Costa Rica Adventure Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Destinations:
Costa Rica
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
AHS
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

16 Days Flight Inclusive
15 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

Two weeks to fall in love with Costa Rica's vibrant beauty from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast. Take in Tortuguero's wildlife rich waterways, marvel at the rainforest on a night walk, hike amongst unique vegetation in Arenal Volcano National Park and visit the bubbling mud pools and hot springs of Rincon de la Vieja. We focus on the natural side of Costa Rica and try plenty of activities to discover the heart of this tropical country. Have a go at zip-lining and take a boat trip to see dolphins off Carrillo beach, as well as choosing from multiple optional activities. The holiday ends with a few days on the Pacific coastline, where the sandy bay is shaded by coconut palms and the water perfect for swimming.

At a Glance

  • Travel by minibus and boat 
  • 14 nights comfortable hotels and lodges
  • Turtle nesting season at Tortuguero: July to October
  • Turtle nesting season at Caramonal: all year round but bigger numbers during June to January 

Trip Highlights

  • Boat tour of Tortuguero's tranquil waterways 
  • Lunch at an organic farm and visit a pineapple plantation 
  • Zip-lining excursion included - soar above the cloud forest! 
  • Discover Rincon de la Vieja with its bubbling mud pools and hot springs 
  • Relax on the Pacific Coast with 3 nights staying in a hotel overlooking Carrillo Beach

Is This Trip for You?

This trip has been graded 2 (Leisurely/Moderate).

Driving distances are not very long and most of the roads that we travel on are of good quality. However, the road which leads to the river on the way to and from Tortuguero has a poor surface and this can result in slow driving times, particularly following heavy rain. 

There are some nature walks on the itinerary which occasionally involve walking on rough paths. During times of heavy rain, trails can be muddy and slippery and extra care should be taken. Many of the areas visited on the trip are hot and humid and there is the chance of heavy rain year-round - this is why Costa Rica is so green! 

Please note that in the region of Tortuguero the sea has very strong rip currents and is not suitable for swimming from the beach. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
San Jose
End City:
San Jose Airport

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start San Jose.

    The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Meet your fellow travellers and guide who will give you a warm welcome to Costa Rica.  

    Accommodation: Studio Hotel (or similar)

  • Day 2

    To Tortuguero N.P.

    Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero's vast network of waterways, canals and swamps are remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge, which is a short distance from the main lagoon. Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum. Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean. Today's travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast.

    Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Boat tour around Tortuguero waterways.

    Just after sunrise we board a small boat, enabling us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero as we pass serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast near the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax for the rest of the day if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities, or alternatively you can join a second boat trip (included but optional) or follow a short walking trail through the forest.

    Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    To Sarapiqui; night walk to experience the rainforest in the dark!

    We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived, by taking a small boat to the pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of Sarapiqui, stopping for lunch en route. The region of Sarapiqui is blessed with abundant vegetation and the beautiful Sarapiqui River. This is one of the main areas of banana production in Costa Rica, although coffee, cardamon, cacao, corn and other fruits are also grown here. In the evening we take a night walk through Tirimbina Biological Reserve, crossing a suspension bridge to have a different perspective on the rainforest and its many inhabitants: see how many eyes you can spot staring back at you! Our guide will focus on nocturnal species, such as insects, frogs and nocturnal mammals, who are active in the dark.  

    Accommodation: La Quinta Sarapiqui (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Pineapple Plantation tour; to La Fortuna near Arenal.

    After breakfast at the hotel, we check out and make our way towards an organic pineapple plantation, located in La Virgen de Sarapiqui. This area is well known for its rich soil and excellent growing conditions. During our morning's tour we have the opportunity to discover the organic philosophy of the farm, learning about crop rotation, companion planting and the concept of rural agri-tourism. This is a great introduction to Costa Rican heritage. Afterwards we transfer to the area of La Fortuna near Arenal arriving around lunchtime. We have some free time to enjoy the hotel's facilities or there are some optional excursions for this afternoon/evening.  

