THE REAL COSTA RICA

Kick back in Costa Rica, from luscious coffee plantations near San Jose to the epic surrounds of Arenal Volcano and the gorgeous tropical beaches of Tamarindo.

Destination
Starts at

San Jose

Destination
Ends at

Tamarindo

Destination
Duration

8 days

Destination
Group Size

Maximum 16

Destination
Physical Rating

moderate Information

Destination
Style

discovery Information

About your trip

This Central American paradise is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, resulting in extraordinary spots of natural beauty, a rich food scene and a unique array of local communities. You’ll discover the lot across just eight days with us, as we journey from the coffee plantations surrounding the capital to Arenal Volcano, home to spectacular waterfalls, exotic animals and world-renowned chocolate. We’ll wrap things up by kicking back on the white sands of Tamarindo, stepping away from the beach only to learn about the fascinating traditions of the indigenous Chorotega people.

Trip Highlights

  • Sip the world’s finest brews at a local coffee estate
  • Spot sloths hanging in the rainforests of Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Learn about ancient indigenous traditions in Guaitil
  • Gobble down locally grown chocolate at a plantation in Arenal
  • Marvel at the beauty of Toro Amarillo Waterfall
  • Master the art of Costa Rican cuisine with an authentic cooking class
  • Plenty of free time to spend chilling on the Pacific beaches of Tamarindo

Your Itinerary

Upon your arrival at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, you’ll be picked up by a private driver, who’ll whisk you off to our quaint country lodge in the central Costa Rican town of Naranjo. You should have plenty of time to settle in before gathering to meet the group and our Local Insider during a welcome meeting, swiftly followed by our first group dinner.

Accommodation

Chayote Lodge

Activities Included
  • Private airport transfer
  • Welcome dinner

If breakfast at the lodge doesn’t wake you up this morning, then our first activity will, as we make our way to a local cooperative’s coffee estate. Costa Rica is home to the finest coffee growing culture on the planet, with perfect climate conditions and a ban on growing any beans that aren’t 100% Arabica. You’ll spend around an hour and a half learning about each phase of the coffee growing process, from seed to cup, amid glorious natural scenery. After a good walk and a cup of world-class Joe, you’ll have developed an appetite, so we’ll head to a local home to take part in an authentic Costa Rican cooking class. You’ll be using traditional equipment, like a wooden stove, and focusing on local produce grown in the region, before gobbling down your creations for lunch. After that we get creative in an Ox Cart Painting class as we learn about the importance of the Ox in this region of Costa Rica. We’ll return to the lodge later this afternoon where you can spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

Accommodation

Chayote Lodge

Activities Included
  • Visit to a private coffee estate
  • Cooking class and lunch
  • Ox Cart Painting Class

After breakfast we’ll head north towards Arenal Volcano National Park but, first, we’ll stop off in Los Bajos del Tor, a small village surrounded by the rainforest slopes of Poas Volcano. This area is home to Toro Amarillo Waterfall, one of the most spectacularly beautiful in all of Costa Rica, which you’ll get to see up close. Our drive will continue past potato and cabbage plantations as well as dense green forests en route to Arenal. The park’s titular volcano is famous for its near perfect cone shape and the splendid natural beauty surrounding it, including countless natural hot springs. We’ll check-in at our hotel in La Fortuna and have some free time before dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel Lomas del Volcan

Activities Included
  • Visit to Toro Amarillo Waterfalls
  • Dinner

This morning starts with a guided walk through the luscious rainforests surrounding Arenal Volcano, which are a perfect representation of Costa Rica’s remarkable eco-diversity. You’ll traverse through a wide variety of plant life and fungi, spot exotic birds and reptiles, and perhaps even a sloth or two hanging above. We’ll lunch at a local restaurant but hold back on the dessert, since our afternoon will be spent on a sumptuous chocolate tour. Cocoa is another high-class Costa Rican export and you’ll spend around 45 minutes strolling through trails to learn about the process of planting, maintaining and harvesting organic cocoa – you could taste some cocoa fruit if you come during harvest. Back at the ranch you’ll learn about the roasting, grinding and conching of the beans, tasting a series of delicious flavors along the way and even making your own chocolate bonbon. Our chocoholic experience is capped off with “God’s Drink”, a rich concoction thought to have originated from the ancient civilisations of Mesoamerica.

Accommodation

Hotel Lomas del Volcan

Activities Included
  • Guided walk at Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Chocolate tour

Having had a taste of Arenal, we’ll continue our journey west to the beautiful Pacific beaches of Tamarindo. The route we’ll take is spectacular, as we drive around the serene Arenal Lake, before ascending into the Tilaran Mountains and towards the plains of Guanacaste, before finally reaching the coast. After check-in at our beach resort, you’ll have an evening to chill, but just make sure you find a good spot to enjoy the sunset – it is truly special in this part of the world.

