Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets

14 days
from
$4,795 NZD
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 13 reviews >
Trip code: 
WUR
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Unrivalled wildlife viewing and Costa Rica's coastal wonders 

From the wildlife rich waterways of Tortuguero to the dense jungle coastline of the Osa Peninsula, an area labelled by National Geographic as 'the most biologically intense place on Earth', Costa Rica reveals its secrets: Scarlet macaws rule the roost adding brilliant flashes of red, blue and gold to the foliage; Humpback whales breed in the waters off-shore, and sloths lazily crawl along cecropia branches.

Highlights

  • Three nights in Drake Bay - the remote gateway to some of Costa Rica's premier wildlife destinations 
  • Corcovado National Park - the 'most biologically intense place on Earth'
  • Visit the beaches and waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Unrivalled wildlife viewing - monkeys, sloths, dolphins & whales (in season) 
  • A tour of Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary 
  • Snorkel in both the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean

Key information

  • Travel by minibus and boat 
  • 13 nights comfortable hotels and lodges
  • Green turtle nesting season: July to October

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

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… 

Itinerary

San Jose
to
San Jose
  • 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. Free transfers are available for all clients. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.

    Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

  • 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 nestled on a small strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the main lagoon. Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum (a donation will be requested at the entrance). 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 Pachira Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    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 by the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax this afternoon if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities, or alternatively you can join a second boat trip (included) or follow a short walking trail through the forest.

    Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge or Pachira Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    To Cahuita; relax on the Caribbean coast.

    We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived, by taking a small boat to Siquirres pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of Cahuita on the Caribbean coast, where we check into our hotel. Caribbean culture pervades this part of Costa Rica and is reflected in the music, food and laid-back lifestyle. Cahuita’s famous white-sand beach is fringed by tall palms, behind which the dense, wet tropical forest of Cahuita National Park can be found.

    Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Wildlife hike in Cahuita N.P.

    Today we visit Cahuita National Park, with its 2711 acres of land and an impressive 600 acres of coral reef, forming Costa Rica's largest reef system. From the southern entrance of the park we take a 7km hike along the coastline following a trail that leads through rainforest and passes the impressive Caribbean beaches. Although a fairly small park in terms of size, there is plenty of diversity here. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the beach, join an optional snorkelling excursion to discover the underwater world or enjoy the hotel pool.

    Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary.

    After breakfast we visit Aviarios del Caribe, Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary. This rescue and rehabilitation centre conducts research into sloths and works tirelessly with the goal of releasing sloths back into their natural habitat. In 2013 it was the subject of an Animal Planet TV show called 'Meet the Sloths'. You'll learn all about these fascinating animals on a two hour tour of the sanctuary, where you visit the sloth nursery to find out about the rehabilitation process and take a boat tour along the river to see sloths, monkeys, butterflies and birds in the wild. In the afternoon there is free time to relax in Cahuita.

    Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Walk in La Marta Wildlife Refuge; to Turrialba Valley.

    Our next destination is Turrialba Valley, a rich agricultural region located in the Central Highlands. On the way to Turrialba we visit La Marta Wildlife Refuge, an area of both primary and secondary forest within La Amistad Biosphere (recognised as a UNESCO World Patrimony of Humanity). The topography of this region is mountainous, with waterfalls, rivers and caves - the varied elevation supports a wide range of plants (such as orchids, bromeliads, lichens and mosses) and animals (such as anteaters, ocelots and tapirs).

    Accommodation: Villa Florencia (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    To Savegre Cloud Forest.

    After breakfast we depart towards San Gerado de Dota and Savegre Cloud Forest. This is said to be one of the best places in the whole of Costa Rica to see the beautiful, colourful and notoriously shy Resplendant Quetzal and we have two nights here to discover the region. These endangered birds rely on the cloud forest for their habitat - the males in particular are striking with a green crest, red breast and tail feathers that can reach a metre in length. A good pair of binoculars will be helpful for quetzal spotting as these birds camouflage themselves well amongst the wet leaves of the forest! After lunch we take a short walk into the cloud forest.

    Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa or Trogon Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Free day to discover walking trails in Savegre.

    Today is free to relax and explore Savegre Valley. Bring your binoculars to spot some of the 170 bird species, trek through the tropical cloud forest or simply relax in the grounds of the lodge. For those who are passionate about trekking, an optional tour to Los Quetzales National Park can be arranged to admire the tropical cloud forest and sub-Andean vegetation. Birds that may be seen in this area include hummingbirds, colibri, tanagers and trogons, whilst tapirs, sloths and Squirrel monkeys may also be seen.

    Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa or Trogon Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    To Sierpe; boat to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula.

    Our journey continues towards the small town of Sierpe, where we board a small motorboat to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula. Passing the huge mangrove swamps that line the Sierpe River, our boat crosses the ocean before arriving into Drake Bay. This region is very remote and with extremely limited road access, which means the majority of supplies, as well as visitors and locals, must arrive by boat. Originally discovered by Francis Drake, getting here is part of the adventure! The bay is spectacular, with just a handful of lodges scattering the horizon and the rest thick verdant forest and rocky coves as far as the eye can see. Our next three nights will be spent at the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, a family run property positioned close to the 'town' of Drake Bay and with ocean views from every corner.

    Accommodation: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Boat trip to Caño Island.

    Board a small boat to Caño Island, located 12 nautical miles from Drake Bay. During this 45 minute boat ride there may be opportunities to spot migrating whales or playful dolphins in the surrounding waters (Orca whales might be seen between approx. December to April and Humpback whales might be seen between approx. July to November). The interior of the island is thought to have been a burial ground for the indigenous Daquis tribe during pre-Columbian times, and many perfectly spherical man-made stones have been found here. But it's the marine life that is the biggest highlight of Caño Island, with Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles, Manta rays and White-tipped reef sharks being just some of the likely encounters on today's snorkelling excursion. This area has been rated as having the best snorkelling in the whole of Costa Rica, with excellent water visibility and a huge marine diversity awaiting beneath the waves in the protected reef. Enjoy a picnic lunch on nearby San Josecito beach, where Capuchin monkeys, Coatimundi and lively Scarlet macaws may make an appearance.

    Accommodation: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Boat trip to Corcovado N.P.; discover the park on foot.

    When National Geographic describes an area as ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’ it has to be worthy of investigation! This morning we board a small boat for a 30 minute journey to San Pedrillo Ranger Station, our entrance point to Corcovado National Park. This is undoubtedly Costa Rica's most secluded and tranquil region. Protecting around one third of the Osa Peninsula (some 164 square miles), Corcovado is Costa Rica's largest national park and encompasses 13 major ecosystems across various elevations, with montane forest, cloud forest, freshwater and mangrove swamps being just some of these. Scientists have recorded half of all of the species in Costa Rica on this peninsula alone. On today's hike along the parks trails we may see all four of Costa Rica's monkey species (Squirrel, Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider monkeys), tamandua (anteater), two and three-toed sloths, peccary, tapirs (including the endangered Baird's tapir) and of course many reptiles, insects and amphibians. Puma and jaguar are known in this area but very difficult to see. With over 500 tree species, the bird count stands at an impressive 365 and the park protects the largest population of Scarlet macaws in the country, which can frequently be seen and heard flying overhead.

    Accommodation: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Mangrove boat trip; to Sierpe; to San Jose.

    After breakfast, we board another boat to depart from Drake Bay and return to Sierpe town. On the way our boat will take a short tour of the huge mangrove forest that lines the Sierpe River. Delving into the network of tributary rivers and streams is fascinating and a chance to learn more about the role of mangroves in the eco-system and the numerous creatures that depend on them, such as fish, crabs, birds, molluscs and shell fish. In Sierpe town we transfer to our private minibus and commence our journey to San Jose.

    Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End San Jose.

    Our adventure comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Free transfers to San Jose airport are available to all clients today.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

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 www.exodus.co.uk/USVisa for more information. If you are not a UK citizen please check with your local U.S. Embassy.

Vaccinations

Costa Rica

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. 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 and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The symptoms and impact of the disease is not serious, but a significant risk to foetus development has recently been highlighted. Therefore, if you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant you should seek additional advice from a health professional.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 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.

Weather

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.

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) with a safari rating of 4.

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. Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula are two of the most remote areas that we visit on this itinerary - there is very limited road access or facilities in these areas and we will use boats as the main form of transportation.

There are several included and optional walks on the itinerary which occasionally involve walking on rough paths. These are suitable for most levels of fitness and usually last from two to three hours. 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!

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Eco-lodges

13 nights spent in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges, alll with en suite facilities and most with swimming pools.

We use fairly small, family run establishments: wooden lodges set in tropical gardens or eco-lodges nestled in the forest. The highlight of this trip will probably be our stay at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort on the Osa Peninsula, a rustic property that can only be reached by boat due to its remoteness, and affords 180 degree views out across the vast ocean!

Optional single supplement available, see Dates & Prices.

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2017
    Gisela Aitken-Davies

    Exceeded high expectations!

