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Costa Rica

Costa Rica Holidays


Holidays to Costa Rica provide the enticing prospect of beautiful scenery, glorious beaches and an intoxicating variety of flora and fauna. Sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, there’s a wonderful variety of landscapes to explore from misty cloud forests and lush rainforest to soaring volcanoes and jungle fringed beaches.

Like a tropical ark, Costa Rica is home to such a dazzling array of animal and birdlife you might feel the only thing missing is a David Attenborough voice-over. The bounty of natural wonders are all within a few hours drive of San Jose so whether it’s turtles in Tortuguero, anteaters in Arenal or macaws in Corcovado, an incredible wildlife experience is often right on your doorstep. A pioneer in eco and adventure tourism, here sustainability is a way of life. You can zip line through the jungle canopy, wander along hanging bridges high above the forest floor or simply relax in bubbling hot springs as you soak up the colourful diversity of this vibrant destination.

Trailfinders helps thousands of people a year put together their holidays to Costa Rica and we have a dedicated team of destination specialists who are mines of information about the country, often with first-hand experience of travel here. Whether you want to discover the country with your own private driver, explore on a self drive or join a sociable small group tour, or are simply looking for advice on the best national parks or beach resorts – they are the perfect people to ask.

OUR HOLIDAYS TO COSTA RICA

Classic Costa Rica
12 days / 11 nights
from €1,917
  • Tortuguero National Park
  • Arenal
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest

  • Costa Rica Road Trip: City to Surf
    11 days / 10 nights
    from €1,773
  • Be amazed by majestic Arenal Volcano
  • View the diverse bird and wildlife of Monteverde
  • Relax on the beautiful and rugged Pacific coast

  • Rainforest, Rivers & Rapids
    14 days / 13 nights
    from €3,121
  • Rio Perdido hotel
  • Arenal
  • Rafting the Pacuare River
  • Puerto Viejo

  • Costa Rica Coast to Coast Ride
    14 days / 13 nights
    from €2,939
  • Ride along stunning coastlines
  • Pass coffee & banana plantations
  • Cycle in the foothills of volcanos
  • See Tortuguero's incredible wildlife
  • Descend into Orosi Valley

  • Explore Costa Rica
    14 days / 13 nights
    from €1,949
  • Visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy
  • Learn the art of tortilla making
  • Learn how coffee is made at Mi Cafecito
  • Hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Embark on a jungle cruise in search of local wildlife
  • Enjoy a lecture by one of the National Geographic researchers at the Monteverde Institute
  • Visit Manual Antonio National Park

  • Costa Rica Family Experience
    9 days / 8 nights
    from €Please contact us
  • Kayaking and paddle-boarding in La Fortuna
  • Tortilla-making and a typical lunch with a local family
  • Guided hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve (Monteverde)
  • Guided hike in Manuel Antonio NP

  • WHERE TO GO IN COSTA RICA

    For such a compact country Costa Rica really packs in the highlights. In under two weeks you could meet turtles in Tortuguero National Park, explore the rainforest canopy around Arenal, spot toucans in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and still have time to relax on the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. With a little more time you could also venture off the beaten track and embark on an exhilarating rafting adventure to a remote lodge on the Pacuare River, spot quetzals in San Gerardo de Dota or discover the immense biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula – a paradise for nature lovers.

    The ultimate luxury adventure playground, Costa Rica is the ideal destination for high octane adventure or sheer relaxation.

    With so much to see it can be hard to know where to start! Take a look at the guide below to discover more or give us a call if you are looking for some inspiration. Our experienced destination specialists can help create your perfect trip.

