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Best of Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Incl flights, accommodation & transfers
From   £1879 £1579
11 days

Holiday highlights

  • Visit San Jose, lively capital of Costa Rica, surrounded by coffee plantations.
  • Navigate the jungle waterways of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast.
  • Explore the lava trails on Arenal Volcano and relax in the hot springs.
  • Discover the amazing diverse wildlife of the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

This holiday varies depending on when you travel. Select your time of travel here to see the correct holiday details.

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  • Fly from the UK to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica and a bustling and lively city. On arrival you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

    Meals included: Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

  • Spend the day exploring San Jose, or escape the city on our optional full-day Poás Volcano & Coffee Plantation excursion. You will be taken to the nearby Poás Volcano, where you can peer into the smoking crater. After lunch, enjoy a tour of the Doka plantation, and see how some of the best coffee in the world is grown and produced.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch included on the Poás Volcano & Coffee Plantation excursion.

  • Begin the day with a beautiful four-hour coach journey, partly on an unpaved road, through the Braulio Carillo National Park. Then take a two-hour boat ride to your jungle lodge in Tortuguero, cruising down jungle waterways inhabited by monkeys and varied birdlife. Located on the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero is a beautiful national park, thriving with all kinds of wildlife. After lunch and some time to settle at the lodge, visit the community of Tortuguero and learn about the extraordinary efforts made locally to protect the sea turtles, which nest here at certain times of the year.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch and dinner at the lodge.

  • Explore the secondary canals of the jungle by boat, from where you will hopefully be able to spot some of Tortuguero’s amazing wildlife, including sloths, caimans, spider and howler monkeys and a huge variety of birds. From April to November, it may be possible to arrange a turtle-watching tour to see sea turtles arriving to lay eggs at night.

    Meals included: All meals included at the lodge.

  • Enjoy a morning boat ride back along the canals to Caño Blanco. After lunch, take a scenic road journey to Arenal, arriving in the late afternoon. Arenal is famous for its active and picture-perfect volcano and the many hot springs.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the lodge. Lunch on route to Arenal.

  • For 2016 departures, taking our optional afternoon Arenal Volcano & Tabacón Hot Springs excursion is a great way to explore and experience the best of Arenal. The excursion begins with a trip to the nearby Arenal National Park, where you explore the old lava fields at the base of the volcano on foot. Due to the area’s volcanic activity, there are also several excellent hot springs in the region. Take advantage of this with an evening trip to the Tabacón hot springs, and relax in the soothing water amidst beautiful tropical gardens. A buffet dinner is also included at the Tabacón hot springs.

    For 2017 departures, the Hanging Bridges & Tabacón Hot Springs excursion is offered. Broken into 2 sections, the morning visit to the hanging bridges provides a glimpse of the forest inhabitants at different levels. The bridges hang at different heights and a naturalist guide is on hand to explain the complex forest ecosystems which operate on each level.  The day is at your leisure, until late afternoon where soaking in the Tabacón volcanic hot springs provides a relaxing end to the day. A buffet dinner is also included at the Tabacón hot springs.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Dinner is included on the Arenal Volcano & Tabacón Hot Springs excursion and the Hanging Bridges & Tabacón Hot Springs excursion .

  • Take a four-hour transfer, sometimes on bumpy roads, before arriving at your hotel in the beautiful Monteverde cloud forest. Located 1,500m above sea level in central Costa Rica, the high altitude cloud forest is rich in diversity with over 2,500 species of plant, 100 species of mammal, 120 amphibian and reptile species and more than 400 bird species. In the afternoon on 2016 departures, you can experience the diverse fauna and flora of Monteverde on our optional Monteverde Skywalk excursion, where you explore the canopy of the cloud forest via a network of suspension bridges.

    For 2017 departures, the afternoon is spent on an optional guided tour of the Curi Cancha Reserve, a protected area which plays home to hundreds of bird species, mammals, insects and amphibians, as well as a diverse variety of plant life. 

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Explore the trails of the amazing cloud forests in the area on our optional Monteverde Day and Night Cloud Forest excursion. Take an early-morning trip to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve; an area of orchids, bromeliads, ferns and crystal clear streams. Your guide will help you identify and spot exotic birds, butterflies and unusual plants. You then have the rest of the day free before you set off in the evening for the Monteverde Cloud Forest night tour, where you search for nocturnal creatures by torchlight. Return to your hotel in the late evening.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Take a four-hour journey from Monteverde to San Jose. Enjoy a second chance to explore the Costa Rican capital. Perhaps stroll through the Plaza de la Cultura, the social hub of the city, visit the Jade Museum which houses an impressive collection of jade jewellery and carvings, or admire the beautiful neoclassical façade and lavish interior of the Teatro Nacional, San Jose’s most impressive building.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Enjoy your final day in Costa Rica’s capital city. Depending on your flight time, perhaps visit the Museo de Oro Precolombino (The Gold Museum), a fascinating underground museum below the Plaza de la Cultura. Buy souvenirs in the El Pueblo shopping mall or visit a butterfly farm on the outskirts of the city. Later, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, meal included on the transatlantic flight.

  • Your flight arrives in the UK.

Extend Your Holiday

See more of Latin America by extending your holiday. Click below for more information.

Panama City & Canal

from £449


This holiday varies depending on when you travel. Select your time of travel here to see the correct holiday details.

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Upgrade Package

Superior Hotel Upgrade Package Save £66

Upgrade in San Jose, Tortugero and Arenal for a discounted price.

from {{379 | as_price}}
({{ 240 | as_price }} Single Supplement)

Accommodation in San Jose

Hotel Park Inn

Park Inn Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica

Standard hotel: This is a comfortable hotel situated in a quiet area 2 km from the centre of San José. There are 117 rooms over 12 floors. These are large and well appointed and there is a small outdoor pool and gym. There is a restaurant and bar.

Why stay here: A good location close to the centre but not in a busy area. The rooms are very comfortable and the public areas are modern and attractive. The outdoor space on the 3rd floor includes an attractive pool, although it is not too large.

Hotel facilities

• an outdoor pool and a small gym on the 3rd floor
• a restaurant and bar
• free wifi
• an eco-hotel with solar panels

About the room
The rooms are large and comfortable with carpets and good bathrooms with large showers (no bath tubs). Each room has a fridge, and tea & coffee making facilities and water. All rooms have safes as well as ironing facilities.

