Overview & Highlights
Costa Rica is well known for the proliferation of its wildlife. Spot exotic quetzals, tiny tree-frogs and three species of monkey in locations chosen for their wildlife viewing potential.
- Guided boat excursion in Tortuguero National Park
- Guided excursion to the Ecotermales hot springs at Arenal
- Birdwatching with naturalist guide
- Whale and dolphin watching, Corcovado National Park
- Guided hiking in Corcovado National Park
On this wildlife-focused holiday you explore the Caribbean jungle channels and mangrove forests of the Tortuguero reserve; bathe in naturally heated thermal springs in the shadow of the picture-perfect Arenal volcano, and cruise through wetlands sheltering thousands of migrating birds. Head on to explore the little-visited but bird-prolific Bosque de Paz cloud forest reserve. Finally, move on to the Pacific coast and another wildlife experience at a jungle lodge on the remote Osa Peninsula.
Costa Rica is one of the most rewarding countries in the world for wildlife observation, with a long and impressive history of conservation and eco-tourism allowing species to flourish. The comprehensive network of national parks with their extensive trails is always very accessible. The compact country is bursting with an extraordinary diversity of landscapes, flora and fauna, and this private wildlife observation journey gives you all the opportunity to explore its national parks in various eco-systems.
Arrive in San José and transfer to your hotel.
By air and river to Tortuguero Jungle Reserve.
Wildlife spotting excursion and village visit in Tortuguero.
Fly and drive to Arenal volcano area.
Guided wildlife spotting expedition.
Guided excursion to the Ecotermales hot springs.
Transfer to Bajos del Toro.
Optional guided tour of a nature reserve.
At leisure with optional jungle walks.
Transfer to airstrip and fly to the Pacific coast’s Osa Peninsula, transfer to lodge.
Snorkelling expedition; whale and dolphin watching in season.
Wildlife-spotting hike in Corcovado National Park.
Transfer to airstrip and fly to San José.
Transfer to airport for international flight home.
Things to do
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What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
As always, JLA provides very experienced guides and this ensures the success of the trip. They are very knowledgeable and go out of their way to ensure clients get a great experience.VH, Australia
Every day was memorable for some reason - the reason for being there was to see Aisen - so the cities perhaps less memorable - but our tour leader made these interesting for us with visits to Tigre and Valpariso Advice for future travellers would be to venture into the undiscovered and be prepared to enjoy the majestic, varied, beauty of Aisen. A great trip made into a superb trip by the participation, laughter and respect of all involved!CR, Isle of Mull
The bright colours of the towns and cities, buildings, fruit and vegetables, flowers and trees!CS, Guildford
The overall experience was friendly and efficient, seeing the most amazing places from high up in the desert to the wilds of Patagonia.CB, Beckenham
Great experience from JLA from start to end.JD, Bristol
Northern Peru is currently a little less discovered which makes travel there more rewarding. The people have not been jaded with excess tourism and are truly welcoming. The wealth of ancient sites and beauty of the countryside means it deserves to be more visited - and it will be!CP, Manchester
I had an absolutely wonderful holiday and saw things I had been longing to for a long time. Thank you.CK, Clacton-on-Sea
"Walking up to and then seeing Machu Picchu for the first time, visiting the floating Islands on Lake Titicaca , All of the Galapagos Islands visited but in particular swimming with a sea lion and seeing a Galapagos penquin up close and personal!"NHH, West Byfleet
The boat trip,down the river, the waterfall and above all the trip,through the mango swamps and seeing the flamingos it was magical. However the archeological trips to the different pyramids were also amazing.IR, Malta
It was overall an excellent experience.
