Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A hidden rainforest trail leads to an azure-blue pond, where a waterfall plunges down, inviting you to a refreshing dip. Walk on up the hill discovering a myriad of wildlife and birds along the way. Stand still, awe-inspired at the view over the forest canopy. Zipline down back to your hotel and enjoy a spot of kayaking, rafting, snorkelling or sailing or simply an afternoon on the beach. This is La Pura Vida - Costa Rica style.
When to go
Mid-December through April is the dry season and the most popular time to travel to Costa Rica. During the green season rain falls mostly as afternoon showers and landscapes turn lush and verdant. The height of the green season is September and October when travel is not recommended.
Monteverde and neighbouring Santa Elena are where Costa Rica's ecotourism began. It is here that you can hike through cloudforests in search of birdlife, while engaging in adventure activities such as ziplining.
While its iconic volcano no longer erupts, the area still has enough hiking trails, outdoor activities and hot springs to merit a visit.
Dreamlike beaches where monkeys swing down the trees right to the ocean - that is Manuel Antonio in a nutshell. Throw in a good size national park and plenty of water and land-based activities and you have a must-visit destination, the perfect finale to any trip to Costa Rica.
A remote network of canals and waterways that intersects the lowland jungle, Tortuguero is the perfect getaway for nature lovers. Paddle a canoe or take a guided tour and discover hidden wildlife and plants along the banks.
Central Valley & Highlands
Steaming volcanoes, coffee plantations, verdant jungles clinging to steep mountains and rivers that tumble down the slopes - the Central Valley and Highlands have enough to keep you busy for a few days.
National Geographic called it 'the most biologically intense place on earth'. Home to many endangered species, this is one of the last great stands of tropical rainforest in Central America.
Stay in an eco-lodge
Imagine staying in a lodge where, when you step out, you are surrounded by nothing but nature. Birds sing in the trees, a troop of monkeys swings in the canopy and the vegetation is so lush you have to rub your eyes to make sure you are not dreaming.
Soak in a hot spring
Costa Rica has many thermal springs. Find them in the middle of the forest, or at the bottom of the terrace of a restaurant - no matter where, take time to soak, relax and....
Walk to a platform overlooking the forest canopy, put on your harness, hook on to the line, push off and away you go! There is nothing quite like gliding through the forest, as free as a bird.
White water rafting
Ranging in difficulty from class I to V, anyone can enjoy a rafting trip. From half to two day trips, some of them staying at jungle lodges, this is the perfect way to discover the jungles of Costa Rica.
Many of Costa Rica's national parks are crisscrossed by trails. Hike through the jungle to a hidden pool, waterfall or beach, enjoy the views and be surprised by the wildlife you may come across.
Home to 5% of the world's lifeforms, Costa Rica is one of the prime destinations for wildlife watching. Be it birds, mammals, insects or reptiles you are after, you will be not be disappointed.
Kayaking and boating
Kayaking and boating are two excellent ways to experience the mangroves along the coasts and the marshes of the interior, giving you access to places you cannot get to by road or on foot.
Costa Rica Highlights
Tour code: FCOH
Why we love this trip: Our best-selling trip visiting the places everyone should see while engaging in lots of activities
Places visited: San José, Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio
Signature Experiences: stay in an eco-lodge, soak in a hot spring, ziplining, white water rafting, hiking, wildlife watching, optional kayaking and boating
Length: 8 days
Accommodation: jungle lodges and hotels of your preferred comfort level
Included meals: all breakfasts
Departures: daily private departures
Customizable? Yes, price on request
Price: We only run this tour as private departures. Prices range from $1125 for 3-star hotels in low season to $3795 for 5-star hotels in high season
Discover Costa Rica
Tour code: EWUC
Why we love this trip: a splendid discovery of all major national parks and sites Costa Rica has to offer
Places visited: San José, Tortuguero, Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Piedras Blancas, Savegre
Signature Experiences: stay in an ecolodge, soak in a hot spring, ziplining, white water rafting, hiking, wildlife watching, kayaking and boating
Length: 15 days
Accommodation: 14 nights hotels and ecolodges, all with en-suite facilities, most with swimming pools
Included meals: all breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
Transport: private vehicle, boat and on foot
Departures: Set small-group dates and daily private departures
Customizable? Yes, price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $2890
Costa Rica Multisport
Tour code: BCRM
Why we love this trip: biking, hiking and rafting in some of Costa Rica's most pristine spots, while staying in luxury accommodations
Places visited: Arenal, Savegre, Manuel Antonio
Signature Experiences: stay in an eco-lodge, soak in a hot spring, ziplining, white water rafting, hiking, wildlife watching, kayaking and boating and plenty of optional activities
Length: 6 days
Accommodation: luxury hotels & lodges
Included meals: all meals are included
Transport: private vehicle
Departures: set small-group dates
Customizable? Yes - price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $3898