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.
Everything went smoothly, the flights were good as were the transfer vehicles. The bus to Puerto Natales was fine as were the minibuses for longer trips. I enjoyed the boat trips and the I really liked the zodiac trip on the Rio Serrano.PM, Wirral
The boat trip to the base of the Iguacu falls Argentinian side was exhilarating and awesome. The visit to Machu Pichu was even more impressive than we expected - our optional walk to the Inca bridge in the late afternoon was unforgettable.HJ, Potters Bar
Group tour was all memorable - for all the right reasons! A trip with JLA is a trip with the local experts. They respond quickly to challenges such as FCO advice not to visit an area and know the local people who can make the holiday really memorable. One other comment about Colombia - the people we encountered, of all ages, in the streets, shops, hotels etc were friendly, welcoming and the most polite I have met anywhere in the world!HR, Brentford
Jacana was a fascinating, very well organised 3 week tour through Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Lima taking in the highlights of each country. Every day gave us a new experience which will stay in our memories for a long time to come.VT, London
Jam packed itinerary with so many great places and sights in such a short time! Iguacu Falls, Rio, La Paz, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu- it really had it all. We had a great tour guide; informative, knowledgeable and extremely personable, with a wealth of knowledge and a genuine passion for South America. Logistics were seamless- first time travelling to South America, first time travelling solo- highly recommend it!LM, London
I would highly recommend this tour. The itinerary was very well chosen and we felt we saw as much as we could hope for in the time provided. The tour leader was highly professional and experienced, had excellent knowledge of the countries we visited and was available 24/7 for anything we needed. The local guides were excellent too and each gave us a special insight into the area we were visiting.MC, Australia
This is our 3rd trip with JLA and we look forward to our 4th. The best place to start planning holiday in South America, incredible wealth of knowledge and experience.LG, Richmond
Easter Island extension should be recommended to all. it was magical. The moai were amazing. Torres del Paine was also awe inspiring.JD, Buxton
Excellent as with the trip we did with you to Mexico last year. We have been to many countries in Latin America but only this trip and Mexico with JLA. I wish we had discovered JLA before.
Amazing trip, fab group, experienced guide and definitely value for money. Would highly recommend.AB, London
This tour brings Mexico's cultural and historical diversity vividly to life, and is an excellent introduction to this important Latin American country.JF, Cambridge
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
“Everything, from the planning, through to the actual journey, was excellently arranged. All connections were smooth and punctual and there was detailed information disseminated at every stage.”DH, Tufnell Park
Experiencing an interesting mix of Colombian landscapes and wildlife and getting a real feel of the country and its people. Particularly liked Mompos and the Magdelena river and seeing the wax palms in the Valle de Cocora.JB. Gosport
I saw truly unique scenery and interesting historical buildings & monuments but for me it was wonderful to see all that I did and stay in clean comfortable hotels on this 'Discovery' tour. Thank you JLA.MS, Lymington
Highlights? Friends have asked us this and we struggle because there were so many! The magic of Easter Island and we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were actually there and seeing sights which had excited and intrigued us for a long time. El Tatio geysers at dawn were stunning. The Perito Moreno Glacier on a beautiful sunny day was awesome. The 'reveal' moment at the end of the 4wd tour at Estancia Cristina seeing the panoramic view of the Upsala Glacier.LW, Chesterfield
This was my first trip with JLA. It was recommended by friends and as I have such a keen interest in Latin America I wanted to travel with experts like you. I am impressed by your itineraries, ethos and quality of guides. I look forward to travelling with you again in the near future.JR, London
Most memorable experience? - Boat trip at Tortuguero. Watching a falcon catch and eat a snake! Seeing Honduran White tent-building bats roosting under a Heliconium leaf.ST, York
A superb holiday for those with an interest in wildlife and environment. It is intense, but this results in a highly rewarding experience. The whole holiday was greatly enhanced by having a single guide throughout, who had extensive local knowledge and experience.
So many things - wonderful birds, Leon was very interesting, Copan was fascinating. This is our 4th trip with JLA and we have never been disappointed.LP, Honiton
Overall, the whole JLA experience has been first class. Would have no hesitation in recommending JLA to friends and family.MH, Leighton Buzzard
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.
"Getting to Machu Picchu after a 50 year dream was amazing. Although the whole of Bolivia was magical stunning scenery excellent guides and a surrealistic landscape."MF, Warwick
This was such a good trip, with varying sights and weather, from the tropics to perishing Patagonia!AW, Orpington
"Hats off to the Ecuadoreans for reinstating this railway line! It really is one of the world's great train journeys, and all managed with such style and comfort."AD, Newcastle
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
It was better than my wildest expectations, especially as value for money is very important for me and I saved 4 yrs for this trip it was worth every penny £ and $.JS, Malvern
'Untouched Aisen' is a tour which describes exactly what it is - a trip off the beaten track, away from people and exploring a truly wild and beautiful part of the world. It was my first visit to South America and a really memorable one.
It was our first experience of small group travel, and although on balance we prefer independant travel, to cover as many countries as we did, we couldn t have done it on our own!CS, Seaford
Every place we visited is just so different, it's hard to pick the most memorable. I loved it all.SB, Ilkley
This was my first visit to South America and although I realise we only scraped the surface of this vast continent,I feel that i have had the most amazing experience and very much hope to visit again.
The Iguazu Falls were awesome. We enjoyed all the places we visited. I was recommended JLA from someone who had used them before. We were not disappointed. We have had a really good time, seen so much and had the best tour leader. I am certainly going to use them again, and really hope we have Max again. Thank you JLA.CG, Stevenage
Most memorable experience? - Iguacu Falls were amazing. Boat trip under the falls and helicopter ride from the Brazilian side were truly memorable.
I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday to Brazil with JLA and was impressed with their organisation and local knowledge. Our tour guide, was excellent and went that 'extra mile' to make our holiday an enjoyable experience. During the Trogon itinerary I saw some amazing places not least, Rio de Janeiro, The Pantanal and Iguacu Falls. My private extension to Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais was also well organised and the local guides (both women) used for the private transfers looked after me very well. As a woman travelling alone it was good to know that my safety and security was a high priority.HP, Richmond
This tour packed in an amazing amount in such a large country. You might have liked longer at some sites, but that could have been very exhausting!NH, Grimsby
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.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
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
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.
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.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
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.