A wonderful, memorable trip - so happy we chose JLA and the Condor tour - thanks to all the team, and to the tour leader especially. The itinerary was really well thought out and the Bolivia part was an unexpected bonus! This was my first ever visit to Latin America, and our first ever experience of a group tour. I m sure we will be doing both again with JLA.HS, London
Excellent professional service both before and during the holiday. Would certainly recommend Journey Latin America as a company to discover South America with.EW, Weston-Super-Mare
"I saw hummingbirds, swam in the Caribbean, had a ride in a 1952 bright pink chevrolet and had guava and pineapple for breakfast. There was music, fun and sunshine everywhere. Our guide wanted us to meet her favourites - musicians, craftsmen, service people, who all had passion."PB, Romsey
This isn't a specific part of the trip, but I do think that the variety of locations and activities available is excellent. It is a busy tour but, personally, I enjoyed this and am pleased that the coverage is as good as it is of such large countries as, travelling that far, I do want to see and do as much as possible. I also found the extension I did suited my requirements well.JP, Holmfirth
Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams? (Tennyson). I had long dreamt of travelling to South America, so I booked and went, and my dreams came true. The dreams were wondrous while they lasted and although now inevitably they start to fade, into their place comes a welter of brilliant, enduring, magical memories. And so the theme of this letter is thank you JLA!PM, Hampstead
The overall Pato Andino experience was truly fantastic, the sheer number of breath taking sights to marvel at was incredible. Too many [memorable moments] to list but if I had to name one then seeing Laguna Blanca as it was the first breath taking sight of the trip for me and it wasn't just the altitude.AB, Chesterfield
As a first taste of South America with limited annual leave, you couldn't fault this two week itinerary for the amount of ground it covered. It has given me a real appetite to spend more time in Argentina and Chile - I feel like we literally scratched the surface of what these incredible countries have to offer - and I would definitely like to go back and spend more time exploring these two in particular. Our experience of travelling with a JLA guide was absolutely amazing - I would always recommend this.ES, Redhill
Journey Latin America provided us with what we wanted and it seemed to be a sentiment shared by the group as several of us had looked at other organisations and had found them unsatisfactory.EU, London
We have toured the USA, Europe and China before but the experience we had with JLA was the by far and away the best we've ever had!PD, Stockport
The Central American trip was excellent - really interesting to see the contrast in the countries. Could have spent longer in each country, but then that would have made the trip much longer!PG, Winchester
This trip exceeded our expectations. A thoroughly enjoyable and intriguing insight into the history, culture and scenery of Guatemala and Belize and its ancient Mayan civilisation. And great fun too. Well judged, well balanced and really well executed. Well done JLA!WB, Steyning
Would be wrong to say a most memorable. Everyday was amazing. Machu Picchu was my fave. That's because I've always wanted to go there. 100's of memories all good. From places to even just having dinner with the group. Had some one in a million moments.SW, Crewe
Lots of things, but, the statue of Christ the redeemer, iguazu falls, the tango dinner show, BOLIVIA, The group leader is a major part of the trip. A person who can bring a group of strangers together and make them join in, is worth their weight in gold?MD, Hawick
This was such a good trip, with varying sights and weather, from the tropics to perishing Patagonia!AW, Orpington
“Having previously travelled to Patagonia on a Classic tour we knew what the standards are and didn't consider anyone else. Our confidence was fully justified.”IJB, Birmingham
A really fantastic holiday. The organisation , accommodation, excursions, fellow group members and our superb tour leader all contributed to a wonderful experience.DB, Bedford
Impossible! Without exception every part of the trip was memorable and as the holiday progressed we ran out of superlatives to describe it!
This was an extremely well thought out and planned trip which gave us an excellent introduction to the 3 countries and left us impatient to return. It was a great mix of the iconic sights and less visited places of natural beauty. The group we were with were great, the tour leader was outstanding - and we really find it hard to recommend improvements.
This trip was our introduction to Latin America and it greatly exceeded our expectations. A varied and well organised trip which gave us a real feel for the countries we visited, with an outstanding tour leader. The holiday left us wanting to return to explore other parts of the continent and we would certainly travel with JLA again.
The Iguacu Falls were spectacular and most likely the most impressive Falls I will ever see. We were absolutely spellbound by the magnitude, scale and layout. Obviously, Machu Picchu takes your breath away. Nature and man-made wonders at their best!PK, Ashton-Under-Lyne
The trip surpassed our expectations and I have already recommended Journey Latin America to friends and even to people I talked to on a bus in Machu Picchu, one of whom was from the U.S.A.
The birds were wonderful - especially the time spent looking for, and finding, the Resplendent Quetzal. Also the camaraderie and the laughs with the group members, the tour leader and the driver.FW, Dornoch
Amazing trip, fab group, experienced guide and definitely value for money. Would highly recommend.AB, London
Overall an absolutely fantastic holiday. Arranged at last minute, there is no way that we would have been able to organise something like this on our own. Everything ran smoothly, the group leader was extremely helpful and the group got on very well together, in spite of a large age range. Thanks very much!RB, Kettering
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.