Costa Rica

One of the most biodiverse countries the world

Costa Rica has an incredibly diverse landscape.  Within its borders you will find volcanoes, rainforests, dry forests, mangroves, wetlands, coral reefs and sandy beaches. It has a range of excellent accommodation, many with good eco credentials – it is a world leader in sustainable tourism. Highlights include:

  • The lush foliage and swirling mists of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, home to over 400 bird species including 30 types of hummingbird and over 420 species of orchids.  Activities here include hiking, canopy tours on suspended walkways, biplane canopy tours, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, horse trekking and nocturnal forest tours.
  • Hike the slopes of the iconic Arenal Volcano, dormant since 1968.  Relax in its hot springs, or for the more active, go whitewater rafting or canyoning.  
  • Take a boat and explore the lagoons, wetlands, beaches and canals of the Tortuguero National Park.  Spot caiman, river otters, spiders and howler monkeys. In July and August watch turtles laying their eggs on the protected beaches.
  • Visit Corcovado National park on the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific coast.  It has 13 separate ecosystems, 1000 species of trees, 400 species of birds, tapirs and elusive jaguars.  Among the coral reefs glimpse dolphins and maybe even a whale.  
  • Relax in the surfing villages of Nosara and Santa Teresa on the Nicoya  Peninsula.  Between July and December visit the nesting grounds of the Olive Ridley turtle.  

Walking

It’s hard not to go walking on a trip to Costa Rica.  After all it is the best way to see the wildlife and landscape.  All the national parks, with their different characters, are criss-crossed with walking trails. For some of them you can self guide, for others you will need a guide.  Either way Costa Rica has walks to suit all tastes.  From the well marked trails up to the top of the Arenal volcano to the walk through Tenorio Volcano National Park to the Rio Celeste where sulphur carbonate from the volcano has turned the water a luminous blue.  From the trail walks over suspended bridges in the Monteverde cloud forest to a strenuous hike in Corcovado National Park or to the crater summit in Rincon de la Vieja – the Yellowstone Park of Costa Rica.   We can organise guides for you and accommodation to the make the most of the walking possibilities.  

  • Flying time: 11 hours 20 mins
  • Time difference: -6 hours
  • Currency: Costa Rican Colon
  • Best time of year to travel: December to May

Ideas for a trip to Costa Rica

Here are some ideas for trips to Costa Rica all of which can be adapted for you and we are always happy to create a bespoke trip from scratch.

Family Self-Drive

from £1795 per person
Pick up a car and drive yourself around Costa Rica for 12 days with its smooth roads and good signage. Stay in 3* and 4 * hotels and visit volcanoes and crater lakes, soak in hot springs, zipline through rainforests, and search for monkeys and quetzals.

Private Wildlife Tour

from £3699 per person
A 14-day private tour viewing the wildlife and natural scenery of the Central Valley, Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio, San Gerardo de Dota and Puerto Jiminez. You will have the opportunity to see all the wildlife Costa Rica can offer and participate in activities such as fishing, kayaking and river rafting.

Small group tour

from £2845 per person
In a small group of no more than 16 visit the coffee plantations and the Central Valley, Arenal Volcano, Tortuguero's canals and backwaters, Monteverde canopy walkways, wildlife spotting and even a chocolate tour.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions that haven't been answered here? Send your questions to enquiries@shearwatertravel.co.uk and we'll try our best to help.

British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You may stay as a visitor for up to 90 days under a tourist visa waiver, although the exact period is at the discretion of the immigration officer on arrival. Visit the FCO website for the latest information.  

Ensure your usual immunisations are up to date and consider Hepatitis A.  Check NHS Fit for Travel for full details.  

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