To find the best Costa Rica has to offer, just look up. Toucans paint the trees, mischievous howler monkeys frolic in the Cloud Forests, and suspension bridges dangle in Arenal Volcano National Park. Here you’ll find: volcano-heated hot springs, protected rainforests and lush river valleys. After exploring the Caribbean beaches for green sea turtles, lie back at one of the country’s famous surf breaks and enjoy “pura vida”.
monteverde cloud forest | arenal volcano | manual antonio national park | Pacific Coast beaches
costa rica Highlights
• Rafting on the Pacuare River – Avoid the crowds and stay in a gorgeous jungle lodge where the only way in is by raft.
• Watch turtles nesting at night (from July to October) at Tortuguero Beach.
• Combine rainforest, volcanoes and beaches as you explore the highlights of this diverse country
• Go sloth searching in Manuel Antonio National Park and see anything from tree-frogs and caiman to over 850 species of birds, in extraordinary settings.
• Enjoy adrenaline fuelled adventures in the shadow of the Arenal volcano and go ziplining in the Cloud Forest.
• Relax on the Pacific Coast and enjoy untouched beaches, swing in a hammock and watch the waves from your balcony at one of many coastline hotels.
• Access to off-the-beaten path locations, trails, and waterfalls throughout your journey
• Aerial sightseeing over your favorite destinations
• Meet indigenous communities with your guide & interpreter
• Private dinners on the beach facing the Pacific Ocean
•End your trip at Punta Islita lounging on sun-kissed beaches, kayaking through shallow waters, and learning how to surf.
BEST TIME TO GO
The best time to visit is from NOVEMBER TO MAY, and for turtle nesting, JULY TO OCTOBER.
COSTA RICAN COLON
A good length of time for a visit is 1 or 2 weeks.
ET – 1 HOUR
SAN JOSE (SJO) is the hub for international flights, and most flights comes through a connection in Miami. It is also possible to fly into Liberia which is a good access point for the pacific coast.
HOTELS WE LOVE
Pacuare Lodge (Member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World) is a luxury, eco-hotel with only 20 suites and situated on the banks of one of the world’s most scenic, white-water wonders, the Pacuare River of Costa Rica. This unparalleled location, with its vibrant nature, offers a scenic backdrop to adventure, romance and wellness. Simple, and yet sophisticated, the indigenous Cabécar-inspired architecture, pristine rainforest, farm-to-table exquisite cuisine, and luxurious, well-appointed accommodations come together to offer an experience like no other. Visit the hotel website.
lapas rios lodge
Founded in the early 1990s by two former Peace Corps volunteers & avid birders, Lapa Rios broke the ground and then set the bar for ecolodges and ecotourism in Costa Rica. The lodge is perched on a ridge within a 1,000 acre private rainforest reserve on the wild Osa Peninsula, one of the areas least impacted by humans in Costa Rica. Discover the magic of the Pacific Coastal tropical rainforest and Golfo Dulce, one of just four tropical fjords in the world and a favorite habitat of sea turtles, dolphins and whales. Corcovado National Park is nearby, but wildlife viewing within the preserve, particularly for birds, is nearly as prolific. Visit the hotel website.
latitude 10 resort
Ten minutes from the surf and wellness haven of Santa Teresa on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, Latitude 10 Resort embodies laid-back luxury and provides travelers with a secluded retreat in which to relax and disconnect. Five Balinese-inspired private casitas, feature open-air lodgings, private decks and outdoor showers. Immersed in the tropical coastal rainforest, Latitude 10 features direct beach access. This is shoes-off luxury, offering privacy and an attentive, friendly and discreet staff instead of the pretense of some high-end larger resorts. You you can enjoy open-air yoga and wellness center, a pool, and a beautiful beachfront. Complimentary boogie boards, snorkeling gear and bikes are available and the staff is happy to arrange transfers into town, surfing lessons, zip lining, horseback riding and hiking excursions. Visit the hotel website.
