Community and Conservation in Costa Rica
Ten nights at Costa Rica's most pioneering and inspiring ecolodges
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury, eco-friendly accommodation throughout
- All tours mentioned
- All transfers and internal flights
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Designer and Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Costa Rica is a global leader in sustainability. With some 98% of electricity generated from renewable sources, and around a third of its territory protected, it’s on track to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2020.
It has also long been a celebrated ecotourism destination, and the lodges we have handpicked for this luxury tour are world-class pioneers in their sustainable practices, both protecting the rich ecosystems in which they work and in supporting the local community. This special itinerary allows you to discover the beauty and ‘pure life’ of Costa Rica knowing that your travel is benefitting the areas you explore.
Begin in the green mountains outside of San Jose at Finca Rosa Blanca where you’ll learn about and taste incredible organic coffee and chocolate before rafting through the rainforest to Pacuare Jungle Lodge. You’ll spend your days exploring this beautiful area on wildlife walks, treks and canopy tours. You’ll also meet the indigenous Cabecar tribe that live nearby.
Then it’s on to the cloud forests that surround El Silencio, hiking to its fabulous waterfall and experiencing the rural life of the Los Bajos del Toro Amarillo community. You’ll spend your final three days at the Lapa Rios, a multi-award-winning eco-lodge overlooking the Pacific, that is a model for sustainable luxury. Here, head out on forest hikes, bird watch or go ocean kayaking, horseback riding or surfing. Your time here contributes to the protection of an area of incredible biodiversity.
Example Trip Itinerary
The Coffee Valley
Private transfer from San Jose airport to Finca Rosa Blanca
Accommodation in The Coffee Valley
- 13 suites, two villas
- Restaurant and bar
- Coffee plantation
- Swimming pool
Finca Rosa Blanca is a luxurious and quirky little hotel set into an oasis of lush gardens and a private coffee plantation. The decoration is quite loud and Gaudi-esque with white stucco arches and colourful murals, but it’s fun, tranquil and the staff are immensely nice. The rooms are all different and pleasantly comfortable with one of the master suites set into the tower with wonderful views over the valley. Also being located in the hills above San Jose (about a half hour drive away), at night you can see the twinkling lights of the city below from this quiet, green perch. Throughout the hotel you’ll discover a large collection of art, crafts and objects collected from all over the world. Finca Rosa Blanca is a well-equipped hotel with a spa, pool and a restaurant serving some good regional food, not to mention its own coffee plantation to stroll through and sample some of the produce. The team at El Tigre Vestido and Bar Buho select their fresh ingredients daily from the hotel’s organic greenhouse and gardens. Their menus feature international flavours and Latin fusion recipes. Proactive sustainable practices and environmental consciousness are important to the team at Finca Rosa Blanca. One of their main priorities is to have a lasting positive impact on the local community. With that in mind, they provide education and arrange cultural exchanges. The hotel was the first certified sustainable hotel in Costa Rica, and it has since evolved to become the highest ranking member of the prestigious Sustainable Tourism Certification program.
It makes sense that Costa Rica’s fertile Central Valley, ringed by volcanoes and stretching in a verdant arc from San Ramon lying to the west of San Jose right round to Paraiso in the east, possesses perfect conditions for growing and producing some of the world’s best coffee.
Experience coffee through the ages; learn how coffee was discovered, traded and consumed, then stroll the lanes of the finca's organic sustainable coffee plantation and learn the entire process of organic cultivation and harvest. We will then take you through the processing of coffee, including cleaning the berries and drying them, ending with roasting your own coffee in the roasting and packing house.
Learn how the experts discern and rate gourmet coffee by participating in a 'coffee cupping' (catación) session with the knowledgeable Barista and Coffee Tour Guide.
Sit out on the spacious deck and enjoy the views of the volcanoes above and coffee fields below while sipping your cappuccino, enjoying fresh Rosa Blanca pastries and learning more about the benefits to the environment and the community of an organic sustainable coffee farm. This tour plus the cupping session will be about two hours.
Embark on a private tour and tasting at Sibú Chocolate for a fascinating journey through the history of cacao, from its origins as a sacred food of the gods to its use as a regional currency up to the 19th Century. You will discover how Europe transformed chocolate into the bars and witness the rebirth of chocolate as an artisan treat. SIBÚ’s signature dark chocolate is made solely with premium, locally sourced organic cacao beans and organic sugar. Of course they'll be a tasting too and you can savor gourmet truffles, caramel and pure dark chocolate tasting squares accompanied by spirited discussion about cacao genetics, terroir and the future of fine flavor chocolate. Visitors will also learn about how cacao is grown, the indigenous cosmology surrounding it, and the social and environmental importance of the cacao crop to Costa Rica and the region.
