Pura Vida Costa Rica – Premium Adventure

enquire now 13 Days From NZD $9,679 pp twinshare
Small group
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  • Enjoy the lush rainforest, cloud forest, mangroves, volcanoes and beaches of Costa Rica – a nature lover’s paradise
  • Float serenely down the waterways of Tortuguero National Park searching for monkeys, caiman and birds
  • Rainforest volcano hike in Arenal 1968 park, passing eerie lava fields formed by previous eruptions
  • Spend an unforgettable two nights at the beautiful Rio Perdido riverside jungle lodge and swim in its natural thermal pools
  • Stay in the famous Tamarindo Diria beachfront hotel and enjoy sundowners with the best view along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast


Day 1

Start San Jose.

Pura Vida Costa Rica! Today is our arrival day and our local team are waiting to welcome you to Costa Rica. Most flights arrive in San Jose in the afternoon or early evening. Free transfers are available to all clients today. Our centrally located premium hotel is full of historic charm on the pedestrian boulevard Avenida Central, in the heart of San Jose.

Day 2

To Tortuguero N.P.

Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to the wildly beautiful Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero’s vast network of waterways, canals and swamps is remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. Immerse yourself in the enchanting sights and sounds as we set off on a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen-minute journey to our lodge, which is nestled on a tranquil strip of land in the main lagoon. Discover the picturesque surroundings and Tortuguero Village.

Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean. Today’s travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast.

Day 3

Boat tours around Tortuguero waterways.

We rise early this morning to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways of the National Park by boat. Wildlife is usually at its most active in the early morning, and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. Return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast by the river. This afternoon, explore the scenic waterways on a second boat trip along a different canal or relax at the lodge and make the most of the wonderful facilities. Alternatively, immerse yourself in nature and follow a short walking trail through the lush forest.

Day 4

To La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano.

We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived by taking a boat back to the main pier. Our transport will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the diverse region of Arenal, passing huge banana, pineapple and sugar cane plantations on the way. Today’s travelling time is around five and a half hours including a lunch stop.

Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase, and can no longer be seen spitting ash, smoke or lava. However, there is still a lot of geothermal activity in the area, and our premium accommodation has its own hot springs that you can enjoy today. Take a dip in the natural thermal pools which are rich in mineral salts and ions, leaving your skin feeling soft and refreshed. Surrounded by tropical plants, and waterfalls cascading over river rocks, you will feel as though you’re soaking in the rainforest.

Day 5

Volcano hike in Arenal 1968.

Embark on a guided hike within the fascinating park of Arenal 1968, walking through secondary rainforest and passing some of the lava fields from past eruptions which impacted the area’s topography. Walking on the base and flanks of the volcano gives extraordinary views, and our expert leader explains the history and points out some of the remaining landmarks. Savour the stunning views overlooking Lake Arenal from the high vantage points on this walk and look out for the plentiful birdlife. This afternoon is free to join one of the optional activities available in this region.

Day 6

La Fortuna Waterfall hike; to Monteverde in the Tilaran Mountains.

Witness the immense 65-cascade of water plunging into an emerald pool when we visit La Fortuna Waterfall this morning. Waterfalls are abundant in the region of Arenal, and their clear pools are perfect for a refreshing dip. We walk through verdrant rainforest to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to the exit – the hike/climb takes around 20-30 minutes and is within the capabilities of anyone with reasonable fitness. Reward your efforts with a dip in one of the natural pools punctuating the foliage to cool off! Alternatively, enjoy the beautiful views from the lookout point and wait for the group.

Afterwards, we cross into the Tilaran Mountain Range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Central Highlands, to experience Costa Rican’s famous cloud forest. The journey provides incredible views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below as we ascend the hills towards Monteverde, a forest-cloaked region whose name literally means ‘Green Mountain’. The high altitude supports a complex eco-system where plants thrive, particularly orchids of which there are some 400+ different varieties here. Today’s drive is around four hours — the last 40km of road is gravel and can be bumpy, particularly following heavy rain.

Day 7

Visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve; treetop hanging bridges excursion.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a favourite destination for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, where the geographic, topographic and climatic conditions have allowed for a surprising biodiversity to thrive. A walk through the reserve will reveal huge old growth trees covered in moss whilst the surrounding mist permeates the atmosphere. Explore this impressive reserve on foot and witness the four ecological “Life Zones” that harbour different ecosystems for hundreds of species – mammals, birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, insects and arachnids. We can also find a variety of mosses, vines and trees typical of the cloud forest. One of the trails leads to a lookout point right at the top of the continental divide where, on clear days, you can be privy to a wonderful view of Costa Rica’s coasts: the Caribbean and the Pacific. The Monteverde Cloud Forest is also one of the few remaining habitats of the endangered Resplendent Quetzal.

