Classic Costa Rica

15 Days | Experience Costa Rica, from its towering jungle to palm-lined coast.

4.9 out of 5 based on 507 reviews submitted.
Explorer
Wildlife
From
EUR 1.652 €
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Discover incredible, lush Costa Rica, and understand why this part of the world is called the ‘rich coast’. This 15-day adventure, beginning and ending in lively San Jose, will provide you a comprehensive journey through the jungles, farmlands, beaches and cities of this pure Central American location. Stay with a local family in Santa Rosa de Pocosol and get your hands dirty on a sustainable farm. Soak in springs that get their heat from an active volcano in La Fortuna. Spot three-toed sloths in the thickets of the Manuel Antonio National Park, then relax beneath swaying palms on the nearby beaches. This adventure takes you into the heart of a country whose people are all about a ‘pura vida’.

Trip overview

Map of Classic Costa Rica including Costa Rica
Start
San Jose, Costa Rica
Finish
San Jose, Costa Rica
Theme
Explorer, Wildlife
Destinations
Costa Rica
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
QVSR
This trip generates 13 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Swap the concrete jungle for real jungle on this trip into the rainforests, waterways, hot springs and palm-lined beaches of Costa Rica.
  • Long-nosed tapirs, white-faced capuchin monkeys, elegant ocelots and three-toed sloths – Costa Rica is home to exotic animals, and this trip puts you in the perfect position to spot them all.
  • Go deeper than the average tourist with a homestay in a quiet agricultural community; the perfect opportunity to experience local life and practice your Spanish.
  • Refresh after jungle hikes spotting endemic wildlife in the rejuvenating hot springs of volcanic La Fortuna.
  • Visit the indigenous Maleku community to share a traditional meal and learn about their way of life – this small tribe has big ambitions for regenerating local forests and natural habitats.

Is this trip right for you?
  • Many of the activities (both included and optional) on this trip take place in the great outdoors. This means you'll need to be prepared to deal with insects and occasionally rustic conditions. It's all part of immersing yourself in this natural paradise.
  • Costa Rica is generally hot year-round, and from May to October can be pretty wet too. Of course, you wouldn't get that gorgeous, emerald-green rainforest without the rain, but please carefully consider which time of the year you'll feel most comfortable travelling.
  • There are many opportunities to get active on this adventure. Some of the optional activities require a moderate level of fitness and sturdy walking shoes. If you'd prefer to take it easy, however, there are plenty of other things you can do instead. 
  • The homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday local life. A hearty homecooked dinner and breakfast will be served during your stay, which can be a lot more basic than what you're used to.
  • With so much to see and do, Costa Rica can sometimes be expensive. Expect to pay more than you would in other Central American countries for a lot of things.

Itinerary

Map of Classic Costa Rica including Costa Rica

Inclusions

Meals

5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle, Public Transportation, Boat

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights), Lodge (6 nights), Homestay (1 night)

Activities
  • Tortuguero - Boat ride to Tortuguero
  • Tortuguero - National Park Entrance
  • Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Home-cooked Meal
  • Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Homestay experience
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Guatuso - Maleku Community Experience
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Entrance
  • Manuel Antonio - Cooking Class & Lunch
  • Manuel Antonio National Park - (Entrance fee)
  • Manuel Antonio National Park - Tour with a Naturalist Guide
Add on activities
  • San Jose - Pre-Colombian Gold Museum (Entrance fee) - USD16
  • San Jose - Jade Archaeological Museum (Entrance fee) - USD16
  • San Jose - National Museum (entrance fee) - USD11
  • Tortuguero - Sunrise canoe trip around canals - USD45
  • Tortuguero - Turtle Watching Night Tour - USD45
  • Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Soap-making workshop - USD19
  • Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Waterfall hike - USD10
  • Rio Celeste - River Tubing Adventure - USD55
  • Rio Celeste - National Park Guided Trail Walk - USD70
  • La Fortuna - Arenal 1968 Volcano View and Lava Trails (Entrance fee) - USD25
  • La Fortuna - Ecotermales Hot Springs (entrance fee) - USD45
  • La Fortuna - La Fortuna Waterfall (Entrance only) - USD20
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Night Walk - USD35
  • Monteverde - Butterfly Garden and Insects Farm (entrance fee) - USD21
  • Monteverde - Coffee & Chocolate tour - USD45
  • Monteverde - Suspension bridges tour - USD50
  • Monteverde - Canopy Zip Lining (Entrance, Equipment & Transport) - USD62
  • Manuel Antonio – Cruise - USD95
  • Manuel Antonio - Mangrove Kayak Activity (with lunch) - USD75
  • Manuel Antonio National Park (Entrance fee) - USD16

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance tickets to Manuel Antonio National Park. Delays to provide this information may result in changes to your itinerary and we will not be able to guarantee entry. Details provided must be accurate as per your passport bio page.

2. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.

3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 5 & 6 (Rio Celeste) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

4. Please be careful when booking flights to/from San Jose; make sure you fly into/out of Juan Santamaria International Airport [SJO]. Please do not book flights to/from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.

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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 507 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Hayley · Traveled January 2024
Great trip, saw many animals! Rafa was an amazing guide! Be aware that the physical rating should be at least 3, maybe 4-- not 2 if you don't want to miss many of the tour highlights.
Review submitted 03 Feb 2024

Daniel · Traveled January 2024
I had an incredible time on this trip. If you’re lucky you will have Rafa, who was the best tour guide you could want. Hotels are all nice, great activities, comfortable transfers and amazing people - remember to pack a good raincoat and bug spray!
Review submitted 03 Feb 2024

Claire · Traveled January 2024
Costa Rica is an amazing country to visit. There are dramatic changes in the landscape in different areas and differences in temperature. In January it is mostly warm but it can be cold and windy in Monteverde and very hot in Manuel Antonio. The wildlife is amazing and it is good to learn from well informed guides how the country is working successfully to conserve its amazing natural resources and support it’s abundant wildlife. The National Museum provided a good background before the start of our tour. Accommodation was comfortable throughout. Our tour leader was excellent. We had a well organised, thoroughly enjoyable holiday, thanks to our guide Rafael and the great people in our group. We have done many Intrepid trips and they have always been good or better.
Review submitted 03 Feb 2024

Suzanne · Traveled January 2024
This was a great trip with a wonderful guide, Rafa. The organisation of the trip was perfect and Costa Rica is a beautiful and environmentally responsible destination.
Review submitted 06 Feb 2024

Krista · Traveled January 2024
Fabulous trip, Marvin was a fabulous guide and the trip was Just unforgettable. Such a beautiful country and amazing wildlife!
Review submitted 05 Feb 2024
Classic Costa Rica
From
EUR 1.652 €