Overview & Highlights
A variety-packed holiday including the vibrant Pacific-side Osa Peninsula. More wildlife in the mangroves on the Caribbean coast and interior cloudforested mountains while the volcanic landscapes are captivating.
- Guided excursion in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
- Guided excursion to the Ecotermales hot springs
- Guided excursion in Tortuguero National Park
- Guided nature walk on Osa Peninsula
Tiny Costa Rica is bursting with an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna, and this journey provides an in-depth exploration of its natural highlights including rainforest coast, Arenal volcano and the turtle-beaches at Tortuguero.
Begin at a rainforest lodge close to Corcovado National Park on the Pacific coast. Then, having surveyed panoramas over the densely packed canopy in the Monteverde cloud forest, with its rich birdlife and animal life in view, bathe in naturally heated thermal springs in the shadow of the picture-perfect Arenal Volcano. After this, a trip by land and over water takes you east where you emerge to explore the Caribbean jungle waterways and mangrove forests of the wildlife-rich Tortuguero reserve. Your trip ends with a couple of days’ relaxation on a white sand Caribbean beach.
It is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in the world and its 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 respect for the great outdoors, Costa Rica has been at the vanguard of adventure tourism, with activities on offer from zip-lining to white-water rafting.
Arrive in San José and transfer to your hotel.
Fly to Puerto Jiménez on the Pacific coast, transfer to rainforest wildlife lodge.
Guided nature walk.
Fly to San José, transfer to Monteverde.
Half day excursion to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Transfer to Arenal volcano area.
Excursion to the Ecotermales hot springs.
Transfer to Caño Blanco port, boat to Tortuguero Jungle Reserve.
Wildlife spotting excursion into Tortuguero National Park.
Boat transfer to Caño Blanco, continue by road to Caribbean beach hotel.
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.
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
"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
An excellent specialist company with great attention to detail, abundance of local knowledge and great customer care. I have travelled twice with this company and will certainly travel with them again.AL, London
Climbing Villarica Volcano on a beautiful sunny day. Reaching the summit to see incredible views over the Andes and Lake District, the skyline peppered with snowy cones of of the volcanos, then peering into the gently smoking crater to see lava bubbling beneath us. Totally awesome!!!AP, Norwich
JLA already has a good reputation and we were certainly impressed by the management of this tour.AF, Altrincham
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 highlights. Corcovado Mountain and the Cristo Redento statue in Rio was a truly spiritual experience. Bolivia as a whole completely exceeded our expectations. Machu Picchu is such an extraordinary sight - its location and setting are hard to comprehend.NH, Shrewsbury
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
The whole holiday was full of memorable moments. I loved walking around quirky Valparaiso with it's colourful houses and graffiti, the scenery in the Atacama, seeing the Milky Way there at night, the Tatio Geysers at sunrise, seeing Orsono emerge from the clouds in Puerto Varas, Torres del Paine Massif and the changing sky and clouds there. Watching Chilean Gauchos seen close up herding sheep on the road back to Punta Arenas. Realising you are looking at the Magellan Straits with views of Tierra del Fuego in the background when you'd learnt about it in 'O' level geography 50 years ago and were finally there! The wonderful Andean Lakes Crossing from Puerto Varas to Bariloche and the gift of perfect weather during the crossing with cloudless skies and sunshine all the way. The views at Bariloche and walking around Buenos Aires, the Casa Rosada and Eva Peron's burial place and just the street life in general. And also the lovely, hospitable, polite, friendly Chilean locals, always ready to help. Just a brilliant holiday.SLH, Poulton-le-Fylde
It was exciting just being in Patagonia. The hike in Torres and the Profunda ranch visit in El Calafate were wonderful because they were more personal than the usual tourist trips.SG, Berwick-upon-Tweed
I loved it all and it could not have been better.
The first view of Machu Picchu from the watchman's tower, the view from El Alto overlooking La Paz and surrounding mountains and the Iguazu Falls will remain with me always. Also very pleased with the standard of accommodation.
Overall this was the most interesting and varied holiday I have ever been on and was a superb introduction to what was, for me, a new area of the world.PM, Motherwell
Northern Peru is currently a little less discovered which makes travel there more rewarding. The people have not been jaded with excess tourism and are truly welcoming. The wealth of ancient sites and beauty of the countryside means it deserves to be more visited - and it will be!CP, Manchester
There were many wonderful memories. Iguacu was amazing and Machu Picchu was intriguing. Landscapes were fascinating & the people were friendly. Lovely to see the colourful costumes & markets.JP, Nottingham
"I was particularly impressed with the scenery in Bolivia. I had expected the salt flats but the rest of the country was a real bonus. On the optional excursions, I particularly enjoyed Chacaltaya and the star gazing in San Pedro."GP, Northwich
“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
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.
I would recommend this trip to anyone who has an interest in magnificent scenery and wonderful wildlife experiences.CT, Antrim
We were extremely satisfied with our Sandpiper Journey which provided us with a broad view of the Countries visited and the cultures, history, wild life etc. All in all, a great experience and a wonderful holiday.PH, Farnham
An excellent holiday which met our wish to revisit some parts of Brazil and explore new areas; Pantanal was a real discovery and better for seeing wildlife than Manaus.PMR, Blandford Forum
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
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
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(s): “The Salt Flats of Bolivia and the Altiplano area for stunning scenery. Machu Picchu for the history of the Inca civilisation - very interesting and educational”WW, Gwynedd
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
This was a great trip - wonderful scenery and amazing sites. It was well organised and allowed for some opportunity to do things on one's own away from the group.DS, London
Many good memories - arriving at Macchu Picchu was something we had wanted to do for many years, so was probably the most memorable.CA, Wembley
Highlights? "Where to start? Angel Falls, Kaieteur Falls, the Iles de Salut, sleeping in a hammock, flying in small planes - just loved everything. The range of hotels from very high quality to pretty grotty was what we expected. The trip was exactly as described = we loved every minute!
This is our third trip - Cuba in 2000, Central America in 2009 and this one. I think the general feeling about JLA is that it is slightly more expensive than other companies offering small group tours but I think this reflects the effort which goes into providing travel experience which, in all three cases, has been both enjoyable and memorable."PS, Bolton
Everyday was exhilarating and exciting. Guatemala was so colourful - the scenery, the markets, the food, the traditional dress, the flowers and birdlife. Delicious coffee! The itinerary enabled me to take in spectacular views of volcanoes, such as in Antigua and Lake Atitlan, of the Mayan ruins at Tikal and Yaxha.JH, Weybridge
On our fifth trip with JLA we have always found the organisation to be excellent and reliable. Its good to have knowledgeable tour leaders and to stay in individual style hotels where appropriate.CS, Lymington
An excellent trip covering many of the key historical, geographical and political sites, and providing insight into a rapidly changing country. Go before it changes irrevocably.DW, London
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.