Classic Costa Rica
The highlights of Costa Rica: Tortuguero, Arenal and Manuel Antonio
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- All transfers and internal flights
- All tours mentioned
- Full support from your Travel Designer and Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Costa Rica may be small, but it certainly packs a punch. Home to lush jungle, rugged coasts and incredible wildlife, it is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure.
On this trip, you’ll start in Tortuguero National Park, an intricate network of rivers, lagoons and canals. Sloths swing through the canopy, caiman lurk beneath the water’s surface and the birds compete with howler monkeys for airtime. The best way to explore this incredible environment is by boat, getting up close to its inhabitants and getting to understand this delicate ecosystem.
You will then spend three nights in Arenal, rafting along its rapids, zip lining through the forest and walking along its famous hanging bridges where you can appreciate the great diversity of flora and fauna.
The final stop on your adventure is Manuel Antonio National Park. There is so much to do here from hiking and nature tours to swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. The park is also home to lots of wildlife, so you can spend time hanging out with some of Costa Rica’s most important residents before heading home.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer to your hotel in San Jose
Accommodation in San Jose
- 40 rooms
- Spa (massages only)
- Two Jacuzzis
- Rooftop terrace
This traditional and elaborate mansion in the city’s downtown district is surprisingly cosy, but naturally classy and luxurious. Grano de Oro is a grand and tropical Victorian casona, very familial in feel with its heavily embellished interiors strewn with antiques, faded family photos, original art pieces, dark woods, deep carpets and stone tiles. Lit by the warm glow of wall lanterns, its forty rooms are well equipped with TVs and internet. Choose a standard room for comfort and a more modern style. Both the views and decor improve with the category rank. The Vista de Oro suite is wonderfully decorated in period ceramic floor tiles, wood panelling, with rich rugs and throws. The Garden Suite is similarly adorned but also has its own private garden and patio. On the ground floor is the restaurant with half its tables set in the hotel’s charming atrium circling a Spanish-tiled fountain surrounded by stained glass windows and the shuttered corridor balconies spilling over with vivid green plant life. The chef is French, the menu extensive, and its tables are often frequented by locals as well as guests. At night the rooftop terrace is a great place to relax, have a drink or try out the Jacuzzi. Set in the heart of San Jose in the Barrio don Bosco neighbourhood, this is a delightful hotel; a great place for exploring the city or stopping over on your way further into Costa Rica or flying out.
- 24 villas
- Three swimming pools
- TV and DVD room
Its innovative design and fun tropical decoration is what makes Xandari quite a one-off hotel in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. Set in 40 acres of plantation gardens and only twenty minutes from San Jose international airport, this is an ideal hilltop hideaway if you’re just beginning or ending your trip. Surrounded by lush vegetation, the terraces offer spectacular views of the majestic Central Valley. With an architect and artist for owners, Xandari has definitely felt the force of their creativity and the hotel is adorned with extraordinary sculptures, tropical colours that imitate the fiercely vivid flora, tapestries, mosaics, paintings and stained glass. Its 24 spacious terraced villas offer stylish seclusion, vibrant comfort, beautiful valley views, and come with kitchenettes and a small garden. The atmosphere is relaxed and the staff immensely friendly. Xandari’s grounds have four kilometres of trails filled with native birds to watch, and there’s also an orchid house, greenhouse, orchards, and organic gardens supplying the hotel’s restaurant. The farm-to-table menu includes a variety of healthy choices from Costa Rician specialities to Mediterranean and Californian dishes. Massages, facials and mud wraps are just some of the treatments on hand at the hotel’s well-appointed Spa village. Guests are invited to plant native trees during their stay at Xandari. Trees, bushes and flowers which especially attract, feed and provide shelter to the various types of birds and butterflies are chosen to be added to the gardens.
Enjoy your evening in this metropolitan capital city, relaxing at your hotel after your flight.
