Overview & Highlights
An action-packed family trip visiting well-organised national parks. Explore on foot, by kayak or zip-line, with hissing volcanoes and steaming jungle, while Pacific beaches are enlivened by monkeys and parrots.
- Explore the canals and waterways of Tortugero National Park
- Discover the jungles of Arenal & Savegre
- Relax on the beaches of the Pacific coast
This compact country is bursting with an extraordinary diversity of landscapes, flora and fauna, and this family journey explores its well-organised national parks in an active way, with the children wowed by canoe trips, suspended bridges and a beachside camp where monkeys roam free.
Begin with a guided waterborne exploration of the Caribbean jungle channels and mangrove forests to see wildlife in the Tortuguero reserve. Later, scramble over hanging bridges suspended over waterfalls and forest and recover with a bathe in naturally heated thermal springs in the shadow of the picture-perfect Arenal Volcano. Move on to another wildlife experience in a Pacific-coast fixed safari camp, and end the holiday on the sunny beaches of popular resort at Manuel Antonio.
Costa Rica is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in the world: and the people are among the friendliest in Latin America. The comprehensive network of national parks with their extensive trails is always very accessible. In line with its love and respect for the great outdoors, Costa Rica also has been at the vanguard of adventure tourism, with lots of activities on offer from zip-lining to white-water rafting.
Arrive in San José. Transfer to hotel.
Drive and boat to Tortuguero Jungle Reserve.
Wildlife-spotting excursion and village visit in Tortuguero.
Fly and drive to Arenal volcano area.
Guided river rafting expedition.
Guided adventure to the hanging bridges.
Transfer to rainforest safari lodge, Savegre.
At leisure; optional activities
Transfer to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast.
Guided exploration of Manuel Antonio National Park.
Optional Midworld Adventure.
Transfer to San José 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.
Highlights? "There were many. Cuba itself is a fascinating country, a unique combination of geography, history, politics, culture and music. Highlights include: horse riding through the Valle de Silencio in Vinales, riding in an old American convertible car in Havana, visiting the Che Guevara Mausoleum and the Bay of Pigs Museum, numerous meals and drinks in restaurants and bars with great live music as a soundtrack to the tour, the intoxicating atmosphere walking along Obispo in Havana, a microcosm of Cuban life, the beautiful, faded architecture, different in each town we visited, the number of working horses everywhere, the resilience of Cubans in the face of grinding poverty and a repressive regime, spontaneous music performed everywhere at any time."DK, Coventry
Most memorable experience? "Lots - Tour of Caracas, the canoe trip to Angel Falls plus the Falls themselves, the night bus trip to St Elena followed by good facilities to freshen up, Rock View (see above), the canopy walkway, which I surprised myself by taking in my stride (!), the somewhat challenging jungle trip by substandard "minibus" to Georgetown, the canoe and parogue crossings along the coast, the trip to the Iles du Salut and the visit to the Arane Space Station.
I was very happy with the experience, but I suspect that this was one of your more unusual trips, as practically all the places we visited were not usual tourist areas. But I got all I could realistically expect from such a tour."ET, Huddersfield
This is my third trip with JLA after a gap of 7 years - and they continue to deliver! A great trip and I cannot wait to go back. Excellent local knowledge, sensitive to local customs and cultures; my only complaint is that it went too quickly!SV, Dundee
Cartagena - perfect mix of history, culture, nightlife and beach lazing. Colombian people very friendly and genuinely seemed delighted that we visited their country.NG, Leyland
Overall a very enjoyable trip - some long days and early starts but was easily do-able for a group mainly consisting of people in their 50s and 60s. Saw many amazing sights. Excellent organisation - everything worked - buses, flights, pick ups, minibuses, coaches, boats, trains etc! Never arrived anywhere and there was no-one to meet us. Had a great holiday!LB, New Malden
This tour gives an excellent overall impression of each country visited.... leaving the option of digging deeper on future trips.SP, Bracknell
"The holiday was wide-ranging, expertly organised and allowed us time to go 'off-tour' and enjoy the locations independently which I appreciated, given the swift nature of the journey."MB, London
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
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 tour leader could not have been more courteous, he did more than was expected of him and found us some very good restaurants. Our most memorable moments were staying in the yurt in the Patagonia, eating at local restaurants recommended by the tour leader and travelling from Bariloche across the lakes. We loved this trip and it was organised very well.MG, Marlow
It is difficult to identify a highlight as the whole trip was so varied and memorable. However, the yurt and the landscapes in Torres del Paine and Iguazu were spectacular.VP, Haywards Heath
BM, Milton Keynes
Overall an excellent trip with many wonderful memories, lived up to all expectations.
