Essential Costa Rica with extension to Guanacaste, Tamarindo Beach & San José City

Essential Costa Rica with San José City
extension to Guanacaste, Tamarindo Beach

  • 13 Days
  • From : San Jose
  • To : San Jose
  • Tour or Self Drive
  • Guide : English, Spanish
  • Minimum age : 10 Years Old

* This product requests separate payment. Promotion code or coupon from Ticket Here is not applicable.

Uncover essential Costa Rica during this 13-day exotic adventure. Beginning and ending in the capital, San Jose, this tour offers you the chance to discover different aspects of this emblematic destination.  Visit the most predominant natural areas of Costa Rica, including Arenal Volcano National Park, and the cloud forest of Monteverde. Spend precious time in mesmerising Tamarindo, one of Costa Rica’s most famous beaches, indulging in the fun surf town atmosphere and getting closer to the inspiring local culture and adventurous spirit.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

San Jose: Costa Rica’s vibrant capital city was founded in the mid-18th century, boasting great cultural and historical landmarks. Visit its museums, the European-inspired National Theater, and stroll the charming alleys of its historic neighborhoods.

Tortuguero: This park is home to the nesting grounds of the green sea turtles, offering spectacular beaches and fantastic opportunities to spot wild animals and birds.

Arenal: Admire one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the country and its mesmerizing park, dotted with trails and rich in wildlife. 

Monteverde: Settled by American Quakers in the 1950s, this primary cloud forest is made out of six unique ‘life zones’, hosting many endangered species, as well as a variety of fascinating plants.

Tamarindo: This busy beach resort is great for a night out, surfing, and exploring the bustling restaurant scene.

What’s included?

TOUR GUIDE:

Operated with Spanish and English-speaking licensed local guides on a shared basis. Please note you will be accompanied by local guides for the activities only. There is no guarantee that you will be part of a group, or part of the same group during the tour. 

ACCOMMODATION:

  • 12 nights’ accommodation

MEALS:

  • 12 breakfasts, 
  • 3 lunches  on days 2, 3, 4
  • 2 dinners on days 2, 3

TRANSPORT:

  • Air-conditioned transportation, transfers as stated in the program by seat in coach
  • Private Transfer from and to the San Jose airport 
  • Tour guides do not accompany guests during transport 

ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:

All monuments and visits as indicated: Guided visit to Tortuguero village plus guided boat tour through Tortuguero National Park canals and entrance fee to Tortuguero National Park, guided hike in Arenal Volcano National Park, guided hike in Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

OTHER:

  • Meet and greet on Day 1
  • Hotel taxes

Exclusions

  • Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals if not stated explicitly in the program
  • Airport taxes 
  • Airport porterage
  • Optional tours and activities
  • International and domestic flight tickets or visa fees and local taxes
  • Gratuities for drivers and guides

Please note

  • Tour guides do not accompany guests during transport
  • No refund for unused services. Splitting of package is not allowed
  • Hotel early -out check-in, late check, connecting or adjoining rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed
  • Please note that local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the contents of the tour without prior notice, including possible change of hotels and/or itinerary.

What do I need to bring?

Comfortable and light clothing is the most suitable for travelling in Costa Rica. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.

Accommodation options

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

Day 1, 12 San Jose

  • Category Standard = Holiday Inn Express Forum or similar 3* | Standard Room
  • Category Superior = Holiday Inn Escazu or similar 4*| Standard Room 
  • Category Deluxe = Real Intercontinental or similar 5*| Deluxe Room 

Day 2-3 Tortuguero

  • Category Standard = Pachira Lodge or similar Lodge Standard | Bungalow
  • Category Superior = Evergreen Lodge or similar Lodge Standard | Bungalow
  • Category Deluxe= Aninga Lodge or similar Lodge Standard | Bungalow

Day 4-5 Arenal

  • Category Standard = Arenal Montechiari or similar 3* | Standard Room
  • Category Superior = Arenal Springs or similar 4* | Junior Suite Room
  • Category Deluxe = Arenal Kioro or similar 5* | Junior Suite Room

Day 6-7 Monteverde

  • Category Standard =Monteverde Country Lodge or similar 3* | Standard Room
  • Category Superior = Poco a Poco or similar 4* | Standard Room
  • Category Deluxe = El Establo or similar 5* | Deluxe Room

Day 8, 9, 10, 11 Tamarindo

Category Standard = Pasatiempo or similar 3* | Standard Room

Category Superior = Wyndham Tamarindo or similar 4* | Standard Room

Category Deluxe = Tamarindo Diriá or similar 5* | Standard Room

Cancellation policy

    Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.

