Sarapiqui Tortuguero San Gerardo de Dota Osa Peninsula

A tiny country that boasts 5% of the world’s entire biodiversity, Costa Rica is arguably the finest destination for wildlife in Central and South America. From the mangrove channels of Tortuguero and the lush highland cloud-forest to the Pacific dry jungle of the Osa Peninsula, the national parks brim over with exotic species from sloths, howler monkeys and jaguar to humming birds and the iconic resplendent quetzal. This itinerary explores Costa Rica’s key destinations and has you staying in comfortable wildlife lodges deep within the national parks.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Wildlife cruises through the mangrove channels of Tortuguero
  • Nature walks along the forest trails of Sarapiqui
  • Guided hikes in the Corcovado National Park
  • Birding tours in search of Costa Rica’s resplendent Quetzal
  • Snorkelling at the coral reefs of Caño Island Biological Reserve

What’s included

  • Private tours for most included activities
  • Meet & greet airport service
  • Luxury or boutique accommodation at your chosen level
  • Expert guides in each destination


This is an example itinerary. It is fully flexible; you can add or detract days and include hotels at your chosen budget. It departs daily.



Price Guide

from $ pp

Our quotes are bespoke for your customised trip. The prices displayed are indicative only, read more

Day 1

Fly to San Jose

plan line
Day 2-4

Sarapiqui – Primary Rainforest & Green Macaws

Transfer north to Sarapiqui, one of Costa Rica’s true wildlife hotspots. Sarapiqui sits on the edge of the Sarapiqui River in the lush transition zone from Nicaragua to the Braulio Carillo National Park to the south and from the highlands to the Caribbean, an area of incredible diversity that spills over with flora and fauna. Home to some of Costa Rica’s last patches of primary rainforest and final haven of the country’s Green Macaws, Sarapiqui is a wonderful introduction to Costa Rica’s natural treasures. Based at a wildlife lodge, you will head out each day to take in the resident flora and fauna. Explore the nature trails around La Selva Biological Station, venture out to the Tapiria Wildlife Reserve or even enjoy some thrilling white-water rafting on the Sarapiqui River as the howler monkeys watch on!

Day 5-7

Tortuguero – Costa Rica’s Amazon

Your journey continues by road and boat to the mangrove channels and tropical rainforest of the Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast. Dubbed the Amazon of Costa Rica, Tortuguero is a nature-lover’s dream, an area inaccessible by road which boasts some 60 species of mammals including sloths, howler monkeys and jaguar as well as over 375 species of birds. You will stay a wildlife lodge overlooking the channels and enjoy daily guided excursions to observe the extraordinary array of flora and fauna. Travel between July and October and you coincide with the hatching period of the green-, leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles that nest each year in the dark volcanic sands, a phenomenon that gave the region its name.

Day 8-10

San Gerardo de Dota – Quetzal Quest!

Returning to San Jose by small plane, you will be met and driven south along the Panamerican highway to San Gerardo de Dota at the heart of the Los Santos Forest Reserve. High in the Talamanca Mountains, San Gerardo’s lush cloud-forest is one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets, a region far less visited than Monteverde Reserve yet home to an astonishing variety of birdlife. Here, from the comfort of a wildlife lodge, you will head out accompanied by an expert local guide to explore the surrounding forest trails. With luck, you will spot the resplendent quetzal, Central America’s iconic bird whose glorious plumage attracts ornithologists from far and wide. For walkers, Costa Rica’s highest peak, Mount Chirripó, is close by offering incredible, views of both the Pacific and Caribbean via a 2 day trek. More accessible to vehicles, the paramo grassland sits above the cloud-forest offering a completely unique landscape and wildlife.

Day 10-13

The Osa Peninsula & Corcovado NP

The highlight – the Osa Peninsula! Continuing south, you will head to the dense rainforest and jungle fringed beaches of the Osa Peninsula. Jewel in the crown of Costa Rica’s natural reserves, the Corcovado National Park is the last of Central America’s Pacific lowland rainforests and has been dubbed “the most biologically intense place on earth” by National Geographic. Staying at a jungle lodge accessible only by water – the only one of its kind actually within the national park – you will enjoy daily activities from nature walks and bird-watching to boat trips and snorkelling. There are over 350 recorded species of birds alone as well as 140 species of mammals including some of the continent’s last remaining populations of ocelot, margay, puma, two- and three-toed sloth and jaguar. Off the coast, the rich waters teem with rays, dolphins and tropical fish and offer excellent snorkelling and diving around the coral reefs of the Caño Island biological reserve.

Day 14

Fly home

A note on price

The prices outlined above are a rough guide to give you an idea of costs and enable you to budget for your trip.

Guide prices are generally for private arrangements based on twin share, in well located, good quality accommodation (excluding international flights).

Please note costs are indicative and may vary due to a number of factors such as; travel date, hotel choice, room category, number of people travelling and prevailing exchange rates.

Price Guide $ – $ per person

When to travel

jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec

Costa Rica enjoys a tropical climate year round which can be divided into a distinct dry and rainy season. The dry “summer” period runs from December to April and is the most popular time to travel. The wet season then corresponds from May to December and coincides with tempestuous downpours. Average temperatures range between 26°-28° throughout the year although it is obviously cooler in the highlands along the spine of the mountains.

Add on’s

Arenal and Monteverde are good extensions, both renowned wildlife destinations (Monteverde especially so for its birdlife) while further north, close to the border of Nicaragua, you can take a boat trip into the flooded forests and wetlands of Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, an extraordinary natural haven for jaguars, tapirs, ocelots and peccary.

San Jose and Costa Rica also combine nicely with Quito in Ecuador, gateway to both the Galapagos Islands and Amazon Rainforest as well as neighbouring Panama with stunning beaches and one of the last great, wildlife refuges – the Darien Gap.

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