The variety of places that we visited. I enjoyed every place we visited. Food was good. Colourful towns. Friendly people. Beautiful scenery.JLK, Kenley
Quite simply, this was the best holiday we ever had. The tour leaders role in achieving this cannot be overstated.SW, Great Missenden
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
We enjoyed the entire holiday and it's hard to pick out a highlight. Watching a dozen scarlet macaws fly over the Copan ruins was a sight we will never forget.SW, Great Missenden
The Journey Latin America experience greatly enhanced my enjoyment and understanding of the culture and customs and Chile.JT, York
We enjoyed all our excursions. Rio was a great start. The views from the Sugar Loaf were quite spectacular. Likewise the trips at both sides of the Iguazu Falls provided stunning scenery and of course Machu Picchu which even surpassed our epectations. Our first optional excursion was fascinating - up Corcovado. We also thoroughly enjoyed our helicopter trip over the falls, and the day trip to Potosi - a different and very interesting trip with lots to see.We also enjoyed visiting Moon Valley with its varied and interesting formations and in contrast going in to Lima. Every trip was worthwhile and enjoyable.JR, Swansea
Really it was the whole experience. A well-organised trip with lots of interesting things to see and do with people we got on well with and a knowledgeable,friendly,helpful guide.
“One of my favourite moments on the trip was in Trinidad, listening to the music and dancing with the locals – with the tour leader’s guidance or walking around Havana, just taking everything in.”KSM, Luxembourg
An excellent choice of nature highlights in a great country, guided by a tour leader who understands both worlds and can provide unique insights. I drew energy and inspiration from this experience by visiting so many and diverse sights yet I had a very good rest - the perfect holiday. The standard of accommodation in Brazil was a bit of a disappointment for me; it looks Brazil offers in general lower standards for the same price by comparison to Europe. I think Journey Latin America have done a great job at finding a good compromise between price and quality for us.
Most memorable experience? - Impossible to rank them, I loved every day.Eu, Switzerland
We cannot pick out one most memorable part of our trip as every day provided us with a new and exciting experience. We saw and experienced things we had only dreamed of, some of which had been in our dreams for over 48 years.TC, Hayle
I would recommend this trip to anyone who has an interest in magnificent scenery and wonderful wildlife experiences.CT, Antrim
Guatemala is a very beautiful and interesting country which deserves to be better known. The history of the Maya and their ancient sites is fascinating, much enhanced by the fact that the Maya people are still there and their customs and traditions can be observed. The scenery, colonial architecture and birdlife: outstanding.JE, Ware
Crossing the first border from Panama to Costa Rica felt like being part of a film set as we trudged across an ancient bridge. Also in Ometepe we were swimming in the fresh water lake when a group of horses came cantering onto the beach and into the water for a drunk and swim!LR, Carteton
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
Iguazu Falls - awe inspiring Paraty - beautiful restful place Bariloche - incredible scenery with an excellent local guide, perhaps the best we had, so enthusiastic and interested in us. Rio - The guide who had designed The Favela Trip was very, very interesting and appeared so genuine.JK, Liversedge
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
Most memorable experience - Difficult to select just one, but the visit to Iximche Mayan Site in Guatemala, was fascinating – great guide, and we saw a shaman performing a pre wedding ceremony.JB, North Walsham
Most memorable experience? "There were too many things but Bolivia in general and the Salt Plains in particular were amazing plus the flamingos. I also loved the night on Sun island. I never expected it to be so beautiful."JS, Leeds
Ever since hearing of Tierra del Fuego when I was a child of 8, I have longed to visit. The 'Land of Fire' sounded so magical. Now at 74, I have achieved a lifelong ambition and have had a holiday of a lifetime having visited the'End of the Earth' in a catamaran whilst travelling eastwards in the Beagle Channel to view the penguins and other wild life. Everyone in Chile, Argentina and during my brief visit to Brazil were very friendly and accommodating. The local transport provided was fine and allowed us to view the local scenery at close hand with adequate stops...All in all a brilliant holiday. Thank you.RH, Macclesfield
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.