    Accommodation: Las Lagos Spa & Resort (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    La Fortuna Waterfall walk; farm to table culinary experience at an organic farm.

    Arenal was once Costa Rica's most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. There is a lot of geo-thermal activity in this area, with natural hot springs, waterfalls and Lake Arenal. This morning we visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a 65 metre cascade of water plunging into an emerald pool below. A short trail through the rainforest brings us to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to the exit - this takes around 20-30 minutes and can be rewarded with a swim in the emerald pool below, if you wish. It is possible to visit the lookout point and wait for the group here if you prefer. Keep an eye out for colourful toucans in the rainforest! 

    Afterwards we have a farm to table culinary tour at an organic farm. This is a fun and interactive experience to discover some of the typical produce grown in this area. On arrival we'll be greeted with fresh fruits and coffee whilst we learn about the farm's history. We usually select some of the produce to be harvested that day (destined for our lunch menu) and have a tour of the greenhouse to see how some of Costa Rica's staples are grown. This is a great experience to see an authentic farm set in wonderful surroundings - look out for the family of sloths living in the neighbouring trees! 

    Accommodation: Los Lagos Spa & Resort (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 7

    Hike at Arenal Volcano N.P.; free afternoon for optional activities.

    After lunch we take a short scenic hike within Arenal National Park, walking through secondary rainforest and passing some of the lava fields from past eruptions. Walking on the base and flanks of the volcano gives extraordinary views, as our guide explains about the history, recent activity and points out some of the landmarks that have been left over the years. The high vantage points on this walk also allow great views overlooking Lake Arenal, and the birdlife is plentiful. This afternoon is free to join one of the optional activities available in this region. 

    Accommodation: Los Lagos Spa & Resort (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Boat and transfer to Monteverde in the Tilaran Mountains.

    From Arenal we travel to the Tilaran Mountain Range in the Central Highlands for a taste of the Costa Rican cloud forest. Reaching Monteverde involves a fast boat across Lake Arenal which is incredibly scenic and will take roughly half an hour. Our journey is then completed by private minibus as we ascend the hills towards Monteverde, a forest-cloaked region whose name literally means 'Green Mountain'. The high altitude supports a complex eco-system where plants thrive, particularly orchids of which there are some 400+ different varieties here. Our total journey time will be in the region of 3.5 hours, including the lake crossing.

    Accommodation: El Establo Mountain Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Zip-line adventure through the tree tops; visit the hanging bridges and butterfly garden.

    Today we visit Selvatura Park which has 850 acres of protected land dedicated to nature and adventure. We begin with the hanging bridges excursion, which is a system of treetop walkways through the forest designed to let you experience the beauty of the cloud forest and observe its many inhabitants. We’ll also visit the butterfly garden which has one of the largest exhibitions of butterflies in the world, and the hummingbird garden where more than 14 species of hummingbird will amaze you with their aerial manoeuvres. After this it’s time to try out some aerial manoeuvres of our own on a zip line adventure through the tree tops! Before you fly down the zip-lines, guides will teach you the proper technique, including how to position yourself and hold the cable correctly, enabling you to safely embark on this adrenaline pumping adventure suspended above the trees.

    Accommodation: El Establo Mountain Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 10

    To Rincon de la Vieja; choose between a canyon canopy tour, tubing or horse riding.

    After breakfast at the hotel we check out and transfer to Rincon de la Vieja, an area that combines dry forest with enchanting waterfalls and is best known for its bubbling mud pots, steaming vents in the earth, hot springs and a whole host of wildlife. There are three activities to choose between today: a canyon canopy tour, tubing or horse riding. The cost of joining one activity is included, so it is up to you to decide which you would like to do! The canyon canopy tour is a zip line adventure involving rappelling, climbing, a tarzan swing and hanging bridges over a narrow river canyon. Tubing takes place on the Rio Negro, with individual inner tube rafts across 5km of class II and III rapids. The horse riding excursion follows a forest trail leading to a rainforest waterfall. Experience is not needed for any of these activities and you can decide which you prefer once you're in Costa Rica. 

