Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group, Independent

Rainforest, Costa Rica (11 days)

Costa Rica Expeditions

Alajuela, Costa Rica To San José, Costa Rica

Valid for Departures Now Through: 07 Feb 2019

Rainforest, Costa Rica (11 days)

Day 5

Copey de Dota, Costa Rica

Day 6

Copey de Dota, Costa Rica

Day 7

Carara National Park , Costa Rica

Day 8

Carara National Park , Costa Rica

Day 9

Carara National Park , Costa Rica


Day 1
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Xandari Resorts & Spa None

Arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport, after exiting the plane, first follow the signs to immigration where you will have to wait in line to get your passport checked and stamped. Continue to baggage claim and customs. There are carts in the baggage claim area that are free of charge, so grab one of those while you wait for your luggage to come out on the designated carousel

If your flight is arriving between the hours of 7 am- 10 pm, you may be greeted by a representative from the Costa Rican chamber of tourism. If so they will give you a sticker that identifies you to customs officials as a tourist. These representatives are not always available, and if you don’t see them don’t worry, as the sticker is a courtesy and not a necessity.

Once you have your luggage, you’ll need to get in line to go through customs. Normally this consists of putting your luggage and carry on luggage on a conveyor belt to be x-rayed; when it’s your turn to put your luggage on the conveyor belt you will have to give the Customs Official the form that you filled out on the plane. Once you’ve retrieved your luggage, you can exit the airport.

Day 2
Sarapiquí, Costa Rica
Hacienda La Isla Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Mid-morning meets your Private Bilingual Naturalist Guide and Spanish speaking driver. They will be with you for the next 9 days.

After meeting your Naturalist and Birding Guide depart for the Sarapiqui Region, en route stop at La Paz waterfall gardens

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

La Paz Waterfall Gardens is designed around 5 waterfalls, cloud forest and rain forest, safe hiking trails, aviary with 40 species of birds, toucan feeding, marmoset monkeys, insect exhibit, butterfly observatory and butterfly gardens, butterfly laboratory, two-toed sloths, Capuchin (white-faced) monkeys, black-handed spider monkeys, hummingbird garden with 26 documented species, hummingbird hand feeding in the mornings and afternoons, serpentarium (snake exhibit), Jaguar, pumas, ocelots, jaguarundi, margays, casita de la paz with petting zoo and ox cart, ranarium (frog exhibit), orchid exhibit, heliconia exhibit, bromeliad exhibit. Step back in time and taste some fresh milk (right from the cow), take a ride in an ox-driven cart, sample freshly made tortillas and see how the Ticos (Costa Ricans) lived and worked on rural farms. The altitude in the park ranges from 4,300-5,000 feet.

Mid to late afternoon arrive in Sarapiqui

The forest on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica is rich in flora and fauna species, and Sarapiqui is a good example of this. Sarapiqui encompasses excellent bird watching opportunities, plants, flowers and trees exploration along vast regions, and lots of water fun in the rivers. There’re hanging bridges that cross the river, observation of frogs in their natural habitat, and possibilities to encounter a large variety of mammals such as Bats, Monkeys, Sloths, Coatis, Ant-eaters, Agoutis and Squirrels. The abundant forest will also be home for many species of reptiles like Iguanas, Basilisks and an impressive variety of Snakes. The opportunities to learn about crops and fruits are also part of the experience in Sarapiquí

Day 3
Sarapiquí, Costa Rica
Hacienda La Isla Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Full day with your Naturalist Guide in Sarapiqui to explore La Selva Station

