Aguas Claras is a first class beach retreat on an unspoilt stretch of Costa Rica's Caribbean jungle-fringed coast.
Set on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica near Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo, eco-friendly Aguas Claras is a gleaming white-wood, traditional Victorian-style plantation house. It’s the only really luxurious, boutique-style property on this stretch of the palm-fringed coastline, which features a unique combination of exuberant wildlife and undisturbed tropical beaches.
This dreamily romantic hotel, sheltered by verdant foliage, has a delightful open-air free-form pool and probably the best restaurant in the region although, to add variety to your stay, there are a number of small, locally run restaurants just a short bike ride away.
The building’s nostalgic design - conceived by a renowned Costa Rican artist - recalls bygone times when British colonial dominance of the Caribbean dictated architectural style, and inside you’ll find traditional artifacts and original works by local artists alongside state-of-the-art contemporary features. Guest rooms - each uniquely decorated and furnished - are situated in both the main building and individual thatched cottages which are similar in style but offer additional space and added privacy.
It’s easy just to lie back and relax there, but you may be tempted by a range of activities such as jungle hikes, cycle rides, surf lessons, canopy zips and cocoa tours. Cahuita National Park, half an hour away by car, encompasses a magnificent area of biodiversity which stretches beyond the shore line and out to sea. Sea turtles nest in the area and manta rays glide between weird and wonderfully shaped live coral. On land, sloths are common place and not just in the park - road vehicles have to stop to let them cross…
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
We always ask each other what the highlight was, but always fail. It was really the variety. There is really so much to remember.JS, Bath
Costa Rica lived up to our expectations in every way. We all had a fantastic family holiday.EJ, London
There were so many highlights it is difficult to single one out. The wildlife, around hotel gardens etc and not just in the reserves, was particularly impressive. Viewing it from a boat at Tortuguero and Cana Nedra was particularly enjoyable. Tthe countryside is varied and beautiful so that even the transfers were a pleasure.VC, South croydon
Clearly the beauty and and profuseness of the country was inspiring.There were multiple highlights including some which we ourselves arranged, chocolate and vanilla farm visits especially.DS, Cardigan
So hard to pick out an individually memorable part. If pushed then we would have to select the two river wildlife trips (Tortuguero and Cano Negro) and overall the friendly nature of everyone that we had dealings with. Also having the wildlife right on our doorstep at each accommodation was very special.SY, Solihull
Most Memorable Moment?: There are a few but being so close to wildlife during the journey was amazing!!!JW, London
Highlight?: The wildlife - watching the turtles lay eggs and a swimming sloth.ID, London
Highlights?: The drive Ranch Margot round Lake Arenal, staying there, seeing humming birds feeding from flowers a metre from our bungalow veranda, kayaking in the shadow of the amazing volcano.JH, London
We have many good memories and it's difficult to identify a single best experience. Each of the Lodges we stayed at impressed us by their environmental policies. Each had comfortable accommodation ranging from quite simple to quite extravagant. Importantly for us they were each located in different types of habitat so although there was some overlap in what we saw, there were sufficient differences for us to be continually interested.NW, Carnforth
Costa Rica with Journey Latin America is one of the best holidays we have ever had, if not the best.MD, Southam
Most memorable experiences: "Snorkelling off the island at Corcovado seeing the marine wildlife then returning by boat seeing dolphins and turtles in the sea; Kayaking excursion form Tortuga Lodge (extra cost but worth it) - sitting watching spider monkeys a few feet a way form us drinking juice form the fruit, with caymen in close attendance."DO, Bedford
Highlight?: Tortuguera boat trip, rafting Arenal, hot springs Arenal, zip wires Monteverde, running on the beach in Uvita - so many lovely memoriesSL, London
Costa Rica is too beautiful to miss!PC, Moreton-in-Marsh
Commitment to Eco-Tourism and Respect for local people evident throughoutMD, Southam
The wildlife in Costa Rica is incredible and it is everywhere you go and very immediate. Add to that beautiful scenery and very friendly people and it is a great holiday destination.MJ, Canary Wharf
Most memorable experiences: White water rafting. Watching the turtles at Tortuguero. Everything about Montverde.RA, Lichfield
Everything was amazing...This is the best family holiday we have ever had. Even our 20 year old daughter, who has travelled extensively, agreed that Costa Rica is wonderfully unique. The itinerary provided by Joirney Latin America provided a varied and interestingly diverse view of the country. Each accommodation was memorable and contributed towards an amazing trip. Thank you.RW, Cheltenham
Highlight: Seeing the wildlife in Costa Rica. There are so many beautiful birds and amazing animals that it's hard not to see them. The guides were exceptional, especially William and Carlos and not only found the wildlife but also told us about other aspects of the countries. I particularly enjoyed having the private tours and we would do that again.JW, Weymouth
Highlights: Bird watching at Tortuguero and snorkelling on the reef in Belize which was simply amazing.GW, Winchester
Highlight?: All the wildlife, absolutely amazingDJ, Usk
Most Memorable Moment?: So many highlights that it is difficult to pick any one out - but the evening trip to the Turtle beach at Tortuguero, seeing Green Sea Turtles laying eggs and returning to the sea, was quite incredible.DD, Holmfirth
Highlight?: Visit to Tortuguero was exciting and remote. Rancho Margot was our favourite accommodation. It was a privilege to visit this beautiful country.MC, Arlesly
Turtle watching tour, zip wiring and white water rafting. Also enjoyed seeing all the wildlife living in its natural habitat.IH, Ipswich
Everything felt "easy" and stress free. The most memorable aspect was driving through fantastic scenery, so much to see!AF, Cardiff
It is difficult to single out any one part as being most memorable. For me (as a geologist) the trip to Poas Volcano was great. The ziplining at Punta Islita was superb.RH, Peterborough
Highlight?: Tortoguero without a doubt-felt truly isolate in the rain forest and it was breathtaking in terms of the biodiversity.SW, Surbiton
The whole Tortuguero experience was brilliant.TK, Leighton buzzard
Most memorable experience: "Diversity of the country. Outstanding bird life and flora and fauna.Very friendly and helpful people."RC, Lymington
Costa Rica is a stunning country: in terms of its people, who are so warm and welcoming; its ethical basis and its phenomenal wildlife. Snorkelling at Cano Island was truly memorable as was having toucans feet away at La Paloma. We are so pleased we added on a partial transit of The Panamá Canal: the experience was one we shall never forget. The other think to mention is that Kathryn organised the tour exactly the right way round.: we met others who had done it differently and they regretted doing so.JS, Brighton
Highlight?: Seeing turtles laying eggs on the beach in TortugueroAD, Ilkley
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.
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.
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
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
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.
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.
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.
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.