Off the beaten track Costa Rica: National parks and private reserves
Overview & Highlights
A Costa Rica wildlife and relaxation holiday with a difference: avoid the busy, commercialised places in favour of less visited, but equally beguiling spots with excellent small eco-lodges.
For decades Costa Rica has been a leading light in conservation, and as a result over a quarter of its territory is given over to well managed national parks and private nature reserves. Many of the parks are popular and much visited, with many facilities of all kinds for tourists, all of which provides for a very different experience from the remote wilderness adventure that many wildlife enthusiasts are hoping for.
So for this holiday we have selected a few of our favourite parks and reserves which, although situated in stunning locations, don’t have the infrastructure to receive hoards of visitors. Among them are Carara National Park and the rugged hills and beaches close to Ojochal. Accommodation is in delightful rustic eco-lodges, usually small and family-run, which offer the opportunity to understand how real life is lived in these bucolic areas. Again, we’ve picked out the best. At these lodges you’ll have the opportunity to participate in optional or included activities, anything from crocodile spotting to coffee tours.
Please note (Jan 2022): Not all lodges featured in this holiday are currently accepting guests. Your Travel Expert will be happy to suggest alternatives.
- Guided excursion in Carara National Park and Rio Tarcoles crocdile spotting
- Guided excursions and activities at Santa Juana Lodge
- Guided excursion to spot quetzals in San Gerardo de Dota forests
- Whale-watching at Uvita (depending on season)
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Transfer from the airport to your countryside lodge.
Guided discovery of the Carara National Park and crocodile spotting on Rio Tarcoles.
Transfer to Santa Juana Lodge inland from the Pacific coast.
Activities from the lodge.
Transfer to Trogon Lodge close to San Gerado de Dota.
Guided activities from the lodge.
Transfer to Ojochal area.
Activities from the lodge
Travel north up the coast to Dominical and Playa Uvita.
Free time on the beach or explore the area.
Transfer to San José.
Transfer to the airport for your international flight.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
Our Expert's Opinion
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
Meet our team
Real Latin american experts
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.
Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert
After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!
Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert
Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
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.
Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert
Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.
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.