Boat and road transfer to your lodge
Accommodation in Tortuguero
- 12 rooms
- Swimming pool
Located right on the water, with a friendly and cosy atmosphere, first class service and comfortable cabins it’s no wonder that Manatus is hailed as one the best hotels in the Tortuguero. The 12 rooms are typically ‘Tico’ (Costa Rican) in style, spacious, well equipped, and comfortable with a real sense of privacy. With natural wood furniture and warm colours, the rooms are designed to make you feel connected to the surrounding wildlife and canals. And by simply stepping off the hotel’s private jetty onto their motorboats you can begin days discovering the national park and its teeming wildlife with comprehensive tour programs and naturalist guides. Then there’s kayaking along the canals, fishing, hiking or simply relaxing on the hotel’s waterside decking. The specially designed Afro-Caribbean fusion menu at Ara Macaw gourmet restaurant is sure to delight your senses. Choose one of the special combinations of local Caribbean flavours and scents, or opt for a more cosmopolitan dish. Then the perfect place to spend a tropical evening is at Morpho Bar where there are a variety of cocktails to choose from. Take a dip in the outdoor pool overlooking the Tortuguero canals and fringed with swaying palms. Strolling through the hotel’s beautiful gardens you’ll discover a world of tropical flowers, exotic plants and vibrant birdlife. Rates include transfers to and from the hotel, all meals, guided tours and the national park entrance fee.
- 27 river view rooms
- Swimming pool
A pleasant riverside hotel one mile north of the Tortuguero Town, this jungle lodge is typically Costa Rican in its flamboyant style and offers a perfect location right on the river’s edge of the watery wilderness. There are 27 simple and comfortable jungle lodge-style rooms. The lack of televisions in the rooms allow guests to fully appreciate the sounds of the tropical rainforest. In fact, the atmosphere in the lodge as a whole is laid back, and tranquil. The hotel’s restaurant dishes up creative contemporary takes on traditional Costa Rican meals. The chef’s team weaves the tastes, textures and aromas of tropical ingredients into every meal. Dine at a table suspended over the river and its banks. Bring the day to a close with Caribbean-themed cocktails at the bar. Unwind at the pool and enjoy the river views, or while away the hours in the hammocks down on the southern point. Be sure to make time to explore the well-kept tropical gardens. You can either take a tour with Tortuguero’s naturalist guide, or stroll through the plantation-style property yourself. As you wander between the buildings and gardens, keep and eye open for iguanas and toucans.
Spend your days here in the 'Land of the Turtles' exploring the myriad of waterways and nature trails with your expert guides, and relaxing to the sound of the jungle from your lodge. Other more adventurous activities such as kayaking, fishing and walking are available, as are more specialist wildlife excursions. Talk to your travel designer about how you would like to spend your time here. The turtle nesting season is July to October.
Private transfer to Arenal
Accommodation in Arenal
- 103 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants
- Four bars
- Swimming pool
- Thermal springs (not private)
Tabacon is a beautiful and serene luxury hotel, located at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano. It is set within 900 acres of lush, tropical grounds through which Costa’s Rica’s largest network of hot springs flows. This rainforest retreat is tucked away on a winding road that climbs up from the small village of La Fortuna. There are 103 rooms and suites that look out over the rainforest and gardens. Decor is contemporary and elegant and feature artwork and furnishings from Costa Rican artists. The River Tabacon feeds into waterfalls and warm pools lined with soft, black sand and guests staying at Tabacon will enjoy full use of the thermal mineral springs. The water is heated by the volcano and the temperature in the pools ranges between 72 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Head upstream and you’ll find the Shangri-La Gardens, an adult-only hideaway with six pools, cocoon-shaped cabanas and bar. The open-air spa offers a range of rejuvenating treatments, made all the more relaxing by the idyllic surroundings and sounds of the rainforest. There are two restaurants offering a mix of Costa Rican and international cuisine, as well as four bars.
- 35 villas
- Private gardens and terraces
- Private plunge pools
- Spa and yoga pavillion
- Lap pool and swim-up bar
This boutique hotel encompasses all things luxurious, with views overlooking the grand Arenal Volcano, beautiful villas and a state-of-the-art spa and yoga pavilion. Privacy is as well taken care of as luxury, sitting outside the Costa Rican town of La Fortuna, Nayara Springs provides the perfect amount of seclusion at around three hours from the capital, San Jose. Each of the 35 villas is nestled among the floral gardens of the tropical rainforest and boasts its own personal pool, a spacious private garden with outdoor shower, a sumptuous four-poster bed, alongside both indoor and outdoor seating areas. A rich array of natural wildlife awaits, and guests can enjoy it from their private terrace, or by taking a tour through the Arenal Volcano National Park. Guests can then unwind by indulging in a treatment at the spa, heading to the yoga pavilion or swimming pool, or enjoying a drink at the stylish piano bar. Cuisine at Nayara Springs is served at the lovely poolside restaurant, Amor-Loco, where fresh fish, Latin American inspired sushi and organic home-grown vegetables all grace the menu.
