COSTA RICA WILDLIFE HOLIDAYS, ADVENTURE & RELAXATION

We are delighted to present a great choice of holidays in Costa Rica as it is one of our more popular wildlife holiday destinations. Each of Our Holidays Ideas below have been carefully thought through to give you the best possible nature and adventure experiences that this small, friendly country holds. However, the variation in Costa Rica holidays we design for travellers is endless. Costa Rica is a superb destination for those with an interest in the natural world, for bird watching holidays, family holidays and those looking for some relaxation!

Go to Costa Rica and use Wildlife & Wilderness!Mr. N-J.

Excellent itinerary, achieving just what we asked for, and faultless execution of arrangements in country.Mr. P.

Experiences In Costa Rica

Discover Our Costa Rica

& Reasons To Travel With Us

Wildlife

From Butterflies to Tapirs

Cloudforests

Mountain Retreats

Bird Watching

Neotropical Birds & More

Cocorvado National Park

The Osa Peninsula

Families

Discovery for All

Beaches

Relax In The Heart Of Nature

Adventures

Activities In A Tropical Eden

Why We Enjoy Costa Rica - And why you should travel with us

The smell of freshly ground Costa Rican coffee filtered the traditional way to start the day at a smart boutique lodge.

Passionate and knowledgeable guides at every turn; but better still having your own private guide.

Quiet walks on Pacific beaches.

The serendipity of spotting wildlife, a tamandua browsing in a tree, a tayra rushing across the road just in front of us, dancing red-capped manakins at a lek, pan-tropical spotted dolphins feeding beside the boat.

Actually enjoying gallo pinto (beans & rice) for breakfast! Excellent steaks for lunch and fantastic fresh caught raw wahoo and tuna.

And of course more wildlife from butterflies to whales, glass frogs to jabiru storks, sloths to cheeky baby coatis.

Our extensive knowledge from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast, from the Nicaraguan border to the border with Panama, from beach to the moutain tops, wetlands to cloudforests, you can be sure we have travelled throughout the country finding wildlife gems, exciting adventures and some great little lodges.

Our trip ideas on this page have been carefully thought through based on our own experiences and they make great itineraries whether you are a bird watcher, outdoor enthusiast or nature & beach traveller.

Now enjoy browsing or contact us for expert advice.

Wildlife - From Butterflies to Tapirs

Where to begin? With over 25% of the country protected either as national parks and reserves or as private reserves it means that many habitats are preserved. For a small country the diversity of biomes is almost staggering, from the obvious tropical rainforest and cloudforest to paramo on the high mountains, arid grasslands in the northwest province of Guanacaste, the wetlands surrounding the Tempisque River and the waterways of Tortuguero. Across all of these locations you will find countless species that will exceed your expectations for a small country in Central America.

Myriads of insects from fascinating katydids, praying mantis and butterflies to spectacular frogs, to the big cats and almost everything in between. Generally speaking you almost certainly will not see wild cats as they are elusive but this is more than made up for by the sheer diversity of species you may see.

There are four primate species of which the mantled howler and white-throated (white-faced) capuchin are the two most common throughout Costa Rica, the other two are the Central America spider monkey and the small but acrobatic Central American squirrel monkey, known locally as the titi monkey.

Infrequent encounters are had with the northern tamandua or lesser anteater and species such as the nine-banded long-nosed armadillo whilst three-toed sloths are a ubiquitous favourite.

Bats are represented by over 100 species and probably most peoples’ favourite is the white tent bat found under folded leaves in the Caribbean lowlands, in places such as La Selva Biological Station. Evening guided bat tours are possible in several locations.

Large rodents regularly seen include variegated squirrel, agouti and paca, whilst the racoon family is well represented by two racoon species and coatis. Mustelids are less frequently seen but include tayra and several skunk species. Of the larger mammals peccaries and deer are rarely encountered but tapir can be seen from Sirena Station in Corcovado and are well worth seeking out.

For turtles you should head to the backwaters of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast between July and October and Las Baulas National Park near Tamarindo between October and April.

At sea, particularly around Costa Ballena and Drake Bay you can expect to find a number of cetacean species. Pan-tropical spotted, bottlenose, spinner and common dolphins are common and in season between July and March humpback whales calve here. In fact Drake Bay has the longest season in the world for humpbacks as those from both northern and southern hemispheres come here each year.

Now enjoy browsing our trip ideas or contact us for expert advice.

Cloudforests - Cooler climes in the mountains

The cool, mist-enshrouded cloudforests of Costa Rica adorn the slopes of the central volcanic backbone of the country and are a must experience for those in search of stunning resplendent quetzals and busy, vibrant hummingbirds. Of course, the cloudforests offer many more experiences and our guides will reveal the different habitat zones and the variety of wildlife and bird life to be found up here.

