12 Days

Costa Rica: A 12-Day Luxury Small-Group Tour

Discover volcanoes, cloud forests and national parks on a 12-day tour through Costa Rica. Visit a wildlife conservation centre, soak in hot-springs and spot a diverse range of animals in Central America's tropical paradise. All this plus 11 nights of hand-picked accommodation, private airport transfers, expert English-speaking guides and more. Consider expanding your adventure on an extended tour to Panama City, where the world's greatest Canal and colonial charm meet in harmony.

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Translating quite literally to 'The Rich Coast', Costa Rica is full of gorgeous tropical landscapes and rich history. Get your culture fix in San Jose, watch the cascades of La Fortuna, wander the cloud forest of Monteverde and bask on the coasts of Manuel Antonio National Park where you can discover thousands of animals and plant species on guided nature walks and more.

See the 'Itinerary' tab for more information.

What You'll Love...

The Wildnerness – Cloud forests, hot springs and nature reserves

The hot springs, hikes and volcanoes of La Fortuna paint the perfect picture of Costa Rica's wilderness. Discover the La Fortuna Waterfall, listen for frogs on a guided night walk and swim in the shadow of a volcano in your hotel's hot springs.

Discover one of the best examples of sustainable tourism that you can experience at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Considered as the most well known cloud forest in the world for its wide variety of biodiversity, important conservation contributions and scientific research, you'll find 2.5% of the world’s total biodiversity within this park. It’s one of the few remaining habitats in the world that supports all six species of the cat family – jaguars, ocelots, pumas, oncillas, margays, and jaguarundis.

Home to spider monkeys, sloths and hundreds of other birds and mammals, Manuel Antonio National Park is a tropical paradise and listed by Forbes as being among the world's 12 most beautiful national parks. Try to spot countless animals during a guided walk through this famous Costa Rican reserve.

The Culture – From coffee to Cartago

Visit local producers to learn how coffee and sugar cane are produced. After a crop-to-cup experience at El Trapiche’s coffee plantation, you’ll make your own candy during a sugar cane workshop.

At the foot of the Irazu Volcano lies Cartago, former capital of Costa Rica. Admire the Basilica of Los Angeles’s Byzantine architecture and witness a stunning volcanic backdrop as you wander the colonial streets.

Hand-Picked Stays – Volcanoes and Hot Springs

Soak in the natural on-site hot springs at the Hotel Arenal Springs Resort and Spa. These pools, with four different temperatures, rich mineral salts and ion based water, sit quietly in a lush rainforest. It’s sure to be a highlight on the trip – and a memorable place to relax.

Tour Extension – Panama City

Sitting at the point where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet, Panama is one of Latin America’s most important cultural and economic hubs. Enjoy a tantalising view of colonial history in old Panama City, Casco Antiquo, Plaza Bolivar and Teatro Nacional, then learn more about the iconic Panama Canal on this four-day extension with guided visits and plenty of free time to enjoy the intriguing museums and gorgeous coasts the city has to offer.

Your Package Includes

  • 11 nights of accommodation, featuring in three nights at the Studio Hotel Boutique in San Jose, three nights at the Arenal Springs Resort & Spa in La Fortuna, two nights at the Hotel Poco a Poco in Monteverde and three nights at the Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio.
  • Daily breakfasts and select meals (one lunch and two dinners).
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • The services of an English-speaking local guide.
  • Entrance and sightseeing fees.
  • Nature walks through Monteverde's Cloud Forest Reserve, Manuel Antonio National Park and Carara National Park.

Extension Inclusions

  • Three nights of accommodation at the Novotel Panama City
  • Included international flights from San Jose to Panama City
  • Daily breakfasts
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Guided touring through Panama City's old quarter and through one of the world's great engineering marvels, the Panama Canal.

Valid for select departure dates below:

28 April 2018 5 May 2018 29 September 2018 14 October 2018 3 November 2018 8 December 2018 12 January 2019

All departure dates are subject to availability and early bookings are highly recommended.

Instant Booking: To secure your dates at purchase, click 'Instant Booking' and select your preferred package. Once your preferred package is selected you'll click through to 'Choose Your Dates of Travel' and will be able to enter in your preferred tour commencement date.

Tipping and gratuities are not included in the package and are at your own discretion (as a guide, approx. US$5-10 per person, per day is the industry standard).

Arrival and departure transfers are only available on the first and last day of the tour. Any arrivals and departures outside of these days will need to make their own arrangements to/from the airport.

Travellers should have a basic level of physical fitness and mobility and must be able to negotiate uneven surfaces, climb stairs and board boats.

Travellers are advised to check with their local health professional at least 45 days prior to departure, as some vaccinations require 30 days or more to be effective. Proof of vaccination is not usually required unless you are coming from an infected area.

The package is valid for ONE PERSON aged 18 years or older (based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO PACKAGES, otherwise an additional single traveller surcharge will apply. Single travellers will get their own room throughout the tour.

