’s 16 most endangered mammals such as manatees, ocelots and jaguars, as well as hundreds of bird species. This national park is also the largest green turtle nesting ground in the Western Hemisphere. Lesser numbers of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, plus loggerheads, and giant leatherback turtles also nest within the park at different times of the year. You’ll need to be ready for all seasons – waterproof clothing and shoes are recommended – on this nature focused day.
Accommodation
  • Mawamba Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tortuguero - Canal Boat Tour
  • Tortuguero - Garden Walk
  • Tortuguero - National Park (Entrance Fee)
Optional Activities
  • Tortuguero - Turtle Watching Night Tour - USD45
  • Tortuguero - Sunrise Canoe Trip - USD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, travel by boat from Tortuguero to La Pavona where you’ll be driven to La Fortuna, famed for its mellow atmosphere, bubbling hot springs and mighty Arenal volcano. Check in to your hotel and enjoy its unbeatable location surrounded by luxuriant jungle and soaring volcano views. Spend some time poolside, listening to the songs of birds, then enjoy dinner with your group at the fantastic on-site restaurant which features creative local cuisine.
Accommodation
  • Lomas del Volcan or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 4 hours.
Today you’ll visit the Arenal Volcano for a gentle hike. Along the way you will learn about the history of the volcano, forest formation processes, and general volcanology and see plants, wildlife, magnificent rock formations and a wonderful view of Lake Arenal. Keep your eyes open for local wildlife, including capuchin monkeys, great curassows, toucans, colourful parrots, and more. After your walk, it’s time for lunch. You’ll be invited into the kitchen of a local family for a one-of-a-kind lunch experience. Here you’ll learn how to make tortillas by hand. You’ll enjoy the fruits of your labour with a tasty lunch featuring simple traditional dishes.
Accommodation
  • Lomas del Volcan or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Fortuna - Arenal Volcano Hike
  • La Fortuna - Tortilla Making Class
Optional Activities
  • La Fortuna- Caño Negro boat tour - USD75
  • La Fortuna - Ecotermales Hot Springs (entrance fee) - USD44
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, depart La Fortuna and begin the journey to Monteverde via a scenic drive. Admire the dramatic views of the Arenal volcano unfolding in front of you while your leader points out interesting wildlife along the way. In the early afternoon you’ll arrive in Monteverde, which is renowned for its spectacular cloud forests and rich biodiversity, and visit a family business that is famous for two of Costa Rica’s most famous (and delicious) products – coffee and chocolate. The staff will take you through the entire process, from the seed to a delicious cup of coffee or a chocolate bar, with tastes along the way.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you may like to join an optional canopy zip lining tour and zoom through the jungle.
Accommodation
  • El Establo Hotel or smilar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Monteverde- Cacao & Coffee Experience
Optional Activities
  • Monteverde - Canopy Zip Lining (Entrance, Equipment & Transport) - USD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 2.5 hours.
After breakfast, explore the Cloud Forest from above as you traverse suspension bridges through the canopy. Hiking through the clouds along the network of suspension bridges provides a different and unique perspective on this ecological wonderland, and is the best way to spot some of the more than 400 species of birds found here, including the Resplendent Quetzal (one of the most reclusive birds in the world).