- 50 rooms (mix of casitas and villas)
- Pool with three Jacuzzis
- Swim-up pool bar
- Wine and tapas bar
- Three restaurants
Voted one of South America’s most romantic hotels, the Nayara is a fitting choice for those looking for a private getaway in the Arenal. Nestled in the green valleys at the foot of the spectacular Arenal Volcano are Nayara’s 50 luxury rooms -29 casitas and 21 rainforest villas. Large screened windows open up allowing for plenty of natural light. The decor is simple, but but neat with lashings of tropical orange, the greens of encroaching foliage, fine bed linen, dark wood furniture and polished floors. The privacy of the cottages and their amenities, with terrace, Jacuzzi and garden, makes this an ideal hideaway for the newly hitched or those after a romantic retreat. Even though Nayara is a resort, the staff make every effort to treat you in a very personal manner and the service is impeccable. Also if you feel like getting out of your casita and enjoying some of the area’s activities and adventures you will be spoilt for choice. For relaxation, however, head to the hotel’s spa for a massage, coffee scrub or a volcanic mud bath. Perched atop a cliff and overlooking the forest, it’s the ideal place to unwind and rejuvenate.
During your time in Arenal, there are a huge number of activities that we can arrange for you. There are adventure activities for the adrenalin junkies as well as options for those who want to enjoy the area at a more leisurely pace. Your travel designer will be able to guide you through the different options, so that you choose the excursions best suited to your interests.
Combine nature and adventure as you get involved with white water rafting in an amazing isolated rainforest river canyon in Arenal. Once you have had your safety talk and your guide has taken you through paddling instructions, delve into exciting and safe rolling rapids and peaceful river pools. Don't forget to look out for the varied wildlife surrounding you, including monkeys, sloths and tropical birds.
Enjoy this thrilling aerial adventure starting from a tower 13m (43 feet) high and glide your way down eight galvanized stainless steel cables, ranging from 80m (262 feet) to 750m (2460 feet) in length, with an average height of 38m (125 feet). Speeds will top 60km/h (37mph)! All of the 14 platforms, five of which are constructed in trees, are strategically designed at varying heights to allow the clients to observe the rainforest from different angles and photograph the awe-inspiring scenery.
Embark on a private tour through the Arenal Reserve's suspension bridges and primary rainforest. This tour is both a fun and an educational way to get to know more about this natural environment. The trails you will be led through are designed for all levels of trekkers and cover about 3100m (10,170 feet) of the mountainous zone. The walking part of your tour is about 3km (1.9 miles) in length so you can admire the great diversity of flora and fauna found here.
Private transfer to Manuel Antonio
Accommodation in Manuel Antonio
- 38 rooms
- Two restaurants
- Beach bar
- Swimming pools
Sitting in 11 acres of its own private nature reserve and bookended by the stunning Playa Espadilla and Playitas beach, Arenas del Mar is a superb hotel for enjoying the delights of Manuel Antonio National Park which is within walking distance. The rooms, of which there are 38, are all well equipped with private balconies looking out onto the Pacific Ocean and surrounding coastal islands. As a leader in the trend of sustainable hotels in this country, Arenas del Mar prides itself on its eco-conscious practices and ethos and the service is both friendly and efficient. The two restaurants at the hotel place a strong emphasis on fresh, wholesome and local food. The menus showcase gourmet Costa Rican cuisine and responsibly-caught seafood. There are also delicious vegetarian and vegan options available. There are a number of tours and activities to choose from so you can really take advantage of all that the area has to offer (and it offers a lot) or simply relax on the hotel’s private beach, at the poolside or indulge in a spa treatment or two.