Single Traveller Surcharge: If travelling alone, you must purchase the Single Traveller package option. See the package options for further details.

Maximum tour capacity is 20 people, minimum tour capacity is four people.

Tour includes accommodation in an entry-level room at the following hotels:

Studio Hotel Boutique, San Jose Arenal Springs Resort & Spa, La Fortuna Hotel Poco a Poco, Monteverde Hotel Parador, Manuel Antonio Novotel, Panama City Panama City extension only Accommodation is subject to availability and may be substituted for a hotel of a similar standard.

Maximum Room Capacity: The maximum room capacity is two people.

Please note, connecting rooms are not available.

All surcharges are payable directly to Luxury Escapes.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated) and menu options are subject to change.

Travel insurance is compulsory. We suggest purchasing travel insurance as soon as possible after purchasing this package.

Strictly no refunds for this tour package for amendments and change of date.

Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or on existing reservations.

Any unused portion of the package is non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.

Additional expenses are not included.

Please note: disability access is limited during the tour, please consider this when making your booking.

Before making a reservation, please ensure that the name on the reservation is the same as it appears on your passport. An error may result in a name change penalty or boarding being denied by the airline. Luxury Escapes accepts no responsibility for accuracy of name on the travel documents.

Package cannot be split.

Offer only available for consecutive nightly stays.

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your intended stay overseas.

A visa may be required to the countries you are visiting and transiting. It is your responsibility to ensure you are holding a current visa.

The value and comparative savings has been determined based on published rack rates and the value of inclusions. Please be advised that rack rates may not be reflective of actual rates being charged, dependent on the timing and manner of your booking and therefore are only indicative of the level of saving.

All activities and services (including late checkout) are subject to availability.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply - refer

DAY 1 – San Jose Welcome to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. One of the youngest captials in Latin America, Costa Rica has developed into a modern city where an adventurous art scene meets neoclassical buildings: a place where old meets new. After arriving at the airport, you'll be met by a local representative before transferring to your hotel. Tonight, meet your tour leader and the rest of your group, then enjoy a delicious group dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Studio Hotel Boutique Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 – La Fortuna The busy mountain town of La Fortuna, a.k.a 'The Fortune', has been aptly named due to it's unique mix of tourist attractions and lush wilderness. Start travelling towards La Fortuna before visiting Proyecto Asis – a wildlife protection organisation where you'll get an up-close look at Costa Rican wildlife. Once you arrive at La Fortuna, head to your hotel and enjoy the stunning view of Arenal Volcano. With the rest of the day at leisure, explore La Fortuna however you want. Perhaps take a relaxing swim at the hotel’s on-site hot springs, or enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant? Accommodation: Arenal Springs Resort & Spa Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3 – La Fortuna Standing 70 metres tall, La Fortuna Waterfall is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica - you'll find out why on a guided morning tour to the base of the Chato Volcano. The rest of the day is yours to explore or relax at the hotel before a guided amphibian night walk awaits. Keep your eyes peeled for frogs hiding in their natural habitat – a high diversity of species such as the strawberry poison dart frog, the gaudy leaf frog and the New Granada cross-banded tree frog can be spotted hiding in the leaves... if you’re lucky. Accommodation: Arenal Springs Resort & Spa Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4 – La Fortuna The pleasant town of La Fortuna is all yours to explore today. Relax in your hotel, follow the call of the wild to the Ecocentro Danaus or Mirador El Silencio nature parks or head to the central plaza and discover its eye-catching Catholic Church. Accommodation: Arenal Springs Resort & Spa Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5 – Monteverde Full of villages, farms and nature reserves, Monteverde is an idyllic landscape full of hiking trails and hidden animals at every turn. The nearby cloud forest reserve draws travellers from all across the globe, as they come to spot the 2,500 species of plant, 100 species of mammal, 400 species of bird and thousands of insects that call this region home. Begin your journey today on the banks of Lake Arenal, crossing the water by boat as you enjoy scenic views of the nearby volcano. Once you reach land, travel by bus to your hotel in Monteverde where you’ll stay for the night. Accommodation: Hotel Poco a Poco Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6 – Monteverde The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is the number one draw-card for the region, and most of the diverse wildlife of the Monteverde area lives here. 2.5% of the world’s total biodiversity lives within this park. It’s one of the few remaining habitats in the world that supports all six species of the cat family – jaguars, ocelots, pumas, oncillas, margays, and jaguarundis. Keeping an ear out for croaking frogs and twittering birds during a guided hike through Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve - one of the world’s best hikes due to the variety of plants along the trail. In the afternoon, learn about local produce with visits to a Costa Rican cheese factory before heading to El Trapiche to learn about coffee and sugar cane. You’ll even get a chance to make your own candy before returning to the hotel for the evening. Accommodation: Hotel Poco a Poco Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7 – Manuel Antonio National Park Listed by Forbes as one of the world's most beautiful nature reserves, Manuel Antonio National Park lures as many as 150,000 visitors a year to explore its radiant beaches and hiking trails. Today you'll travel to the park, making a pit stop by the Tarcoles Bridge to watch crocodiles warm themselves on the sunny riverbanks – an otherwise rare sight in Costa Rica. Once you arrive at the park, head to your beachside hotel and contemplate a sunset swim in the inviting waters of the Pacific. Accommodation: Hotel Parador Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8 – Manuel Antonio National Park Today you'll get to experience beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park on a guided visit. This national park is Costa Rica’s smallest, yet most biologically diverse reserve, much loved for its balmy climate, white sand beaches and lush tropical forests. As you wander through the park, your guide will use their expertise to help you spot some of the 180 species of birds, various monkeys, iguanas and sloths hiding in the area. Accommodation: Hotel Parador Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9 – Manuel Antonio National Park You’ll have free time all day to explore Manuel Antonio National Park. Considering how close the park is to the sea, you might want to head to the beach for some swimming or fishing. You could also wander into the forest, eat at a popular local restaurant or see if the feria (weekly market) is open to buy some fresh produce. Accommodation: Hotel Parador Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10 – San Jose After saying farewell to Manuel Antonio National Park, you'll begin your next adventure to the Carara National Park. Although the name Carara comes from the native Huetar word for 'crocodile', this wetland reserve is best known for its birdlife. Take some time to explore the park in search of birds - you may even spot the stunning red, yellow and blue feathered scarlet Macaw while here. After departing from Carara, return to nearby San Jose and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. Accommodation: Studio Hotel Boutique Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11 – San Jose Standing at 3,432 metres, the Irazu Volcano is the largest in Costa Rica - and one of the most frequently eruptive. Today's journey takes you to the Irazu Volcano and its surrounds for a full day of exploration. Sitting at the bottom of the volcano lies Cartago, the former capital of Costa Rica until it was moved to San Jose. Explore the local Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles and admire its beautiful Byzantine-style architecture, then head off the beaten path to the Orosi Valley where colourful flowers, lakes and ruins await. Once the evening arrives, join your group for a farewell dinner in San Jose. Accommodation: Studio Hotel Boutique Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 12 – Tour Ends Your tour ends today with a transfer to the airport for your onward journey. Meals: Breakfast