Before arriving at the banks of the Pacuare River, you’ll stop to enjoy an authentic Costa Rican breakfast. Expert guides will explain safety precautions and provide you with the necessary rafting gear before the rafting adventure begins. Once in the water, you’ll experience sheer exhilaration as you face the challenge of each huge wave, battling surging waters down miles of raging rapids.
The journey takes just over an hour and a half as the river passes through scenic canyons where crystal clear waterfalls plummet down into the rapidly coursing river below. Tall trees and dense green vegetation come right down to the water’s edge. The thick undergrowth of this protected area provides shelter for a variety of tropical animals and birds, including some endangered species.
Accommodation in Pacuare Reserve
- 20 bungalows and suites
- Restaurant and bar
- Wine cellar
- Private plunge pools
It could be the remote and unrivalled seclusion of Pacuare Lodge’s setting in 740 acres of primary rainforest or its luxury cabins emerging from the thick milieu of foliage that makes this a great place to stay: but the combination is what transforms it into a truly unique one. The Pacuare Reserve is home to toucans, howler monkeys, and a large variety of birds meaning your stay here is an intimate one with nature and located on the banks of the Pacuare River the hotel has the advantage of offering a wealth of activities, such as expert wildlife and jungle expeditions all right from your canopy threshold. Simply but sumptuously furnished with polished wood floors, local art and open-plan living, the 20 bungalows and suites are constructed with local wood timber frames and palm thatch roofs expertly embrace this tropical habitat and jungle lifestyle. The choice of rooms and suites range from luxury garden bungalows and riverside suites to tree-top honeymoon and Linda Vista suites that look out onto unparalleled views of the river and jungle. Some have their own private infinity plunge pools. At night the lodge is lit by candlelight, creating a magical honeycomb-like effect, and delicious food is served at the main restaurant along with wines from its own cellar. There is also a beautiful new swimming pool, heated by special radiating tiles.
During your stay here you will be able to take part in a range of different activities to experience the magical, natural environment of the Pacuare Reserve, exploring some of Costa Rica’s most biologically diverse tropical rainforests with the perfect combination of river rafting, rainforest hiking, canopy, and exquisite cuisine in beautiful, exotic and blissful surroundings. Tours here range from the adrenaline rush of the highest canopy tour in the country to cultural exchanges with the native Cabecar Indians who are scattered throughout the Talamanca Mountain region.
The Cabécar Indians are Costa Rica’s largest tribe. They traditionally live in small family groups scattered across the jungle, which has helped them to maintain their way of life. Take a short hike through the forest to a meet the son of a local shaman who will introduce to his culture and customs and show you around a traditional settlement.
The action begins with a safety orientation and donning of specialized equipment. You then begin an unhurried trek through tropical rainforest up to the first platform - this twenty-minute hike into the Pacuare Lodge’s private reserve will transport you into an unspoiled realm of gorgeous views and magnificent scenery; a haven for bird watchers and nature seekers, and offers an unprecedented glimpse of Costa Rica’s biological diversity.
Once strapped in, feel the adrenaline of dramatic views, rappelling down towering trees and sliding along cables from tree to tree as you descend the jungle cloaked mountain toward the Pacuare Lodge for a final thrilling rappel that leaves you just steps away from our main lodge. You will experience this excitement secure in the knowledge that you are safely anchored with a safety harness, providing a unique experience that no other tour of this type offers. Two hours of unforgettable adventure in the tree tops!
This tour lets you experience the adventure sport of canyoning, or canyoneering, which combines hiking, climbing and rappelling. The adventure includes a hike through the rainforest and exploration of El Tesorito Creek Canyon, where you’ll make several short rappels perfect for learning the technique before an exhilarating rappel down a 30-meter (90-foot) rock wall.
An expert naturalist guide will lead you from the Pacuare Lodge along a series of sites from which you can observe buzzing hummingbirds, dancing butterflies and exquisite tropical flowers. The area around the lodge is home to an extraordinary number of exotic bird species that include the Sun Bittern, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Black-cheeked Woodpecker and a variety of colourful toucans.
After breakfast you will raft out from the lodge on a two hour journey to meet your onward transfer.