    Accommodation: Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Hiking in Rincon de la Vieja N.P.; visit the mud baths and hot springs.

    Today we get to discover Rincon de la Vieja National Park and its network of trails during a hike through the exotic dry tropical forest on the Las Pailas Trail. This loop walk twists through jungle around the base of the volcano, passing natural fumaroles spitting steam, and hopefully encountering wildlife on the way: toucans, Spider monkeys and lizards are found here as well as many bird species. Afterwards we visit a hot springs. Heated naturally by the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, these hot springs feed directly from the Rio Negro and are mineral rich with therapeutic properties. There are 10 man-made pools created to capture the steaming mineral water, surrounded by thick forest. Smooth volcanic clay over yourself, let it dry and wash off with a cool shower or jump in the river before soaking again in the hot pools! 

    Accommodation: Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 12

    To Carillo beach on the Pacific Coast; afternoon at leisure to enjoy the beach.

    We travel to the region of Samara on the Pacific Coast, one of the best kept secrets in Costa Rica! The broad, shady bay is backed by coconut palms and the water is calm and safe for swimming thanks to a coral reef just out to sea on which the normally large, Pacific waves break before reaching the beach. There are plenty of facilities in this area but there's a noticeable absense of big resort hotels, which makes for a nice atmosphere. Our hotel faces onto Carrillo beach in the neighbouring bay to Samara. We have a free afternoon here to enjoy the facilities and discover the area.

    Accommodation: Nammbu Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Boat trip to see dolphins offshore from Carrillo beach; have a go at snorkelling.

    Today we take a private boat trip around 2 – 10 nautical miles offshore from Carrillo beach in search of dolphins. You could be lucky enough to see Spotted dolphins, Central American Spinner dolphins or Common Bottlenose dolphins which all inhabit this area year around. Feel the ocean breeze and enjoy the scenery of the coastline as we search for these playful animals who love to swim in the bow wave of the boat! As we make our way back along the coast, we will anchor near the shores of Isla Chora, a delightful white sand beach full of hermit crabs and iguanas. This is a great spot for a refreshing swim and a chance to observe the underwater world by wearing a mask and snorkel. Beneath the surface teems a lively, colourful world with huge marine diversity. In total today’s excursion will last around 4 hours, with the rest of your time at leisure to enjoy the area.

    Accommodation: Nammbu Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Free day to enjoy the Pacific coast; evening turtle nesting tour.

    Today has been left free for you to enjoy the Pacific coast, Carrillo beach and the hotel's facilities.

    This evening we take a turtle nesting tour on nearby Camaronal beach, where an extensive wildlife refuge has been created to protect the Olive ridley, Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles who all lay their eggs in the reserve's sands. These endangered species nest all year round at Caramonal, but in bigger numbers from June to January. This tour takes place at nightime with a ranger and we hope to have the opportunity to visit the beach when turtles are nesting, to see the incredible moment that a turtle digs a hole and starts to lay her eggs. Sometimes you may be lucky and find yourself present during hatchings too, which means baby turtles scrabbling through the sand to get to the water! This unforgettable experience only happens in the dark, so the tour usually starts around 7pm and may last up to 4 hours depending on sightings.  

    Accommodation: Nammbu Hotel (or similar) 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 15

    To San Jose; end San Jose

    A four hour journey takes us back to San Jose, where those on group flights will be transferred to the airport in time for their return flight. Land only clients end in San Jose and are advised not to book a flight leaving San Jose before 4pm today, as arrival at the airport will be timed to co-incide with the group flight.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

14 nights spent in hotels and lodges, all with en suite facilities and most with swimming pools. 

In San Jose we stay at the modern 4* Studio Hotel, conveniently located near the airport for an easy arrival transfer at the start of the holiday. 