Accommodation

Diria Beach Resort

Today starts with some cultural learning as we head to Santa Cruz de Guanacaste, where you’ll get to visit the community of Guaitil. This place is the cradle of two important Chorotega (Costa Rica’s largest indigenous culture) traditions, namely the unique traditional methods of pottery and cooking, both connected deeply to the mud of the mountains and the ancestral roots of indigenous people. There really is nowhere better to experience authentic Costa Rica first hand. We’ll return to the coast for the afternoon, where the rest of the day can be spent at your own leisure.

Accommodation

Diria Beach Resort

Activities Included
  • Morning visit to Guaitil indigenous community

We want to make sure you have plenty of time to bask in the bounties of Costa Rica’s majestic coastline, so our last full day in Tamarindo is a blank page ready to be written by you. You could chill by the pool, book a massage and hit the beach, or you could go exploring the area – popular activities include diving, river tubing and horseback riding. We’ll reconvene in the evening for one final group dinner, where you can reminisce about the adventure of a lifetime and say farewell to your fellow travellers. 

Accommodation

Diria Beach Resort

Activities Included
  • Farewell dinner

Sadly, our time in paradise has come to an end. You’ll have one last breakfast at the resort before we transfer you to Guanacaste International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, unless you’re planning to continue your adventures solo, of course…

What's Included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfer on arrival only (or for departures to if travelling in 2024)
  • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
  • Local Insider
  • Visit to a private coffee estate
  • Cooking class and lunch
  • Visit to Toro Amarillo Waterfalls
  • Guided walk at Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Chocolate tour
  • Morning visit to Guaitil indigenous community
  • Ox Cart Painting Class

What's Not Included

  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights to and from the destination
  • Departure transfer to the airport (2025 only)

Customer Reviews

Accommodation

Chayote Lodge

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This dreamy mountain lodge in the cloud forests of central Costa Rica is a boutique haven surrounded by coffee plantations and boasting views of volcanoes, valleys and, on a clear day, a glimpse of the Pacific. The lodge is made up of 12 charming bungalows, each with their own terrace, designed as an homage to the region’s rich coffee culture. You can sample said culture first hand at the onsite cafe, or go for something a little stronger at the bar, before tucking into dinner at the restaurant.

Hotel Lomas del Volcan

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This luscious resort, set amid the stunning backdrop of Arenal Volcano and its surrounding rainforest, is made of a series of spread-out wooden cabins, as cosy as they are cute. There is an onsite pool and Jacuzzi area, as well as a restaurant, a bar and a spa. There is even a small walking trail exclusive to guests, while our location in the heart of Arenal places us perfectly to explore the region.

Diria Beach Resort

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This gorgeous beachfront hotel is just steps away from Playa Tamarindo, one of the most famous stretches of white sand in all of Costa Rica. As well as Pacific Ocean views and quick access to the beach, you’ll be treated to comfy rooms, a glamorous pool and garden area, plus a selection of six cafes and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to wind down our Costa Rican retreat.

COVID Safety

Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority, so we’ve put the following measures in place on all our TRIPS:

  • Our average group size is 10 people (max 18), which gives you all the security of being in a group whilst avoiding a crowd.
  • Where possible, we use small/ boutique accommodation – this means fewer guests and reduced exposure to other travellers.
  • We require all accommodation providers to share protocols around the extra health and hygiene measures they are taking.
  • Included activities are exclusive to our group wherever possible, to minimise contact with others.
  • Covid-19 negative test results or vaccine certificates may be required. Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
  • We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.

Important Info

  • There are some difference between the 2024 and 2025 versions of this itinerary. All of this should be reflected on this page, but if you have any enquiries please don't hesitate to ask.
  • You must be aged 25 years or over to join this trip.
  • Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
  • If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
  • We won't charge you extra if you travel alone – you'll be allocated a twin room with another traveller of the same gender.
  • To upgrade to a private room, share a room with a friend, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
  • Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
  • Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
  • Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
  • The river rafting grade is season dependent, but it should be between III and IV. No previous experience is required.

Additional Info

Cancellation Policy

The world of travel is changing – and that's why we’re offering flexible booking conditions, to take the stress out of booking in times of uncertainty.

You can get a full refund should you need to postpone or cancel your trip up to 56 days prior to departure. 

Read our Booking Guarantee to find out more about how our Support Team can help you. 

 For full details and cancellation charges, see our Booking Terms & Conditions.

Terms & Conditions

Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.

 

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