Private Journeys

Luxury adventures in Costa Rica

8 days from £4,000pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Costa Rica

Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive in San José, transfer to your hotel

You will be met at the airport by our local representative who will take you to your hotel in the centre of San José. Founded in 1737, the capital was built on the profits of exporting coffee, produced from the fertile soils of the surrounding Central Valley.

These days little remains of the city’s colonial or indeed agricultural heritage. It does though have some fine museums and restaurants as well as a lively nightlife. However, your well-appointed hotel has what is probably the best restaurant in San José.

Stay at - Grano de Oro

Day 2

Transfer to Pacuare river and raft to Pacuare Lodge

Dawn will hardly have broken before you are whisked away by road, heading towards the Caribbean and passing through Braulio Carrillo National Park before enjoying breakfast with a spectacular view en route.  You may spot watchful sloths lounging in the trees before you arrive in Turrialba.

After an orientation and safety briefing you take to your raft for the trip to Pacuare Lodge. There is plenty of calm water where you can sit back and observe the surrounding forest and its wildlife; herons, toucans, blue morpho butterflies and monkeys are commonly sighted here.You’ll have plenty of time to have a dip in jungle rock pools on the way.

It’s not only the excitement of negotiating the swirling eddies and split curtains of agitated water foaming over the rock-strewn river bed which defines this experience. It’s the towering, sheer walls of rock composing the canyon through which the river cuts a fathomless path, looming either side of you the craggy cliffs mantled in a scramble of emerald green tropical foliage clinging for life in tiny cracks in the rock.

This stretch of rapids is a great run for beginners and experienced rafters alike (class II – III). There’s a full lunch to be enjoyed en route, and when you arrive at your accommodation exhilarated, the magic of this welcoming, top quality property will make all your efforts worthwhile as you’re given a welcome cocktail before a sumptuous lunch with ingredients grown on site.

Mary Anne Nelson ©

Stay at - Pacuare Lodge

Day 3

Activities at Pacuare Lodge

You have a day at leisure to enjoy the facilities and the tropical ambience in the orchid-studded grounds of the lodge. You might embark on optional activities including a canopy tour, zip-lining through the jungle at tree-top level eyeballing the toucans, take a guided wild-life spotting trek, or visit remote indigenous communities.

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Stay at - Pacuare Lodge

Day 4

Further rafting; transfer to lodge in the shadow of Póas Volcano

In the morning you will continue to explore the river, with a few class III – IV rapids testing further your rafting skills and with the opportunity to make lateral hikes penetrating the dramatic landscapes of the canyon. A natural waterslide provides the perfect opportunity to relax. There are changing facilities at the river take-out for you to dry off before boarding the minibus back to San José.

Continue your adventure moving on to the stately silence of misty cloud forest carpeting the volcanic landscape around Póas National Park. It’s a picturesque drive to Bajos del Toro and the el Silencio Lodge, a very eco-conscious but upmarket retreat with boutique-style polished wood and glass cabins.

Mary Anne Nelson ©

Stay at - El Silencio Lodge

Day 5

Activities around El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Enjoy a day at leisure in and around El Silencio Lodge & Spa.  A raft of optional activities are on offer, all supervised by enthusiastic guides, including forest walks, horse riding, zip lining and even kayaking – if your appetite for the thrills and spills on the water has not yet been quenched. To unwind following your exertions, you can indulge yourself with the relaxing treatments of the onsite spa. Since you’ll have earned it by now, why not enjoy a wine or coffee tasting session at the lodge.

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Stay at - El Silencio Lodge

Day 6

Transfer by road to Rio Perdido

Travel by road to Rio Perdido (4hrs), a private natural dwarf forest reserve with a backdrop of lava-mantled Miravalles volcano in Guanacaste province. The lofty trees along the river, perched above thermal pools and jangling streams, create the perfect habitat for monkeys, other mammals and exotic birds, which enliven the forest with their spirited calls. The rugged hills around are covered, with varying degrees of density, with low dry forest with high populations of reptiles.

Your slick and sophisticated accommodation here is in first class, contemporary-style cabins nestled in the youthful woodland.

ShutterStock ©

Stay at - Rio Perdido

Day 7

Activities in and around Rio Perdido

While the level of comfort offered in Rio Perdido may tempt you to simply relax and enjoy the facilities, the main focus of the property is outdoor adventure. There is a copious choice of optional activities on site, the most dramatic being a ride on a sky-high zipline strung across a deep rocky canyon. Scenic jogging and cycle trails, canyoning and tubing will get your heart pumping but there are more relaxing options such as unwinding in the natural spa where you can immerse yourself in volcanic mud, and early morning bird watching tours.

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Stay at - Rio Perdido

Day 8

Transfer to Liberia airport, or add a few days of activity on the beach

Transfer to Liberia airport for a flight to connect with your international flight home.  For those with more time, we recommend the Punta Islita active beach extension where surf lessons, snorkeling and kayaking are among the land and watersport activities you might enjoy.

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.

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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.

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Lina
    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.

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Alex
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

  • Ben
    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.

  • Carrie
    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.

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