The Central Cloud Forests
Transfer to El Silencio
Accommodation in The Central Cloud Forests
- 16 freestanding chalets
- Two villas
- Two restaurants
- Yoga Deck
- Nature Trails
- Organic gardens
- Farm and greenhouse
Immerse yourself in the bucolic ‘zen’ of El Silencio hotel. This relaxing and wholesome eco-lodge imitates rural Costa Rican style and “pura vida”. The 16 luxury, free-standing and stilted casitas peer over the 500-acre private reserve cloud forest canopy on the edge of the Juan Castro Blanco National Park. They are built with the immediate nature very much in mind, based on the native-style cottages and using lots of light and dark woods, bamboo and glass, yet they remain elegantly modern, minimal, spacious and comfortable. There are no TVs or internet but they are equipped with gas fireplaces, private terraces and Jacuzzis making your casita feel especially cosy and romantic at night. The hotel strives to exist in harmony with its bio-diverse and delicate fauna setting. Organic gardens, a greenhouse and small farm help to sustain the hotel and its ethical concepts; guests see and taste the delicious and fresh benefits of this at El Silencio’s Las Ventanas Restaurant and Hierbabuena Restaurant. Take part in spa treatments, eco-adventures, expeditions to the Poas volcano or even do your bit and plant a tree; these are just some of ways to while away the tropical hours at the hotel. Only two hours north of San Jose, with its relaxing and private atmosphere you’ll feel a whole world away at El Silencio.
Time to enjoy the natural evergreen environment of the misty Cloud Forests. If you wish we can arrange privately guided activities to fill your time here. Perhaps you would like to take a privately guided walk along the nature trails, enjoy a canopy tour, horse ride through the misty forests or take some time to practice some Yoga.
Today you have the opportunity to go on a guided hike to the three waterfalls: El Silencio (Silence), El misterio (Mistery) and La Promesa (the Promise).
This guided tour takes you to the hotel's hometown of Los Bajos del Toro Amarillo, a rural community which blossoms with its strong cultural traditions, sublime scenery and exquisite wildlife. Your trip will include a visit to the private garden of Don Martin Porras, a local orchid enthusiast. With over 400 orchid species ranging from the smaller variety to shoe-shaped specimens, his vast collection will impress and can be viewed by a magnifying glass for an unusual micro-safari experience. The tour will then continue with stops including the local school, church, soccer field and at Doña Olga’s Pulpería. Here you can palm fresh tortillas and buy some delicious local pastries.
Private transfer from Cloud Forest hotel to San Jose airport
Flight from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez
You will be met by your private guide and vehicle in arrivals and be privately transferred to your hotel in the Corcovado National Park.
Accommodation in Corcovado
- 17 bungalows
- Restaurant and bar
- Swimming pool
- Yoga area
You don’t have to forego luxury in favour of natural beauty at the safari-style eco-lodge Lapa Rios. Located in one of the most diverse primary rainforests in the world, the Corcovado National Park, this ethically-responsible hotel does all it can to blend inconspicuously into its delicate surroundings and to create as little disturbance to the environment as possible. Guests enjoy exceptional intimacy with nature in authentic comfort. Its lodgings are 17 simple, spacious and stylish open-sided thatch bungalows decorated with bamboo furniture, warm wood flooring, and private bathrooms with two showers. As such Lapa Rios’ assimilation into its rainforest habitat means that you often get toucans visiting your bungalow balcony, and the adventure and wildlife activities have never been so close to hand. There are no TVs, phones or internet in the bungalows, so it’s the perfect place to escape and unwind completely. The hotel and each bungalow have sweeping views of the Pacific and rainforest canopies, and it’s a short downhill walk to a quiet and beautiful beach for a dip in the ocean. The main lodge has a high roof and open sides, magically lit by candlelight in the evenings. Tuck into hearty meals made using responsibly-caught local seafood, ethically-sourced meat and fresh vegetables at Brisa Azul Restaurant and Bar. And sip on organic South American wines with your fellow guests as the sunsets.
Activities at Lapa Rios are focused around the rainforest and the nearby ocean. Enjoy two tours daily and a range of activities such as birding tours, trips to see waterfalls, day and night jungle walks, surf lessons, sea and mangrove kayaking, horse riding and use of the spa.
Private transfer to Puerto Jimenez airport
Flight from Puerto Jimenez to San Jose
Get in Touch
Community and Conservation in 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.