Our favoured destinations include the Savegre Valley for quetzals; the stunning El Silencio Lodge & Spa dominated by the presence of Poas Volcano towering above yet offering refined luxury in a wonderful mountain setting; and the upper reaches of Tenorio Volcano National Park where primary cloudforest may give sightings of the tody motmot, bare-necked umbrella bird and bellbird as well as a pleasant walk to the turquoise waters of the Rio Celeste.

Now enjoy browsing our trip ideas or contact us for expert advice.

Bird Watching - Enjoy over 500 species of birds

With around 900 species recorded in the country and some truly wonderful neotropical birding among diverse habitats Costa Rica is a splendid destination for keen bird watchers and those looking to expand their knowledge. Ideally placed between North and South America the country sees influxes of migratory species from both continents but also has a number of endemic and near endemic species.

The bird watching guides are generally excellent in each area and we can provide some of the best guides to privately guide you or your group through the country. Any birding trip should plan to cover both the Caribbean slope and Pacific slope as there is little crossover among species and you should also ensure changes in altitude during the itinerary in order to visit the cloudforest, lowland rainforest and wetlands.

Some lodges cater specifically for birdwatchers so you will feel immediately at home here and with our knowledge we have the utmost confidence in providing the best birding itinerary based on your interests and the length of stay for your bird watching holiday. On a 2 week bird watching trip you can expect to find around 300 species in Costa Rica. On our last research trip, which out of necessity is high paced with a lot of time spent on the road and doing lodge inspections, we exceeded well over 200 species.

Now enjoy browsing our trip ideas or contact us for expert advice.

Corcovado National Park - Gem of the Osa Peninsula

For wildlife enthusiasts any visit to Costa Rica should really include Corcovado on the Osa Peninsula on the Southern Pacific Coast. This national park is the largest single expanse of primary tropical rainforest north of the Amazon basin in South America and 13 ecosystems within its 429 square kilometres provide habitats to 2.5% of all species present in the world. These facts have led many to suggest it is the most biologically intense place on Earth. What is often overlooked is the that Corcovado is also a champion of environmental protection over exploitation of resources. Timber and gold extraction have been denied in favour of the longer term sustainable tourism.

We encourage those keen on nature to take a day trip into the heart of the park and its headquarters at Sirena Ranger Station. Here a number of trails lead from the beach and it is easy to spot squirrel monkeys and spider monkeys that are rarely found in the rest of the country. Tapir too can be found in daylight, a real treat! Other mammals generally encountered include coatis but bird life is excellent here with approximately 400 recorded species of which scarlet macaws have a stronghold whilst harpy eagle and king vulture are also present. Of course, jaguars roam the forest and beach but are rarely seen and the same is true of other feline species. What makes Corcovado special is the isolation that the peninsula location brings and the adventure of reaching it to explore the sheer diversity of flora and fauna present.

Now enjoy browsing our trip ideas or contact us for expert advice.

Families - Discovery for all

Friendly, hospitable, safe, nature a plenty, beaches for relaxation and a huge range of adventures; it goes without saying that Costa Rica is an excellent destination for families, particularly when private transfers and direct flights from the UK are added in to the mix.

Combine the welcome of hospitable hotels, lodges and spacious villas with tropical warmth, exotic locations and the closeness of various destinations and exploration of the country is possible with children of all ages. Infrastructure is good in a country that is only about the size of Wales or Switzerland. It is possible to drive from the Pacific to the Caribbean in less than 4 hours (not that you necessarily would) and there is a good internal network of flights.

For the budding nature enthusiast the myriad of species is beyond their imagination from leaf-cutter ants to crocodiles, noisy toucans and rawcous macaws. For the older child numerous outdoor adventures will help them get a natural high. The thrill of white-water rafting through tropical forests, careering down volcanoes on mountain bikes, kayaking through mangroves or flying across the trees on zip wires. All the family can discover where chocolate comes from and how coffee is grown and processed.

The immersive experience that is Costa Rica will bring together the whole family in one big adventure.

Now enjoy browsing our trip ideas or contact us for expert advice.

Beaches - Relaxation in the heart of nature

The Pacific and Caribbean Coasts have some beautiful sandy beaches, some almost deserted. The southern Caribbean is best visited during our summer months when this coast tends to be drier, some of the beaches here are backed by national parks making them a truly wild destination.

However, it is the Pacific beaches that are the main draw. From the beautiful back-to-back crescent-shaped beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park, on to the Nicoya Penisula and further north into Guanacaste you can expect to find some wonderful places to relax or to enjoy the sea, from the palm-fringed, sweeping sands of Playa Carillo to the long stretch of Nosara and the coves around Ocotal. Kayking and diving is possible in many locations, but surfers tend to head towards Santa Teresa beach near the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula although the whole coast is good up to Nosara and Tamarindo. The town of Tamarindo offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, bars and nightlife but much of the rest of this coast is low key and perfect for relaxing between nature and the huge Pacific rolling in.

We highly recommend some nights anywhere on the Pacific Coast as a fine way to end a tour of the country and are happy to give our recommendations of the best places to stay dependent on your style of travel.