In the afternoon we visit Selvatura Park, an extraordinary ecological park with 850 acres of protected land dedicated to nature and adventure. Explore the forested park during an iconic Costa Rica experience – the treetop walkway. The system of walkways above the treetops has been designed to let you experience the beauty of the cloud forest and observe its many inhabitants.

Day 8

To Rio Perdido: The Lost River.

This morning we travel towards our next destination, Rio Perdido – the Lost River – in the province of Guanacaste. Stood upon a raised rocky peninsula where two canyons converge, Rio Perdido Hotel & Thermal River has a vantage point overlooking the forest, canyon and river. Trees as tall as the canyon camouflage the river, giving rise to its name. This setting was once an ancient gathering place for the Chorotega indigenous ethnic group, and many artifacts have been found here over the years.

The private 600-acre reserve surrounding the hotel has incredibly diverse flora and fauna due to its unique setting next to the thermal river – tropical dry forest, rainforest and rugged terrain all surround the property, giving way to a vast diversity of species. Families of Howler monkeys and White-faced Capuchin monkeys are regularly seen!

This is an adventure seeker’s paradise where you can try thrilling optional activities such as zip lining, white water tubing, mountain biking and hiking.

Today’s travelling time is around three hours.

Day 9

Rio Perdido guided walk; afternoon for optional activities.

Explore 20 miles of private trails that are connected to the Rio Perdido Hotel by a 200ft hanging bridge and go in search of exotic wildlife including mammals, reptiles, insects, amphibians, and birds. We’ll discover the network of trails during an included guided hike and learn more about the different habitats found in this truly unique location.

Sink into one of the natural thermal mineral pools at the hotel and unwind with lush vegetation and the canyon walls as a backdrop. The eight registered springs give rise to pools of hot and cold mineralised water for prolonged relaxation and bathing. Alternatively, if you prefer to get the adrenalin flowing, try one of the optional activities from zip lining to white water tubing during our free afternoon.

Day 10

To Tamarindo.

We wave goodbye to the magical Rio Perdido and onwards towards the Nicoya Peninsula and one of Costa Rica’s most famous beaches: Tamarindo. Once a sleepy fishing village, Tamarindo was discovered by surfers in the late 1980’s and has steadily grown its reputation as one of Costa Rica’s best beach destinations. Located in Guanacaste Province, known for its good weather and predictable sunshine, Tamarindo has a great mix of facilities and retains an authentic laid-back atmosphere.

Tamarindo’s big draw is the long expanse of beach, with a curved bay backed by palms, cafes and restaurants. Soak up the sunshine, laid back beach life and heavenly coastal views – a real contrast to our adventure so far. The waves are strong and loved by surfers, with swimmers mostly staying to the shallow surf breaking on the shore. Our beachfront hotel couldn’t be better located, with palm trees framing what is in our opinion the best Pacific view in Costa Rica! In the evening, be sure to catch the deep orange sunsets that cast a warm glow over Tamarindo.

Day 11

Free day to enjoy Pacific Coast; sunset drinks.

Make the most of leisure time today and enjoy Tamarindo’s beachfront utopia. There are plenty of excursions that can be organised locally: have a go at surfing, learn to stand-up paddleboard, book a massage with the hotel’s spa, or simply enjoy the beach and surroundings.

This evening we celebrate with sunset drinks on the beach – a toast to our wonderful adventure! There are some fantastic restaurants in Tamarindo, and we highly recommend the seafood here.

Day 12

To San Jose.

Spend a few hours this morning enjoying Tamarindo beach or the hotel facilities for the last time, before we check out and transfer back to San Jose, a journey of approximately 4.5 hours.

Day 13

End San Jose.

The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it’s time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Free transfers to San Jose airport are available to all clients today.


  • 10 nights staying in handpicked Premium hotels and lodges, 2 nights standard accommodation
  • Travel by private air-conditioned bus and on open-sided boats around Tortuguero National Park
  • Group normally 4 to 12 plus tour leader
  • Minimum age 16
  • Countries visited: Costa Rica


  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Two boat tours of the waterways in Tortuguero National Park
  • Guided hike in Arenal 1968 Park
  • Guided hike to La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Selvatura Park’s treetop hanging bridges excursion
  • Guided nature walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Guided nature walk in Rio Perdido private reserve
  • Access to hot springs at Arenal Springs Hotel
  • Access to thermal pools at Rio Perdido
  • Sundowners at the Tamarindo Diria
  • Tipping for all hotel, drivers and local staff
  • Named tour leader, chosen for their expertise and great customer feedback
  • Free arrival and departure transfers to/from San Jose Airport

Images courtesy of Exodus Travel