Home » Sample Itineraries »  Costa Rica Wildlife

Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday - 14 Nights

1 nt San Jose, 2 nts Tortuguero, 3 nts Caribbean Coast, 2 nts Sarapiqui, 3 nts Arenal, 3 nts Osa Peninsula

This holiday starts in the steamy, humid jungle canals of Tortuguero where you will see the diversity of wildlife and birds that frequent this unique and interesting habitat. Sightings may include caimans, howler monkeys and spider monkeys. If you travel between the months of April and October you can take a guided night walk on the Caribbean beach and may see nesting Atlantic Green Turtles.

Continuing on the Caribbean coast to spend 3 nights near Puerto Vieja de Talamanca where you will have a guided walk within the Cahuita National Park where you may see Capuchin Monkeys, sloths, leaf-cutter ants, eyelash viper snakes and a variety of birdlife.

Then travel on to the Sarapiqui region an area which receives the most regular rainfall in Costa Rica and therefore has great biodiversity within its primary rainforests. A guided walk in the Selva Biological Research Station is included which is a chance to learn about the ecology of the rainforest and see a variety of tropical birds, you may also see bats, peccary and agouti. A night walk into the reserve at the hotel is a chance to spot the glass frog and the red eyed tree frog as well as other fascinating nocturnal forest life.

Continuing on to the Arenal region you will see a different landscape that includes the majestic and dominant Arenal Volcano. Early morning birdwalks are available and your stay also includes a guided tour of the hanging bridges for viewing the forest life at eye level.

To end the holiday you will fly to the Osa Peninsula on the Southern Pacific coast, an area boasting unrivalled biodiversity and where Scarlet Macaws can often be seen and heard, tapirs roam the forest floor and jaguar and puma are occasionally spotted. On guided hikes you may spot toucans, macaws and a large variety of other birdlife and dolphins can be spotted on the Golfo Dulce.

Price guide

14 nights from £3,745 per person based on double occupancy

These prices are based on an average flight price of £650 per person and High Season room rates. Flight routes vary, there are direct flight options with British Airways from London Gatwick but also many alternative routes via the US. Please contact us for accurate flight pricing for your timings and place of departure.


  • International flights from UK to San Jose, Costa Rica
  • 1 night in San Jose
  • 2 nights at Pachira Lodge, Tortuguero
  • 3 nts Cariblue, Puerto Vieja de Talamanca
  • 2 nights at Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui
  • 3 nights Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal
  • 3 nights El Remanso Lodge, Osa Peninsual
  • Guided boat tour of Tortuguero canals
  • Tortuguero Village Tour
  • *Night Walk to see nesting turtles (only between April and October
  • Guided tour of Cahuita National Park (*snorkelling optional)
  • Guided walk at Selva Biological Reserve
  • Night Walk at Selva Verde Lodge
  • Early morning birdwalk at Arenal Observatory Lodge
  • Hanging Bridges tour at Arenal
  • Long Guided Hike at El Remanso
  • Night walk at El Remanso
  • Early morning birdwatch at El Remanso
  • Dolphin watching on Golfo Dulce
  • Daily breakfast
  • Six lunches and 10 dinners

Day to Day

Below is an example day to day itinerary.

Day 1

Fly from UK to San Jose, Costa Rica. Overnight in hotel in San Jose.

Day 2

Vehicle and boat transfer to Tortuguero (approx. 4 hours). Overnight in the simple but comfortable Pachira hotel and relax to the sounds of the forest (BLD).

Day 3

Enjoy a guided boat tour on the Tortuguero canals, your guide will point out resident birdlife and you may spot caimans, iguanas and howler monkeys. In the afternoon you will take a trip to the village of Tortuguero (BLD).

Day 4

Transfer to southern Caribbean coast to Cariblue hotel near the town of Puerto Vieja de Talamanca. *Option to stop at sloth sanctuary on the journey (BL).

Day 5

Guided hike at Cahuita National Park, less visited park that hosts an array of wildlife and with a spectacular backdrop of rainforest and beach. You may see Two and Three Toed Sloths, Capuchin Monkeys, Coatimundis, snakes, leafcutter ants, racoons and an array of tropical birdlife (B).

Day 6

Day at leisure. Guests can hire bikes and cycle to nearby Punta Uva beach, a secluded cove for swimming and plenty of birdlife and wildlife in surrouding rainforest. Alternatively cycle further south towards Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge (B).

Day 7

Transfer to the Sarapiqui region to stay at Selva Verde Lodge that backs on to the Sarapiqui River and has a 500 acre private rainforest reserve that is reached by hanging bridge across the river. The rainforest here is teeming with wildlife of the macro and micro varieties. Included in your stay is a night walk in the reserve where you may see tree frogs, poison dart frogs and glass frogs as well as other insects and reptiles (BD).

Day 8

Today you will enjoy a guided walk at the Selva Biological Research Station with a naturalist guide (BD).

Day 9

Transfer to the Arenal Region to stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, this lodge was originally built as rooms for researchers from the Smithsonian Institute collecting data on Arenal Volcano. It is the closest hotel to the volcano and has many trails that can be hiked independently or with a guide. There is abundance of birds to be spotted just in the lodge grounds and you may see tanagers, motmots and oropendulas during your stay. Overnight at Arenal Observatory Lodge (BD).

Day 10

Today you will have a guided walk from Arenal Observatory Lodge on one of the many trails on the 870 acre grounds which encompass primary and secondary rainforest (BD).

Day 11

A guide will accompany you on a Hanging Bridges walk through the forest and point out flora and fauna, you may see monkeys, agoutis and a variety of tropical birdlife (BD).

Day 12

Transfer back to San Jose and take a small propeller flight to Osa Peninsula to stay at El Remanso, a remote lodge nestled into the forest and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Wildlife abounds at this lodge, and although sightings are rare, Puma and other cats have been seen on the grounds (BD)

Day 13 to 14

Included in your stay is a long guided hike with one of El Remanso's expert guides, an early morning birdwatch and dolphin spotting on the Golfo Dulce (BLD).

Day 15

Depart the lodge by vehicle and small propeller flight to return to San Jose International Airport. Depart San Jose on international flight to UK (BLD).

Day 16

Arrive in UK

White Faced Capuchin Monkey Spiny Glass Frog Arenal Volcano Pachira Lodge Cabin Hanging Bridge at Selva Verde Passerinis Tanager Three Toed Sloth Arenal Observatory Lodge Eye Lash Viper Strawberry Poison Dartfrog Pool at El Remanso Yellow Crowned Night Heron