Day 1 :  ARRIVAL SAN JOSE

Upon arrival to bustling San Jose, our representative will meet and greet you and then direct you to your transport, which will drop you off at your hotel in San Jose for your the night in Costa Rica.

  • Overnight in San Jose .

Day 2 :  SAN JOSE – TORTUGUERO (135km – 4 hrs by road / 2 hrs by boat)

Your day begins early with a morning departure, travelling by bus through the Braulio Carrillo National Park towards the Caribbean plains to enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery and quaint villages. Indulge in a tasty breakfast en route and continue through the jungle by boat, cruising the rivers and canals of Tortuguero National Park. Arrive at your eco-lodge and enjoy a tasty lunch. Board the boat again for a visit to Tortuguero village, where you will get to walk around town, stroll along the beach, and experience the locals’ way of living. During the turtle hatching season, we will look for the baby turtles trying to find their way down to the ocean. Nesting is from July to September and hatching from September to December. Enjoy the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel, surrounded by the beautiful tropical forest and wildlife. Lunch and Dinner included

  • Overnight in Tortuguero.

Day 3 :  TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK

Today you will have some free time to relax by the pool and experience the Tortuguero National Park on a three-hour trip. Observe over 350 protected species of birds, monkeys, crocodiles, and sloths, as well as lush vegetation. During the July to September season, you can join an optional late night turtle nesting tour, purchasable directly at the lodge. Lunch and dinner included.

  • Overnight in Tortuguero.

Day 4 :  TORTUGUERO – ARENAL (210km – 5 hrs by road / 2 hrs by boat)

Early in the morning depart by boat back to Guapiles. From there, take the ground transportation to the restaurant for lunch. After a tasty meal, you will be picked up in a shared transfer and taken to the Arenal area. Enjoy the day at leisure to explore on your own or participate in an exciting optional activity like the Sky Walk guided tour. The Sky Walk guided tour takes you through and above the rainforest. A series of eight suspension bridges, connected by trails for a total 3 km in length, provides a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy! We also recommend visiting the hot springs at night, when the sun sets. Enjoy a spectacular dinner included.

Termas de Tabacón Option: Live the Tabacón experience that has swimming pools and a river of hot springs that come from the veins of the majestic Arenal Volcano. Explore the wonders of the tropical forest surrounding this beautiful resort and enjoy mineral waters with different temperatures, surrounded by warm waterfalls and tropical gardens. The Tabacón hot springs are recognized throughout the world, and without a doubt, immersing yourself in them will make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated, due to the minerals present in the volcanic waters.

Includes: transportation, bilingual guide, entrance, dinner

Ecotermales Hot Springs Option: Escape to the natural paradise, with all the necessary amenities to make your experience a memorable experience, surrounded by the peace and serenity of the rainforest, and protected by the impressive Arenal Volcano, which heats and nourishes the waters of Ecothermal During your stay, you will enjoy the pleasure of feeling the natural energy coming from the veins of the Arenal Colossus; heats the fountains where thermal water pools are born, ranging from 37 ° C to 41 ° C (99 ° F to 106 ° F). That when combined with the pool and the cold water waterfall, they perform a relaxing massage throughout the body.

Includes: transportation, bilingual guide, entrance, dinner

Departure approx: 15:00 hrs | Duration approx: 6 hrs.

  • Overnight in Arenal.

Day 5 :  ARENAL VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK

Today after breakfast, take a guided walking tour in Arenal Volcano National Park. During the tour, the guide will explain the periods of activity the once very active volcano experienced. Enjoy the verdant landscapes and the backdrop of the now-dormant volcano, as you keep a lookout for the wild animals living in this national park. You have the chance to spot sloths, howler monkeys, anteaters, and many others. 