- 58 rooms
- Two pools
- Two restaurants and a bar
- Butterfly garden
- Wildlife centre
Tucked on a hillside along the Central Pacific coast you’ll discover Si Como No, a 10-acre resort and wildlife refuge. Make yourself at home and relax on one of the hotel’s lush jungle terraces, enjoy the views out over the beautiful gardens towards the sea and Manuel Antonio National Park. Design meets comfort in the 58 rooms which have been purposefully set against the contours of the jungle hillside, giving the impression that they are seamlessly connected to the surrounding tropical forests. Very Costa Rican in style, fun and family-friendly, Si Como No’s extensive facilities and reliable service makes it one of the best equipped and relaxed barefoot luxury hotels in Manuel Antonio. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and it’s worth getting a room in the newer part of the hotel or perhaps even a deluxe one which have great views of the Pacific Ocean. Colourful, tropical interiors, stained glass windows and lots of natural wood illustrate the very Tico character of the hotel. There is also a well-appointed spa offering massages and beauty treatments, two restaurants, a butterfly garden, wildlife centre and even a 45-seater cinema. The hotel’s location near the smallest yet second most popular national park in the country with 4000 hectares of rainforest and 136,000 acres of marine reserve means a plentiful choice of local activities and adventure expeditions.
- 20 rooms
- Pool bar
- Infinity pool
- Spa and gym
Nonchalantly set in its own private nature reserve, Gaia stands out in the Manuel Antonio resort area as a very stylish and modern hotel with that intimate boutique twist. The hotel’s immersion commands wonderful seclusion, tranquillity and uninterrupted rooftop views, making Gaia a perfect hideaway for honeymooners or for those looking for style, privacy and pampering. Its minimal design and luxury are in stark contrast to the tangled jungle packed around it. The 20 rooms fall into four categories of which the suites (Deluxe and Gaia) or the two-bedroom villas are highly recommended, in particular, the deluxe suite has a rooftop terrace with fantastic vistas and its own pool. At La Luna, you can indulge in local and international flavours for breakfast, lunch dinner, and every evening they host a Tapas Time. Enjoy the panoramic views of the tropical rainforest and the Pacific Ocean while you savour the fresh, healthy dishes. The size of the hotel means it manages a high level of bespoke service, with your own personalised concierge, room service at any time, and a free shuttle minibus into town or to the airport. Head out in Manuel Antonio National Park on guided tours, go hiking and horse riding, and spend time in the water snorkelling and scuba diving.
- 27 rooms
- Two infinity pools
- Restaurant and bar
- Private beach access
- Kitchens in villas
Describing itself as “a jungle getaway for discerning adults”, Makanda certainly delivers on luxury, uninterrupted seclusion and romance. Recent renovations have extended its accommodation offering and incorporated more natural materials like marble and wood into the design, and added bespoke artworks as features. The 27 rooms and suites are fully immersed in a haven of southern Pacific rainforest between the fishing port of Quepos and the Manuel Antonio National Park. The décor is stylish, modern and typically tropical with the odd indigenous piece of art so as not to completely displace you from your rich flora surroundings and native appreciation. All the accommodation is spaciously designed with lots of amenities, sea views, and terraces so that all you’ll need is right there in your room. Communal spaces are cosier, giving this hideaway a tranquil character. The villas are all individually decorated and are an even more secluded option with their own kitchens and mini Japanese gardens, perfect for honeymooners or couples. Enjoy uncomplicated dishes featuring fresh local ingredients at Arbol Restaurant. Old recipes and familiar tastes are celebrated and reimagined. With amazing ocean views, the restaurant has been designed to make the most of its jungle setting.
This is the country's most popular coastal retreat for many a reason, namely its controlled development, marine reserves, national parks and white-sanded beaches. You can enjoy both the secluded, relaxing side of this location as well as the many water activities on offer - scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, kayaking and dolphin spotting.
Tour one of Costa Rica’s most stunning national parks on the Manuel Antonio National Park hike. An experienced guide, while taking you through this natural world of wonder that is bursting with biodiversity, will point out several species of monkeys, sloths, coatimundis and much more.
Created in 1972 to preserve the richness of the forest and the idyllic beaches, Manuel Antonio is home to many of Costa Rica's endangered species. Despite being one of the country's smallest national parks, it is regarded as one of its best.
Private transfer to San Jose airport
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Classic Costa Rica
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.