Costa Rica is a wonderland of natural attractions, with volcanoes, beaches, cloud forests, and unique wildlife. This is a country that appeals as much to birdwatchers and luxury-focused travelers as it does to surfers and backpackers. Thousands of visitors flock to Costa Rica every year to experience some of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world.
Bordered between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica boasts the world’s largest density of flora and fauna in addition to a varied terrain of mountains, valleys, forests, volcanoes, beaches, lakes and rivers.
Relish the magnificence of untouched Tortuguero, traveling by plane and boat to venture through the remote canals leading to the Caribbean Sea
Seek out blue morpho butterflies, sea turtles, and green macaws on a private tour traversing the rainforest and beaches of Tortuguero
Bask in the charm and beauty of stunning and unique accommodations across the splendid landscapes of Costa Rica
Discover the rare and enchanting resplendent quetzal on a private tour through the protected reserve at your lodge in Bajos del Toro
Wander along blossoming orchids to discover the majesty of nature in the details of a miniature orchid as seen through a magnifying glass
Scour the mixture of primary and secondary rainforest canopy to find the endangered red-backed squirrel monkey in Corcovado National Park
Learn about the biodiversity of Costa Rica comparing the rainforest to the marine life while strolling on the beaches of Corcovado
(Day 1): Bajos del Toro – Arrive in San Jose and Transfer to Gorgeous Bajos del Toro
(Day 2): Bajos del Toro – Explore Culture, Trails, and Waterfalls with a Private Guide
(Day 3): Tortuguero – Fly to Remote Tortuguero National Park for a Day at Leisure
(Day 4): Tortuguero – Discover the Natural Splendors along the Canals and Beaches
(Day 5): Corcovado – Travel to the Osa Peninsula to Lounge in Beachside Luxury
(Day 6): Corcovado – Learn Local Marine Biology and Search for Birds at Sunset
(Day 7): Corcovado – Descend into Remote Rainforest or Perfect Beaches at Leisure
(Day 8): Corcovado – Depart for Home
Cultural / Cultural Activities / Landmarks / Leisure / Beaches / Parks / Photography / Scenic Drive / Walking Tours / Outdoors & Sports / Ecotourism / Hiking / National Park / Reserve / Nature / Outdoor Adventures / Safari / Wildlife / Waterfalls
Leisure / Spectacular Scenery / Unique Accommodations
Bajos del Toro, Tortuguero, Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Los Bajos Town, Golfo Dulce
Pristine wilderness abounds in Costa Rica with emerald trees that blanket the ridges around the Central Valley and volcanic peaks that rise to the north of San Jose. The coffee plantations stop along the hillsides at altitudes that reach 4,500 feet above sea level, crafting a visible line around the capital city where the plants cease to grow. When your flight lands at Juan Santamaria International Airport your private transfer will greet you upon arrival and escort you out of San Jose. You gain a sense of the culture and bustling life of a Central American capital city where homes glow with bright colors inspired by tropical nature.
In the city center, small markets have open fronts framed by dangling bunches of bananas and plantains. Trees with deep, strong roots grow along the edges of homes acting as a natural fence between properties and the streets. The artisan market contains shops squeezed together brimming with handmade trinkets. Jewelry, bags, and woodwork offer insight into the cultural heritage of Costa Rica through the various designs on display. Your guide will take you along the edges of the Poas Volcano to reach the region of Bajos del Toro. The sound of thunder pulses through the air from a rainstorm passing in the distance.
The sunlight washes over the intense emerald hues of the cloud forest. Your luxury eco-lodge will be located near one of Costa Rica's hidden gems, the Catarata del Toro, a waterfall that spills down 300 feet into the crater of an extinct volcano. You will settle into the comforts of your luxurious lodge where your suite provides a stunning view of the hills and surrounding canopy of the gorgeous cloud forest. You can dip into the cozy tranquility of your private heated Jacuzzi and enjoy your unique welcome to the natural beauty of Costa Rica.
In the morning, hummingbirds will roam through the garden located across the stream. An ivy tunnel leads to the suspension bridge that crosses the waterway to reveal the iridescent plumage dispersed amongst blossomed flowers. After breakfast, your guide will lead you into town to visit the private residence of an orchid enthusiast. The rare and exotic flowers thrive in the colder tropical climate of the region.