Afterwards, return to the hotel with the afternoon at leisure to participate in an optional activity, either adventure or nature.

Optional extras:

Sky Walk guided tour: The Sky Walk guided tour takes you through and above the rainforest. A series of eight suspension bridges, connected by trails for a total 3 km in length, provides a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy!

Zipline Adventure: Costa Rica zip line tour is a genuine must in a vacation. You will have doses of fun and adrenaline filled adventure that you will remember forever. You will start the tour as you arrive at the base of the Ecoglide Arenal Park and your professional guide give you the instructions and some safety tips. The zipline tour consists of 13 cables of two wires traveling in parallel and 15 platforms, most of which are in the trees so that visitors can have more contact and closeness with nature, flora, and fauna of the rainforest. Within the tour, you will also discover the Tarzan Swing where you will swing from a platform into the forest feeling the adrenaline raising levels.

Inclusions: Transportation, Bilingual Guide, Entrance Fee, Equipment  

Departure aprox: 07: 40 hrs / 09:40 hrs / 11: 40 hrs / 13:40 hrs / 15:20 hrs | Duration aprox: 3 hrs.

La Fortuna Waterfall: This tour begins by descending the 500-meter trail to the magnificent Waterfall, renowned for its 60 meter (197 feet) high falls and its crystal-clear waters. Along the trail, you will observe plants, trees, and animals, which inhabit the area. You can choose to swim in its refreshing waters, take amazing photographs, or simply relax and take in all the beauty of the La Fortuna Waterfall. When you visit the La Fortuna Waterfall you not only get to enjoy this marvellous natural wonder, you will be helping to Support the Development Association of the community 100% of the entrance fee goes towards social projects to benefit schools, nutritional centres, the orphanage, our roads and more.

Inclusions: Transportation, Bilingual Guide, Entrance Fee 

Departure aprox: 08:00 hrs / 13:00 hrs | Duration aprox: 3 hrs.

  • Overnight in Arenal.

Day 6 :  ARENAL – MONTEVERDE (60km – 2.5 hrs by road / 45 min by boat)

Begin the day with an early breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out and head towards Monteverde. Transfer down to Arenal Lake where you will board a boat that will take you across towards Monteverde. Once on the other side, a vehicle awaits to take you up to Monteverde. Admire the transition of the rainforest to the cloud forest where you will reach an altitude of 1,200 metres above sea level. Located in the Puntarenas province, Monteverde is a place of cloud forests and mist, coffee plantations, monkeys, and friendly locals. The town of Santa Elena is small and quaint, filled with inviting restaurants and folksy artisan shops, while the nearby rainforest hosts a remarkable amount of biodiversity. Enjoy the day at leisure to explore on your own. Enjoy the day at leisure to explore on your own. Enjoy the day at leisure to explore on your own or participate in an exciting optional activity like the Selvatura Treetop Walkway guided tour, what includes a 3-hour hike along a network of trails and suspension bridges in the cloud forest of Monteverde. Be on the lookout for birds, monkeys, sloths, insects, and interesting plants of all shapes and sizes. The Selvatura Treetop Walkway guided tour takes you through and above the rainforest. A series of eight suspension bridges, connected by trails for a total 3 km in length, provides a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy! 

If adventure is not something you are interested in, join the interesting Don Juan Coffee Tour to understand Costa Rica´s coffee, chocolate and sugar cane production (with the emphasis on coffee!). The tour offers an interesting opportunity to learn about coffee and its production as well as to get close to the fascinating Costa Rican folklore

The optional tours are not included

  • Overnight in Monteverde.

Day 7 :  MONTEVERDE

.After a nourishing breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Founded in 1972, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is world-famous for its outstanding biodiversity, conservation actions and contributions, as well as scientific research. The reserve is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, and it is one of the most important private reserves, not just in Costa Rica but the world. It hosts hundreds of species of mammals, birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, insects and arachnids, as well as a large variety of flora, such as mosses, vines or the autochthonous trees of the cloud forest. Whether you choose to explore the cloud forest during the Selvatura Treetop Walkway guided tour, or you prefer getting closer to the fascinating Costa Rican culture while on the Don Juan Coffee tour, your day will be unforgettable. Selvatura Treetop Walkaway and Don Juan Coffee tours are not included.