Room types available
Standard rooms

Hotel Doubletree, San Jose

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({{ 45 | as_price }} Single Supplement)
Hilton Doubletree, San Jose
Llama Travel Customer Rating

Superior Hotel: This 200-room modern hotel, located on the outskirts of San Jose, has good facilities, including two restaurants, a large outdoor swimming pool, spa and gym. The comfortable rooms are large and well-appointed, with en-suite bathrooms. The hotel has free WiFi in the common areas.

Why stay here? This is a comfortable hotel with a nice pool, which makes this a good place to relax. It’s a 30-minute taxi ride to the centre of San Jose, but there are restaurants and shops nearby.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar, a lounge/coffee lobby, a gym, outdoor terrace areas and a pool with a sundeck.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, a tour desk, luggage storage and laundry facilities. There are also shops on site, including a gift shop, and the hotel offers currency exchange.

About the room

All rooms have WiFi (available for a surcharge), a TV, a telephone, a coffee/tea maker, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

Finca Rosa Blanca

{{460 | as_price}}
({{ 460 | as_price }} Single Supplement)

Boutique Hotel: A good 90-room hotel, located on the main street of Aguas Calientes. The hotel reception is constructed from recycled materials. There is a restaurant, bar, a small garden and hot tub. Rooms are comfortable with en-suite bathrooms and free WiFi.

Why stay here? This is a very good standard hotel, with clean and simple rooms, and it is a great base for visiting Machu Picchu.

Hotel facilities

• Free WiFi in public areas, as well as a small business centre

• An outdoor pool surrounded by lovely gardens

• On-site restaurant and bar with outdoor patio

• A library and games room

About the room

All rooms boast a king-size bed with 100% cotton sheets, ceiling fans, spacious en-suite bathrooms, a mini-bar and complimentary coffee. They also have a private deck and a safe.

Room types available

Junior suite

Accommodation in Tortuguero

Aninga Lodge


Standard Lodge: This 32-room lodge, located close to the Tortuguero National Park main entrance, has a pool, spa and is surrounded by lush tropical jungle and waterways. The comfortable rooms have en-suite bathrooms, hot water and ceiling fans. The hotel has free WiFi in the reception area. Excursions are taken in groups of a maximum of 18 people.

Why stay here? This is a good lodge with clean, simple rooms and attractive grounds. The guides at the lodge are excellent at spotting wildlife on the boat trips along the canals.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in the reception area and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar, a spa with treatments and massages, and an outdoor pool with a poolside seating area.

• Hairdryers are available at reception. Kayaks are available to use for free.

About the room

All rooms have a ceiling fan, a safety deposit box and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

Manatus Hotel

from {{200 | as_price}}
Manatus Hotel, Tortuguero
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Llama favourite accommodation

Superior Lodge: This is a small 12-room lodge located close to the Tortuguero National Park, surrounded by lush vegetation. The lodge has a swimming pool, restaurant, small gym and spa. The spacious rooms have air conditioning, free WiFi, an en-suite bathroom and private solarium. The hotel offers kayaks for use for free, and there is also a small nature trail around the hotel grounds. Excursions are taken in smaller groups than at the Pachira Lodge.

Why stay here? This is the best lodge in the region, and the only one with air conditioning. The hotel has just 12 rooms, and the small groups on the excursions give a better chance to interact with the guide.

Hotel Ffcilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar, an art gallery, a private forest reserve, gardens and sun terrace, an outdoor pool with poolside seating areas, a full working spa and a small gym.

• The hotel offers a tour information desk and a laundry service.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, private outdoor terraces, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

Accommodation in Arenal Volcano

Hotel Arenal Manoa

Panorama, Hotel Arenal Manoa, Arenal
Llama Travel Customer Rating

Standard Hotel: This hotel offers excellent views of the Arenal Volcano. It has well-kept, lush gardens, a restaurant, snack bar, swimming pools, natural hot springs, jacuzzis and a spa. All rooms have a terrace, air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. There is a walking trail leading to the hotel’s private farm, and other excursions to nearby attractions are offered from the hotel.

Why stay here? This is an excellent standard hotel with attractive gardens, good pools to relax in, and all rooms have views of the volcano.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar/lounge area, extensive gardens, outdoor pools with seating areas and poolside bars and a full service spa with a jacuzzi and natural hot springs. There is also private farm on site.

• The hotel offers room service, a tour information desk, luggage storage, laundry facilities and a gift shop/news stand.

About the room

All rooms are soundproofed and have air conditioning, free WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a safety deposit box, a coffee/tea maker, a mini bar, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms. Rooms also have private outdoor terraces with views of the volcano.

Room types available

Junior suite

Hotel Nayara

from {{200 | as_price}}
({{ 200 | as_price }} Single Supplement)
Hotel Nayara, Arenal
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Llama favourite accommodation

Superior Hotel: Set in beautiful tropical gardens, the hotel has a swimming pool, spa and restaurant. There are 40 rooms which are individual casitas, all beautifully appointed with a balcony and jacuzzi overlooking Arenal Volcano, free WiFi, air conditioning, en-suite bathroom and additional outdoor shower.

Why stay here? This is a truly fantastic hotel, possibly our favourite in Costa Rica. The grounds are lovely and the room balconies give amazing views of the Arenal volcano.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar, outdoor pools with a poolside bar and seating areas, extensive garden and a full service spa with a jacuzzi.

• The hotel offers room service, a tour information desk, luggage storage and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, free WiFi, a TV, a telephone (international phone calls can be made), a safety deposit box, a coffee/tea maker, a mini bar, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms. There is also an outdoor shower (in addition to the one in the en-suite bathroom) and rooms have a wrap-around terrace with a jacuzzi and hammock.

Room types available

Deluxe casita room

Accommodation in Monteverde Cloud Forest

El Establo

El Establo
Llama Travel Customer Rating

Standard Hotel: A large hotel with very extensive grounds spread over the hills just above of Santa Elena town. There are 155 rooms in 7 buildings, two restaurants, a bar, spa, swimming pool and tennis courts. The hotel has a 3 km cloud forest trail. The rooms are large with en-suite bathrooms and balconies with great views.