A narrow trail winds through the garden flush with gorgeous petals of blossoming flora. Your guide will stop you at a row of small petals that grow out of a protruding vine. She takes out a magnifying glass and holds it over the flower so you can see the details of the slender stem that helps support the tiny blossom. The miniature orchid often grows in the dry and wet rainforest at an altitude of nearly 3,000 feet above sea level. The flower blossoms between October and November, then again from May to August. Then, you will continue through the garden of lavender and purple petals, along with sensational neon pinks.
After a lunch where you learn how to cook fried cheese and handmade tortillas, you will take to the trail that winds through 500 acres of private reserve. Your guide stops before you reach the first waterfall and points into the trees. A resplendent quetzal is perched on a branch. The male has a tail 25 inches long that flows like a streamer in the breeze and the bursts of sunlight in the trees cause the vivacious greens along its back to glowing brightly against the forest canopy.
Tortuguero means the “Turtle Catcher,” and the name encapsulates the prestige of the secluded region on the Caribbean coastline. You will wave goodbye to the hidden gem of your lodge in Bajo del Toro and make your way back to San Jose’s airport for your scenic charter flight to Tortuguero. The rolling hills and mountains that surround the Central Valley shift to the flatlands blanketed in the jade canopy of the rainforest, which resembles what you imagine the Amazon to look like. Narrow canals divide the trees as the freshwater rivers wind to the coast. Your flight will land on the small landing strip that is surrounded by lush tropical trees on both sides. You will hear the lapping waves of the Caribbean as they brush against the sliver of sand that is east of the landing strip.
The exotic heat fills the air as you step aboard your boat that takes you to the comforts of your chich eco-lodge. The property was designed to accentuate the natural beauty of the peaceful region situated near the main entrance to the national park. Its intimate and cozy ambiance encompasses nearly five acres of private scenery at the edge of the vibrant canal, offering direct access to the splendor of the diverse ecosystems. A commitment to sustainable development through recycling, reusable energy, water saving programs, and training programs derive from the lodge’s mission to preserve the integral relationship with the surrounding nature. Your suite feels as though you have arrived on a wildlife safari encircled by canals and unspoiled greenery. The scent of fresh mangoes and coconut emanates from the restaurant.
After you settle in, you will make your way to Tortuguero Village, which brings to the forefront Afro-Caribbean life in Costa Rica. Boats travel along the waterway as they use the canals like a highway to connect to homes, the airport, gorgeous hotels, and stunning beaches. River otters enjoy the sunlight on the edges of the river and egrets graze in the marshlands near the mangroves. Passion fruit trees grow on the edges of town allowing villagers and visitors to grab the ripe fruit as they pass and false birds-of-paradise bloom around the main street. The scent of spicy peppers and mango drift out of the bustling restaurants connecting colonial Spanish culture to the Afro-Caribbean traditions.
In the morning you will indulge in a refreshing fresh brewed coffee that accompanies the sweet and sour flavor of passion fruit. Locals enjoy the customary breakfast dish of Gallo Pinto, rice, and beans, with fried eggs. Your guide will greet you in the hotel lobby before she takes you on a private boat through the jungle canals that crisscross the more than 120 square miles of protected marshlands, high rainforest, and beaches. Caiman hide in the water revealing the tops of their eyes to resemble driftwood. Your guide will point to the sneaky reptile as you pass. When in need of heat the caiman will crawl on the banks and open their mouths to absorb the sunlight faster.
Three toucans chirp from the treetops. Their strong bills have a small arch and shine with colors similar to dark cherry, lime green, and a streak of bright blue. You will notice for the first time that their feet are also blue. Then, a low groan spreads through the treetops with a rumbling, endless echo. At first, you will worry the call might stem from a jaguar or puma. Your guide points out the howler monkey troop in the trees, from which the call originated. The howler monkey grows to a length of 36 inches and is known for its unique, heart-striking call that can be heard up to three miles away. They yowl again to assure their territory in the trees as a rare green macaw flies overhead. These birds are known to nest along the Caribbean slopes in an area less than 450 square miles.
