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  • Costa Rica
  • Captivating Costa Rica

Captivating Costa Rica

11 Day Escorted Tour

Costa Rica, Latin America
Intermediate Pace

Explore some of the highlights of this incredibly beautiful country on our classic journey, which incorporates the very best that Costa Rica has to offer.

2020 Dossier

2021 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Explore enchanting Tortuguero National Park
  • Visit idyllic Tortuguero town
  • Experience the majestic La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Enjoy a city tour of San Jose
  • Experience the mighty Arenal Volcano
Train
Coach
Boat
Airplane
Walking
1
Number of nights

Itinerary

Day 1
UK to Alajuela Province

Dinner

Depart London on your scheduled flight to San Jose. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight with your group.

Day 2
Alajuela Province to Tortuguero

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

This morning you will leave Alajuela and start your journey to the mystical town of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. We schedule breakfast before leaving the hotel for your first taste of the traditional gallo pinto (black beans and rice), then a quick stop in Guapiles. Continuing your journey to the port you will travel through small villages and banana plantations. A gentle boat ride through the jungle canals will follow to arrive at your lodge in Tortuguero. Enjoy lunch at your lodge and then a visit to Tortuguero town. With no cars or streets, the town is sandwiched between a Caribbean beach on one side and waterways on the other. Spend some time exploring this charming town where you may even be lucky enough to spot some turtles nesting on the beach if you are travelling between July and October. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax with dinner at your lodge.

Day 3
San Jose to Tortuguero

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Following an early breakfast, start your day with a fascinating hike through the rainforest nature trails at your lodge, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Following lunch, travel by boat through the maze of canals within the national park, for the best chance to spot the wildlife of the rainforest. Tortuguero literally means ?region of turtles? and it is no surprise that it is home to seven species of turtles as well as being the most important nesting site for the green sea turtle. The area also contains a great diversity of crustaceans and many species of freshwater fish.

Day 4
Tortuguero to La Fortuna

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Travel back through the Tortuguero canals to reach the pier where your ground transportation will meet you. Travel by bus to La Fortuna with stops for a traditional Costa Rican lunch and to see the Giant Iguanas at El Muelle.

Day 5
La Fortuna

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Explore a private 4.5-kilometre path around the base of the volcano and ascend to a lookout point to experience a fantastic view of the Arenal Volcano including the remains of the last volcanic eruption in 1968. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the hot springs or simply take in the view from your hotel.

Day 6
La Fortuna

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today you will visit Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. One of the most important wetland areas in the world and a region of huge biological importance due to the immense variety of flora and fauna in the area. The refuge is home to several endangered species including cougars, jaguars and tapirs, and whilst these elusive animals are very difficult to see there are several species of monkeys and a phenomenal variety of birdlife that are much easier to find.

Day 7
La Fortuna to Monteverde

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Monteverde is a world above the coastal towns at high altitude (1440m above sea level) allowing it to receive the steady supply of clouds and the life-giving moisture they contain. On the journey, take in the beautiful landscape of Lake Arenal and pass through some typical country villages. Your lunch stop will be at a wonderful local ranch, where you will be served a traditional local meal along with a folklore dance presentation by school children, plus the chance to visit the coffee plantations on the grounds. Before arriving at your hotel, you will be taken for an introduction to the town of Santa Elena, famous for one of South America?s most resplendent birds, the Quetzal.

Day 8
Monteverde

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today?s tour takes you high above the clouds to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Here, clouds hover above the canopy of the forest before condensing on leaves creating a specialized ecosystem and habitat found nowhere else on earth. With the help of your guide, you will be able to spot some of nature?s most splendid creations, from colourful butterflies, to lowlying lizards and fearless primates; this forest is said to be home to over 3,000 known species. The morning will be spent in Selvatura Park and explored via the 1.9 mile long treetop walkways taking you close to the cloud-forest canopy and allowing you excellent vistas of the forest below. Lunch today will be at a family run kitchen at an ecological sanctuary. Your food will be prepared in front of you whilst you learn about the traditional recipes and dishes along with the opportunity to join in, perhaps becoming an expert in tortilla making by the end of the meal! The afternoon will continue at ground level as a gentle hike will allow you to closely examine some of the 500 species of orchids growing amongst the 3,000 varieties of plants on the moist forest floor.

