With only 19,700 square miles, this small country holds a universe of diversity and nature; few locations in the world are bigger on adventure, nature and conservation. The local Ticos (Costa Ricans) will quickly introduce you to ‘Pura Vida’ (pure life) as you travel from coast to coast across its rugged landscapes, home to cloud forests, hot springs, volcanoes, golden beaches, and clear blue waters. Costa Rica is considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, it offers incredible wildlife encounters, from navigating through the Pacuare canals in the north Caribbean coast, to trekking on Lava Trails at Arenal Volcano and observing the humpback whales which by September takes the south Pacific coast as home to raise their calves.

An adventure awaits around every corner and on this 12 day journey you will explore 3 of the country’s most biodiverse National Parks: Tortuguero, Arenal and Corcovado; which National Geographic refers to as “the most biologically intense place on Earth”. Costa Rica expansive protected jungle and rainforests shelter more than 500,000 plant and animal species.  Costa Rica is an incredible place to come and see abundant and unique wildlife. It features 51 wildlife refuges, 32 national parks, 13 forest reserves, and eight biological reserves, where extraordinary wildlife spotting opportunities abound. 

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MTM-Journeys-black-(1).pngThe TreadRight Foundation is proud to endorse our inaugural series of MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Journeys. These meticulously crafted itineraries are designed for curious travelers who share our passion for protecting people, wildlife and planet.
 

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What you will do

  • Stay in unique, hand-picked accommodations that are evocative of your destination.

  • Enjoy intimate wildlife and conservation activities in Costa Rica’s premier wildlife destinations.

  • You will be led by experienced guides and meet with local conservationist.

  • Enjoy the best of Costa Rican cuisine and plenty of time to relax at the lodges.
     

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Why We Love It

A unique wildlife experience at the remote and pristine Corcovado National Park.

Night sea turtle monitoring, supervised by an Ecology Project researcher.

Private experience at the Sloth Rescue Centre at Arenal National Park.

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Day by day Itinerary

Wild Costa Rica

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Day 1

San Jose

Arrive and transfer to the Bougainvillea Hotel. This evening our expert guide will provide a briefing on the trip before a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 2

San Jose - Pacuare Reserve

Depart early for the journey by road and boat to the Caribbean Coast. Lined with picture-perfect beaches and swaying palm trees, our destination today is Liro Lodge in the heart of the Pacuare Reserve, located between Tortugero and Limon.

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The Pacuare Reserve is hidden in dense jungle along the Caribbean Sea, a quasi-island surrounded by the ocean and a labyrinth of canals. Accessible only by boat, its remote location makes it easy to experience raw nature at its best; where howler monkeys, egrets, herons and kingfishers herald your arrival and the heavenly beach welcomes leatherback turtles every year.  This afternoon visit the EPI-Pacuare Reserve for a lecture about the sea turtle conservation program, provided by a resident biologist in charge of the project. (B)(L)(D)
 

Day 3

Pacuare Reserve

Join a dawn boat exploration along the Pacuare canals. The early morning hours are the best time for wildlife viewing, so be on the lookout for howler, spider and white face capuchin monkeys, caimans, crocodiles, river turtles and plenty of bird life. Return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast, before you set out on a hiking adventure.

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Pacuare Beach is one of the most important leatherback turtle nesting beaches in the world. Tonight, we will patrol the sea turtle nesting sites in small groups. It is a truly memorable experience to witness turtles slipping out of the ocean, crawling onto the shore to dig their nests and lay their eggs. (B)(L)(D)

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Day 4

Pacuare Reserve - Arenal Volcano

Enjoy a leisurely morning, before heading towards the Arenal Volcano Region. En route stop at La Tirimbina Natural Reserve for a guided walk as you look out for the sloths, monkeys, lizards and hummingbirds.

Upon arrival at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, the remainder of the day is at leisure. The lodge sits on an 870 acres encompassing rainforest, waterfalls and verdant pastures. You may like to explore the 7 miles of trails that wind through the property, or simply relax and enjoy the view. (B)(L)

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Day 5

Arenal Volcano Region

This morning we will hike along Arenal’s lava trails, where we enjoy panoramic views of Arenal Volcano, observe a variety of plants, wildlife and magnificent lava rock formations.

