Travel for 18-35 year olds
This tiny country is a haven for discovery, so get ready to go in-depth on this 12 day trip. From jungles & rainforests, to volcanoes, beaches, cool coffee plantations & even cooler locals, it’s the perfect way to uncover amazing Costa Rica.
Travel Best Bets Package Includes
- 13 nights accommodation: 10 nights twin share hotels, 1 night lodge, 2 nights special stay experience
- 22 Meals: 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 7 dinners
- An experienced & professional Tour Manager
- English speaking local guides
- Modern, air-conditioned coach, mini coach or van
- Sightseeing tours of all major cities
- Local taxes & service charges
|August 17-December 21, 2018
Rates are per person based on shared accommodation
Land Only Rates, International Airfare additional please ask your agent for rates from your departure city!
*Post night in San Jose may required depending on flight availability, add $79 per person per night (twin shared)
Day 1 – Arrive San Jose (B)
Meet up with your Trip Manage & fellow Contiki travellers before heading out to explore. Experience daily Costa Rican life at the Plaza & sample local delicacies at the Mercado Central (Central Market).
Day 2 – San Jose to Tortuguero (B/L/D)
Say farewell to the big city vibe as we get an early start and depart San José for Tortuguero National Park. We’ll make our way there through Braulio Carrillo National Park, where you’ll check out the beautiful views & native vegetation found here. Tortuguero is one of Costa Rica’s most popular eco-tourism destinations & is famous the world over. The canals and rivers are known as a place for studying the rainforest, freshwater and marine biology, especially its sea turtles. The park and small village of Tortuguero itself can only be accessed by boat or small aircraft, so we’ll head there by boat – perfect for a different angle on this stunning region & a cool way to get your local fix. This place will leave you impressed, with little lodges & hotels, friendly locals & is known as one of the world’s major nesting sites for the Atlantic green turtle & if you’re here during July through October then you might even see them. We’ll make a stop for breakfast before continuing on past banana plantations to the dock where we’ll board the boat to the lodge. As we make our way through the Tortuguero canals keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way. We’ll arrive around early afternoon, where lunch will be served, then after a short stop in the village to check out the local vibe, we’ll head back to the lodge for a chilled afternoon working on your tan by the pool and getting to know your travel mates.
Day 3 – Tortuguero (Special Stay) (B/L/D)
In one of the eco-tourism hotspots, pass by plantations and travel through a lush tropical rainforest, meander on the rivers and canals which offer breathtaking views of the Costa Rican forest and mangrove swamps. Finally, visit the stunning coastline and prepare for a once in a lifetime moment as you watch the the turtles nest or give birth!
Day 4 – Tortuguero to Sarapiqui (Hacienda Pozo Azul Camp Special Stay) (B/D)
Next up our overnight Eco Camp in Sarapiqui – it’s perfect for those who love to relax! You’ll discover the rainforest & learn about one of mankind’s favourite treats on our chocolate tour in the Tirimbina reserve before a BBQ feast this evening.
Day 5 – Sarapiqui to Arenal / La Fortuna (B/L)
This morning, its all go! We leave it up to you, with choices a canopy tour (zipline) for birds-eye views over the rainforest or rapelling (abseiling) for that adrenalin fix, whatever you’re into is included! With your adrenalin fix had, it’s back on land before heading to Costa Rica’s famed Arenal Volcano after lunch. Arenal’s perfectly symmetrical shape will impress, and being home to loads of outdoor activities makes it an easy place to check things off your “must-do in Costa Rica” list. The area is also known for its spa & mud pool treatments, so if you’re feeling up for it then it’s the ideal place to treat yourself & relax.
Day 6 – Arenal / La Fortuna (B)
This morning get into the adventure that Costa Rica is known for, adventure and nature! Maybe visit La Fortuna waterfall or try canyoneering/rappelling through a rain forest canyon. This afternoon relax by the pool or head into town for a bit of shopping. Later on this afternoon experience the traditional Costa Rican “Tico” way of life. Our visit to Rio Fortuna La Casona will start by introducing us to the students of a local school where they will perform their local folk dances. You’ll love meeting the local students & watching them perform live. Even better is that we are giving back too, with our visit proceeds go towards supporting the school. A place full of history, culture and traditions this country estate allows us a peek into the way life used to be here. We’ll see how sugar cane was processed and after we’ll head to a local farm where we will tour the plantation and meet the owner. Later, we’ll head back to La Casona for a delicious home-cooked dinner, done the old fashion way on a wood stove. It’s your chance to get hands on as you learn how to make traditional Costa Rican coffee & delicious fresh made tortillas. Learning from the locals is a great way to get that authentic angle & pick up some new skills in the kitchen. We think indulging in the results is the perfect way to end the lesson too. Yum! You’ll love this unique meal & you’ll love the way it’s served, dished up in the traditional way on a banana leaf. No meal would be complete without some fresh coffee, famous homemade coffee liquor, with entertainment from our hosts Milton & Eli. It’s the perfect end to the day.