    Costa Rica map
    San José & the Central Valley
    San José, Costa Rica’s capital, is a bustling city located in the centre of the country. Unfortunately, due to earthquakes, few of the original colonial buildings remain but the city does offer some interesting museums. It is surrounded by the lush Central Valley which is home to coffee farms, picturesque countryside and beautiful lodges. This tranquil region makes a wonderful alternative to a stay in the capital.
    Tortuguero & The Caribbean Coast
    With an isolated position on the Caribbean coast, the Tortuguero National Park is a protected area which is teeming with flora and fauna. Explore the jungle-lined waterways where you will find a plethora of wildlife including monkeys, caimen, toucans and kingfishers, as well as the marine turtles who nest here each year. Further south lies the swaying coconut palms of Puerto Viejo and the islands of Bocas del Toro, which are just across the border in Panama.
    Manuel Antonio & Dominical
    One of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks and it is easy to see why! Here lush rainforest meets beautiful beaches and the Pacific Ocean. Explore the trails through this wildlife-rich national park and spend some time relaxing on one of the tropical beaches. Just a short drive away lie the rugged beaches of Dominical and the Marino Ballena National Park where humpback whales migrate annually and an abundance of marine life resides in the nutrient-rich waters.
    Cloud Forests
    Found at Costa Rica’s higher elevations, the persistent low-lying clouds and resultant mists and fog create a unique environment which is home to a prolific number of plants and birds including the resplendent quetzal. The best known of the cloud forests is Monteverde but there are many other reserves in the country, such as Bajos del Toro and San Ramon, which provide an excellent insight into this wonderful ecosystem.
    Arenal
    Once one of the most active volcanos in Central America, the sight of the majestic cone of the now dormant Arenal Volcano rising up from the lush forest below is simply awe-inspiring. In addition to capturing a picture of the volcano, there is plenty to see and do in the area and it is easy to spend a few days here. Relax in the natural hot springs, hike in the national park or explore the treetops on a series of hanging bridges.
    San Gerardo de Dota & Turrialba
    The cool climate and lush cloud forest which surround the small town of San Gerardo de Dota make this area a bird watcher's paradise. The region is home to over 170 species including hummingbirds, hawk eagles and the striking (and aptly named) resplendent quetzal. Nearby the valley of Turrialba boasts mountainous landscapes and the cascading Pacuare River, where you can find some of Costa Rica's most thrilling white water rafting.
    Osa Peninsula & Golfo Dulce
    The Osa Peninsula is home to the Corcovado National Park which National Geographic once called ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’. Troops of monkeys swing from the trees, anteaters roam the forest floor and flocks of scarlet macaws fly overhead - this truly is a nature lover’s paradise. Across the Golfo Dulce, which separates the Osa Peninsula from mainland Costa Rica, lies the remarkable Piedras Blancas National Park.
    Guanacaste Coast & Nicoya Peninsula
    Lapped by the Pacific Ocean, the Guanacaste Coast is home to a number of Costa Rica’s finest beach destinations, from luxury resorts around the Papagayo Peninsula to the long sweeping beach of Tamarindo which has a lively nightlife scene and is popular with surfers. Alternatively, the Nicoya Peninsula boasts stunning tropical sands, quieter more isolated properties and an altogether more relaxed way of life.
    Costa Rica’s National Parks
    Costa Rica is home to over 30 national parks with environments ranging from wetlands to misty cloud forest and smoking volcanoes to rugged beaches, each show casing unique flora and fauna. Whilst there are some parks which will be very familiar, there are also a number of hidden gems which, although relatively unknown, are well worth discovering.

    HOW TO GET AROUND COSTA RICA

    Exploring Costa Rica with your own private car and driver is extremely popular and offers the flexibility to travel at your own pace. You can simply follow one of our classic itineraries or our specialist Costa Rica team can put something tailormade together for you. Alternatively why not ask us to create you an exciting fly drive holiday?
    Small group adventure touring is a great value option and very sociable too, as are escorted coach tours. For those who want to visit more than one destination we offer cruises that transit the Panama Canal which will often include a stop in Costa Rica or we could also put together a fascinating multi country trip for you combining a holiday to Costa Rica with one to Florida, Guatemala, Nicaragua or Panama.

    OUR RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN COSTA RICA

    We feature a wonderful range of accommodation in Costa Rica, with something to suit all budgets.

    Maybe you’re looking for a treehouse hidden in the Monteverde cloud forests or a boutique beach lodge in the heart of the Nicoya Peninsula? Or perhaps it’s a romantic hideaway with incredible views of the Arenal volcano, a remote jungle lodge in the Corcovado National park or a cosy lodge in the Central Valley. We can help you with hotels, resorts, guesthouses and lodges all over Costa Rica.