La Selva Biological Station

Estación Biológica La Selva (OTS) is located in the lowlands of Sarapiqui, on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This station is owned and administered by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) a consortium of U.S. and Costa Rican institutes of higher learning. With your Naturalist Guide go for a rain forest walk on very well-maintained trails. After signing up in the Reception Office, your Nature Guide will start with a brief explanation about this Biological Station. Later on, you’ll be immersed in a very natural and well conserved region of Costa Rica. You’ll be able to explore the trails, different habitats and tree tops with your Guide. Discover the biodiversity of lowland tropical rainforest at this internationally renowned research station. With its laboratories, online geographic information system, extensive trails, and large forest reserve bordering Braulio Carrillo National Park. You’ll be walking the trails long enough to really discover the treasures of La Selva, and most of the times you’ll be able to observe many species of native wildlife. There’re more than 300 species of birds reported for La Selva, and among them Trogons, Toucans, Great Curassow, Tanagers, Honey-creepers, Hummingbirds, Euphonias, Wrens and many more. Besides, occasionally you can find at least two species of monkeys, Agoutis, Coatis, Ant-eaters, Sloths, Peccaries, as well as Lizards, Iguanas and several species of snakes

Day 4
Sarapiquí, Costa Rica
Hacienda La Isla Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cope Wildlife

This morning visit Cope Wildlife, Jose Alberto or “Cope”, like everyone knows him, has been feeding and caring for birds for many years and the house gardens are always full of tanagers, honey-creepers, toucans, woodpeckers and hummingbirds.

He has built photography hides around the garden strategically positioned to get great lighting and background for nature photography.

Nature Pavilion Park

The variety of local avifauna, plus the migratory birds, can easily reach 400 species. This farm was formerly an abandoned palm plantation; however, the new owners decided to start a reforestation process to try to reestablish the natural balance. The observation deck built at the highest point of the farm provides close views of birds that approach the feeders. Also, there are several hummingbird feeders at the house balcony that attract species like the White-necked Jacobin, hermits or Rufus-tailed Hummingbirds. You also have an opportunity to take a close look at the poison-dart frogs’ fountain where species like the Oophaga pumilio or the Dendrobates.spp, can be observed at the pond. There is a trail that goes down to the Sarapiqui River from the Nature Pavilion. The trail is about 1-mile-long, and approximately half of it is very steep, but they built wide cement steps with handrails to help you down. Once at the river bed, there are chances for other birds like the Tiger Heron, egrets or the Sunbird to be spotted. During the dry season you can easily cross the river bank to approach Sarapiqui River. After backtracking uphill on the trail, you can take some time to relax at the observation deck chairs and perhaps take a few more pictures. There are about 20 species of birds frequenting the perches like Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, Montezuma Oropendola, Golden-hooded Tanager, Crimson-collared Tanager, Yellow-crowned Euphonia, Green Honeycreeper and Red-legged Honeycreeper.

Day 5
Copey de Dota, Costa Rica
El Toucanet Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today depart from Sarapiqui to the highlands at Cerro de la Muerte

Cerro de la Muerte literally translates to Mountain of Death. This not very appealing name was given to the region by the travelers that intended to conquer the mountain many decades ago. Before any roads were built, and during the time that nobody lived in this region, crossing the Cerro de la Muerte high elevations on foot was a real challenge. The rain and the cold temperatures just made the task harder and kept the area isolated from Central Valley and the capital San José. Elevations at the Cerro de la Muerte are close to 12,000 feet, and the landscape is very particular. Both the “Paramo”, which refers to the vegetation that grows above the timber line, and the Oak Forest are considered rare nowadays in Central America. During the construction of the Pan-American Highway during the 50s, many workers ventured into this land and some small villages were born in the midst of this remote area.

Today, the region has a special importance for conservation, and for the development of crops like apricots, apples and black berries, as well as Eco-tourism. Despite there’re many different species of trees that can be seen in this high altitude, the different varieties of oak, as well as the wild avocado species are particularly important for the area. Besides, there is an abundant plant life in the area such as mosses, bamboo, and tree ferns. Aside from birds, wildlife is rarely sighted at this point. Cerro de la Muerte is considered a birdwatcher's paradise with the iconic Resplendent Quetzal, Emerald Toucanettes and hummingbirds being fairly common sightings. The scenery at the top of Cerro de la Muerte is different from any other area of the country. The high elevations, dwarf vegetation and cold temperatures promote the development of various habitats. Temperatures drop to 40 F (5 C) during the night, mostly from December through February