    August is the rainy season, but the early morning starts meant that we fitted a lot in before the impressive downpours that sometimes happened later in the day. The range of wildlife we saw was astonishing; I'd picked this trip because of the visit to the Sloth Sanctuary, which was disappointing compared with the number of sloths that we saw in the wild. Our excellent guide was complemented by eagle eyed boat 'drivers' who also appeared to be keen and knowledgeable about wildlife and were ready and willing to nimbly propel the boats around to see something on the bank they had spotted: monkeys, lizards etc. The accommodation, in places, was not 5 star, but had its own charm and there is not that I would not happily revisit for one reason or another, even the very friendly one in Cahuita with its temperamental showers but very friendly owner.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It really is difficult to pick one out. After the second day, by which time we had seen sloths, turtles, golden orb spiders, howler monkeys, we wondered what could be left. There was plenty! The sheer variety of ecosystems, places we stayed and activities meant this was unforgettable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andreas' passion for and knowledge about his subject was infectious. He was excellent at pitching his information at an audience which included some very experienced bird watchers and some relative newcomers, and his knowledge of all Costa Rican wild life was extensive so our trips out were informative and interesting. Andreas was very safety aware and took this, and people's satisfaction with arrangements, into account. Going the extra mile probably sums him up, especially with those people who were delayed because of Hurricane Harvey.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take an umbrella and poncho (covers your backpack) especially if going in the rainy season.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd like to thank Exodus in London for their help with sorting out accommodation and rearranging flights back to the the UK after our flights via Houston were cancelled.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Joanne Offer

    Fabulous wildlife

    I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The amount of wildlife that we saw was simply unbelievable - from sloths and whales, to scarlet macaws, toucans and 4 types of monkeys. We even saw animals that I'd never even heard of before. (Agouti and coati.) Tortuguero is simply magical - waking up to the sounds of the rainforest and then seeing turtles on the beach at the other end of the day. I couldn't believe the number of beautifully colourful birds we saw in the cloud forest. By the end of it, we were saying, "Oh, it's just another hummingbird." And our time on the peninsula was just spectacular. Plodging through a stream in the rainforest and swimming near a mini-waterfall were great experiences. Never mind being able to spot humpback whales while standing on the beach having a picnic lunch!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending my birthday whale-watching: we had 4 different sightings in just that 1 day. The guides were as excited as we were when a baby humpback pretty much swam under the boat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andreas was extremely patient and highly knowledgeable about Costa Rica's wildlife. He spotted animals that we would have walked straight past, and always made sure we had all the information we needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring water shoes - something you can wear snorkelling or getting on/off a boat. My cheap ponchos bought from Poundland were the best bargain of the trip - they kept me and my rucksack (largely) dry. It really does chuck it down in the rainforest. Yes, the accommodation in Cahuita isn't up to the same standard as everywhere else, but it was clean and situated right on the beach. Did the job. And the cocktails in town more than made up for any shortcomings. When flying in hurricane season, it might be worth trying to fly direct to San Jose so you reduce the risk of flight disruption - our connecting flight via Houston was cancelled, although Exodus helped us to sort alternatives.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have preferred to spend an extra night in Tortuguero and had one day less in Cahuita. (Simply because of the peace and remoteness of Tortuguero.)
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Christine Meusz

    Great for wildlife

    A good opportunity to see the wildlife - especially birds - in a number of different locations across the country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm not sure I'd describe any of it as inspirational but there were plenty of wildlife sightings - aided by the sharp eyes of our guide and driver - and some spectacular scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Antonio was friendly, helpful and spoke perfect English. Eric, our driver, also deserves a mention and the two worked well together as a team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that, although this trip is described as having "comfortable" accommodation throughout, this is not the case. While most accommodation is good, and some excellent, three nights are spent in a lodge where the accommodation is no better than basic and you'll need your own towels and toiletries (and an ability to turn a blind eye to health and safety, particularly where electrics are concerned). Also take a good waterproof - it is the rainforest after all - and we had one day of particularly persistent and heavy rain. The lodge was doing a roaring trade in the sale of waterproof ponchos!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We flew direct with BA - you have to stay an extra night in San Jose at the end but it's worth it to avoid the US and a very late arrival. We stayed in the Presidente Hotel which I quite liked as the urban location provided a nice contrast, but it was a pity the roof garden was out of commission at the time.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Susi Quinn

    All about the sloths...