In Tortuguero we usually stay at Evergreen Lodge, located just a few minutes by boat from the entrance to Tortuguero National Park. This magical area is surrounded by vegetation and our accommodation has a rustic feel with wooden bungalows, comfortable beds and ceiling fans. There is a lovely pool area and the property is set in 2 hectares of jungle. 

In Sarapiqui we usually stay at La Quinta Sarapiqui, a lodge with bungalow style accommodation looking out onto gardens filled with flowers and birdlife. Occasionally we stay at Selva Verde instead. 

In Arenal, our accommodation will normally be at the Los Lagos Spa & Resort Hotel. This property is close to Arenal Volcano and has large natural grounds, with butterflies and frogs regularly seen in the surrounding rainforest. Rooms are comfortable and well equipped. There are several natural pools fed by rainforest spring water to relax in. 

In Monteverde, we normally stay at the 4* El Establo Mountain Hotel which has expansive views of the Gulf of Nicoya and is well located for discovering the misty cloud forest. There is an outdoor swimming pool and spa. 

In Rincon de la Vieja our accommodation is usually the Hacienda Guachapelin, an expansive property with rooms set in lush gardens full of native trees and exotic flowers. The hacienda is set on a 3,400-acre ranch bordering the Rincón de la Vieja National Park.

By the Pacific Coast we plan to stay at the Nammbu Hotel, a beachfront property overlooking Carrillo beach. This family run property has large rooms, wonderful ocean views and a lovely swimming pool. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from $914.50 USD

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners are included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style, and lunches and dinners at Tortuguero are also buffet style. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Costa Rican specialities include 'Gallo Pinto', a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruit is abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics.

Transportation

The majority of our travel will be done in an air-conditioned 16 seater minibus, but we also use small motor boats to access remote parts of the itinerary, such as Tortuguero and for the boat transfer across Lake Arenal. There is a shared transfer to Tortuguero on Day 2 of the itinerary in a larger coach.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Costa Rica is located 10º north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average temperature range is 10ºC - 13ºC in the highlands, and from 22ºC - 26ºC in the lowlands. There is a rainy season from May to November when there are daily downpours, though these are usually quite short and there is still plenty of bright sunshine, so midsummer is not necessarily a bad time to go. December to April is the driest time of the year but you should still expect some rain.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 16 days 

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

FLYING VIA THE USA
The US is known to have lengthy immigration queues which must be navigated by all passengers, including those in transit. We only book flights that meet the minimum valid connection time and wherever possible we will ensure there is at least a 2 hour window between connecting flights. If your flight to the US is delayed and the connection becomes particularly tight, we advise you to make your way as quickly as you can from the plane to immigration where you should make yourself known to an official in an attempt to move closer to the front of the queue. 

Travelling land only: 15 days starting in San Jose and ending at San Jose Airport  

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in San Jose in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

In the unlikely event of any of your luggage being misplaced or damaged, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) must be filed with the appropriate airline if you subsequently wish to make a claim against the airline or on your travel insurance. This must be done at the airport where your baggage arrived, or should have arrived.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival transfers on any flight for this trip, so no matter which flight you choose to arrive on you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

All land only clients taking advantage of the free airport transfer must provide full flight details for their arrival in advance; unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel; transfers to other hotels in the same city may attract an extra charge; transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The trip ends at San Jose airport in time for the departure of the group flight.

Location start:
San Jose
Location end:
San Jose Airport

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Sunglasses, sunhat, sunscreen, waterproof poncho or waterproofs, warm sweater (for cloud forest), short trousers, weatherproof shoes, swimming gear. 

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Optional Equipment

Umbrella, camera, binoculars, torch, small daypack for walks, insect repellent. Some dark clothes will be required if you plan to take the optional turtle excursion (seasonal). We also recommend bringing a re-usable fabric tote bag so that you can avoid using unnecessary plastic bags whilst in Costa Rica.