Why stay here? The views are superb (you can even see the Pacific Ocean on a clear day) and the grounds are a great place for bird watching. The hotel has good facilities and you can explore the cloud forest trail on your own. Due to the size and slope of the grounds (it is almost 1km from the reception to the top block of rooms), there is a hotel shuttle service that can be called to take you around the hotel.

Hotel facilities
• Two restaurants, a bar and a coffee lounge. An indoor heated pool, a gym, spa, and tennis courts.

• The hotel offers room service, a tour information desk and laundry facilities.

• Free wifi is available in some public areas (no wifi in the rooms).

About the room
All rooms have a tv, telephone, mini bar, safety deposit box and hair dryer. The rooms are carpeted and have small terraces with chairs from where you can enjoy the view. The bathrooms are large and have separate showers and bathtubs. The rooms blocks are spread out through the grounds, so there is a shuttle service that you can call to take you around the grounds.

Room types available
Deluxe room

Hotel Belmar

{{150 | as_price}}
({{ 110 | as_price }} Single Supplement)
Hotel Belmar

Boutique Hotel: This is a lovely hotel with an alpine chalet feel, located in a rural setting close to the town of Santa Elena. There are large grounds with an attractive lake as well as a covered jacuzzi in the gardens. The 22 wood-panelled rooms have balconies with wonderful views of the cloud forest. There is a restaurant and bar.

Why stay here: The Hotel Belmar has a fabulous setting in the cloud forest with great views and is a great place for bird watching. The grounds, on a hill, are very pleasant and there are sun loungers near the lake. The two buildings are charming and offer a peaceful place to enjoy the forest setting. Although not offering extensive facilities, this is probably the best place to stay in Monteverde.

Hotel facilities
• Restaurant with great views, as well as a bar.

• Yoga studio, a jacuzzi and lovely gardens.
Lake with sun loungers.

• All rooms have ceiling fans (no air conditioning)
Heaters are available on request.
No televisions in rooms.

About the room
Peninsula rooms have 2 queen size beds, en-suite bathrooms, ceiling fans and private balconies with views across the cloud forest and gardens. There are wooden floors and ceilings and wood panelling, giving a chalet-feel to the rooms.

Room types available
There are 7 Peninsula rooms and 7 Peninsula Superior rooms as well as other upgraded room categories. As the hotel only has a small number of each room category, it is often necessary to upgrade to a different room type.


This holiday varies depending on when you travel. Select your time of travel here to see the correct holiday details.

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Excursions Package

Costa Rica Excursion Package Save £51

Take the Poás Volcano & Coffee Plantation, Hanging Bridges & Tabacón Hot Springs, Day & Night Cloud Forest and Curi Cancha Reserve excursions together for a discounted price.

from £259

Poás Volcano & Coffee Plantation

San Jose, Costa Rica
Llama Travel Customer Rating

This full day excursion offers you a truly up-close volcanic encounter, as you peer into Poás’ smoking crater, where you can see bubbling pockets of steam and a sulfuric green rain-fed lake. After lunch, enjoy a tour of the Doka plantation, and see how some of the best coffee in the world is grown and produced.

Full Description:

This tour takes you to three of the most characteristic attractions of Costa Rica; the imposing Poás Volcano, a coffee plantation, and the town of Sarchí, a traditional rural community that has become world-famous for the crafts made by its artisans. The day begins with a picturesque drive to Poás Volcano National Park, passing by coffee and sugarcane plantations and strawberry fields. Poás Volcano is considered the largest active crater in the world, with frequent, geyser-like eruptions. If weather conditions allow for it, trek to Lake Botos, which fills an extinct crater at the end of one trail. The area around the lake is home to many cloud forest birds like hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers, toucans and the resplendent quetzal. In the afternoon, visit Doka Estate, one of Costa Rica’s premium coffee plantations, and producer of internationally-acclaimed coffees. From the picking of the coffee berries to the roasting and grinding of the coffee beans, you will see how Costa Rican coffees are grown and processed. A typical lunch will be served before the tour. Whilst at Doka, you can also visit the Butterfly Garden and the organic garden.

Hanging Bridges and Tabacon Hot Springs

Tabacon Hot Springs, Costa Rica
Llama Travel Customer Rating

This two part excursion visits the Arenal Hanging Bridges in the morning, allowing you to experience the rainforest from a different perspective on a network of trails and suspension bridges. Keep your eyes open for birds, monkeys and sloths peeking out from the amongst the tree tops. In the late afternoon, soak in the beautiful hot volcanic pools and rivers of Tabacón thermal springs - a realxing end to the day, before enjoying a buffet dinner.

 Full Description:

Set off in the morning for a two-hour visit to the Arenal Hanging Bridges, where you follow a trail through the rainforest including a series of hanging bridges, allowing you to explore the canopy of the forest. There are 3.2km of trails and 16 bridges up to 100 metres long. The varying heights of the bridges provides you with a glimpse into life at different levels of the forest, from the treetops to the flowers and the frog pools, bird life and insects. Your naturalist guide explains how the forest's ecosystems work. There are also wonderful views of Arenal Volcano from the park.

After returning to your hotel, you have the middle of the day free before embarking on the second part of the excursion in the late afternoon. You are taken to the beautiful Tabacón Hot Springs, which consist of many large and small pools of mineral waters, heated by Arenal Volcano, and set in tropical gardens. Rainwater enters the earth through fissures on the surface and is then heated by magma found in the earth's core. Hot springs provide many benefits stemming from various chemical, physical and biological effects, the most notable is relaxing tense and tired muscles. Hot water rivers, between 27ºC and 42ºC, run throughout the grounds, forming natural waterfalls and pools, some secluded, where you can bathe. You can enjoy the hot springs as day turns to night before having a good buffet dinner overlooking the gardens.

Day & Night Cloud Forest

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
Llama Travel Customer Rating

See how the flora and fauna transform from day to night on this double excursion into the whirling mists and dense green foliage of the Monteverde cloud forest. Walk the nature trails in daylight, amongst quetzals, mot-mots, toucans, tapirs and monkeys before returning in the evening for the emergence of the night creatures, as birds are replaced by fireflies, and frogs fill the forest.

