Print this trip dossier

Journey Latin America asks you to accept cookies for performance and social media purposes. We use cookies on our website to personalise content, evaluate website traffic and enhance performance. You can delete or restrict cookies via your web browser. To get more information about these cookies and the processing of your personal data see our Cookie Policy. Do you accept these cookies and the processing of personal data involved? Find out more


Explore and Relax in Costa Rica: Volcanoes to the beach

Send an Enquiry
*
Contact details
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
Print-Friendly dossier

Combine outdoor adventures with beach wind-down time on the Pacific coast. Costa Rica is bursting with an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna and its people are among the friendliest in Latin America. The comprehensive network of national parks with their extensive trails is always very accessible. This short holiday uses modern, shared minibuses for transport between hotels.

Begin your adventure with a couple of days exploring the beautiful landscapes in the shadow of the picture-perfect Arenal Volcano Move on to discover the densely packed canopy in the Monteverde cloud forest, with its rich bird and animal life on display. After this, travel to the Pacific coast and stay at a beach resort on the Nicoya Peninsula for a few days’ relaxation.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in San José and transfer to countryside resort..

Day 2

At leisure on the property.

Day 3

By road to Arenal volcano area.

Day 4

Excursion to the hot springs at Ecotermales

Day 5

Optional hanging bridges, lake kayaking or Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.

Day 6

Drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve; twilight tour.

Day 7

Guided exploration of Santa Elena Reserve.

Day 8

Transfer to beach resort hotel on the Nicoya Peninsula, Pacific coast.

Days 9-10

At leisure on the beach.

Day 11

Transfer to airport for international flight home.

VIEW FULL ITINERARY DETAILS
Read more

Visit Us

What our experts say

With this trip we wanted to show that you don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy Costa Rica. We’ve chosen to include some relaxing activities such as soaking in Arenal’s hot springs and we’ve selected luxury properties throughout – enjoying a candlelit dinner on a beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean is a particularly romantic way of ending this Costa Rican escape.

Rafe Stone

Rafe Stone

Product and Marketing

Places visited on this holiday

Explore and Relax in Costa Rica: Volcanoes to the beach

Back to list of places visited
San Jose, central highlands and central valleys
Central San José
Costa Rica’s busy capital, San José, is a city on the move, where the choking traffic and crowds are mitigated by the eager friendliness of the people. There are some good museums and excellent restaurants but no colonial core: it’s a modern place, full of offices, North American style bars and malls - many US citizens visit or are resident in the country and their cultural influence is strong. The landscapes around however are delicious, both in the rolling coffee country of the highlands and in the fertile central valley, watched over by the smouldering Poás and Irazú volcanoes.
When's the best time to go to San Jose and central highlands?

If good weather is your priority, choose the dry season Dec - Apr when there is plenty of sun. The green (i.e. rainy) season is quieter in terms of number of visitors. San José, at 1,150m, has a pleasant climate with temperatures averaging 15-25°C.

What's the official language of San Jose and central highlands?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in San Jose and central highlands?

Colón. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. You may have to authorise your bank first, and withdrawals may be limited to amounts lower than in the UK. US dollars cash can be exchanged in banks too.

What's the time difference between San Jose and central highlands?

GMT -5 hours.

What places combine well with San Jose and central highlands?

A visit to the Caribbean or Pacific coasts for a beach wind down; Arenal, in the north, the most spectacular volcano; Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, for excellent bird watching. There are light aircraft flights from San José airport to many destinations. Costa Rica is a tiny country so road journeys, even winding ones through the highlands, are relatively short. Some roads are in good condition while others are poor and  require 4WD vehicles

How do I get to San Jose and central highlands?

There is a direct flight from London Gatwick to San José (11 hrs) as well as non-direct flights via US and European hubs.

What are the cultural events in San Jose and central highlands?
International Arts Festival: San José, Mar. Music, dance, film art exhibitions.
Independence Day: San José, 15 Sep. music and dancing in the streets starting the evening before.
El Tope: San José, 26 Dec. A horse parade through the city is followed by fairs, fireworks and bull-running south of the city.