Please note that when travelling to/from Tortuguero there is a luggage limit on the boats and you will be allowed one regular size suitcase/bag and one carry-on size bag. Technically there is also a weight limit of 25 lbs but in practice we find that this isn't enforced.

Practical Information

Passport

Costa Rica

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Costa Rica

Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica - we suggest you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them. All passengers flying via the USA will have to clear immigration during transit. Prior to travel you must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (USD14) under the Visa Waiver Programme. Please see here for more information. The same applies to travel via Canada which also requires an Electronic Travel Authority. If you are not a UK citizen please check with your local U.S. Embassy. 

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

If you are travelling via the USA and are eligible to transit under the Visa Waiver Programme (most British and western European citizens with a machine readable passport are), you are now required to register in advance for an Electronic Travel Authority (ESTA). There is a US$14 charge for the ESTA, which is only payable online with a credit card. Please see our website www.exodus.co.uk/usvisa for further information. All other nonresidents passing through the US must get a visa in advance. Check with your local embassy or consulate for more details on how to obtain a visa.

Vaccination

Costa Rica

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements, however, if you have travelled to a country at risk of Yellow Fever prior to arriving in Costa Rica you will be required to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate with you. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Costa Rica's Timezone:
America/Costa_Rica CST (GMT -06:00)

Electricity

Costa Rica's Electricity:

120 volts AC, 60Hz. 

Money

Costa Rica's Currency

The national currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 800 to the UK£ and 620 to the US$.

It is best to take US dollars to Costa Rica, as sterling is difficult to exchange and the rate can be poor. In practice, US dollars are widely accepted as payment in Costa Rica.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available in Costa Rica, particularly in the main tourist areas. A flat fee of up to USD3 and a small commission usually applies with debit card withdrawals. MasterCard and Visa are quite widely accepted in the bigger hotels, restaurants and tourist shops, though not, of course, in rural areas. Always check the handling fee when paying by credit card as it can be high. It is certainly much more convenient to carry as much of your money in cash as possible, so long as you are security conscious. We recommend that you bring some small denomination notes (USD1 and USD5 notes) since getting change is often a problem when paying for small items.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

US dollars are widely accepted as payment in Costa Rica, however change will likely be given in local currency and the exchange rate will fluctuate. We suggest taking some US dollars with you but then using ATM's to withdraw the rest of your money in local currency whilst you're there. 

You should allow extra to cover the cost of meals not included in the price of the holiday. Snack lunches are approximately USD15-18 and evening meals USD25-32 per meal (excluding drinks).
Average costs for drinks are USD1-2 for mineral water or soft drinks, USD3-4 for a bottle of beer and USD4-5 for a glass of wine. 

There are various optional activities avaialble during the holiday, as follows;

Tortuguero:
Turtle nesting tour USD 40 (July to October only) 

Arenal: 
Ecotermales hotsprings: USD 40
Arenal Natura night walk: USD 55
Sky Tram / Sky Trek: USD 84 
Zip line Eco-glide: USD 50
Hanging Bridges: USD 74 

Monteverde:  
Monteverde night walk: USD 52
Don Juan Coffee Tour: USD 35 

Carillo beach: 
Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) mangrove tour: USD 49 
Wildlife and mangrove kayak tour: USD 49
Ocean kayak to Isla Chora: USD 49  

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. However, it is usual for groups to tip guides and drivers and it would be reasonable for each group member to contribute approx. USD3-5 per day for each staff member for this purpose, although you may wish to tip more if travelling in a small group. Porters at the airport and hotels are normally tipped about USD1 per piece. Occasionally the tour leader will organise a tipping kitty to facilitate these and other tips (such as waiting staff in restaurants) which will be collected in advance at the start of the trip.  

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. Swimming results in more tourists deaths than any other activity. All customers should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim, and are requested to treat the sea with extreme caution if they choose to enter the water. Details on how to keep yourself safe while swimming are shown here.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.