Full Description:

The day begins with a morning three-to-four hour excursion to explore the trails of the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, an area of orchids, bromeliads, ferns and crystal clear streams. The cloud forest is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world, with 500 species of butterflies and 400 species of birds roaming the area, including the three-wattled bellbird, keel-billed toucan, bare-necked umbrellabird, and the beautiful quetzal, as well as the the howler and white-faced monkeys. You then have the rest of the day free before you set off in the evening for the Monteverde National Park night tour, where you can experience the cloud forest from a new perspective. In the darkness you can see the light of dancing fireflies and, with the torch provided, spot a variety of nocturnal creatures, including sloths, snakes and frogs. Return to your hotel in the late evening.

Curi Cancha Reserve

Curi Cancha Reserve, Costa Rica
Llama Travel Customer Rating

Nestled in the heart of Monteverde, the Curi Cancha Reserve is the perfect place to introduce Costa Rica’s cloud forest. With the assistance of a naturalist guide, the cloud forest’s incredible array of fauna & flora will reveal itself, providing an insightful introduction to life in the rainforest. As the cloud forest of Curi Cancha is more open than that of Santa Elena and Monteverde, visited on the Day & Night Cloud Forest excursion, it is often easier to spot wildlife.

 Full Description:

Curi Cancha is situated in the Arenal-Tempisque conservation area of Monteverde, and covers 83 hectares of forest. The reserve protects a variety of cloud forest habitats, all of which are teeming with wildlife. The reserve has a 7km long network of nature trails, which lead visitors through virgin rainforest, areas of secondary growth and open pastures. Lead by a naturalist guide, you explore the trails, pausing often to observe the forest’s inhabitants, from tiny, brightly-coloured frogs, to exotic birds of all shapes and sizes, and learn about the cloud forest’s complex ecosystems. Some of the best birdwatching is possible from the more open areas, so bring a pair of binoculars if you can.


This holiday varies depending on when you travel. Select your time of travel here to see the correct holiday details.

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Panama City & Canal

from £449

4 days Extension

This extension allows you to combine your holiday to Costa Rica with a visit to Panama’s capital, Panama City. Home to the iconic Panama Canal, you will get the opportunity to visit this feat of engineering and learn about its construction, how it functions, and the myriad ways in which it affects Panama today. The city itself is a melting pot of international cultures, thanks to its status as an international financial center. The modern town is an agglomeration of tall, glass-fronted sky-scrapers, which stands in stark contrast to Casco Viejo, the charming, well-preserved old town. In Casco Viejo, cobbled streets are lined with Spanish Colonial houses, as well as Antillean and French architecture – testament to the days of the Panama Canal’s construction. It is sometimes possible to take a boat tour of the canal, to get an even closer look at how things work, or take a day trip to the beaches or indigenous villages outside the city.


Day 1 Panama City Fly from the UK to Panama City, the vibrant and fast-paced capital of Panama. You are met at the airport and taken to your hotel.

Day 2 Panama City Today, visit the iconic canal on a half-day city tour. First, head to the Miraflores Lock and visitor center to witness the ocean liners and cargo ships travelling through the canal, and learn about its construction and current-day significance. Then visit Casco Viejo, Panama City’s old town. Stroll through the cobbled streets taking in the area’s lovely old architecture and iconic buildings. Return to your hotel and enjoy a free afternoon.

Day 3 Panama City Experience the iconic Panama Canal from a different perspective, as you board a boat and travel down the canal through the locks. A boat trip not only gives you a closer look at how the locks function, but also provides some great panoramic views of Panama City. Alternatively enjoy a free day to explore the city further, or take a day trip to one of the interesting locations outside of the city.

Day 4 San Jose Fly to San Jose, Costa Rica. You are met at the airport and taken to your hotel.


Tryp by Wyndham – Standard Hotel
The 92-room Tryp by Wyndham is conveniently located in the center of Panama City. It is within walking distance of many good restaurants and shopping, and is just 15 minutes from the airport. The hotel has a restaurant, fitness center and an outdoor pool with a great view of the city. Rooms are en-suite with coffee facilities and a mini bar.

Las Clementinas – Superior Hotel
Las Clementinas is a characterful boutique hotel in the heart of Casco Viejo, the old town and cultural center of Panama City. Rooms are en-suite with a mini-bar and in-room massages are available. There is a beautiful terrace and a restaurant serving gourmet meals.

If you are interested in adding an extension to Panama City, please get in touch with us for more details. Please note that for Costa Rica holidays Panama City is offered as a pre-extension. If visiting Guatemala as well, Panama City will be visited as a post-extension.

This holiday varies depending on when you travel. Select your time of travel here to see the correct holiday details.

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Prices include

Return flights from the UK; flights within Latin America; accommodation (bed and breakfast except where indicated); transfers in Latin America; service of guides and local reps, UK airport taxes.

Prices do not include

Any optional excursions, travel insurance, tips.

Holidays without international flights

The above prices include return international flights from the UK. If you wish to arrange your own flights, we will reduce our prices accordingly. The reduction depends on when you travel, please call us for details.

Departure Airport

Flights are scheduled to be from London. Other airports may be possible, although a supplement sometimes applies.

Holiday Information

All the practical information you need regarding your trip to Latin America is found here. From how to prepare before you leave and travelling to your destination, to advice on travelling within your country of choice.

About your Holiday

  • Prices are based on two persons sharing a room and include all flights from the UK and within Latin America, service of guides and reps (please note that tips are not included), accommodation and all transfers and excursions listed in the itinerary. Where applicable, entrance fees, taxes and charges are included in our prices at the rates advised to us at the time of preparation. An adjustment will be made to your price if any of these change before your holiday. UK airport taxes are included, however, departure taxes on some flights within and leaving Latin America are not included. These must be paid in cash at the airport. Currently, these are: Guatemala US$3 international and domestic flights and Costa Rica US$29 (some airlines). Travel insurance is not included.

  • All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:

Booking Conditions

    1. Your contract

      Your contract is with Llama Travel Limited, registered in England and Wales, number 4370517. The following conditions will apply to your booking and form part of your contract. They cannot be varied and should be read carefully. A contract will exist when we accept your booking and issue our confirmation invoice. The contract and all matters arising from it shall be governed by English law and be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. All correspondence will be sent to the lead passenger of the booking unless otherwise advised. You must be over 18 to book a Llama Travel holiday. Llama Travel holidays are not for resale.

