Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group, Independent

Nature in your Hands, Costa Rica (9 days)

Costa Rica Expeditions

San José, Costa Rica To San José, Costa Rica

Valid for Departures Now Through: 31 Aug 2019


Day 1
San José, Costa Rica
Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After passing through Immigration and customs meet your Costa Rica Expeditions guide, who will take you to your hotel.

Day 2
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early morning transfer from your San Jose hotel to the light aviation airport. Here you will board a domestic flight (shared with other guests) for the 35 minute flight to the Tortuguero airstrip. Fly over Braulio Carrillo National Park and the Atlantic lowlands. The time for your excursions may change depending on weather conditions and availability. The lodge will reconfirm times on arrival.

Day 3
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tortuguero National Park Wildlife Boat TourAfter breakfast, leave the lodge by boat with your Tortuguero local naturalist guide and fellow guests to explore the creeks of Tortuguero National Park. The morning hours are especially active in the rain forest, when the wildlife is hungry and in search of their energy source for the day.

Tortuguero Village & Casa Cecropia VisitSpend the afternoon or morning with your Tortuga Lodge Guide and husband and wife team Rafa Robles and Clara Beaudoin. Together, they will unfold the history of the Village of Tortuguero.

Tortuguero is one of the youngest place of planet Earth in term of its geological formation. Learn about the formation of the creek and waterway systems of this lowland flooded tropical rainforest, sometimes called the Costa Rican amazon. It is the biggest protected rainforest in Central America but it hasn’t always been that way.

Turtle Bogue was one of the biggest hunting grounds for Atlantic Green sea turtle in the world. The first inhabitants of the area were the Zambo-Miskito Indians and escaped slaves; they controlled the entire Caribbean coast raiding cacao plantations and hunting turtle. Nineteenth century sailors included the coast of Tortuguero in their route because they could purchase turtle meat, oil and shell to be sold in Europe. Today's descendants are mostly from Jamaica, Costa Rica's main Caribbean city of Limon (also of Jamaican descent) and Nicaragua.

After leaving Casa Cercropia, your local Tortuga Lodge Guide will guide you through the Village of Tortuguero. Over time, the village became more focused on tourism and today most of the adults work in some form of tourism or conservation related business. The village has made a big effort to get their basic needs met such as running water, medical and dental care, garbage collection and management. Visit the Park headquarters, the general goods store and walk down the paths with colorful Afro-Caribbean homes.

Day 4
Arenal, Costa Rica
Arenal Manoa Breakfast

Today you’ll meet your Captain and the boat at the dock to cross the canal. It takes only minutes to be on the air strip in Tortuguero from Tortuga Lodge. Your SANSA flight will be ready to fly to Town of La Fortuna (40 min).Upon arrival a 30 min land transfer will be provided to your hotel.

Day 5
Arenal, Costa Rica
Arenal Manoa Breakfast, Dinner

Arenal Sky Adv Tram, Zip Line & Canopy Walkway

Meet your Transfer Guide in the lobby and drive to a private reserve near the north-facing slopes of the Cordillera de Tilarán.

You will be accompanied by a bilingual guide in order to point out and explain more about the wild species found in the preserve. The tram can be stopped at any point on the way, allowing the visitors to take photographs or spotting native wild life. The tram resembles a ski lift with hanging gondolas, and takes participants up to a mirador (lookout point) designed to see the surrounding rain forest. The Canopy Zip Line starts from the observation platform.

Afterwards the guides will deliver a safety speech stressing safety and the braking system tips. While you zip along the nearly three kilometers of cables, you will immerse in the rain forest. As you step out of the Canopy Zip Line, a bilingual guide will continue with you to enter the Canopy Walkway. This walk consists of a rainforest trail which connects a series of suspension bridges located over the treetops. The trail ascends along some ravines and hills, permitting the visitor opportunities to spot wildlife while crossing through dense forest as well as light gaps.Twilight Float Safari on Peñas Blancas River

You will ride your raft at dusk, as the sun is just starting to fall. Enjoy how the light disappears from the sky, leaving you in the peaceful darkness of the rain forest. Our bilingual river guides will do the rowing while you relax and enjoy the abundant nocturnal wildlife of the Peñas Blancas River. You’ll be able to experience a nocturnal journey and discover birds and mammals. After you exit the river, you’ll visit “The Hidalgo Family Home” where you have the opportunity to taste a small piece of Costa Rican culture and a traditional Costa Rican snack.

Day 6
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Board a land vehicle and then a boat across the Arenal Lake to Monteverde. Transfer to the pier at Lake Arenal Dam (25-35 minutes) to board your boat to the other side of the lake approximately 30-40 minutes depending on wind conditions). The boat will dock at Rio Chiquito a small town on the shore of Lake Arenal, where you will board a 4 wheel drive vehicle for a 2 hour ground transfer to the Monteverde area. Total transfer time from Arenal to Monteverde area via Lake Arenal is approximately 3 hours.