    ...and I mean us, not the animals! This was a very leisurely wildlife-watching trip, with very slow ambles along suspiciously well-groomed jungle paths; you'll see a LOT of amazing birds and other creatures, you'll eat a lot of great food, and probably not lose a whole lot of weight...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The marine life around the Osa peninsula was incredible - seeing dolphins and boobies compete to take out a shoal of flying fish near Drake's Bay, or the snorkelling at Cano Island, or the beaches covered in tiny hermit crabs, so hard to pick just one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gustavo was very knowledgeable about the wildlife we spotted, and gave plenty of information about the local culture too, including a trip to his delightful local pub for our farewell feast.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This really isn't a "Leisurely/Moderate" trip, it is 100% leisurely - and the demographics trended to the older end of the spectrum (there was a 15-year age gap between me and the next youngest, and most of the group were retired) - so be warned that this isn't exactly an adrenaline-filled adventure, and you'll need to be very keen on birds. March was HOT on both coasts, but the cloud forest was very cold - you won't regret packing that jumper even if it looks like a waste of space at first!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Jenny Watkins

    Costa Rica Coastal Secrets

    A great trip where we saw so much wildlife and diverse habitats, enjoyed walks and ate some excellent food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to the Sloth Sanctuary where we we given a brilliant talk on the sloth. Seeing sloths in the wild, seeing the Quetzal in Savegre Cloud Forest, getting close to the birdlife on the waterways of Tortuguero.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gustavo was a friendly yet professional leader. His English was excellent and his enthusiasm and knowledge of his country and the wildlife unsurpassed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All our group flew out the a day early on the direct BA flight. It avoided travelling through the USA and gave you time to recover from the flight and do a local tour. We just took US dollars which were accepted everywhere. The food and drink not included were quite expensive The trip notes accurately reflect the prices. None of the walks were too physically challenging although the heat and humidity were challenging at times. Insect repellent and sun screen a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Like another reviewer I agree that Atlantida Lodge was very much in need of some repairs and maintenance. Another night at Villa Florencia would have been appreciated to explore the surroundings. Our favourite lodge was Trogon Lodge in Savegre cloud forest. Exceptional food, hot water bottles and gas fires!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Gail Madeley

    Costa Rica Coastal Screts WUR

    Excellent Guide - Antonio, lovely scenery, varied wildlife, big difference between east and west coast and with the inevitable long periods of travelling in order to see so much.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a sloth in the wild at breakfast on our first full day of the trip, the beautiful pacific coast at Drake Bay, the food at Savegre and seeing a quetzal at 6.00am, especially when they are so rare!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Antonio was very knowledgeable, as was Eric the driver - their eyesight meant they spotted the wildlife which was made all the more special when viewed through the scope.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the BA direct flight and avoid the USA, but you will have to stay for an extra night - opt to stay at Country Inn and Suites rather than the Presidente Hotel if you do do this, as it's nearer the airport and has a pool - it's not worth it for the first night. On the hikes, be prepared to stop every few steps to see the birds and wildlife - it takes about an hour to walk 1/2 a mile. Take a sink plug, you don't need a hair dryer, plenty of T-shirts - it's very humid, make sure you have plenty of insect repellent and sun screen. You don't need the local currency - everywhere takes US dollars. Be prepared for long rides on the minibus, with early morning starts - it's worth it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    East coast was too touristy for me - but the lodge was beautiful, although there is not much to do when it rains. Although all the accommodation is described as "comfortable" the Atlantida Lodge did not live up to this description. The food and staff there were great and it had a pool, but the accommodation was less than basic - 2 single beds, a towel each, a door that didn't fit properly, sockets hanging off the wall, electrics showing in the shower, cracked tiles and an unstable fan - it's a shame really as the next accommodation - Villa Florencia and the staff could be described as far better than comfortable and I would have liked to have stayed there for more than one night.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Thank you for taking the time to review the Costa Rica Coastal Secrets holiday. We are sorry to hear that you were disappointed with one of the properties used on this tour. Unfortunately the area visited is remote and there are very limited accommodation options to choose from, however, we are following your comments up with the lodge to see where improvements can be made. Kind regards, Vicky (Product Manager)

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Cornell Grierson

    Costa Rica coastal secrets

    From the coasts of the Caribbean to the highlands in the middle ending with the Pacific side we swam and walked to see amazing wildlife like sloths, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, a variety of birds, turtles, crocs, snakes and a variety of fish.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a male Quetzal was wonderful in the wild so to sloths and toucans. Nice walks in the rainforest.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good Antonio spoke good English was informative friendly and funny.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just relax and go with the flow and enjoy all that wild Costa Rica has to offer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I took my snorkelling stuff but didn't really need it as they gave it to you without cost and they were at a good standard. You can get Costa Rica colons there currency in U.K. I did that I thought was better overall but take some dollars aswell.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Stephanie Williamson

    Costa Rica delivers!

