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White-faced Capuchin
Nature & Wildlife
Land-Based Expeditions

Costa Rica: Wildlife Sanctuary of the Americas

White-faced Capuchin

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Costa Rica: Wildlife Sanctuary of the Americas

An enchanting emerald kingdom of giant tree ferns and orchids blankets the mountains, monkeys leap acrobatically across lazy, winding rivers and canals, and an almost imprenetrable jungles gives way to pristine beaches. Upon discovering this tropical Eden, early explorers aptly dubbed this diverse land Costa Rica – the rich coast.

Accompanied by knowledgeable naturalists, delve into the wildlife sanctuary of the Americas— this rich landscape of primates, birdlife and bromeliads.

What is Custom Travel? The itinerary below is only a small sample of Costa Rica tour options available through IE. Every traveler can envision their ideal way to see the world. International Expeditions’ experienced Custom Travel Planners create individually tailored tours that match your style of travel, budget and timeline. Tell us the dates you wish to travel, and we’ll take care of the details.

Daily Itinerary

Costa Rica Wildlife Journey Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    Arrive San José

    Fly to Juan Santamaria International Airport, where you are met and transferred to the Park Inn for the night.

  • Day
    2

    San José / Tortuguero National Park

    Fly to Tortuguero, and cross the Tortuguero River by boat to Tortuga Lodge, where you spend three nights. Originally intended to protect a major nesting beach of the Atlantic green sea turtle, Tortuguero National Park now protects one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. Eleven habitats are found in the park. Spider, howler and white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloths and river otters are frequently seen along the natural inland waterways and canals. Caiman, iguanas, river turtles, basilisk lizards and poison dart frogs inhabit the area, along with more than 320 species of birds including all six species of kingfishers found in the new world, three species of toucans, eight species of parrots. You may also spot other neotropical species such as the slaty-tailed trogon, white-collared manakin, purple-throated fruitcrow, and white-fronted nunbird and many more species.

    Walk through the gardens and trails, watching for a variety of wildlife before a twilight hike. Common sightings include several species of frogs that might occur at night like the smokey jungle frog and red eyed tree frog, as well as snakes and other reptiles. It may be possible to observe insectivorous bats, common opossum and mouse opossum. Additionally, the night time hours offer myriad insects, including peanut headed bug, tailless whip-tailed scorpion and a host of katydids. Upon return to the lodge, your guide will take you to the dock where you may be able to see fishing bats hunting. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    3

    Tortuguero National Park

    Enjoy a guided morning walk, watching for oropendulas, raptors, king fishers, trogons, toucans, warblers and wrens. After breakfast, explore the creeks of Tortuguero National Park. The morning hours are especially active in the rainforest, when the wildlife is hungry and searching for their daily energy source. It is not uncommon to find troops of howler monkeys in search of tender young figs or the leaves of the Monkey Plum tree. You might also encounter a hunting river otter. The Northern jacana is often perched on islands of water hyacinth looking for insects and miniature shrimp, while caiman quietly wait for its next meal to swim by. Return to the lodge in time for lunch.

    Your afternoon is spent on a guided kayaking excursions on Caño Chiquero or Caño Mora. These creeks are designated for non-motorized boats only. Kayaking gives you a whole new perspective of the rainforest. From this position you become the river, look up to see what the rainforest canopy looks like, scan the understory of the forest and imagine foraging for seeds. Close your eyes, listening to the sun-dried seed pod of the Gavilan tree burst making a gunshot sound and dispersing its seeds, the call of the chestnut mandibled toucan in the distance and the sound of spider monkeys crashing through the trees. (B,L,D)

    Tortuga Lodge
  • Day
    4

    Cerro Tortuguero & San Francisco Village

    Meet your naturalist guide for a short boat ride to the village of San Francisco de Tortuguero. Hike to the top of Cerro Tortuguero, the region’s only hill, for a panoramic view of the park and the Caribbean. According to the scientists, Cerro Tortuguero is a dormant volcano, almost 2 million years old. Cerro Tortuguero is home to a large number of species of trees, bromeliads, ferns, shrubs and different types of rainforest vegetation. Birdlife is also abundant, with possibilities to observe trogons, toucans, parrots, guans and many other species of tropical avifauna.

    After lunch and perhaps a short siesta, enjoy an afternoon expedition into the creeks of Tortuguero National Park.  You will often find that in the early afternoon the foraging is quite intense. As the afternoon sun starts to go down, many creatures begin bed down for the night while others are just beginning their nighttime activity. If you’re lucky, you may see a mixed flock of egrets coming into their rookery or a pair of tiger herons. White faced capuchins, ever mischievous, may be the last to retire, but as the afternoon light dims, the cacophony of the forest comes to a climax and then as if on cue… quiet. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    5

    Tortuguero / San José / Osa Peninsula

    Fly to San José, and connect with your flight to Puerto Jimenez. Upon arrival in Puerto Jimenez, your driver takes you to Carate. Carate is situated at Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast on the Osa Peninsula. Carate is the southernmost region of the Corcovado National Park, and one of the country's most pristine natural areas.  Corcovado National Park is fringed by endless, wide, flat sandy beaches. Enjoy as a self-guided hike along the lodge trails, exploring old growth rainforest or following the river and waterfall trail. Spend the three nights at Luna Lodge. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    6