    2. Deposits and final payments

      A deposit of 10% of the holiday cost is required. On some occasions a higher deposit is required, we will advise you if this is necessary. When this is received, we will issue a confirmation invoice. The balance of the payment must be paid 90 days before departure. If the booking is made less than 90 days before departure, full payment must be made when booking. On some occasions, earlier balance payment may be required to secure flight seats or other services. In order to secure your holiday arrangements in some cases, we may ask for a payment in advance before we can reserve the appropriate services. This payment is not refundable if you subsequently decide not to proceed with the booking.

    3. Our prices

      Brochure prices are based on the latest known information at the time of preparation – 7 June 2-17 (£1 = US$1.29, Brent Crude oil $48 per barrel) but can go up or down. Before making a booking, please call us to check the correct up to date price of your chosen holiday.

      Once you have made a booking and we have issued our confirmation invoice, your holiday price can only be varied due to a significant increase in our costs or an increase in charges, fees, taxes or similar items as a result of governmental action.

      The following taxes, entrance fees and charges are included in our prices. An adjustment will be made to the price of your holiday if any of these changes before your holiday:

      UK air passenger duty (APD):

      • £75/£78
      • for business class, APD rates are double the above rates.

      Entrance fees:

      • Galapagos National Park $120;
      • Machu Picchu $50;
      • Inca Trail and Short Inca Trail $80;
      • Cusco Tourist Ticket $45;
      • Perito Moreno US$30;
      • Iguazu Falls (Brazil) US$30;
      • Iguazu Falls (Argentina) US$30;
      • Torres del Paine US$35.

      We have been advised that the Galapagos National Park entrance fee may increase, but this has not been confirmed.

      The VAT rate for holidays outside the EU is zero. Except for increases in entrance fees or tax increases, such as in APD or VAT, we will absorb any increase up to 2% of your holiday cost.

      If there is a surcharge of more than 10% of your holiday cost, you will be entitled to cancel within 7 days of being notified of the surcharge and obtain a full refund. No surcharge will be made less than 30 days before the start of your holiday.

    4. Alterations or cancellations by you

      If you wish to alter your holiday arrangements before departure, we will do our best to help. An administration fee of £25 per passenger will be charged, together with any additional costs incurred as a result of the change. If you make any alterations within 60 days of departure, we may treat this as a cancellation, and apply cancellation fees. Scheduled airlines treat name changes as a cancellation and rebooking; any alteration is likely to incur a 100% cancellation charge. Please make sure that all names you give us are spelled exactly as they appear in passports.

      It is not normally possible to make alterations after commencement of travel. If you do wish to make alterations during your holiday, cancellation fees for services booked may apply. Refunds cannot be made for any unused accommodation, services or transport.

      If you wish to cancel your holiday, you must let us know in writing. The following cancellation charges apply:

      Days before departure when you notify usPenalty
      90 days or more Loss of deposit
      61 to 89 days 25% of holiday cost, or deposit if higher
      31 to 59 days 60% of holiday cost (75% for Galapagos holidays), or deposit if higher
      30 days or less 100% of holiday cost

      If the balance payment is required earlier than 90 days before departure, this will normally be non-refundable in the event of cancellation.

      In addition, where one person in a party cancels and others still wish to travel, single room supplements will be payable if this results in single rooms being used.

      We recommend that you take out full travel insurance with cover against cancellation penalties, including in the event of force majeure; see section 6 below.

    5. Alterations or cancellations by us

      We make careful arrangements with airlines, hotels and service operators to ensure that we are able to provide you with the holiday as described. However, in exceptional cases, it may be necessary to make changes to your holiday arrangements (including airlines, flights, accommodation, transport or services) due to circumstances beyond our control. Flight times are given only as indications, and finalised times will be shown on your tickets.

      When changes are necessary, we will do our best to ensure that they do not affect your holiday. If, before you depart, a major change is necessary (defined as a change of itinerary so that you are no longer able to visit a destination where you are scheduled to spend one or more nights or an appropriate alternative destination, or a change of accommodation to a lower standard or category affecting a significant part of your holiday) or if we have to cancel your holiday, we will contact you and offer you the choice of:

      • accepting the changes to your holiday;
      • purchasing another available Llama Travel holiday; or
      • cancelling your holiday with a full refund.

      If we have to cancel or make major changes to your holiday less than 60 days before departure, other than in the event of force majeure (see section 6 below), you will also be entitled to compensation at the following levels:

      When notifiedCompensation per person
      43 – 60 days before departure £50
      29 - 42 days before departure £100
      15 - 28 days before departure £150
      0 - 14 days before departure £200
    6. Alterations or cancellations by you or us in the event of force majeure

      If we have to make major changes to, or cancel, your holiday in the event of force majeure, we will contact you and offer you the above choices. However, compensation will not be paid.

      If, in the event of force majeure, we are still able to operate your holiday but you wish to cancel, please contact us to discuss the options. We will endeavour to recover from suppliers, and refund to you, monies paid for your holiday, but where we are unable to do so, you may be able to claim for irrecoverable costs from your travel insurance.

      Force majeure events include war, threat of war, civil unrest or strife, decisions by governments or governing authorities, epidemic, natural disasters, fire, bad weather, terrorist activity, nuclear disaster, industrial disputes, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes of timetables of airlines, or other causes beyond our control.

    7. Our responsibilities to you

      Llama Travel is dedicated to ensuring that your holiday is as described. If a part of your holiday is not provided as promised, and this affects the reasonable enjoyment of your holiday, we will pay compensation appropriate to the circumstances, limited to a maximum of twice the price of the service concerned.

      Llama Travel accepts responsibility for illness, personal injury or death caused as a direct result of the direct acts and/or omissions of our employees, agents, suppliers or sub-contractors while acting in the course of their employment to provide services or arrangements for your holiday that you have booked with us in the UK. We do not accept responsibility for illness, personal injury or death where there has been no fault of our employees, agents, suppliers or sub-contractors, or as a result of taking part in any activity which does not form part of the holiday booked through us in the UK. Where illness, personal injury or death arises in the course of air travel, rail travel, sea travel or hotel accommodation, the amount of compensation you may receive is limited in accordance with the provisions of any International Convention. If illness, personal injury or death is suffered as a result of taking part in an activity where a third party is involved, we shall, at our discretion, offer advice and assistance to aid in the resolution of the issue, provided you inform us within 90 days of the occurrence. Our costs in respect of the above on behalf of you and your party shall not exceed £5,000 in total. If you are able to make recovery of these costs whether from the third party or from a policy of insurance, you may be asked to refund our outlay.

