11 Day itinerary in Costa Rica, Central America & Caribbean

Highlights of Costa Rica

On this journey you will explore the highlights of Costa Rica. Head out to the Caribbean Coast where the Tortuguero National Park is located, known for the lushness of its rainforest and the amazing tropical life that it supports. Then visit the green volcanic mountains and hot springs of Arenal; co... Read More

1 / 18
All Photos

By Pamela, Montserrat, Ivonne, Eleonore, Juliana and Matilde


Physical Difficulty


Recommended Age


Operated in

English, Spanish, Dutch, French, German


Tour Leader

starting point

San José

trip type


trip attributes


Rural home stays


Outdoors & Nature






Spot beautiful flora and wildlife on a safari boat tour through Costa Rica’s little Amazons of Tortu


Give a try on preparing a Costa Rican farm-to-table meal with great local taste.


Explore the canopy forests of Arenal and Monteverde on a Hanging Bridges walk and Zip-line adventure


Enjoy the Pacific beaches and jungle at Manuel Antonio and exploring the underwater world on an ocea



Day 1

place Touch-down

Once you've touched down to San Jose, you'll be warmly welcomed by your driver and taken to your accommodation. San José, located at about 3,770ft. (1,253 m.) above sea level, is a metropolitan city and sits in a high valley between green volcanic mountains. Depending on the time of your arrival in Costa Rica's capital of San Jose, you will have the rest of the day free to explore, either meandering at will or doing the self-guided San Jose Like a Local' walking tour. Don't let capital intimidate you San Jose is small enough to navigate by foot and grand enough to keep you entertained all day. With some beautiful 19th century architecture buildings to admire, independently owned coffee shops brewing local beans to visit, several parks and museums to explore, there's no chance you'll miss an opportunity to enjoy authentic Costa Rican culture. If you want to save seeing the highlights of Costa Rica's charming capital city until a later moment, you can use the rest of today to walk through the colorful Mercado Central. Make sure to stop for a casado' (traditional plate of rice and beans, beef or fish, plantain and salad) or, a freshly brewed coffee and soak up the atmosphere of the Central Market. Salsa music is something Ticos (Costa Ricans) are serious about! Tonight, go out to one of the local salsa bars where there are classes to practice the steps, or where you can just get up and learn in the field. It's a great way to meet the locals and is an important part of Costa Rican culture. If you rather leave your feet to rest, may we suggest you indulge yourself in yet another typical Costa Rican entertainment of visiting a local bar for beers & bocas' (traditional platters of smaller portion sized local meals to accompany a drink). Included: Private transfer from San Jose airport to hotel in San Jose, Accommodation in San Jose (Meals - None).


  • COMFORT CLASS HOTELS: Sleep Inn Hotel Paseo Las Damas
  • SUPERIOR CLASS HOTELS: Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana
  • LUXURY CLASS HOTELS: Hotel Grano De Oro
Day 2

place River journey to the Northern Caribbean

After an early start you begin your journey across Costa Rica to Tortuguero. This Caribbean delta is the key nesting site for green turtles in the whole region and known for the lushness of its rainforest and the amazing tropical life that it supports. Along the way you'll stop for a traditional breakfast after which you continue your trip inland by shared lodge transfer to the port, driving past many banana plantations. Here, you'll board a motor boat to continue your journey to the lodge through the Tortuguero canals as this area is not accessible by land. Because of its navigable canals through the beautiful rainforest, Tortuguero earned the nickname of 'Central America's Amazon'. By lunchtime you'll arrive at your lodge on Costa Rica's northern Caribbean side, where the staff will welcome you with a refreshing cocktail. Your room will be assigned and the bilingual naturalist guide that will accompany you on this trip will explain the afternoon activities for you and your group. After lunch, you'll visit the colorful village of Tortuguero where you'll learn about the lifestyle of the residents, be able to shop for local Afro-Caribbean handicrafts, and take in the Caribbean atmosphere (included in your package). The small village of Tortuguero lives entirely off eco-tourism and the conservation of sea turtles. Don't miss the delicious banana cake and spicy pastries, as well as the beautiful souvenirs that they sell in Tortuguero village. Everything you buy in the village will help sustain both the local community and the turtle protection project. Returning to the lodge, the rest of the afternoon is free for a siesta, a dip in the pool or a stroll on the property grounds before dinner. Note: activities may vary depending on the lodge you stay. Included: Package Tour Shared Transfer from San Jose to Tortuguero by land and boat transfers, Visit to Tortuguero Town in shared group service, Accommodation in Tortuguero (Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