Day 9
Monteverde to Punta Leona

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart to Punta Leona on the Pacific Coast. Make a stop en route at the Tarcoles River Bridge to see the giant crocodiles sunning themselves on the river backs below.

Day 10
Punta Leona

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Visit the stunning Manuel Antonio National Park home to spectacular white-sand beaches, tropical lowland wet forest and coral reefs. The area is home to an astonishing variety of exotic wildlife that you can seek out on a guided rainforest walk from white-faced and squirrel monkeys to three toed sloths, iguana and toucans.

Day 11
Punta Leona to the UK or Extension

Breakfast

Transfer to San Jose for your flight back to the UK.

View Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Dates
Price (per person)
Dates available
November 2020
from £2,149
Sold Out
7th Nov - 17th Nov
£2,149
Sold Out

Accommodation

The hotels listed below are provided for guidance only and final confirmation of your accommodation will be sent to you approximately 90 days before you travel
Sleep Inn Hotel
3 nights
San Jose, Costa Rica
More details
Pachira Lodge
2 nights
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
More details
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Tour Reviews

Ann Herbert

19 Apr 20

Despite the problems with due to Covid-19, our holiday was excellent, due in main to our guide and I am sure the people behind the scenes.

N Kerr

09 Mar 20

The guide was the best 11 out of 10.

Jeremy Rudkins

28 Sep 19

Hotels were all excellent

Wendy Hemple

04 Dec 18

All hotels excellent loved Poas lodge .

Jan Hughes

27 Nov 18

Hotels were all of a good standard, with Poas Volcano Lodge being outstanding. We wished we could have stayed more than one night there as it was fabulous! Our guide (Jose Herrera) was excellent - informative and engaging. He gave just the right amount of information during the long drives and was clear with all the arrangements - times to meet etc. Vehicle was comfortable.

Judith Elsey-Warren

22 Mar 18

All the hotels were of an excellent standard. My favourites were The Pachira Lodge Tortuguera,The Poas Volcano Lodge and El Parador Manuel Antonio. However the Country inns and Suites in San Jose also gets a special mention. Las Lagos Arenal was good the evening meal was not so good. El Establo was good we were lucky to have rooms high up overlooking the rain forest and there was a lovely pool.

Irene O’brien

20 Mar 18

All the hotels were good, would expect nothing less on a Mercury Holiday. The highlight of the holiday, as far as hotels go, was Poas Volcano Lodge. It was 5 star luxury, with our room being more of a suite. The dinner and breakfast were superb and to find a hot-water bottle in your bed on a chilly evening was absolute heaven! It was such a shame we were only there for one night, we left feeling there was so much more to explore.

Adrian Corney

19 Feb 18

The hotels chosen by Mercury were excellent. All different but comfortable and interesting and not too large or corporate. The rooms were spacious and pretty well equipped (including fridges and drink making) and well located in rural areas for wildlife spotting. Poas Volcano lodge was exceptional. The food at both the hotels and restaurants on the tour was very good and of a high standard. Lunches could in fact have been smaller.

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Extend Your Tour

Captivating Costa Rica with Punta Leona Beach Stay

5 Day Extension
from

£379

pp

Captivating Costa Rica with Volcano Mini Tour Extension

5 Day Extension
from

£429

pp

Captivating Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio Beach Stay

5 Day Extension
from

£499

pp

Important Information

UK passport holders are not currently required to obtain a visa for Costa Rica prior to travel. You must also pay a departure tax of USD $29 when leaving the country. This must be paid before you check-in at San Jose airport and must be paid in USD cash. Further visa advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you to check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up to date guidelines regarding required passport validity.

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Your flight is to San Jose Airport will be direct with British Airways, departing from London Gatwick. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage Size and weight restrictions will be finalised on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival and will have a guide with you throughout the tour ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency is Costa Rican colon. Prices in Costa Rica are frequently listed in US dollars, especially in hotels and restaurants, where you can expect to pay international prices. US dollars are widely accepted and some ATMs dispense dollars. Credit cards are also accepted as a form of payment. It is very important that you budget carefully and ensure you have the right form or currency before you arrive in the country.

You will need to take money with you to cover any personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £300 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!