    8. Your responsibilities

      Clients are responsible for ensuring that all immigration and health requirements are fulfilled, for obtaining travel documents, including passports, visas and vaccination certificates, and for ensuring that these are all in order, including for any intermediate stops on international flights. If the name on your airline ticket does not match that on your passport, you must inform us as soon as you receive the ticket.

      We require your passport details to issue some tickets. If these change after you have given them to us, you must inform us.

      It is your responsibility to behave in a responsible, restrained and sober manner when dealing with local authorities, fellow travellers and our representatives.

      By taking a Llama Travel holiday, you agree to accept the authority and decisions of our employees and representatives. If, in the opinion of such people, your behaviour or health before the departure of a tour is likely to threaten the safety, comfort or progress of that tour, then you may be excluded from the tour without refund or compensation. It is your responsibility to obey local laws, otherwise you may be excluded from the holiday and we will cease to have any responsibility for you.

      Please bear in mind that travel in Latin America is not the same as travel in the UK, and minor inconveniences and delays may arise due to weather conditions, strikes, demonstrations, the poor state of roads or for other reasons. By travelling with Llama Travel, you are implicitly accepting this part of the Latin American way of life.

    9. Flights

      We have no control over international or national air carriers, and therefore schedules may change or flights be delayed due to no fault of our own. We will do all we can to ensure the smooth flow of all your transport connections, but it is your responsibility to check exact times of flights and reconfirm these. This is particularly important for internal flights within Latin America, which can be rearranged at short notice. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the consequences of flights missed due to the client’s failure to reconfirm.

      When you travel with an airline, the Conditions of Carriage of that airline apply, some of which will limit or exclude liability. These conditions are the subject of International Agreements between countries.

      Flying to Latin America involves long flights and may require changes in other airports. It is your responsibility to arrive at the departure airport at the appropriate time and to check in for your international flight, and to change aeroplanes if necessary at intermediate airports. If you wish to sit in a specific seat or section of the plane, or wish to sit with other people on the flight, it is recommended that you check in early or check in online. It is sometimes possible to reserve seats directly with the airline by telephone or online prior to travel.

      Airlines do not allow more than one booking per passenger on a flight and may cancel seats if they are held by more than one operator. Clients are responsible for ensuring they are not holding flights with another operator.

    10. Baggage allowance

      Most scheduled airlines have a baggage allowance of 20kg per passenger. Please bear this in mind when packing, as carrying excess baggage will normally incur an expensive additional cost payable at check in. Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, you will usually be able to leave the rest of you luggage in storage. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

    11. Insurance

      You must have adequate insurance provision to cover the cost of assistance, including emergency repatriation, in the event of illness or other problems occurring during your holiday.

    12. Complaints

      If you have any complaints about your holiday arrangements when you are abroad, please bring these to the attention of our local representatives who will do all they can to ensure a swift and satisfactory resolution. Problems can usually be sorted out by talking to the supplier concerned (e.g. hotel) and our local representatives or by informing us directly. If this is not done, Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the situation, as we will not have been given the opportunity to rectify the problem. If you do not inform us, your consumer rights to compensation may be affected. If you have tried and failed to rectify the situation whilst abroad, please send us your complaint in writing within 28 days of returning to the UK. We will then follow up your complaint. Communication with Latin America is often slow, so we may not be able to resolve the situation as quickly as you would like.

    13. Financial protection

      When you buy an ATOL protected flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.

      We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).

      If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable).You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme. 

    14. Brochure and website information

      The information in our brochures and on our website is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of going to press. However, details of flights or hotels may vary during the lifetime of a brochure. These changes will be reflected on our website where possible.

      The copyright on all material in our brochures and on our website, including text, photographs, maps and layouts is held by Llama Travel Limited. No part of these publications may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any way without the prior written permission of Llama Travel.

    15. Data Protection

      The information we ask you to provide, including personal information about you and members of your party, is necessary for us to arrange and operate your holiday. By booking a holiday with us, you agree to our processing this information, including, where appropriate, its transfer outside of the EU.

How to Book

  • To book a holiday or discuss your requirements, please call us on 020 7263 3000. We can usually confirm availability immediately, but may need to check with a supplier first.

  • You can pay by bank transfer, cheque, credit card or debit card. There is no charge for bank transfers or cheques. For deposits on debit cards, there is no charge. For balance payments on debit cards, there is a 0.4% charge. For MasterCard credit cards and Visa credit cards there is a 1% supplement. If you are paying with an American Express card there is a 2% supplement. We are unable to accept cash.

Before you Go

  • The temperatures in Costa Rica can vary significantly depending where you are visiting. On the coast, daytime highs of over 30°C are possible. In the highlands of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, temperatures at night can drop to lower than 10°C. Therefore, a variety of clothing, suitable for hot and cold weather is advisable. Rain is possible throughout the year, and can be heavy, so waterproofs are also recommended. Insect repellent is advisable, especially for jungle areas.

    If you visit Tabacon Hot Springs near Arenal, the pools can be slippery, so please bring non-slip sandals.

    Electricity in Costa Rica is 110V, and plugs are of the flat two-pin type.

    We recommend you carry a copy of your passport with you at all times.

    Please bring any medication you may require from the UK.

  • Visas are not required in advance for British citizens for any Llama Travel destination. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Costa Rica (020 7706 8844). You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you are flying via the US, you need to comply with US immigration requirements. Ask us for details.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate. To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

  • Adequate travel insurance is essential. We do not sell or recommend any specific policy. A list of insurance companies that our customers have found suitable is available from us. Please advise your insurer of any pre-existing medical conditions and, if you are booking a holiday involving high-altitude trekking, such as the Inca Trail, make sure that you are covered for this. If you are planning on carrying out any other activities, please ensure your insurance policy will cover you for these. Note that cancellation cover is often only available if insurance is purchased within two weeks of booking your holiday.