place Jungle boating

Today, you will enjoy the Tortuguero National Park wildlife by boat (time of the day and order depends on your lodge). As you glide through the creeks and lagoons, you'll be able to see all sorts of birdlife, as well as monkeys, caiman and river turtles (included in your package). The rest of the day is free for you to relax or take some extra optional excursions. We recommend joining the guided nature walk on the lodge grounds to explore the mysterious Tortuguero Jungle further (included in your package - if staying at Manatus Hotel, instead a second eco-boat tour is included). Along the way you'll learn about the fascinating flora and fauna as well as the different medicinal uses of the plants and trees around you. Later on, rest up and relax on the secluded Caribbean coastline or if you're up for the adventure continuing, you can always go on another hike, go kayaking, fishing or relax by your lodge's pool. Tortuguero is the primary nesting site for the Green Turtle and during the turtle season (roughly July - October), we highly recommend that you book through your lodge the optional night tour to see them. If you do, remember to dress in dark colors and not to make too much noise as both sound and light startle the turtles and interrupt their nesting activities. Arriving early on in the season you may be lucky enough to see the larger Leatherback Turtle also come ashore to lay their eggs. Don't worry if you're not in Tortuguero during the turtle nesting season as there is plenty of wildlife to keep you occupied. If you visit later in the season (November - January), although it's very unlikely that you'll experience the turtles coming to nest, you might have the pleasure of being able to witness the baby turtles make their first dash into the waves. Note: activities may vary depending on the lodge you stay. Included: Package Tour Guided Eco Boat trip exploring Tortuguero' s wildlife in shared group service, Guided Nature Walk on lodge property

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

place Journey to the Arenal Volcano

After breakfast you will travel by boat back through the verdant waterways of Tortuguero. Arriving back at the port, your lodge's shuttle bus will take you to the lunch restaurant near Guapiles. From here (Guapiles), you will continue your journey to Arenal, this drive is approximately 4 hours long. As you approach the town of La Fortuna, one of the first things you'll see is the Arenal Volcano. Although it is no longer spewing out hot lava your first sighting of the sleeping giant will always be the most memorable as it rises up high above the surrounding landscape. Depending on the time of your arrival to the town of La Fortuna, situated at the foot of the Arenal Volcano and having settled in to your accommodation, the rest of the day is free to explore or relax. Included: Package Tour Shared boat and land transfer from Tortuguero to Guapiles, Shared transfer from Guapiles (Tortuguero connection point) to Arenal, Accommodation around la Fortuna / Arenal (Meals - Breakfast, Lunch).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


  • SUPERIOR CLASS HOTELS: Arenal Springs Resort
  • LUXURY CLASS HOTELS: Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Day 5

place Arenal Hanging Bridges Hike & Cook Like a Local Cooking Class

This morning you will be picked up from your hotel to embark on an unforgettable Sky Hike. As the name suggests, the hike will take you high up into the verdant forest surrounding the Arenal Volcano at the Arenal Reserve. As you climb higher and higher, going deeper and deeper into the rainforest, you'll have great views of the rainforest canopy, the huge Arenal Volcano, the glistening Arenal Lake as well as Arenal's surrounding mountain range. Accompanied by a nature guide you'll gain a unique insight into the native flora and fauna that you'll hopefully be seeing today. If you're not afraid of heights, during the Sky Walk make sure to look down as you walk across the hanging metal bridges as you'll get incredible views down into the rainforest below. One of the most unique features of the hanging bridges is that many take you right alongside the canopy of tall rainforest trees. Some of the bridges have even been colonized by the neighboring trees that drape their woody lianas over the ramparts. Today is the perfect day to bring your binoculars, for here's your chance to spot birds and howler monkeys which will be at your own eye level! Arriving back in the town of La Fortuna, the rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax or take an optional excursion. After a morning hike, we recommend taking a soak at the hot springs warmed by the heart of the Arenal Volcano. Many of the area's best hot springs are situated just at the foot of the Arenal Volcano which means that you can enjoy looking up at the mighty volcano while soaking in the warm waters rich in minerals while listening to the calls of the rainforest around youthis is truly a heavenly experience! This evening, we invite you to prepare a delightful local-style meal and enjoy what may be your favorite meal in Costa Rica. There is something very special about having an authentic experience while traveling abroad. Cultures identify themselves through their cuisine and Costa Ricans are no different. During t