    Wow! What a trip. Everything I hoped for and a little bit more. Can't believe how much we packed in. Can't believe I got into bird watching (or sighting really). Can't believe I was so willing to rise at unearthly hours.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going to sleep to the choral sounds of the rainforest. Waking to find we had our very own house bat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erick was passionate and emotional about his country. He had fun with us. He educated us and he fed us exotic treats.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Mosquitoes are a reality. Laundry services are very good value and free at Drakes Bay. Jade museum in San Jose is impressive and right next door to a great market. Horse riding at Savegre is really good value. Don't bother with local currency. Stick with dollars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only disappointment was the trip to see the stone spheres, many of which have been artificially relocated. If you are going to see them , find a better site.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Myra Johnson

    If you care about conservation this trip will bring a smile to your face

    Costa Rica has clearly learned that conservation and habitat preservation bring benefits not only to wildlife and the environment but also to local populations and the national economy. The guides who support Costa Rica’s ecotourism industry are nothing short of inspirational; their training, level of knowledge, understanding of ecosystems and their enthusiasm to impart their knowledge bode well for our planet. Anyone who cares about the natural world and its well-being cannot fail to love this trip which will bring a smile to their face every single day. The trip takes in just about all of the biomes of a country which can rightfully boast to be one of the most biodiverse in the world. To achieve this, it’s a busy trip which covers a lot of miles with stays at some very attractive lodges on both coasts and in the mountains. It also features some wonderful destinations which are off the well worn tourist track. The September trip had some rain on most days, although never for long and although it was hot and humid a lot of the time, our air-conditioned coach with wifi and Carlos, a brilliant driver, made the travelling comfortable for us. We loved the trip and came home with memories (and photographs) to share and to last through many years.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two weeks had inspirational moments every single day so it is impossible to single out just one. Humpback whales feeding with their calves, nesting sea turtles now protected by law, quetzals breakfasting in avocado trees in the early morning light, a flock of scarlet macaws lunching in a beach almond tree, sloths sleeping in trees in the jungle or relaxing at the Sloth Sanctuary, monkeys swinging from tree to tree, a boa constrictor looking down at you (fortunately with a stretch of water between you), massive crocodiles (again at a safe distance), fascinating and brightly coloured birds, snakes, frogs, spiders, snorkelling on a coral reef, the prolific, incredible vegetation in the rain forest, reflections in the mangroves. They were all inspirational, as was the information from our eagle eyed guides which went with the sightings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group Leader was extremely knowledgeable on biology, ecology, culture, national industry etc. etc. His enthusiastic commentary kept us very well informed and taught us a lot; his sense of humour kept us entertained; he looked after us all extremely well. Put simply, Johnny is a great Group Leader and guide!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is an active trip which packs in a lot of experiences and covers a lot of ground, both physically and figuratively. The trip involves some very early starts, some long journeys, some longish walks in humid conditions and some boat journeys and beach landings which you will remember for all sorts of reasons. Make sure you pack waterproof materials to keep the camera and rucksack dry if you get caught in the rain and pack some extra plastic bags for when you have to pack damp items in your luggage!
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Jennifer Brown

    Bugs, birds and whales.

    Our 2nd visit to Costa Rica, and it surpassed our expectations in all areas. The itinerary is very well planned to give an experience of the great biodiversity of Costa Rica from both coastal areas, Caribbean and Pacific, up to the high regions of the beautiful Savegre. The lodges were excellent, Drakes Bay Wilderness Resort is particularly amazing - including the 'interesting' boat ride out to it. If you enjoy wildlife.....it's definitely the place to go.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 5am howler monkey alarm clock...... seeing so many humpback whales and dolphins so close to the boat.....the amazing frogs..... and who couldn't forget the green sea turtles coming out of the sea to lay their eggs...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Johnny was extremely enthusiastic and passionate about all things Costa Rica. He gave a running history, geographic, political and social commentary during the drives which was extremely useful. The group had quite a mix of interests, and he was able to manage them to keep everyone satisfied with their own experience. If there were any queries that he didn't have the answer to, he would find out and give the answers later. He also had a great eye for spotting flora and fauna on the walks, nothing was too small or insignificant for us. He was great fun too, and always smiling, nothing seemed to faze him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Getting on and off some of the boats was potentially tricky, particularly if you had any mobility issues and some of the walking could be a little challenging if not anticipated.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Costa Rica is back on our bucket list!!

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