    Osa Peninsula: Kayaking

    Hike with your naturalist guide through the tropical lowland rainforest to the Madrigal River. Take a dip in the river and meander down the river to arrive at the beach. Biologists estimate that the Corcovado National Park area encompasses approximately 10,000 species of insects, at least 2,418 species of plants, 700 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 367 species of birds and 117 species of amphibians and reptiles. The Osa Peninsula is the home of endemic species of birds, as well as the most significant populations of large mammals such as jaguars, pumas, ocelots, white-lipped peccaries and tapirs on the Pacific coast. There are also large populations of scarlet macaws and great curassow. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    7

    Corcovado National Park

    Hike with your naturalist guide through the tropical lowland rainforest to the Madrigal River. Take a dip in the river and meander down the river to arrive at the beach. Biologists estimate that the Corcovado National Park area encompasses approximately 10,000 species of insects, at least 2,418 species of plants, 700 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 367 species of birds and 117 species of amphibians and reptiles. The Osa Peninsula is the home of endemic species of birds, as well as the most significant populations of large mammals such as jaguars, pumas, ocelots, white-lipped peccaries and tapirs on the Pacific coast. There are also large populations of scarlet macaws and great curassow. (B,L,D)

    Corcovado National Park
  • Day
    8

    Osa Peninsula / San José

    Depart via 4x4s, heading to Puerto Jimenez.  Fly to San Jose, and return to the Park Inn for the evening. (B)

  • Day
    9

    Depart San José

    Fly home. (B)

Things to Know

What is included in the price of this Costa Rica tour?

  • Accommodations as featured in the itinerary.
  • Meals: As indicated in the itinerary. (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Transfers: Transfers are included as indicated. Unless tours are specifically indicated as private all transportation to tours are shared with other passengers and with a Spanish speaking driver. All tours will be with a bilingual guide.
  • Porterage: When the tour includes international airport transfers, the handling of two bags per person is included.
  • Taxes & Entrance Fees: Hotel taxes, meal taxes (when meals are included), entrance fees to National Parks, museums and places of interest are included unless otherwise specified.
  • Sightseeing: As specified in the itinerary.

Not included in tour price: Passports, visas or tourist card fees; excess baggage fees; personal expenses such as room service, beverages and laundry; personal communications charges; international airfare; sightseeing or meals not specified in the itinerary; personal insurance coverage (strongly recommended), gratuities. International departure tax (currently $29 per person).

What is the weight limit on my luggage when traveling to Costa Rica?

When flying or traveling by boat within Costa Rica, a maximum of 30 lbs of luggage is allowed per person (on Domestic airline Sansa an additional 10 lb carry-on luggage is permitted). The weight limit for flights or boat trips within Costa Rica does not mean that you need to limit yourself to 30 lbs of baggage for your entire trip to Costa Rica. While it always makes sense to travel light, you can bring more than 30 lbs of luggage. We will store your excess luggage while you are on portions of the trip that involve flights or boat trips, and catch it up to you as soon as feasible after you have finished those sections. Arrangements can be made to permit more luggage per person at considerable extra cost

Accommodations

Park Inn - San José

Park Inn San José

The Park Inn Hotel is situated three blocks from Paseo Colón, the city's main avenue, and walking distance of downtown. The hotel offers local and international cuisine, and you can also enjoy a dip in the shimmering outdoor pool. Park Inn features In-room amenities like free wireless Internet access and 42-inch flat-screen televisions. The hotel is conveniently located near the National Museum, Jade Museum and Costa Rican Art Museum. Park Inn also offers a well-appointed Gym and Business Center. Park Inn San José offers 90 spacious, beautifully designed Standard Rooms with one king or two queen beds, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron/ironing board and mini bar.

   

Tortuga Lodge

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens is nestled on 146 acres of private land on Costa Rica's northeast Caribbean coast. The lodge has 14 River View Downstairs Terrace Rooms, 12 Upstairs River View Balcony Rooms and 1 River View Penthouse Suite. The Lodge's restaurant prepares a daily menu of local dishes served in creative ways. Designed to blend into the river environment, the infinity pool features an environmentally-friendly purification system that uses an undetectable amount of salt instead of commercial chlorine. Upstairs rooms have almost as much window space as wall space; all windows are screened, they do not have glass allowing guests to listen to the sounds of the rainforest. Rooms do nothave air conditioning. These rooms have a wooden floor, a high ceiling and on most days, a nice breeze flowing through the room. Multiple bedding configurations are available. All rooms have a private shower with solar heated hot water, a ceiling fan, in-room safe, alarm clock, free wireless internet and a hair dryer. Each room has a front porch sitting area and hammock.

Luna Lodge

Luna Lodge

This hotel offers eight private bungalows, hacienda rooms and tents set on platforms.  The facilities also include a common room and dining area with views of the forest, the Carate River and the Pacific coast.  Luna Lodge has several walking trails and a large preserve with two waterfalls ideal for cooling off in. 

Call 800.234.9620
Duration
9 Days, 8 Nights
Trip Type
Land

Trip Highlights

  • IE's Custom Travel Planners can create individually tailored tours that match your style of travel, budget & timeline.