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


  • SUPERIOR CLASS HOTELS: Arenal Springs Resort
  • LUXURY CLASS HOTELS: Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Day 6

place Lake Crossing to Monteverde & Don Juan Coffee Tour and Twilight Walk

Leaving Arenal and La Fortuna behind, you will continue your journey across the lovely Lake Arenal before heading up into the lush, green cloud forest high of Monteverde. The total duration of this adventure connection is approximately 4 hours long and this is the fastest way to get from Arenal up into the Cloud Forest of Monteverde. The first leg of the connection takes you by transfer to Lake Arenal where you will board a boat that will take you across to the other side of the lake, during which you may have the opportunity to see the Arenal Volcano as well as some beautiful tropical birds. After the lake crossing, you will continue the journey by land in shared transportation for the last 38-kilometer drive of scenic dirt roads into the mountains, to the cloud forests of Monteverde. Upon arrival you will be taken to your hotel. Located on the Pacific highlands, the small town of Santa Elena sits as the gateway to the beautiful Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. The area is known as one of the most outstanding wildlife refuges in the New World Tropics. Santa Elena is slightly reminiscent of a tropical Switzerland, with its charming wooden houses and alpine climate. This environment creates a constant game of drizzle and warm sunshine; a combination that makes Monteverde the most famous cloud forest in the world. It is called a cloud forest rather than a rain forest because of its altitude: as the high-altitude forest juts up through the clouds. Depending on the time of your arrival in Santa Elena and having settled in to your accommodation, the rest of the day is free to explore or relax. If you're feeling a little hungry or like cheese, then the Monteverde Cheese Factory is where you should head to. Opened in 1953 by the area's original Quaker settlers, you can taste some nice cheese and ice-cream here, especially the Monte Rico which is famous throughout Costa Rica. As the sun begins to go down and the light mystically disappears from the sky, y

Meals: Breakfast


  • COMFORT CLASS HOTELS: Monteverde Country Lodge
  • SUPERIOR CLASS HOTELS: El Establo Mountain Hotel
Day 7

place Explore the Canopy by Zip-line in Monteverde

Today you will explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest from on high via its famous canopy zip lines which will give you an unforgettable perspective of the Cloud Forest and the wildlife that live in the treetops. You'll begin your treetop excursion by riding in an open-air gondola to an observation point high above the forest floor. With around 90% of its 26,000 acres completely untouched by man, more than 100 species of mammals live in the Monteverde Reserve. There are also 2,500 species of plants, including 420 kinds of orchid, and more than 400 species of birds, including hummingbirds and the famous Quetzal bird, that will have you glued to your binoculars! From the platform, which is one of the highest points in the whole area, you will have some time to admire the view of the Nicoya gulf, the mountain range and the Cloud Forest. Then it's time to start the adrenaline pumping part of your Cloud Forest adventure back down to ground level as you whizz along 1.7 miles of cables slung between towering trees, stretching across canyons and between treetops on what is one of the longest zip lines in Costa Rica. You'll go from lofty platform to platform via horizontal traverse cables, ultimately returning you back to where you started today's adventure. Although you'll be moving too fast to see much of the wildlife on this part of the tour, it's definitely a thrill worth experiencing! With your feet firmly on the floor, you'll be transferred back to your accommodation where the rest of the day is free for you to spend at your leisure. You may wish to discover some more on a local wildlife adventure. There are a number of places in Monteverde to get your wildlife fix ranging from the Butterfly Garden and the Serpentarium to the Frog Pond and Bat Jungle. Included: Half Day Sky Tram & Sky Trek Zipline in Group service with Transfer and Entrance fee, Accommodation in Monteverde (Meals - Breakfast).

Meals: Breakfast


  • COMFORT CLASS HOTELS: Monteverde Country Lodge
  • SUPERIOR CLASS HOTELS: El Establo Mountain Hotel
  • LUXURY CLASS HOTELS: Hotel Senda Monteverde
Day 8

place The road to Tropical Manuel Antonio

Leaving Monteverde and the Cloud forest behind, you will continue your journey to Manuel Antonio. This drive is approximately 5 hours long. Situated high above the diverse National Park and pristine beaches, Manuel Antonio is famed for its endless ocean views and lush tropical forests with numerous wildlife. Between the main town of Quepos and the Manuel Antonio National Park are a number of hotels and entertainment venues. Just down the road you can find world-class beaches where you can enjoy swimming, hiking trails, places to go surfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, zip-lining and of course miles of beaches to relax on and watch the sunset. Before kicking off your sandals and running along the beach, all we ask is that you get settled in to your accommodation first! The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure and tonight you can go out to a few of the lively local bars where you can enjoy an Imperial or two (the best local beer in our opinion!). Included: Shuttle transfer from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in Group service, Accommodation in Manuel Antonio (Meals - Breakfast).

