People & Nature
From £1995 pp excl flights
14 Days
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Our Wilderness and Wildlife holiday offers you the chance to encounter some of the amazing wildlife that lives in Costa Rica, such as the Resplendent Quetzal, toucans and other tropical birds, monkeys, sloths, sea turtles and dolphins. You will explore an incredible variety of tropical ecosystems, from the jungle-clad canals and sandy turtle nesting sites of Tortuguero to the remote rainforest, where you will be surrounded by nothing but trees and the Pacific Ocean. Time to get off the beaten track!

Day to Day Itinerary

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This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.

14 Days: San Jose - Nacientes Palchimal- Savegre - The Bríbripa Kanèblö - Los Campesinos - Manuel Antonio

Activities: Hiking, nature, communtiy interaction, local cooking, wildlife viewing, beaches

Day 1: Arrive at the international airport of San José, where you will be met by one of our representatives and taken to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive, you may have time to do a walking tour around the centre of town.

Day 2: After breakfast you will be met by your wonderful naturalist guide who will be with you to until day 9 of your holiday. Your adventure begins in earnest today as you head to Palmichal de Acosta village, only 1 hour outside of San Jose.

At Nacientes Palmichal Rural Lodge you can get an up close and personal experience with a real coffee-growing community, live the life of Costa Rican campesinos and discover a mountain town of incomparable beauty surrounded by crystal clear waters.

You can also hike or go horseback riding to the entrance of the wildlife reserve and then soak in the rural ambiance of this extraordinary place. You can learn to make tortillas “campesino” style with Doña Mery, or learn how to grind, toast and taste one of the best coffees in the world at the “Paraje de Bendicion” sustainable cattle ranch, where you will also learn about the process of “biogas” production, participate in the traditional cheese making process, and tour a small-scale farm, complete with chicken, geese, turkeys, ducks and rabbits. Enjoy the other face of the capital city – rural San José!

Day 3: In the morning your guide will take you to a very special cloud forest reserve, the San Gerardo Cloud Forest. The area is made up of the Savegre Valley and the Los Santos Forest Reserve. It offers a great alternative to the far more visited Monteverde cloud forest further north.

Savegre area was declared a Forest Reserve in November 1975 and covers some 62,000 hectares. Three different forest zones blend together in this area: premontane rain forest, low mountain rain forest and mountain rain forest. Elevation ranges from 2000m to 3000m above sea level in Cerro de la Muerte. At this high elevation, temperature ranges between 0 and 17 degrees Celsius, with an annual rainfall of between 2500-3500 mm per year.

The fauna is also diverse and more than 175 different species of birds have been identified. It is famously home to the Resplendent Quetzal, who lives here year round, as well as other species such as Trogons, Hummingbirds, Great Tinamou, sooty robin and woodpeckers, among others. You might also be lucky enough to spot bigger animals including as felines, tapirs, brockets and coyotes.

Day 4: Wake up early and go on the Quetzal watching tour (shared with other guests) that lasts around three hours. Go in search of the resplendent Quetzal with its iridescent green feathers, its long, graceful tail and bright red breast! In the afternoon, go on a 2 hour-waterfall tour: walk on your own along the trails into the cloud forest and waterfall.

Day 5: Located in the Saltire Indigenous trerritory, a trip to Bríbripa Kanèblö will immerse you in a completely different world with a culture, history and landscape of its own, in an area of great beauty with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and rivers. The Bríbripa Kanèblö Association is made up of indigenous Bribri people who preserve and practice their language, customs and traditions. Bribris represent the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica, with part of their territory located within La Amistad International Park.

After lunch spent getting to know the community you will walk to the stunning area of the reserve known as the savanna, where you can sit and watch the sun set over another wondrous day. Legend has it that giants inhabited this land before the Bribri, but they were very destructive so Sebú ordered that they be buried at this site.

You will enjoy a scrumptious dinner cooked over a wood fire in traditional Bribri style Accommodation in rooms with private bath in rural lodge

Day 6: The morning will be spent getting to know the farming and harvesting activities and techniques, which will highlight the special relationship the Bribri community share with their land

In the afternoon you will have time to choose an additional activity to visit the other indigenous communities around the area or simply relax in the stunning surroundings. Lunch, dinner and accommodation in rooms with private bath in rural lodge

Day 7: Today is the start of another very special and unique wildlife experience. Your guide will drive you south to the Los Campesinos reserve and lodge for your 2 night stay.

The people of the Quebrada Arroyo community are the guardians of Los Campesinos Reserve, located in the basin of the Savegre River. The reserve consists of primary and secondary forest that is in the process of regeneration and is protected by the Association of Vanilla Producers (ASOPROVA). The Quebrada Arroyo community felt that not only was the reserve not fulfilling its potential for tourism, they also never saw any benefit from the little tourism the reserve did bring in. With the support of the Small Donations Program (PNUD), the Association built and maintained small shelters for walkers and trails and facilities for ecological tourism.

Upon arrival you will be served a tasty typical lunch, prepared on a wood stove. After you have settled in you will take a short walk across a 40m high, 127m long suspended bridge next to the impressive Los Chorros waterfall to swim in the transparent natural pools. Then in the evening, share stories with the locals while enjoying a homemade dinner.

Day 8: At 5:30 a.m., before breakfast, your local guide will take you for a walk on the Mirador El Pacifico Trail (approx 2.5 hours), sharing stories of his adventures in the forest and explaining the uses of native plants. Part of your journey will involve crossing a forested gorge by aerial tram, from where you can look out over the Rio Savegre Valley and the Pacific Coast. A hot drink will be served as you sit at this stunning view point

Enjoy a typical breakfast and the rest of the day is yours to explore the community and reserve at your own pace

Day 9: Today your private transfer will pick you up and take you on a spectacular journey south to the stunning coastline of Manuel Antonio National Park. Manuel Antonio National Park epitomises the popular view of Central America’s remote Pacific coast. Lush green forest creeping up to the beautiful white sands and warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. For this reason Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most popular and scenic national parks, offering a well-marked trail system and prolific wildlife such as toucans and several species of monkeys.

Within the National Park the beaches of Espadilla Sur and Manuel Antonio offer very good snorkeling when the water is clear, which is best during the dry season (Dec – May). At 236 feet (72 m) high, Cathedral Point lies between Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio. It is connected to the mainland by a narrow land bridge and if you are up for the hike, provides a memorable view. Playa Manuel Antonio offers a glimpse into the past with pre-Columbian turtle traps made of stone. Surfing, swimming or just relaxing under the sun are favourite activities for park goers.

It is worth noting that your guide will leave you today so why not make the most of it and take a guided walk around the reserve! Alternatively you can simply spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach or by the pool.

Day 10 - 12: These days are free for you to relax and enjoy the area. You can simply relax, explore the reserve further or take on one of the additional activities on offer in the area such as: Sunset Catamaran rides, horseback riding, White Water Rafting, Surf lessons and canopy tours

Day 13: Today you will be picked up by your private transfer and driven back to San José where you will have the afternoon free to explore the city.

Day 14: It is time to say adiós to Costa Rica as you are transferred back to the airport in time for your international flight home.

Price: From £1995 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.!

Best Time To Travel

Best time to visit: December - April
Dec – Apr sunny and dry but cooler than the Summer. Jun – Aug rain showers, hot and humid. Sep & Oct heavier rain, hot and humid.
Nov & May are a mix and great for avoiding crowds

Add a Mini Experience

These unique short trips and one day tours could make your holiday even better! They can be added into any itinerary and are designed to help you further explore the cultural, natural and social diversity of Costa Rica

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