    What you won’t find here are thousands upon thousands of hotels where you have to wade through endless reviews of questionable origin to find the best one. We have done the hard work for you and selected the best places to stay so you don’t have to and our travel consultants are on hand to help, often with first-hand experience

    Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens
    Arenal
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • 2 Restaurants
  • Wine bar

  • Parador Resort & Spa
    Manuel Antonio
  • Excellent wildlife viewing
  • 2 pools
  • Spa
  • Restaurant

  • Hotel Belmar
    Monteverde

    Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo
    Papagayo Peninsula
  • 2 secluded sandy beaches
  • 4 pools
  • Fitness centre
  • Spa
  • 3 restaurants & a bar
  • Kids’ club

  • El Remanso Rainforest Wildlife Lodge
    Osa Peninsula
  • Pool
  • Spa & wellness centre
  • Library
  • Restaurant & bar

  • Pacuare Lodge
    Pacuare River

    THINGS TO DO IN COSTA RICA

    Sky Tram & Sky Trek Zip-lining
    Approx 4 hours
    from €105

    Arenal Hanging Bridges
    Approx 2 hours
    from €70
  • Exciting treetops adventure
  • Wildlife
  • Fanastic views

  • Pacuare River Rafting
    Approx 10 hours
    from €139

    Surf Lesson on the Guanacaste Coast
    Approx 2 hours
    from €84

    Pedal Board Lesson on Lake Arenal
    Approx 4 hours
    from €73

    Whale Watching Experience
    Approx 3.5 hours
    from €139

    When is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

    Costa Rica Climate Guide
    Costa Rica

    JAN

    23
    7h  1cm

    FEB

    24
    7h  1cm

    MAR

    25
    7h  1cm

    APR

    25
    7h  6cm

    MAY

    25
    7h  26cm

    JUN

    25
    7h  30cm

    JUL

    24
    6h  21cm

    AUG

    24
    6h  28cm

    SEP

    24
    6h  37cm

    OCT

    24
    6h  34cm

    NOV

    24
    6h  16cm

    DEC

    23
    6h  4cm

    Top Tips From Our Experts

    Expert Travel Consultants
    Richard Standen

    Costa Rica has such a huge variety of birdlife, and as soon as you step outside of the city you can expect to see any number of colourful birds. Make sure you always have a set of binoculars handy as even a transfer can feel like a bird spotting game drive!

    Expert Travel Consultants
    Natalie Faulkes

    Ceviche! The most delicious dish is iconic in Costa Rica and a great way to sample the delicious fresh seafood on the coast. If you get the chance to learn how to make it then do! It's an easy way to impress friends when you're home!

    Expert Travel Consultants
    Kerry Ann Govier

    If you love wildlife, a visit the stunning Osa Peninsula is a must! Dubbed 'one of the most biologically intense places on earth' by National Geographic, this remote peninsula is home to pristine rainforests, a beautifully secluded coastline and an astounding variety of flora and fauna.

    Speak to a Travel Expert

    We believe booking online is no substitute for one-on-one service. Between them our expert travel consultants have travelled to over 96% of the world's countries. As a result the service and advice they offer is second to none.

    Our travel centres are currently closed
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    Saturday & Bank Holidays: 9am - 6pm
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    For individual opening times please check your local travel centre

    Submit an Enquiry Request a quote or appointment about this holiday and we call you back at a time that suits you Make an Appointment Make an Appointment to visit one of our travel centres alarm

    Costa Rica Fast Facts

    access_timelanguage
    Time Zone

    GMT
    -3 hours

    flightaccess_time
    Flight Time to Costa Rica

    Approx
    11 hours

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    Currency

    Costa Rican Colon

    public
    Visa Required?

    For stays over 90 days only

    €20 Off your visa service charge if you have booked your holiday with Trailfinders.

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    Recommended Immunisations

    Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio booster
    Hepititis A (vaccine recommended)
    Malaria
    Rabies
    Typhoid
    Yellow Fever

    20% Discount off immunisations at our London Travel Clinic if you have booked your holiday with Trailfinders.

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    Trailfinders Travel Insurance

    Enjoy comprehensive cover in Costa Rica from just €69 for 7 days with our superb value Single Trip Travel Insurance.

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    Climate for in
    Visa information given is given for Irish citizens holding a valid Irish passport with at least 6 months validity remaining. Immunisation guidelines assume routine Irish childhood immunisation has been given and will not apply to all situations. Medical advice should be sought. Your Trailfinders consultant will advise you of the specific visa and immunisation requirements for your trip.

    YOUR TRAVEL PLANS ALWAYS TO HAND, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME - YOUR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL COMPANION

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