  • You will receive tickets approximately 10 days before departure, along with information on accommodation, transfers and excursions. Our agents in Latin America will give you your hotel and excursion vouchers when you arrive. Please check airline tickets carefully in case timings have changed after we issued your confirmation.

  • Some countries in Latin America have strict regulations regarding the entry and exit of children under 18 when not travelling with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting. If you are travelling with children who are not entering or leaving the country with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting, please contact the consulate of the country you are visiting to check requirements.

Health & Fitness

  • For most of our holidays, age is not a concern. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required, as most holidays require some walking, sometimes on uneven ground. Even relatively mild activities can be strenuous at altitude. High altitude trekking is more strenuous than an equivalent length walk at low altitude.

  • Please consult your GP or a travel clinic about health and vaccination requirements. The NHS website gives good advice about travelling in Costa Rica.

    Costa Rica requires a Yellow Fever certificate if you have recently visited a country with an infected area, even if you have not visited an infected area. These include Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina.

    Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old.

    There have been reports of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus, in various Latin American countries. Please check for latest advice regarding this. If you are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, it is recommended that you speak to a medical professional prior to travel.

    When visiting Latin America, stomach illnesses are not uncommon due to changes in diet. We suggest you only drink bottled water and avoid ice. If you are unsure if salads and fruit have been washed in purified water, it is best to avoid them.

    Many of the Llama Travel excursions require some walking, so a reasonable level of fitness is required for all Llama Travel holidays.

    If you have any health problems on holiday, please speak to our local agents or hotel staff. They will arrange for a doctor or hospital if necessary. Illnesses caused by altitude can be serious. If you do experience any problems, please seek appropriate medical attention.

Getting there

  • A holiday in Latin America inevitably means long haul flights, and at least one overnight sector. Air fares vary from date to date and between airlines. Our holidays are scheduled to use the most advantageous air fare.

    You can choose which airline you prefer, we will let you know if a supplement is payable. Levels of onboard service and facilities, such as entertainment, vary by airline and route. Please ask us for details. Opinions change over time, but in the past year, Llama Travel customers’ preference was for Air France, KLM, British Airways and Virgin, followed by United and Iberia. Flights are sometimes operated by another airline in the appropriate airline alliance.

  • Most airlines offer the option of flying from regional airports in the UK, avoiding the need to make your own way to London. Due to the timing of flights, in some cases this may involve an overnight stop in London or another intermediate airport. There is usually a supplement for regional departures. Please note that most of our flights depart from London.

  • You can upgrade to business class or premium economy on most airlines. Prices start from £199 each way for Premium Economy and £699 each way for Business Class. Call us for prices for the route and airline you are interested in.

    Premium Economy
    British Airways World Traveller Plus, Air France Premium Voyageur and Virgin Premium Economy seats are available. These provide more comfortable seats which recline further and have more legroom. There are better meals and a bar service.

    KLM, Iberia and United offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom for additional cost. KLM seats can be booked through Llama Travel. United and Iberia seats can be reserved with the airlines one month prior to departure.

    Business Class
    British Airways Club World has seats which convert into full flat beds and have a privacy screen.

    Iberia Business Plus between Madrid and Latin America offers seats which convert into flat beds. Between the UK and Madrid, seats are usually the same as in economy class.

    KLM World Business Class offers seats that recline to 150 degrees (to Quito) or 170 degrees (to Lima). Between the UK and Amsterdam, seats are usually the same as in economy class.

    Air France Affaires Class offer seats which convert into virtually flat beds. Between the UK and Paris, seats are usually the same as in economy class.

  • Most scheduled airlines have a baggage allowance of 20kg per passenger, especially when taking internal flights within Latin America. Please bear this in mind when packing, as carrying excess baggage will normally incur an expensive additional cost payable at check in. Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, you will usually be able to leave the rest of you luggage in storage. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

  • Many airlines now charge a fee to select your seat prior to checking in for your flight, even when travelling in premium economy or business class. Alternatively, you may choose your preferred seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure or at the airport. Please ask us about the options available at time of booking.

    We all want a comfortable journey, particularly on long haul flights. If you would like a seat with some extra leg room or a larger recline please let us know. Airlines have introduced a range of “economy comfort” seats that may be purchased in advance. In some cases, these seats may only be purchased online directly with the airline once Llama Travel has issued your ticket approximately 30 days prior to departure.

    For flights within Latin America, and for connecting flights in Europe, it is usually only possible to select seats when you check-in online or at the airport.

    It may not be possible to always use online check-in systems, especially when using a codeshare flight. On occasion, your preferred seat may be changed by the airline for operational reasons such as a change of aircraft or to facilitate a disabled passenger on the day you fly and as such, Llama Travel cannot always guarantee specific seats.

  • If you would like to break your journey to or from Costa Rica and add a stopover to your holiday, this may be possible.

    Depending on which airline you choose, stopovers may be possible in Miami, New York, Houston, Madrid, Amsterdam or Paris.

  • All people flying to the USA, even if only in transit to Latin America, must comply with US immigration requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with these requirements before you travel. Failure to do so may result in you being denied boarding on your flight to the USA and, at best, a last-minute and probably expensive re-routing avoiding the USA. It is important, therefore, that you follow these procedures carefully.

    As your flight to Latin America involves a stop in the US, you will be subject to US immigration control upon entry to the US. If you qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you are able to avoid the need to apply for a visa, but still need to enter your details online on the US State Department website. If you do not qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you must apply in person at a US embassy for a US visa. Please make sure that you do this in good time.

    If you are a UK citizen and have a UK passport, you may qualify for visa-free travel. You will require a machine readable passport to qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (so you do not require a visa to enter the US). A machine readable passport has the holder's personal details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number) contained in two lines of text at the bottom of the photo page. This appears as two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons (">>>>>") printed across the long edge of the photo page.
    Additionally, if the passport was issued, renewed/extended between October 26, 2005 and October 25, 2006 it must contain a digital photograph. If the passport was issued, renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2006, it must be also include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitized photograph and other biometric information.

    Please note, holders of passports indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, a British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen or British Protected Person do not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states that the holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the UK does not quality for visa-free travel.
    If you have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, or if you have a criminal record, you will need a visa.
    If you have any doubts about whether you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, please check with the US embassy. Full details can be found on the US embassy’s UK website at:

    Many European, Australian and New Zealand passport holders also qualify for the Visa Waiver Program as long as the passport is machine readable and complies with the relevant criteria. Please see the US embassy website for a list of countries which qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. It is important that you check the website of the US Embassy in the country of passport nationality for any further changes before you travel.

