With incredible wildlife, lush rainforests and tropical beaches, Costa Rica is the perfect place to book for a post-pandemic retreat, brimming with green spaces and sustainable lodges where you can really get back to nature and appreciate the simple things in life. We’re excited to show you the new options we’ve introduced for those who want to take advantage of Costa Rica’s amazing biodiversity combined with its reputation for adventure, including a three-day extension to the multi-award-winning Pacuare Lodge. Nestled within 25,000 acres of pristine rainforest, the eco-lodge takes you away from civilisation with a fabulous gourmet restaurant, infinity pool, birdwatching and hiking trips, all included in the price.
Read this blog to find out eight of the new and existing activities that allow you to take a step back from the hectic fast-moving world and appreciate the natural paradise of Costa Rica.
1. Spot sloths around Manuel Antonio
The beauty of our Costa Rica holidays is that you can be as adventurous or as relaxed as you want to be. So if you fancy ziplining through the treetops near Arenal Volcano, white-water rafting in the rainforest or hiking through the cloud forest to spot monkeys and rare birdlife, be our guest. But if you want to channel your inner sloth and soak up the sun on the jungle-fringed beaches of Manuel Antonio, bathe in volcanic hot springs or watch turtles nesting around Tortuguero, you can do that too.
Established in 1972 to preserve one of Costa Rica's most beautiful and biodiverse areas, Manuel Antonio National Park is renowned for its setting. Gorgeous white-sand beaches are wedged between the warm ocean and jungle foliage, home to sloths, four types of monkey, coatis and diverse birdlife including toucans and macaws.
Our Manuel Antonio beach extension is the perfect way to end your holiday to Costa Rica. You can add it onto the end of a Guatemala trip too.
2. Navigate the jungle waterways of Tortuguero
Accessible only by boat or plane, Tortuguero is named after the sea turtles that nest here each year. Seeing the baby turtles hatch on the beach before making their way to the crashing waves is something that will stay in your memory forver. Aside from turtle tours, activities in Tortuguero include boat trips to spot caimans, monkeys, otters, sloths and even jaguars and ocelots who reside around the lush forest.
Located on the northern Caribbean Coast, Tortuguero is a unique town home to just 500 people, with no cars. Read more about the unique destination here.
3. Go birdwatching in the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest
Nestled within a privately-owned 2000-acre reserve, the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest maintains an isolated and undisturbed feel so you feel serene and in touch with nature in no time. The boutique hotel has walking trails to observe the myriad birdlife including toucans, hummingbirds and quetzals.
"Stepping out of the transport and onto the hotel grounds is like being transported to a different, more relaxing world. The chances of spotting wildlife at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Lodge, especially birds, are far higher than in other cloud forest reserves due to the tranquillity. Having fewer tourists overall also makes birds and wildlife less elusive. Overall Villa Blanca offers relaxation, comfort and a much more off-the-beaten-track experience than some of Costa Rica’s other cloud forests. A trip to Costa Rica would not be complete without it." - Mari, Llama Travel
Read Mari's blog about her trip to Villa Blanca.
4. Snorkel in Corcovado
Situated in one of the country's least accessible areas, the only way to get to Casa Corcovado is by boat. Named as “the most biologically intense place on earth” by the National Geographic Society, the national park is home to an astounding variety of wildlife and birdlife. As well as forest walks, you can snorkel with parrot fish, turtles and barracudas around Caño Island.
Corcovado offers a more remote experience than Manuel Antonio. For a full comparison of the two Pacific national parks, read our blog.
5. Arrive in style at Pacuare Lodge
We're excited to announce that we are now offering one of Costa Rica's premier eco properties, the award-winning Pacuare Lodge, nestled on a riverbank amidst a protected zone of the lush forest. Arrive at Pacuare Lodge on a white-water raft, gliding past tropical scenery with plenty of birdlife around the riverbanks. Hearty gourmet meals and a range of activities are included in your stay, so you can choose from birdwatching, waterfall visits and jungle hikes with chances to spot jaguars, monkeys and sloths. Plus, the lodge’s dedication to the environment and local communities means that you have a positive impact.
Read more about our Pacuare Lodge tours here.
6. Swim in waterfalls and make chocolate
For nature lovers and chocoholics, this brand new excursion is a must. Start by wandering through the orchid trail and butterfly garden at La Fortuna, then make your way down the steps to the waterfall where you can take a refreshing dip. After lunch, visit a family-run cocoa plantation to discover what happens to chocolate before it lands on your supermarket shelves.
This excursion is available on all of our Costa Rica holidays.
7. Taste coffee on a plantation near San Jose
Get a taste of daily life in the city on a walking tour of San Jose, where you can visit the national theatre and gold museum to learn about the city's history, and interact with the local 'ticos' in a market full of fresh produce and traditional delicacies. Then head out of the city to visit Doka Coffee Plantation, which nestles in the foothills of Poas Volcano, for a tour and chance to learn the bean to cup process, and taste some of the finest coffee in the world.
This excursion is an excellent introduction to your Costa Rica tour. Read more about it here.
8. Zipline through the canopy near Arenal Volcano
Costa Rica is renowned for its exhilerating ziplining opportunities, and there's no better place to fly through the cloud forest than near Arenal Volcano. Make your way through the canopy 25 metres above the ground, gliding through the treetops on a series of cables up to 400 metres long. Cross the suspension bridge and if you’re feeling brave, get your adrenaline pumping on the Tarzan swing, where you jump from a 40-metre-high platform into a forest clearing - this one's not for the faint-hearted!