  • Overnight in Monteverde .

Day 8 :  MONTEVERDE – PACIFIC COAST (190km – 4 hrs)

This morning after breakfast, head towards a stunning beachside destination, in the mesmerising area of Guanacaste. On arrival, take the rest of the day to explore the surrounding, to stroll the beautifully arranged streets of Tamarindo, a lovely beach town in Guanacaste or to relax while enjoying hotel facilities.

  • Overnight in Pacific Coast.

Day 9 :  PACIFIC COAST – TAMARINDO

Tamarindo is a lively destination where you can have some fun, to enjoy the warm sun, and relax on the spectacular beach. If you are feeling adventurous, jump on a board and try your hand at surfing Tamarindo’s famous waves. Have the day at leisure to explore the area or relax at the hotel facilities.

  • Overnight in Pacific Coast.

Day 10 :  TAMARINDO

Get to know Tamarindo, in the Central Pacific Coast of Puntarenas Province. Spend free time under the sun, playing with the waves or having some cultural encounter with the locals walking around the beach town. Tamarindo offers a wide variety of restaurants with an exquisite local and international cuisine. 

  • Overnight Tamarindo.

Day 11 :  TAMARINDO

TAMARINDO

Enjoy a full day at leisure to discover Tamarindo and surrounding beaches on your own; take an optional excursion available on the spot. 

  • Overnight in Tamarindo. Breakfast included.

Day 12 :  TAMARINDO – SAN JOSÉ (250km – 4.5hrs)

After breakfast, transfer to your hotel in San José. Arrival and check-in. Rest of day at leisure.

We recommend you explore the culture of Costa Rica taking an optional excursion: 

San José City Tour: During this journey you will visit the National Theater, also known as “The jewel of San José”, a masterpiece in art and architecture built by Costa Ricans and completed in 1897. Then visit the Museum of Gold (an archaeological interest site), then the Central Market, place full of the Costa Rican cultural heritage and traditions, where you will be able to browse and buy some local art crafts. Admire the Metropolitan Cathedral. As you travel around the city, we will point you out several historically important or main buildings in our city, for example The Costa Rica University, The Old Train Station, The National Liquor Factory, The National Supreme Election Bureau, the Asamblea Legislativa (equivalent to The Congress), The Metallic Building, some parks and various sites of interest. This will be an introduction to our Capital City, and information about our economy, cultural, politics, religion and general current events. Also, we will visit an Art Gallery, where you will be able to get some souvenirs to take back home.

Inclusions: Transportation, Bilingual Guide, Entrance Fee

Departure aprox: 12:30 hrs | Duration aprox: 4 hrs.

  • Overnight in hotel in San José. Breakfast included.

Day 13 :  DEPARTURE SAN JOSÉ AIRPORT

Begin your last day in spectacular Costa Rica with a delectable breakfast and if you want more of this amazing city, you can join the optional Britt Coffee Tour, if your flight schedule allows. Then, at the appropriate time, transfer to Juan Santamaria International Airport to catch your flight back home or on to your next destination.

Optional Extra:

Britt Coffee Tour: Experience the original Costa Rican coffee tour at a farm located in Barva de Heredia. The experts guide you through the lifecycle of gourmet coffee. Begin in the nursery and follow the beans starting with their growing cycle through careful collection and selection of the finest beans. Learn how Costa Rica’s unique climate and diverse landscapes provide perfect growing conditions for gourmet coffee beans. Next you will be enchanted by the aromas of our roastery where you will discover how different roasting techniques affect the beans and the brew. Learn how experts “break the cup” by using techniques to taste or “cup” coffee to identify and grade the characteristics that qualify a gourmet coffee. 

Inclusions: Transportation, Bilingual Guide, Entrance Fee, Coffee Tasting

Departure aprox: 09:45 hrs | Duration aprox: 4 hrs.  

  • Breakfast included.