Meals: Breakfast


  • COMFORT CLASS HOTELS: Hotel Plaza Yara
  • SUPERIOR CLASS HOTELS: Shana By The Beach Resort
Day 9

place Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your accommodation and taken to the local Quepos dock in town where you'll climb into your ocean kayak. Accompanied by a local guide who will explain the history of the region and point out marine life and places of interest, you'll paddle your way along the beautiful Pacific Coast with its uninhabited islands and deserted beaches. Stopping for a break at the secluded beach of Bisanz situated in paradisiacal bay, you will begin an underwater adventure as you swap your paddles for your snorkeling gear. This is a great spot to snorkel as there are dozens of types of tropical fish to see. In the tropical waters you are most likely to spot parrotfish, starfish, angelfish and if you are lucky a sea turtle or two! You'll begin your journey back to Quepos dock in Manuel Antonio where upon arrival you'll enjoy a typical, local Costa Rican lunch. This is a challenging yet rewarding and unforgettable experience as it introduces you to the best of the region's nature both above and below the ocean's surface; from pelicans to flying fish, you can see it all! Your transfer will take you back to your hotel where you will have the rest of the day to enjoy the beach on your own. At night, try the catch of the day at the Runaway Grill in the marina of Quepos, it´s a real anglers place and the fresh daily catch is not to be missed, especially if it's tuna! Note: the minimum age for the Sea Kayaking is 8 years old and the maximum age is 65 years old, and requires good physical condition. Included: Half Day Sea Kayaking Manuel Antonio Coast and snorkeling in Group service with Transfer, Accommodation in Manuel Antonio (Meals - Breakfast, Lunch).

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


  • COMFORT CLASS HOTELS: Hotel Plaza Yara
  • SUPERIOR CLASS HOTELS: Shana By The Beach Resort
Day 10

place Beach & Jungle

oday is left free for you to choose your own activity, either exploring on your own or booking an optional excursion. The Manuel Antonio National Park is known for its pristine white-sand beaches, hidden coves and forest trails and visiting this park cannot be missed. Here you can encounter toucans, two-and three-toed sloths, raccoons, coatis, snakes and various species of monkeys. This is almost the only place where the rare squirrel monkeys still exist in the wild! At the entrance to the park you can book a walking tour with a nature guide who will help you spot wildlife and take photos at long range with a special telescope. Alternatively, reserve your place on one of Costa Rica's best beginner river rafting experiences down the Savegre River. Working your way down Class II/III rapids is a thrilling adventure in what is considered one of Central America's cleanest rivers. If you're looking for more adventure, take to the sky as you fly way through the canopy using 10 zip lines, 2 rappel lines, suspension bridges and a Tarzan Swing that will take you to 18 different viewing platforms. Along the way you'll be able to see amazing examples of flora and fauna including dart frogs, toucans and titi monkeys. After a fun day out with one of the optional activities or exploring Quepos town and Marina Pez Vela, head to the beach to enjoy a tropical cocktail while watching the sun go down. Tip: you can explore the Manuel Antonio National Park easily on your own; there are guides at the entrance in case you would like to go with a guide. The park fee is about USD $16. Please note the park is closed on Tuesdays. Included: Accommodation in Manuel Antonio (Meals - Breakfast).

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast


  • COMFORT CLASS HOTELS: Hotel Plaza Yara
  • SUPERIOR CLASS HOTELS: Shana By The Beach Resort
Day 11

place Homeward bound

Enjoy some last views over the Pacific and then it's time to say goodbye to this tropical country with its wide diversity in ecosystems and natural beauty. You will continue your journey to the International Airport for your flight out. We wish you a pleasant flight and great memories of Costa Rica! Note: It is a 4 hrs. drive to San Jose Airport (SJO) and you would need to be at the airport 3 hrs. prior to your flight. Included: Private transfer from Manuel Antonio to San Jose Airport (Meals - Breakfast (Depending on your departure time)).

What’s Included

Accommodation expand_less

  • Hotel Plaza Yara
  • Sleep Inn Hotel Paseo Las Damas
  • Monteverde Country Lodge
  • Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana
  • Arenal Springs Resort
  • El Establo Mountain Hotel
  • Shana By The Beach Resort
  • Hotel Grano De Oro
  • Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
  • Hotel Senda Monteverde

Meals expand_less

  • Breakfast (9)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (3)

About Pamela


+5 Local experts

verified Baboo Certified







Visit markets

Meet local people

Rural home stays

Indigenous culture



Wellness retreat



Outdoors & Nature

Food & Drink

Travel with Purpose

Classic Sights

I have more than 10 years in the tourism industry, I have worked with passengers of different nationalities and tastes, making tailor-made trips, taking into account the tastes and preferences of each person.

Travel that Makes a Difference

By choosing to travel with us, you support local communities, wildlife, and the environment. We are dedicated to positively impacting the world through every journey we offer.

Let’s regenerate the planet together

We overcompensate your entire journey’s carbon footprint including flights - for free.

Learn more

$2,054.00 USD