Back to list of places visited
Arenal and the north
Arenal Volcano
The pleasingly conical volcano Arenal rises from a skirt of thick forest and the waters of Lake Arenal. Once famous for its eruptions of molten lava, it erupts infrequently nowadays (nothing since 2010) The landscape here is ruggedly beautiful and comprises one of Costa Rica’s many conservation areas, protecting a territory of amazing biodiversity which contains half the known species of birds, mammals and reptiles in the country. It is also popular among adventure-activities enthusiasts, and visits are serviced in the formerly dozy town of La Fortuna. Cloud forest, waterfalls, caves and thermal pools – this is a diverse and captivating region.
When's the best time to visit Arenal?

If good weather is your priority, choose the dry season Dec - Apr when there is plenty of sun. The green (i.e. rainy) season is quieter in terms of number of visitors. La Fortuna, at 1,150m, has a pleasant climate with temperatures averaging 15-25°C.

What's the official language of Arenal?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Arenal?

Colón. Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in La Fortuna using a UK credit or debit card. You may have to authorise your bank first, and withdrawals may be limited to amounts lower than in the UK. US dollars cash can be exchanged in banks too. If you are not going to the town of La Fortuna, bring your cash with you from San José.

What's the time difference between Arenal and UK?

GMT -5 hours.  

What places combine with Arenal?

A beach wind-down at Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast, or Nosara on the Nicoya Peninsula: each 5hrs by road; Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, for excellent bird watching, 3 hours by boat and bumpy road. Costa Rica is a tiny country so road journeys, even winding ones through the highlands, are relatively short. Some roads are in good condition while others require 4WD vehicles.

How do I get to Arenal?

Fly by light aircraft from San José or travel by road from the capital, 3.5 hours.

Back to list of places visited
Monteverde and the cloud forest
Monteverde and the Cloud Forest
Native cloud forest has mostly been removed from the rolling Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range in Costa Rica’s northwest. Happily the protected Monteverde Reserve conserves a lush environment of humid vegetation so rich in wildlife that it has become a base for naturalists from all over the world.


The magical forest is frequently swathed in mist, which encourages the growth of mosses and ferns which add to the fairyland feel. The many indigenous mammals and birds can thrive undisturbed, and observation of many of these is more or less guaranteed. The park is the habitat of the Resplendent quetzal, and has the largest number of orchid varieties in the world.

When's the best time to visit Monteverde?

At 1,400m and frequently swathed in mist, Monteverde has cooler temperatures than the lowlands. It can rain at any time but most precipitation falls between May - Nov. This “green” season is quieter in terms of visitor numbers. The best months for bird-watching are Feb - Apr.

What's the official language of Monteverde?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Monteverde?

Colón. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in San José and other major towns a UK credit or debit card. You may have to authorise your bank first, and withdrawals may be limited to amounts lower than in the UK. US dollars cash can be exchanged in banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) too. Obtain your local currency before heading off to Monteverde.

What's the time difference between Monteverde and UK?

GMT -5 hours.  

What places combine well with Monteverde?

A visit to the Pacific coast for a beach wind down; Arenal, in the north, the most spectacular volcano in Costa Rica (2-3 hours by road). Costa Rica is a tiny country so road journeys, even winding ones through the highlands, are relatively short. Some roads are in good condition while others require 4WD vehicles.

How do I get to Monteverde?
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is reached by a 3hr drive from San José along the main paved Panamerican Highway, followed by a 1.5 hour uphill drive along a bumpy and winding all weather road. 
What are the cultural events in Monteverde?

Monteverde Music Festival: Monteverde Institute, Jan - Apr. Informal sessions by jazz and classical artists.

Back to list of places visited
Nicoya Peninsula
Nicoya Peninsula
Across the Golfo de Nicoya from the dry, cattle-ranch lands of isolated Guancacaste province, the bulky Nicoya Peninsula hangs over the Pacific Ocean. Equally denuded of forest as the adjoining mainland, it is culturally and physically cut off from the rest of the country: inland, dotted with small, modest towns far removed from the beach resorts on the bay-pocked coastline. Here, the road network – mostly unpaved - is scanty at best and many visitors use the airstrips dotted along the coastline to arrive by plane. Tamarindo, where the beaches are attacked by crashing Pacific rollers, is the focal point for tourist infrastructure.
When's the best time to visit Nicoya Peninsula?