Day 7 – Arenal / La Fortuna to Playa Tamarindo (B/L/D)
Today we head to the pacific coast to spend a couple of days in Playa Tamarindo, known for its great surfing beaches & party feel.
Day 8 – Playa Tamarindo (B)
Get into the laid back vibe of this beach town, try your hand at surfing, snorkelling or diving. This afternoon join us on an optional catamaran cruise.
Day 9 – Playa Tamarindo to Monteverde (B)
Today it’s on to Monteverde, Costa Rica’s most popular reserve. It’s one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the tropics, filled with cloud forests, coffee plantations, monkeys, mist & friendly locals. This afternoon we hike into the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.
Day 10 – Monteverde (B)
It’s an early start this morning as we visit Selvatura Park to walk the hanging bridges, visit the butterfly Sanctuary and for the thrill seekers opt in for ziplining. This afternoon learn the A-Z about Costa Rica’s famous coffee.
Day 11 – Monteverde to Manuel Antonio (B)
It’s all sun & good times this morning, we’re off to the beautiful beaches of the Costa Rican Central Pacific coast! We’ll make a stop in Jaco then Quepos before arriving at Manuel Antonio, a haven for those who love to relax.
Day 12 – Manuel Antonio (B)
This morning is all about doing your own thing. Hit the beach with your iPad & a book, head out to explore the town or just sit with a drink & work on your tan. This afternoon opt in for a horse ride through the jungle & the Tacori waterfalls.
Day 13– Manuel Antonio (B)
It’s time to get active & walk with our expert guide through the exotic, bio-diverse tropical rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park. This afternoon join us on an optional catamaran cruise. Set sail on our awesome boat trip to spot many dolphins, whales, sea turtles & birds. Don’t forget your swimming gear for swim stops & snorkelling.
Day 14 – Manuel Antonio to San Jose (B)
This morning you can relax in paradise or for the adventure lovers get your final fix with a kayak excursion before we head back to San José where your tour ends on arrival. Pura Vida!
To sum it up, this was not only the best Contiki tour I’ve been on (I did Beaches and Reefs, European Whirl and Greek Island Hopping) but probably one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken. Ever. I want to give you some feedback, please send this off to whoever you think would care or would want to know how this tour is.
First off, my tour manager Oliver was INCREDIBLE. I don’t know how you found this guy, but wow. He has been in the industry for 13 years operating tours and I think this was one of his first Contiki tours but he is perfect. Extremely, extremely knowledgeable, very personable, laid back yet professional, and of course he knows how to have fun as well! I learned so much on this tour and was absolutely blown away. If you pass any feedback along to anyone please pass it along to whoever Oliver’s manager is because he deserves recognition. Most of the people on the tour had been on at least one or two other Contiki tours and they all said the same thing, one of the best tour managers out there.
Secondly, by far the best accommodation I’ve had on a Contiki tour. Incredible locations. I could sit on my rocking chair outside the room in Tortuguero and see monkeys swing by, lay in bed in the tents in Sarapaqui and listen to the rain fall and the incredible wildlife, sit on my balcony in La Fortuna with a perfect view of the Arenal Volcano, saw one of the most incredible sunsets from the jacuzzi in Monteverde, and walked just down the street to the beach in Manuel Antonio. The hotels/tent were all extremely comfortable, staff were wonderful, I can’t say a single bad thing about anywhere we stayed.
The included food was BY FAR the best food I’ve ever had on a Contiki tour. Fresh, healthy (lots of salad, veggies and fruit), most were buffet so we could eat as much/little as we wanted. Amazing.
Inclusions – outstanding. White water rafting included in the tour? Yes please! Everyone in the group did the rafting and everyone LOVED it. Maybe one too many boat rides in Tortuguero but I won’t complain about that. The Cultour we took in La Fortuna was AMAZING. I was feeling a bit rotten this day and almost didn’t go on this tour because some similar tours in the past haven’t been that great but this was a highlight in Costa Rica. We went into a school and interacted with kids there, they asked about our jobs and someone translated to them what we all did and they were mesmerized. I was so happy to hear that by us being there, money from the tour was being donated to the school and we could see how they were able to make additions to the classroom and make everything more comfortable for the kids. The farm tour was so informative and then we went to the house where these people live to have an incredible meal, we sang and played instruments as the sun set, it was a night I will never forget.
Never did I ever think I would try Canyoneering, it was one of the most fun things I did on the whole trip! Obviously the ziplining was a highlight as well. I did the ATV tour which was also so much fun…everything was perfect, great value for money. – Kim Oughtred