    ESTA Visa Waiver Program - **** Action by you may be required ****
    The US State Department has introduced a mandatory electronic system to help speed up the US immigration process for travellers on the Visa Waiver Program. All Visa Waiver Program travellers must fill in a form on the US State department website. This can be found at ( Please enter this into the address bar on your web browser. There is a $14 charge per person to apply for this. DO NOT search for this website via a search engine, such as Google, as it will take you to an incorrect website. Although this can be filled in up to 72 hours before travel, we recommend that you fill in this form as soon as possible so any issues can be identified immediately. To apply please scroll to the bottom of the green area and press the apply button on the left hand side of the page. Please make sure that this form is filled out for all the passengers on your booking. If you require more detailed instructions, please visit

    If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, or if your passport does not meet the relevant criteria, then you will require a US visa before you travel. Even if you are given authorization on the ESTA website, some travellers may not be eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. If in doubt, please consult the US embassy website.

    Advanced Passenger Information - **** Action by you is required ****
    The US Transportation Security Authority requires anybody flying through the United Sates to supply specific passenger information prior to their international flight. This is in addition to the information to be submitted for the Visa Waiver Program which you may have already completed. Please visit our website where you will find details on how to submit this information using the airlines website.

    Please complete this procedure as soon as possible. If your passenger information is not entered into the flight booking we are unable to issue your flight tickets. This may result in your flight booking being cancelled and high charges being incurred.

Travelling in Costa Rica

  • All hotels include breakfast, and other meals are included on some tours and excursions. However, generally, you will need to arrange your own lunches and dinners. We recommend budgeting approximately US$15 – 20 for a meal, although many restaurants have excellent value set lunches for less than this. Hotel restaurants, especially in superior hotels, can be more expensive. Additionally, there are many upmarket restaurants, particularly in San Jose, where you should expect to pay up to US$50 per person, or possibly more.

    Bar prices are similar to the UK and a small bottle of beer usually costs around US$2-3 in a hotel bar. This can be higher in more remote areas.

    If you are planning on arranging any activities locally, these can be expensive. These can usually be paid for by credit card.

  • Excursions are usually taken together with other Llama Travel customers in groups of no more than 18 people. If we have more than 18 booked, we operate two groups. If we have only one or two people booked on an excursion, the excursion may be operated together with people other than Llama Travel customers. In some places, the excursions are operated by one of our local partners, such as treks in Torres del Paine, so you may be with people other than Llama Travel customers. In these cases, group sizes can sometimes be larger. If you would like to know the likely situation for your holiday, please ask us and we will be able to check. Transfers may be in a vehicle with more than 18 people.

  • The national dish of Costa Rica is Gallo pinto which consists of rice and beans. This is traditionally had for breakfast, although it can be eaten with any meal. The capital city of San Jose has a wide range of restaurants, La Fortuna – a town near Arenal Volcano – serves a mix of international and Costa Rican dishes, and there are several restaurants in Santa Elena and Monteverde. The Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio has three restaurants, and there are also reasonably priced restaurants in the village. Seafood is the specialty of this area.

  • The currency in Costa Rica is the Colon (approximate exchange rate: CRC500 = US$1). Travellers should take local currency or US dollars and not UK sterling, which is not widely accepted in any form. Credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus) can be used in many shops and restaurants, and can also be used to withdraw money from cash machines. There are cash machines in the centre of town in San Jose, La Fortuna (Arenal), Santa Elena (Monteverde) and Quepos (Manuel Antonio).

    When changing US dollars into local currency, always use a reputable place to change: banks, hotels or exchange shops. Do not change money on the street if you can avoid it. If taking travellers cheques, a high commission may be charged, especially if changing directly into dollars. Some hotels do not change travellers cheques so you may need to change them in a bank or exchange shop, therefore, please bear in mind opening hours.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals on your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary, however we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.
    When withdrawing money abroad, the daily limit may be lower than your UK limit.

  • If you receive good service, you may want to leave a tip. This is completely at your discretion. For general excursions, if you want to tip guides, US$3 – 5 per person per day is usual if you are in a group. Approximately US$2-3 is usual for drivers or transfer staff. Service is usually included in restaurants so tipping is not normally expected. Please give any tips directly to the person you would like to tip to ensure that they get it.

  • Latin America is relatively safe to visit, and most people experience no problems during their stay. However, as is the case anywhere in the world, crime can be a problem. Tourists are often seen as being wealthy, and can therefore appear attractive targets to criminals. To minimise the risk to yourself, use common sense. Do not walk around with obvious signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive looking jewellery or with cameras round your neck. Keep passports and valuables in your hotel safe. When in restaurants, always keep bags (especially if they contain valuables) close to your person and out of sight. Do not walk down empty streets, especially after dark. By taking sensible precautions, you should have a completely trouble-free holiday.

    Please use the safe in your hotel room or boat cabin to store your valuables, if this is available. If there is not a safe in your room, there will usually be a safe in reception where you can store valuables.

    Making sure that you stay safe during your holiday is very important. We bear this in mind when selecting hotels, but please understand that standards of health and safety in Latin America are often not as high as they are in the UK. Enclosed is a sheet with some useful advice on health and safety produced by LATA (the Latin American Travel Association). Please take the time to read this before you travel. Take extra care if you are travelling with children.

  • To phone the UK from Costa Rica, dial the international dialling code for the UK (0044) and then the UK telephone number, leaving out the ‘0’ in the area code. Telephone cards are the easiest way to use public telephones, and can be bought in convenience stores.

    To phone Costa Rica from the UK, dial the international dialling code for Costa Rica (00506) and then the Costa Rica telephone number.

  • Excursions are operated together with other holidaymakers. These will usually be in English, although groups are sometimes a mix of English and Spanish or Portuguese speaking. A minimum of 2 people is required for some excursions. On some occasions, the order of excursions may vary.

  • In many destinations, you can arrange adventure activities. If you are interested in taking any of these, please make sure you are covered by your travel insurance. Llama Travel does not arrange any adventure activities directly and we cannot verify the safety measures of any local operators.