Day 7
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Monteverde Reserve Guided Hike

Drive 20 minutes to the entrance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve accompanied by a local Naturalist Guide. Originally just 4,000 acres, the Monteverde Reserve now includes a protected area of approximately 25,000 acres, comprising six different life zones. So many habitats in such a small area, along with extensive trail improvements, allow visitors to enjoy a rich diversity of flora and fauna with relatively short distance and easy walking. The Reserve was founded in 1972 and extends down both slopes of the Tilarán Mountains (elevation 2,300 to 5,600 ft.). It encompasses six different ecological life zones and is home to more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 1,500 species of plants. Hummingbird GalleryLocated at the entrance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Great photo opportunities outside the gallery, where feeders attract a wide variety of hummingbirds in overwhelming numbers. There is a coffee / gift shop on the premises.Butterfly Garden -Entrance Fee & Local Guide

Drive to the butterfly gardens and meet your expert nature guide. Nestled in the mountains of Monteverde and just off the beaten path, the Butterfly Garden is a good setting for learning new things and conquering old misconceptions about the bugs’ life. On the three-acre property you will find not just our captive insects and arachnids, but also an abundance of Costa Rican wildlife including possibilities for White-faced Capuchin Monkeys, Agoutis, Coatis, Toucans, Motmots and many others.

The Monteverde Butterfly Gardens has been teaching people about Costa Rica's insects and arachnids for over 20 years. With up to 30 species of butterfly in 4 different habitats, over 20 species of live insects and arachnids in our nature center, an active leaf-cutter ant colony and the well informed guides, we truly have something for everyone!

Day 8
San José, Costa Rica
Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana Breakfast, Dinner

At a convenient time, in the morning, meet your English-speaking Service Guide and your Driver, they will provide you the transfer to the Nectandra.Visit Nectandra Cloud Forest Garden

Located 80 km Northwest of San Jose, going north from San Ramon, it is the centerpiece of 104 hectares (257 acres) of primary and secondary forest. With few exceptions, most of the plants featured in the horticultural observation area are from the preserve and its immediate surroundings. Some of the plants in the design are included as pure aesthetic elements, others for their importance in medicinal, indigenous and cultural uses. A small number of changing exhibits highlight scientific information on the ecology of the cloud forest. Beyond the confines of the Garden, the remaining biological preserve is restricted to scientific field research carried out by a non-profit organization, the Nectandra Institute. Current scientific activities include botanic inventory, preparation and identification of herbarium specimens of dominant and unusual plants, and investigation into the variables influencing natural reforestation in cloud forests.Two naturalist-guided experiences are available. They differ in length and terrain. Both walks are suited to visitors in good health. The “Leisure Walk” is under 2 hours, through dense forest and undulating terrain. In addition to information offered by the naturalist guide along the way, visitors will have ample opportunity to hear the sounds of the forest, observe the fauna and flora, and experience the serenity of the place. The “Wilderness Walk” takes about 2.5 hours at a moderate pace and is also led by a naturalist guide. This hike winds through primary forest and visitors will encounter steeper trails. Additional time is spent in the gardens and a meal will be prepared and served during your visit as well. The entire time at the gardens will range between 4 - 5 hours depending on the trail you select.

Day 9
San José, Costa Rica
International Airport Breakfast

Please coordinate with your hotel staff, they will provide you the short courtesy transfer to the Airport.Please note that you need to be at the Airport 3 hours prior to your flight`s departure for check in purposes.

Tour Features


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If you are looking for a combination of adventure, nature and relaxation; Tortuguero, Arenal and Monteverde are some of the most recommended areas in Costa Rica:

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

Owned and operated by Costa Rica Expeditions, Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, on 146 acres of private land on Costa Rica's northeast Caribbean coast.

The essence of Tortuguero is slow-moving tropical rivers. Everything about Tortuguero is defined by the rivers. They are Tortuguero's roads and Tortuguero's soul. If a guest wants to bring home the essence of Tortuguero he/she must get in tune with the rivers. The Lodge's restaurant starts at the river dock and reluctantly moves inland. Our kitchen prepares a daily fixed menu delighting our guests with local dishes served in creative ways. Meals are served family style at your table. We are happy to accommodate special requests.

Arenal Manoa

This is a practical hotel for the budget oriented, but do not expect proactive service or gourmet dining. Located 10 minutes by car from La Fortuna the hotel has 80 Junior Suites with volcano view, private bathroom with a small interior garden and balcony. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, all rooms are equipped with two queen sized beds, air conditioning, satellite television, telephone, terrace with a view of the volcano, mini bar, safe-deposit box and coffee maker. Visitors can take advantage of the spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm.

Monteverde Lodge & Gardens

All rooms have: In-room safe, hot water, coffee maker, ceiling fan, reading lamps, hair dryer and free wireless internet. Service Style: Personalized, informal, caring.Restaurant: Cuisine: What a Costa Rican Grandmother would cook if she was also a creative and contemporary professional chef.Atmosphere: Quiet, laid back and tranquil. No background music. Open fireplace.Suggested activities at hotel: Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden. Plan 1-2 hours. Main Bromeliad and Fern Gardens and Solar heated Pool, named La Poza de Yolanda. Plan on spending a morning or afternoon.3 Computers with internet for guest use at no charge. Spend as little time as possible. You're on vacation.Suggested stay: 2-4 nights.Owned and Operated by Costa Rica Expeditions.

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

HIGHLY recommend for a stress free vacation of your dreams!

By: Brittany A.

Reviewed on: 20 Jul 2018

Costa Rica Expeditions was absolutely incredible!! Every detail was planned out perfectly, so that my husband and I did not have to worry about a thing. The tour guides were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. They made us feel like old friends and went out of their way with kindness. This was the least stressful vacation I have ever taken and I recommend this service to everyone who has asked us about our trip. Costa Rica Expeditions will provide you with the most memorable vacation, you will not regret it!
Travel Advisor:  Charissa Popp