The afternoon is yours for further exploration. Perhaps visit the Montverde Cloud Forest Reserve which is famous for its biodiversity, conservation, contributions, and scientific research. These 3,500 hectares of land hold 2.5 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and are one of Costa Rica’s most important private reserves. Explore the different ecosystems housing hundreds of mammals, birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and arachnids, and marvel at the mosses, vines and trees of the Cloud Forest.
Accommodation
  • El Establo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Monteverde - Hanging Bridges Tour
Optional Activities
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Reserve Hike - CRC28190
  • Monteverde - Canopy Zip Lining (Entrance, Equipment & Transport) - USD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, drive to Tenorio Volcano National Park where you’ll visit the Rio Celeste: a river fed by two different water sources. Where they collide, the water takes on a distinctive light blue colour that has to be seen to be believed. Spend the afternoon exploring the sky-blue falls and streams and keep your eyes peeled for tapirs, monkeys, anteaters and other animals hiding in the jungle canopy. You’ll spend the next two nights your Feature Stay hotel, known for its dedication to sustainability and laid-back luxury. Settle into your cosy casita (bungalow) and surround yourself with the soothing sounds of nature.
Accommodation
  • Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
With plenty of included and optional activities available today, your toughest decision will be what to do first. How about an optional guided tubing excursion at Rio Celeste? The light-blue waters of the river are generally off-limits to travellers, however you’ll have the opportunity to float along them in an inflatable tube. If you’re a thrill-seeker, there’s the option to embark on a 7-hour guided rafting tour at nearby Rio Tenorio. You’ll tackle 20 rapids with plenty of natural beauty to admire along the banks during the lulls. Those who prefer a nature tour with less adrenaline might like to take a 3-hour safari cruise along the Rio Tenorio, with a guide who will help you spot howler monkeys, crocodiles, river otters and an abundance of tropical birds. Or you could simply relax at your hotel and take advantage of the free activities included in your stay, like yoga classes, walks along the Río Celeste River and El Tapir Preserve trails, games room and guest lounge. Spa treatments (at an additional cost) and lounging by the pool are a couple of other tempting options.
Accommodation
  • Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rio Celeste - On Site Activities
Optional Activities
  • Rio Celeste - White Water River Tubing Adventure - USD55
  • Rio Celeste - National Park Guided Trail Walk - USD70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, continue to your final destination in the Guanacaste area, Tamarindo Beach, which is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and conserving one of the area’s most beautiful and diverse marine ecosystems. On the way, you’ll visit Matambu, the only indigenous territory of the Chorotegan peoples. Their legacy in the use of clay ovens, dances, handicrafts with colour ceramics and other traditions are still around today and visiting helps with their preservation. After lunch, get to know local artisan, Ezequiel, at his pottery workshop where you will learn about the ancient art of pottery and how its traditions are passed down from generation to generation.
Accommodation
  • Tamarindo Diria or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Matambu - Pottery Demonstration
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 3 hours.
Today is yours to explore your way with a choice of free activities and optional excursions. Sign up for a surfing lesson or continue your search for the solemn, white faces of the capuchin monkeys who live in the trees on an optional mangrove tour. Alternatively, kick-off your shoes and feel the sands of Tamarindo Beach between your toes. It’s easy to spend a whole day enjoying this beautiful coastline where towering green trees provide solace from the sun and a refreshing cocktail made with guaro, Costa Rica’s traditional sugar cane liquor, is never far away. This evening, it’s time to get out on the water and enjoy a sunset sailing trip followed by a delicious farewell dinner as you toast the end of your Costa Rica adventure.
Accommodation
  • Tamarindo Diria or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tamarindo - Sunset Sailing Tour
  • Guanacaste - Farewell Dinner
Optional Activities
  • Guanacaste - Mangrove Boat tour - USD65
  • Guanacaste - Surfing lessons - USD75
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your Costa Rica trip comes to an end after breakfast. If you would like to stay on Guanacaste or return to San Jose, speak to your booking agent to arrange additional accommodation ahead of time (subject to availability). Transfers to nearby Liberia Airport can also be arranged.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, shared bus, Boat

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotel (9 nights), Feature Stay (2 nights)

Included activities

  • San Jose - Welcome Dinner
  • Tortuguero - Town Visit
  • Tortuguero - Canal Boat Tour
  • Tortuguero - Garden Walk
  • Tortuguero - National Park (Entrance Fee)
  • La Fortuna - Arenal Volcano Hike
  • La Fortuna - Tortilla Making Class
  • Monteverde- Cacao & Coffee Experience
  • Monteverde - Hanging Bridges Tour
  • Rio Celeste - On Site Activities
  • Matambu - Pottery Demonstration
  • Tamarindo - Sunset Sailing Tour
  • Guanacaste - Farewell Dinner

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Premium Costa Rica in Depth trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may go up, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

Reviews