Day 6
Copey de Dota, Costa Rica
El Toucanet Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today with your Naturalist Guide visit Paraiso de Quetzales, within an extension of 80 hectares (200 acres) contains a wealth of flora and fauna. More than 140 species - some of them endemic to the area- make this place a birdwatcher's dream. Paraíso Quetzal has managed to respect and safeguard the Cloud Forest. Its varied fauna, especially the quetzal, make this place a good sightseeing area. A gentle 1.5 km (1 mile) walk through the cloud forest will lead you to the Quetzals habitat. Epiphytes, such as orchids and bromeliads, make this tour a gratifying experience en route to your possible encounter with the Quetzal. Despite its normally reticent and silent behavior, the male, during the mating season, sometimes emits a wide range of sounds to attract a nearby female and so initiate their reproductive cycle.

Day 7
Carara National Park , Costa Rica
Villa Caletas Breakfast, Lunch

Today with your Naturalist Guide drive around the highlands at Cerro de la Muerte for more birding and landscape photography, later continue to the central pacific at Carara National Park, picture opportunity stops along the way and lunch.

Villa Caletas is located in the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, on a jungle hilltop at 8 km from Jaco Beach. From each side of the mountain, rain forests spread to the beaches below. Mainly renowned for the flocks of colorful, Scarlet Macaws, the region is preferred among nature lovers. The area hosts several biological reserves and wildlife refuges.

Besides the Scarlet Macaw, other species in this area are Fiery-billed Aracari, Crane Hawk, White-throated Magpie Jay, Double-striped Thick-knee, Southern Lapwing, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Black-headed Trogon, Cinnamon Hummingbird and Steely-vented Hummingbird

Day 8
Carara National Park , Costa Rica
Villa Caletas Breakfast

Carara National Park

Carara National Park offers high species diversity. The park is located between the dry forests of the north and the humid ones of the south. As a result of this confluence of species and habitats, Carara provides interesting opportunities for anyone interested in nature & photography. Many endangered and threatened species live and breed here, like the American crocodile (Cocodrilus acutus). In fact, many people stop in a bridge located near the park to observe these ancestral reptiles. Carara is also considered a sanctuary of the Scarlet Macaw, as well as many more species of birds like Tiger Herons, Egrets, Sand-pipers, Stilts, Tanagers, Honeycreepers, Trogons, Toucans and many more. The Three- toed Sloth lives, feeds and mates on the trees, and they can be spotted occasionally along the pathways.The area in which the reserve is located was occupied by an indigenous culture that lived from 300 B.C. to 1500 A.D. Extensive tomb sites have been excavated here, and the burial places of people of high status are remarkably complex. The trails in Carara are in good shape, and they’re mostly flat with shaded sections under trees

Day 9
Carara National Park , Costa Rica
Villa Caletas Breakfast

Rio Tarcoles Boat Tour

The tour is specially designed for adventurers and bird watchers, yet safe for the whole family. The adventure takes place on the Tárcoles River, one of four rivers flowing out into the Nicoya Peninsula, and home to one of the world’s largest crocodile populations in the wild with individuals up to fifteen feet long. In addition to the crocodiles, over fifty different kinds of birds can be seen on site, including the very rare scarlet macaw and a great variety of resident and migrant waterfowl. Iguanas and basilisk lizards are very common as well. On the way downstream, the boat heads along the Estero Guacalillo, a most impressive mangrove ecosystem that features four different species of mangrove trees.

Day 10
San José, Costa Rica
Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton None

Morning at leisure to explore the hotel facilities or go for another birding and nature walk and photography before returning to San Jose this afternoon.

Day 11
San José, Costa Rica
International Airport None

Depending on your international flight departure time, take the hotel free shuttle service to the airport, 3 minutes away. Please keep in mind that you must be at the airport at least three hours prior to your departure time.

Tour Features


  • Adventure
  • Family Vacations
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature


Do you like the Rainforest?

If you are looking for nature and adventure, we recommend you this option.

You can stay in Sarapiqui, Copey de Dota and Carara National Park.