From July to October, the Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles nest on the quiet beaches. Leatherback turtles return to the shores from February to April. In the morning you will take your time on the soft, white sand of the Caribbean to enjoy the refreshing sea breeze while searching for nests before breakfast. After the meal, you will take to boat and travel to the airport for your charter flight across Costa Rica to Puerto Jimenez. As you land you will notice the thin stretch of jade grass and a long landing strip surrounded by endless tropical rainforest to the east. Fishing boats wade in the calm water of the Osa Peninsula with fishermen that cast their lines from the shoreline, on the boats, and while standing on the wooden dock.
Surfers venture to the unexplored village along Cape Matapalo to enjoy the feeling of seclusion. The waves barrel and break beyond the reef, with whitewater foaming against the opulent beaches at the southern tip of the peninsula. You will travel with your private driver to a magnificent lodge set atop a mountain ridge for a view of the gorgeous rainforest and crystalline indigo water. The lodge is situated at 350 feet above sea level and blends into the surrounding landscape from the distance. Scarlet macaws perch in the treetops and standout with their vivacious red plumage. Tree frogs hide amongst the vines until night when their orange eyes and blue blacks glint in the sporadic light.
At sunrise, the howler monkeys call out to one another claiming their territory amongst the canopy. The water rolls out at low tide leaving hermit crabs to rest on the sand in shells disguised as pebbles. Your guide will greet you after breakfast keen on introducing you to the wildlife of both land and sea. Your exploration will combine primary and secondary forest while also visiting the beach and rivers spread across miles of landscape. The sea breeze fades beneath the stoic tropical heat and scarlet macaws squawk in the trees.
Corcovado National Park is the only place in Costa Rica where all four monkey species found in the country coexist. In the quiet morning, your guide will point out the spider monkeys that forage for fruits and nuts in the trees. The leaves rustle above with the troop leaping to the neighboring branches. You will continue to the beach to wander along the Golfo Dulce, one of four tropical fjords in the world. The small coves and rocky islets frame the lapping water and fishermen catch sea bass and snapper in abundance as their boats linger in the marina at Golfito. Your guide will offer information on the biodiversity of the marine life, finding starfish, sand crabs, and sea cucumbers along the rugged shoreline.
At breakfast you will delight in the sweet and juicy pineapple, accompanied by the scent of fresh coconut. Blue Morpho butterflies flutter around the rainforest underbrush and boa constrictors blend in with the vines dangling around the tree branches. The day will be yours to follow the trails of the rainforest or to bask in the splendors of the sandy beaches at your leisure. You can return to the paths leading into the remote primary rainforest where your private guide will point to prints made by tapirs and jaguars that passed recently across the soil. Harpy eagles glide overhead as the sunlight washes over the slate-black feathers over their wings and white plumage along their belly. You will scour the trees in search of a red-backed squirrel monkey, which is critically endangered after losing nearly 90 percent of its original habitat.
This primate populates more than 160 square miles of protected area in Corcovado National Park. Your guide has heard of a family that populates the trees along the path and will lead you in their direction. She points to the burrowing holes of white-lipped peccaries and the recently shed skin of a large boa. You will hear rustling in the trees and you follow the sound to find a group of 20 that rest on the branches above. Their orange back leads to olive shoulders standing out from their white cheeks. The adults can reach a length of nearly 12 inches with a tail stretching longer than their body.
Your lodge helps protect 1,000 acres of primary and secondary rainforest where more than 325 birds nest across a variety of ecosystems. Before breakfast you will partake in one final tour to enjoy the pleasures of Costa Rica’s nature, searching for raucous birds enjoying the cool morning air. The Amazon Kingfisher glows with green plumage and streaks along its flank. They perch on branches or rocks close to water before plunging into rivers in search of fish or insects. Bare-throated tiger heron enjoys the marshland and stand out from the grass with a greenish-yellow hue around their throat. Your private transfer will greet you at the hotel and escort you to the airport at Puerto Jimenez. You will carry the thrills of the wildlife and nature’s pristine elegance with you on your flight back to San Jose. Then, you will land at Juan Santamaria International Airport with plenty of time to check-in to your flight home.
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