Costa Rica - Nature's Paradise    *alt*

13 days, from £2699
Newmarket Holidays
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The heart of Central America

Fly direct from Gatwick to join this unforgettable small group tour - an incredible opportunity to experience Costa Rica's amazing natural beauty. Explore the canopy of Monteverde's majestic cloud forest, see the brooding mass of the Arenal volcano, spend blissful days relaxing in a luxury hotel in Manuel Antonio, and encounter some the rarest and most colourful wildlife on the planet.

Costa Rica Tour Highlights
* Return direct flights from Gatwick to San Jose with British Airways
* Journey through the rainforest, by boat, to Tortuguero National Park
* Encounter Tortuguero's wildlife from Mawamba Lodge
* Late-summer visitors may see Green Turtles nesting
* Enjoy dinner at a floating restaurant
* Journey back through the jungle to La Fortuna, close to Arenal's 'perfect' volcano
* Visit the hot springs at Eco Termales
* See amazing birdlife on a Cano Negro marshland cruise
* Selvatura's spectacular Hanging Bridges through the rainforest
* Spend four idyllic nights on the edge of the Pacific
What does the price include?* Eleven nights' bed and breakfast accommodation at a series of carefully chosen hotels in San Jose (1 night), Tortuguero (2), La Fortuna (2), Monteverde (2) and Manuel Antonio (4)
* Five lunches and three dinners (including a floating-restaurant dinner in Tortuguero)
* Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
* Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
Single rooms are available for a supplement


 Day One: Fly to Costa Rica

Fly to San Jose, the friendly, cosmopolitan capital of Costa Rica. Meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel, then rest and relax after your journey.

 Day Two: Travel from San Jose to Tortuguero

Very early this morning, we'll board the coach and head east, through jungle landscapes. After an en-route stop for breakfast, you'll arrive at the pier in Cano Blanco or Pavona, and board a canal boat for the last part of the journey, to the very edge of the Caribbean Sea.Spend two nights in Tortuguero National Park, at Mawamba Lodge. The park is a treasure trove of biological diversity - it's home to land turtles, monkeys and manatees, and some 375 species of bird - criss-crossed by canals and navigable lagoons.

 Day Three: Optional and included Tortuguero wildlife tours

Early this morning you'll have the chance to see the astonishing wildlife of Costa Rica come to life as a new day begins on an optional canal tour in the company of an expert guide.Return to the lodge for breakfast, then head out once more for a full-day tour of the park. Hidden within the landscape of waterways and tropical forest you may spot monkeys and manatees, sloths and caimans, tiny turtles and toucan, as well as macaws, iguanas and water-walking 'Jesus Christ' lizards.The park is also a vital nesting site for both green and leatherback turtles, and visitors in September will have the opportunity to visit the hatching site where (with luck) newly hatched turtles will be emerging!Complete your stay in this amazing place this evening with dinner at the lodge's floating restaurant.

 Day Four: Included hot springs visit

Leaving Tortuguero behind, we'll travel across the Costa Rican lowlands to La Fortuna and the Arenal Paraiso Hotel for two-night stay with views of majestic Arenal. After 40 years, the eruptions of this exceptionally active volcano have finally died down, but the region is blessed with hot springs and thermal baths, including those at Eco Termales that you'll visit today.

 Day Five: Included Cano Negro cruise

Today you'll travel north to the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy a canal cruise along the stunning Rio Frio during which you should hope to see more caiman and crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas and a variety of colourful birds. Keep a particularly sharp eye out for the camouflaged head of a Common Potoo peering over the top of its perch.We'll return to the hotel in La Fortuna this evening.

 Day Six: Optional Arenal foothills hike

This morning you'll have the chance to join a gentle optional hike around the lava formations and forests at the base of Arenal.Later, we'll head around Lake Arenal and make our way to into the cloud forests of Monteverde, where private conservation sites and reserves protect wildlife communities quite unlike those elsewhere in the country. Our base for two nights, the El Establo Hotel, boasts extensive hillside grounds and offers spectacular views across the forested hills and - on clear days - all the way to the Nicoya Gulf.

 Day Seven: Included Monteverde cloud forest tour

Today we'll follow the 1.9km trail over eight bridges through the lush rainforest canopy of Selvatura Park. Visit the Hummingbird Garden, and Butterfly Garden for a close encounter with these sparkling creatures, and perhaps dare to ride Selvatura Park's 15 zip lines (the longest of which is one kilometre long!) through the cloud-forest canopy on an optional excursion.

 Day Eight:Coach travel to Manuel Antonio

Stunning Manuel Antonio National Park, at the edge of the ocean on Costa Rica's central Pacific Coast, provides the perfect background for a relaxing pause in your travels as you enjoy the facilities of a secluded luxury hotel just a short walk from the beach and close to the park entrance.

 Days 9-11: Relaxing in Manuel Antonio

Relax beside your hotel's delightful pool, head into Manuel Antonio National Park on an excursion or visit the nearby town of Quepos. The choice of how little or how much to do on these three days is entirely yours.

 Day 12: Coach travel to San Jose

Today you'll return to San Jose and head to the airport to board your flight home.

 Day 13: Flight home

Arrive back in the UK after an overnight flight.