Eco-chic Villa Manzu will amaze even the most seasoned travelers. Located in the posh Papagayo development, this expansive estate cossets guests with every comfort imaginable, including several stunning beach options, two heated pools, an outdoor spa and a 22-member team of butlers, chefs, servers and chauffeurs. Let one of the adventure specialists set you up with a kayak, stand-up paddleboard or mountain bike. Sink into one of the many hammocks scattered throughout the secluded property. The cuisine, masterfully prepared, is complemented by an impressive cellar and fully stocked bar. Visit the hotel website.
arenas del mar
Set within an 11-acre private rainforest reserve located a few minutes from Costa Rica’s most popular national park, Arenas Del Mar Beachfront Resort & Spa offers guests the very best location in all of Manuel Antonio. The hotel overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offers direct access to two sand beaches with gentle waves for swimming and surfing. Resident naturalist guides help guests explore the abundant wildlife on the property; agoutis, sloths, coatis, howler monkeys and white-faced capuchin monkeys are frequently spotted. Each of the 38 rooms and suites feature a spacious balcony with ample room to relax and enjoy the spectacular sunsets and coastal vistas. T Visit the hotel website.
Set within an 11-acre private rainforest reserve located a few minutes from Costa Rica’s most popular national park, Arenas Del Mar Beachfront Resort & Spa offers guests the very best location in all of Manuel Antonio. The hotel overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offers direct access to two sand beaches with gentle waves for swimming and surfing. Resident naturalist guides help guests explore the abundant wildlife on the property; agoutis, sloths, coatis, howler monkeys and white-faced capuchin monkeys are frequently spotted. Two restaurants offer elevated local fare including seasonal catches from the Dock-to-Dish program. Visit the hotel website.
Sleek, sexy and exclusive, Kurà is an adults-only property. Guests are treated to a hilltop perch overlooking Marino Ballena National Park and the famous Whale’s Tail sandbar, making Kurà one of the best destinations in all of Costa Rica to see the migrating Humpback whales. Eight spacious suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls for uninterrupted views of the lush tropical vegetation, abundant birdlife and azure ocean. Innovate local cuisine and cocktails are highlighted at the bar and restaurant and ingredients are either grown on site or sourced from local artisan producers. Complimentary daily transfers are offered to the beaches surrounding Uvita and guests need not brave the road to the hotel (which requires 4×4); Arrive, settle in and enjoy. You may never want to leave your suite, and we don’t blame you. Visit the hotel website.
Nayara Gardens & springs
Sister properties Nayara Gardens and Nayara Springs offer luxurious accommodations in the heart of Arenal Volcano National Park. Each of the 50 rooms at Nayara Gardens is a stand-alone bungalow with private garden, an outdoor shower and a spectacular view of the 6,000-foot, active Arenal Volcano. At the adults-only Nayara Springs, each of the 35 villas features a thermal hot spring plunge pool. The properties are connected by a pedestrian footbridge, providing access to amenities usually not available at smaller boutique properties, including four restaurants and two open-air spas. Both properties have been recognised by Travel + Leisure named Nayara the #1 Hotel in Central America, as well as the #9 Hotel in the World in 2018. Visit the hotel website.
What Our Bespoke travelers Are Saying
Don’t just take it from us, let our travelers do the talking!
“ Amazing country, amazing trip and adventure – absolutely 10/10. Your itinerary rocked! We had alot of fun and this was twice as true for the kids. For the hotels, the Lapa Rios was beautiful! We loved the 8-seater plan to get there and then the 4×4 across little rivers and fields. The night tour was amazing and the bird watching tour – terrific. Lots of monkeys and amazing fauna. The guides when we traveled up north were amazing that we went there and told us we saw the ‘real Costa Rica’. The final hotel – Tabacon Springs was AMAZING. A true highlight. The hotel springs were not crowded, felt authentic and were really therapeutic. Well worth the time and expense. THIS IS A MUST! STUNNING!!! The food was terrific and the service was exceptional. Memorable WOW moments on the overall trip – the sunsets, the monkeys, Lapa Rios setting up a private picnic at the beach which was deserted except for us and some amazing parakeets … and for me the zip-lining – which was very intense but very exhilerating! Sincere thanks – another trip of a lifetime. “Natasha & Benjamin Lenton