Now enjoy browsing our trip ideas or contact us for expert advice.

Adventures - Activities in a tropical Eden

There is a lot of fun to be found among the volcanoes, forests and coasts of this small country. Zip wires, white-water rafting, kayaking, horse riding, mountain biking, diving, hiking and mountain climbing are among some of the adventures that can help you fully explore the nature of Costa Rica. Of course much of it is gentle excursions but for the more hardy there are more serious undertakings although probably nothing described as extreme. Costa Rica is a place to get wild in nature rather than push your limits.

If you are interested in spicing up your holiday to Costa Rica with an adventure then do get in touch. As outdoor enthusiasts ourselves we are certain we can factor in some thrills to your holiday.

Now enjoy browsing our trip ideas or contact us for expert advice.

Our Holiday Ideas

The itineraries here have been carefully thought through based on our own experiences but our intention is always to create your own perfect holiday.

Accommodation

From chic to rustic there is an incredible diversity of lodges and hotels across this small country. The infrastructure is such that at each main destination there is usually a choice of lodges dependent on your preferred style and budget. We have selected some of our favourites here.


Great holiday. The trip was extremely well organised. Tailored exactly to our needs (trek, diving, etc.) We had a fantastic time. I travel a lot and this was one of my top 5 trips around the globe ever.Mrs. M.

Thank you so much for organizing everything so efficiently for our trip to Costa Rica. We both were so impressed with your thorough knowledge of the country and its infrastructure and as a result of your expertise and guidance we had a flawless experience, seeing the wonderful wildlife and diversity of landscapes. Your knowledge of all the lodges and hotels we stayed at was spot on and the transport links were punctual and reliable. Two very happy customers!Mr. N.

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a peaceful and friendly country where the local people, known to themselves as Ticos, are all too happy to show visitors their wealth of nature. With over 25% of the country protected as national parks or private reserves it is no wonder this Central American country is popular with those who enjoy holidays in nature and the outdoors.

A backbone of high mountains and volcanoes passes through Costa Rica, many are covered in rainforest or cloud forest which greatly increases the incredible biodiversity across a range of altitudes. These hills and mountains provide good walks, treks and mountain bike trails whilst the rivers flowing from them give some exhilarating white water rafting. Combine this with either Caribbean or Pacific beaches you have a perfect holiday destination in the tropics.

More importantly, Costa Rica is a small country that is easily to travel in and has a wide choice of accommodation for all budgets. Consequently, Costa Rica holidays have a lot to offer all ages from honeymoons combining adventures and relaxation, to family holidays with a mix of child friendly activities or couples looking for a more sedate holiday enjoying nature.

Many of the holidays in Costa Rica that we design explore the more popular locations including the backwater canals and turtle beaches of Tortuguero, the active volcanoes such as Arenal, as well as the cloud forests of Monteverde and the Pacific beaches of either centrally located Manuel Antonio, or Tamarindo in the northern and more arid Guanacaste province.

However, we like to be inventive and create outstanding holidays so for those choosing a more genuine Costa Rica wildlife holidays we know many places that will provide wonderful experiences off the beaten track where you can encounter humpback whales and dolphins, turtles, sloths, scarlet macaws, toucans and possibly tapir and jaguar. Our Costa Rica bird watching holidays are also increasingly popular and we can provide your own local well informed guide, passionate about their birding, for all or part of any neotropical bird watching holiday.

Finally, looking through our ideas for holidays here you will notice that it is easy to cross the border to the stunning archipelago of Bocas del Toro in Panama. With its own abundance of different wildlife and laid back Caribbean atmosphere this is a great addition to your Costa Rica holidays and is often best enjoyed at the end of your travels.

We look forward to designing your Costa Rica holidays.

Seasons


We had a truly wonderful holiday which was quite beyond our expectations / or imagination. It really was a place for us - a complete rest when we thought of nothing but Costa Rica and its beauty for the full 16 days.Mrs. K.

Had a great trip to Costa Rica. All arrangements worked well. We were lucky with the weather. More detailed feedback if you want but we were delighted with the whole holiday.Mr. N.

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Costa Rica Travel Information

CAPITAL San Jose

TIME ZONE GMT -6 hours

FLIGHTS

To: San Jose
Airlines: British Airways direct from Gatwick, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia
Flight time: approx. 11 hours

HEALTH

Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A, vaccinations and Malaria prophylaxis are recommended. You should consult your G.P. for up to date and precise details before travelling.

WEATHER

In the central valley where San Jose is situated, the average temperature is 22°C however, it is usually much hotter at lower altitudes, particularly on the coasts. Whilst temperature does not vary much throughout the year it may be worth avoiding the rainy season between May and October although given that there are rainforests and cloudforests in many areas of Costa Rica it could rain at any time of year as they are named so for good reason! As a consequence of the seasonal rainfall the peak season for travel is between November and April when rates tend to be higher.
Travel is possible and enjoyable year round.

Personal, creative & thoughtful, delivering the perfect travel experiences