Optional Extension Itinerary – Panama City

DAY 12 – Panama City Between its verdant jungles, sandy beaches and glass-panelled skyline, Panama City is the centre of many worlds – and the diversity of activities you can enjoy here reflects this. Your adventures begin after departing the hotel in San Jose and taking your flight to Panama City. You’ll meet with your guide on arrival before transferring to your hotel. Once you’ve dropped your bags off, the rest of the day is yours. Maybe visit one of the many museums such as the BioMuseo which celebrates the brilliant biodiversity of Panama and features design from Frank Gehry who created the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. The Museo de Arte Contemporaneo is also a great option, as it holds the world's best collection of Panamanian artworks. Accommodation: Novotel Panama City Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13 – Panama City Meet up with your local guide in the morning and begin your adventures through the city – the first European settlement in the pacific. Start off with a visit to the Panama La Vieja in the city’s downtown district. Here, the architectural styles of old flourish, and you can spot different eras of French, Spanish and Italian design. Continue to the Casco Antiquo, the Teatro Nacional, the Plaza and Palace of Bolivar and Las Bovedas Promenade where you can take in spectacular views of Panama City. From here, head to the iconic Panama Canal. Over 100 years old, this man-made canal has been dubbed as one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects in history – yet this shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was well worth the effort for the time it shaved off naval trade routes. Learn more about this ambitious project at the four exhibition halls of the Miraflores Visitors Centre, each organised with varying themes linked to the history of the canal, then explore the Causeway – a group of three islands linked to the mainland by local breakwaters. Accommodation: Novotel Panama City Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14 – Panama City With more free time at your disposal, now’s the chance to get closer to Panama’s melting pot of cultures. Why not wander the streets in search of museums, beautiful churches and cathedrals, restaurants, bars and hidden markets? Accommodation: Novotel Panama City Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15 – Panama City Your tour ends today with a transfer to the airport for your onward journey. Meals: Breakfast

Flights to San Jose can be booked from most major Australian cities and may require two stops en route, often in Los Angeles or Nadi. Flights can be booked through Fiji Airways, Virgin Australia, Hawaiian Airways and more.

Book your flight through us. Booking a flight is a quick, easy process. Once you have made your tour booking, our dedicated Tours Concierge will be in touch to assist you with any arrangements you may wish to make. A visa may be required to the destination you are visiting. It is each travellers responsibility to ensure they are holding a current visa. Please take the time to visit our preferred vendor website Visa’s Direct to assist you with any visa application requirements and processes. If you require any supporting documentation when applying for your visa please let us know and we would be more than happy to assist. Click here to visit their website.