Later in the day, we visit Proyecto Asis, a wildlife rescue centre focused on the protection and rehabilitation of the brown-throated three-toed sloth and Hoff man’s two-toed sloth. We will meet a biologist who will discuss the rehabilitation and reintroduction of sloths into the wild, and see the sloth in a safe environment that does not interfere with the animals. (B)(L)

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Day 6

Arenal Volcano Region

We begin with a visit to the Arenal Hanging Bridges at Mistico Park and a visit to the Butterfly Conservatory, which contains the largest exhibition of butterflies in Costa Rica. After a busy morning, we enjoy a relaxing lunch at Rancho Margot, followed by a sustainable living workshop. Rancho Margot is Costa Rica’s first carbon negative company. The enterprise is a combination of sustainable hotel practices, organic farming and creative engineering. The ranch generates well over half of all food consumed by workers, residents and guests on-site. (B)(L)

Day 7

Arenal Volcano - The Pacific Coast

After breakfast we make our way to the pristine Pacific Coast. En-route, we stop for a boat excursion in search of the amazing American Crocodile that inhabits the Tarcoles River.

By late afternoon we arrive at La Cusinga Lodge, in time for an open-air dining experience.  The lodge is located in Uvita, home to Cola de Ballena (Whale's Tail) beach, considered one of the world's most beautiful beaches. (B)(L)(D)

Day 8

Corcovado National Park

Corcavado is the crown jewel of Costa Rica's extensive national parks system. The park is the largest in the country - protecting nearly one-third of the Osa Peninsula and harboring some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet.  We depart early in the morning via motorboat for the journey to Corcovado National Park. Upon arrival, we hike along the Sirena Station trails, a roughly 5.5km/3.5 mile trail, passing through numerous Guanacaste trees, rivers, beach terrain and dense forests. On our hike we may encounter howler and spider monkeys, kinkajous, scarlet macaws and if we are lucky, maybe an elusive jaguar. At the station relax and enjoy lunch, before boarding the boat for the return journey to La Cusinga Lodge.(B)(L)

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Day 9

Marino Ballena National Park

Today is at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s facilities and nearby beaches.  Marino Ballena constitutes the first Costa Rican protected nature reserve created exclusively for its marine resources. It has an area of 12,750 marine arces and 422 terrestrial arces with a 9mi long coastal strip.

Later this afternoon, a marine biologist will deliver a lecture about the humpback whale migration, their incredible biology and the conservation efforts by Marina Ballena National Park. (B)

Day 10

Marino Ballena National Park

Embark on a whale and dolphin watching tour in Marino Ballena National Park, searching for the majestic humpback whales and other marine life such as the Pacific spotted and bottle nose dolphins, seabirds, and sea turtles. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)(L)

Day 11

San Gerardo De Dota

Today’s destination is the quaint village of San Gerardo de Dota. En route, we stop at Paramo Cerro de la Muerte for a short bird watching tour. The páramo is at 9842 feet and is a special habitat due to the altitude. Characterized by dwarf bamboo forest, high altitude moors and lush montane forest, up to 70 bird species have been observed here. After lunch, we continue our journey to Trogon Lodge. Relax at the lodge before a delightful farewell dinner while reminiscing on the incredible adventures of our Costa Rica wildlife safari. (B)(D)

Day 12

San Gerardo De Dota - San Jose

We begin the day early with a walk around the charming town of San Gerardo the Dota, a little-known destination in the mountains south of San Jose. The village is set deep in a valley and surrounded by the towering Talamanca mountains.  Later we venture into the quiet forests around San Gerardo de Dota in search of the region’s most famous resident, the resplendent quetzal.

Return to the lodge to freshen up, before our return transfer to San Jose (approximately 2.5 hours) where the journey ends. If you would like to extend your journey, please speak with one of our expert destination specialists. (B)

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