About Us

Created in 1978, Costa Rica Expeditions continues to set the pace with Taylor made itineraries of leisure, wilderness and nature adventures in one of the world's most bio diverse and richly-populated wildlife areas. With appeal for travelers seeking escape to remote wilderness areas, retreats and beaches with the most upscale accommodations waiting at the end of the day, Costa Rica Expeditions blends adventure-packed itineraries led by expert, bilingual naturalist guides with luxurious lodgings set in Costa Rica's wildest corners. Costa Rica Expeditions is widely recognized as the best nature and adventure tour operator in the country.

Insider Tip

Contact your Costa Rica Expeditions Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions


INCLUDED: Accommodations, Transfers, Tours and Meals: As indicated in the itinerary.

Porterage: we include the handling of two bags per person.

Taxes & entrance fees: Hotel taxes, entrance fees to National Parks, museums and places of interest in effect at the time of booking are included unless otherwise specified.

NOT INCLUDED: Costs of obtaining passports, visas; excess baggage fees; personal expenses, gratuities for tour escort, guides or driver; international airfare and airport departure taxes; sightseeing or meals not specified in the itinerary; personal insurance coverage.



A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total trip cost is required to guarantee your reservation upon acceptance of proposal. The balance is due 60 days prior to the start date of departure. Any trips that are reserved less than 90 days prior to arrival must make full payment before hotel reservations can be confirmed. Deposits that are made to secure peak season hotels, guides and services are non-refundable.


A deposit of 50% of the total trip cost is required to guarantee your reservation upon acceptance of proposal. The balance is due 30 days prior to the start date of departure. Any trips that are confirmed less than 60 days prior to arrival must make full payment before hotel reservations can be confirmed.


The prices we charge reflect our costs and a reasonable profit for our services in planning and operating the trip.


We do not give price breakdowns.



Deposits that are made to secure peak season hotel, guides and services are non-refundable. In the case of cancellations 90 days or more prior to the start date of the scheduled trip, there is a full refund minus a cancellation fee of $750 or 20% of the entire cost of the trip. In the case of cancellations received in our office from 89 to 46 days prior to the start date of the trip, there is a 50% refund, minus hotel deposits and guide fees. There will be no refund for cancellations made 45 or fewer days prior to the trip.


Deposits that are made to secure peak season hotel, guides and service are non-refundable. In the case of cancellations 30 days or more prior to the start date of the scheduled trip, there is a full refund minus hotel deposits and guide fees, in addition to a cancellation fee of $500 or 15% of the entire cost of the trip. In the case of cancellations received in our office from 29 to 15 days prior to the start date of the trip, there is a 50% refund, minus hotel deposits and guide fees. There will be no refund for cancellations made 14 or fewer days prior to the trip.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Costa Rica Expeditions


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Excellent accomodation and tours

By: MM

Reviewed on: 02 Mar 2015

Costa Rica Expeditions is a first class operation. Their guide Donald at the Montverde Lodge and Gardens was amazing. We saw many species of birds and mammals that we would not have seen had he not been along to point then out to us. Very professional, polite and well versed in the ecology of Costa Rica. Excellent English as well. All transfers from one location to another were executed perfectly. Always on time and safe. Most drivers spoke a fair amount of English and were only too glad to stop to point out sights or to stop for a photo. shoot. The Monteverde Lodge and Gardens was very comfortable and the restaurant El Jardin was great as well. Loved the whole experience.
Travel Advisor:  Lisa and Nancy Zupancic

Pura Vida

By: Sherie

Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2015

Costa Rica....the most hospitable place on earth! Wonderful service wherever we went. Everyone we met was kind and welcoming. Such an amazing country.

Costa Rica March 2017

By: Cecile

Reviewed on: 03 Apr 2017

10+ Drivers, tour guides, hosts, lodges (especially Tortuga Lodge, but also Monte Verde Lodge), food, employees were all fabulous! We also stayed at Arenas Del Mar and that was fabulous as well!
Travel Advisor:  Susan Morley