• Costa Rica Wildlife Explorer

Explore some of Costa Rica's top wildlife and nature highlights

Days: 9 | From: $6,490/per person

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb guides

An amazing combination of nature and adventure: Starting in the capital of San Jose, you have one night to explore Costa Rica's gateway city. Experience the wildlife-rich coastal environment of Tortuguero National Park, travel to the Arenal volcano region, and spend time exploring the lush and biodiverse Monteverde cloud forest.

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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.

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At a glance

  • San Jose
    1 night: discover the capital city of San Jose
  • Tortuguero
    2 nights: take in the fantastic nature viewing in this unique coastal jungle environment
  • Arenal
    2 nights: explore the Arenal volcano region and visit the famous La Fortuna waterfall
  • Monteverde
    2 nights: enjoy this beautiful, mountainous cloud forest environment
  • San Jose
    1 night: spend one last night in the capital city

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

Customize this trip
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Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to San Jose

Costa Rica - San Jose

Arrive to San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city, and transfer to your elegant hotel in the city center. Depending on your interests and arrival time, we can arrange a private tour of San Jose or a visit to one of the city’s top museums, including the Jade Museum and the Gold Museum.

Accommodations: Grano de Oro

Located on a shady street near Paseo Colon, San Jose’s main thoroughfare, Hotel Grano de Oro provides an elegant oasis in the city center. Converted from a Victorian mansion, this 40-room hotel blends the hospitality of a private home with the amenities of a boutique hotel. Period photographs line the corridors, samples of local art meander throughout the building, and tropical floral arrangements appear at every turn. The hotel boasts an ideal location for exploring San Jose and its museums and day trips to the local rainforest and volcanoes.

Day 2:

Travel to Tortuguero

Costa Rica - Manuel Antonio Wildlife

You will be picked up at your hotel to begin your trip to the Caribbean coast and Tortuguero National Park. You’ll do the last part of the journey by a small boat that will take you to your lodge in the heart of this unique coastal jungle environment. For the next two days you’ll explore this fantastic nature viewing region. Tortuguero is famous for its wildlife, particularly the giant sea turtles that nest on the nearby beaches. The area teems with a wide variety of monkeys, tropical birds, and many other creatures, including the rare and elusive jaguar.

Accommodations: Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, 2 nights

Tortuga Lodge is situated on 146 acres of private land on Costa Rica’s northeast Caribbean coast. The Tortuguero region is defined by rivers, and can only be reached by boat or plane. The hotel sits right on one of the area’s many waterways and offers boat tours with naturalist guides and excursions into the Tortuguero National Park, one of the most biologically rich rainforests in Central America. The lodge’s Caribbean plantation-style gardens have walking trails and a pool that overlooks the river and a restaurant featuring local ingredients.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:


Costa Rica - Tortuguero - Beach

In the morning enjoy a two or three hour boat ride with a local guide as you travel through some of the backwater canals in Tortuguero National Park, viewing some of the diverse flora and fauna. You have the afternoon free to simply relax or do any number of excursions offered through the lodge.

Accommodations: Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, 2 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

Sarchi, Zarcero and the Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica - Arenal Volcano

In the morning you will be picked up and transferred back to the airport for your flight to Arenal where you will be met at the airport and then depart to the Arenal Volcano region. Along the way, stop to see the handmade crafts of Sarchi and the topiary gardens of Zarcero before arriving to your hotel.

In the afternoon, explore the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a complex of suspension bridges and trails through the rainforest, where you may spot local fauna like toucans and capuchin monkeys.

Accommodations: Amor Arenal, 2 nights

The boutique hotel Amor Arenal is set at the foothills of the Arenal Volcano, by the edge of a virgin forest canyon. From your room, walk right onto the jungle trails or soak in one of the spring fed pools. Enjoy beautiful views of the volcano and the San Carlos Valley as you enjoy organic meals made with local produce.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Alternative lodging options: Arenal Observatory Lodge
Day 5:

Arenal Volcano & La Fortuna Waterfall

Costa Rica - La Fortuna Waterfall

Enjoy a morning hike around the base of the volcano, where you can observe the lava flow and enjoy spectacular views up to the smoldering crater. In the afternoon, visit the Arenal Vida Campesina organic farm to learn about and sample common Costa Rican crops like coffee, bananas, and plantains. Enjoy a local lunch prepared with freshly harvested vegetables, then set out to visit the towering La Fortuna Waterfall. Follow a short path to the base and enjoy a swim in the cool, waterfall-fed lagoon at the bottom.

Accommodations: Amor Arenal, 2 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:

Arenal Hanging Bridges & Monteverde Cloud Forest

Costa Rica - Monteverde Hanging Bridges

Travel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, where you’ll stay in a lovely small hotel with sweeping views of the surrounding area. Explore the cloud forests by day and night to discover and learn about the unique flora and fauna of this region.

Accommodations: Senda Monteverde, 2 nights

The Senda Monteverde Hotel is a proud member of The Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels, and boasts a stylish, welcoming indoor setting that connects seamlessly with the surrounding forest. It is a great base for cloud forest adventures, completely surrounded by nature and with easy access to all the cloud forest has to offer. Visitors have access to the onsite nature trails and can enjoy complimentary access to the nearby Aguti Wildlife Reserve.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Alternative lodging options: Fondavela Monteverde
Day 7:

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Costa Rica - Hummingbird

Explore the treetop canopy of Monteverde, a captivating, mountainous cloud forest environment. Start your morning at the Selvatura’s Canopy zip line, one of the longest zip lines of its kind, to fly through virgin cloud forest canopy. Those who prefer to explore on foot can enjoy a “skywalk canopy tour,” walking along a series of suspended bridges through the jungle canopy. In the afternoon, take a guided walk through the forest for another perspective, observing the dense jungle from below the canopy.

Accommodations: Senda Monteverde, 2 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8:

Return to San Jose

Costa Rica - Wildlife

After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye to the Monteverde cloud forest and transfer back to San Jose. You will arrive to the capital city in the late afternoon, with another evening to explore the city and enjoy the local restaurants.

Accommodations: Grano de Oro

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 10:

Return Home

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

More Photos From This Trip

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Add 3 nights at one of the remotest and wildest areas in the country: the Osa Peninsula. Located on the Southwest Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, next to Corcovado National Park, the Osa Peninsula is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. Activities available in the area include hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and kayaking just to name a few.

  • Add 2-3 nights in Manuel Antonio, a stunningly beautiful small town overlooking the Central Pacific Coast. Enjoy a wide variety of rainforest excursions in the area or just sit and relax on the beach.

  • Include some downtime for rest and relaxation! Some free time to unwind or have a massage will allow you to feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your trip. Many of our properties include excellent spas or wellness centers. We can help arrange these services or include properties that offer health & wellness amenities.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Reviews From This Trip

5 stars

  • Overall trip was amazing. We absolutely loved Costa Rica.
    Doug Saulsbury
  • We had an excellent trip to Costa Rica. All of the arrangements went like clockwork.
    Jim & Laura Gregory
  • All guides and drivers were amazingly friendly.
    Susan Burger

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1 (510) 548-8487

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Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

We’ve not only traveled there, we’ve lived there. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former expatriates with years of experience in the region.

Uplifting service

From the first phone call to after you get back, we're here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

Thoughtful travel

Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.