For a beach wind-down good weather is a priority, so most visits are in the dry season Dec - Apr when there is plenty of sun. It’s hot all year round (often over 30°C). The busy times for visitors are the dry season months, especially weekends and Easter week. The green (i.e. rainy) season is much quieter.

What's the official language of Nicoya Peninsula?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Nicoya Peninsula?

Colón. Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in San José using a UK credit or debit card. You may have to authorise your bank first, and withdrawals may be limited to amounts lower than in the UK. US dollars cash can be exchanged in banks too. There’s an ATM in Tamarindo, but stock up with your local currency needs before travelling to the Nicoya Peninsula.

What's the time difference between Nicoya Peninsula and UK?

GMT -5 hours.  

What places combine well with Nicoya Peninsula?
Anywhere in Costa Rica, since you depart from or return to San José by air. Arenal, in the north, the most spectacular volcano; Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, for excellent bird watching; Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast for wildlife turtle watching. Costa Rica is a tiny country so road journeys, even winding ones through the highlands, are relatively short. Some roads are in good condition while others require 4WD vehicles.
How do I get to Nicoya Peninsula?

By light aircraft from San José to the beach resorts at Tamarindo, Nosara, Sámara and Tambor. Flights take less than one hour. Road transfers between the beaches tends to be arduous and only possible by 4WD vehicles.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

More inspiration

Other holidays you may be interested in

View all holidays
Monkey

Signature Costa Rica: Wildlife and volcanoes

Private journey

8 days from £1,808pp

Costa Rica

Signature Costa Rica: The natural highlights

Private journey

14 days from £3,344pp

Safari Voyager

Expedition cruise: Panama, the Canal and Costa Rica

Private journey

15 days from £6,873pp

Quetzal

Off the beaten track Costa Rica: National parks and private reserves

Private journey

13 days from £2,375pp

Close

Please select a Start Date

Please select who's going

Please select the number of rooms

Not enough rooms have been chosen

Explore and Relax in Costa Rica: Volcanoes to the beach

Check available dates and pricing for this trip in four easy steps.

When Would You Like to Travel?

Step 1 of 4

If your preferred travel date is not shown there are a number of reasons why this might be. Please just let us know and we'll be happy to take a closer look for you.

Who's going?

Step 2 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Number of rooms required

Step 3 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Holiday price total

Step 4 of 4

Tour:

Explore and Relax in Costa Rica: Volcanoes to the beach

Departure date:

Travellers:

Room type:

Total:

The total price above excludes international flights at beginning and end of your trip. To add flights speak to one of our experts on 020 8747 8315.

Explore and Relax in Costa Rica: Volcanoes to the beach

11 days from £3,113pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip

 

Private Journey

 
Close

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our twice monthly newsletter and be the first to know about our latest news, offer and competitions.

Sign up with...

Your email

Or...

Using a social account is fast and means you don't need to remember a password.

We never share your data either - see our terms & conditions

Facebook Connect

Remember, you can unsubscribe at any time.

To see how we take care of your data please review our Privacy Policy

Thanks for subscribing – we’ll be in touch!

You are not subscribed. Some error happened.

Share this Page

Social share page will open in new window

Send a friend

reCaptcha_try_again

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/destinations/costa-rica/holidays/explore-and-relax-in-costa-rica-volcanoes-to-the-beach

Page ID: {5EEA4DA4-6FB4-44B9-AB44-E2EBBFC2BDF3}

Page Name: explore-and-relax-in-costa-rica-volcanoes-to-the-beach

Page Display Name: Explore and Relax in Costa Rica: Volcanoes to the beach

Page Template Name: T013-Private-Tour-JJ

Page Template ID: {1987AD35-218E-4B05-8DCF-B80B79F469E7}

Parent ID: {C6919056-0011-469D-A2D3-EA2F1F34D3F7}

Parent Name: holidays

Parent Display Name: Holidays

Parent Template Name: T007-Tours

Parent Template ID: {C007F36D-3091-4A02-8D0A-2302CE1DCA8E}