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Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets

US$ 3,875
  • No booking or credit card fees
highlights
  • Three nights in Drake Bay - the remote gateway to some of Costa Rica's premier wildlife destinations 
  • Corcovado National Park - the 'most biologically intense place on Earth'
  • Visit the beaches and waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Unrivalled wildlife viewing - monkeys, sloths, dolphins & whales (in season) 
The Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets tour starts and ends in San Jose. The Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets is a Marine Wildlife tour that takes 14 days taking you through San Jose, Costa Rica and other destinations in Costa Rica.

From the wildlife rich waterways of Tortuguero to the dense jungle coastline of the Osa Peninsula, an area labelled by National Geographic as 'the most biologically intense place on Earth', Costa Rica reveals its secrets: Scarlet macaws rule the roost adding brilliant flashes of red, blue and gold to the foliage; Humpback whales breed in the waters off-shore, and sloths lazily crawl along cecropia branches.
customer reviews
4.5 - Excellent Based on 12 reviews
Costa Rica delivers!
5 - Excellent
“Wow! What a trip. Everything I hoped for and a little bit more. Can't believe how much we packed in. Can't believe I got into bird watching (or sighting really). Can't believe I was so willing to rise at unearthly hours.”
If you care about conservation this trip will bring a smile to your face
5 - Excellent
“Costa Rica has clearly learned that conservation and habitat preservation bring benefits not only to wildlife and the environment but also to local populations and the national economy. The guides who support Costa Rica’s ecotourism industry are nothing short of inspirational; their training, level of knowledge, understanding of ecosystems and their enthusiasm to impart their knowledge bode well for our planet. Anyone who cares about the natural world and its well-being cannot fail to love this trip which will bring a smile to their face every single day. The trip takes in just about all of the biomes of a country which can rightfully boast to be one of the most biodiverse in the world. To achieve this, it’s a busy trip which covers a lot of miles with stays at some very attractive lodges on both coasts and in the mountains. It also features some wonderful destinations which are off the well worn tourist track. The September trip had some rain on most days, although never for long and although it was hot and humid a lot of the time, our air-conditioned coach with wifi and Carlos, a brilliant driver, made the travelling comfortable for us. We loved the trip and came home with memories (and photographs) to share and to last through many years.”
Bugs, birds and whales.
5 - Excellent
“Our 2nd visit to Costa Rica, and it surpassed our expectations in all areas. The itinerary is very well planned to give an experience of the great biodiversity of Costa Rica from both coastal areas, Caribbean and Pacific, up to the high regions of the beautiful Savegre. The lodges were excellent, Drakes Bay Wilderness Resort is particularly amazing - including the 'interesting' boat ride out to it. If you enjoy wildlife.....it's definitely the place to go.”
Costa Rica Costal secrets
5 - Excellent
“I was blown away by the whole experience. Treks in the forest revealed new sights of the inhabitants every few meters. A wildlife lovers paradise.”
The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are available for all clients. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero's vast network of waterways, canals and swamps are remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge, which is nestled on a small strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the main lagoon. Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum (a donation will be requested at the entrance). Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean. Today's travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast.Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Just after sunrise we board a small boat, enabling us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero as we pass serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast by the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax this afternoon if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities, or alternatively you can join a second boat trip (included) or follow a short walking trail through the forest.Accommodation: Evergreen Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived, by taking a small boat to Siquirres pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of Cahuita on the Caribbean coast, where we check into our hotel. Caribbean culture pervades this part of Costa Rica and is reflected in the music, food and laid-back lifestyle. Cahuita’s famous white-sand beach is fringed by tall palms, behind which the dense, wet tropical forest of Cahuita National Park can be found.Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Today we visit Cahuita National Park, with its 2711 acres of land and an impressive 600 acres of coral reef, forming Costa Rica's largest reef system. From the southern entrance of the park we take a 7km hike along the coastline following a trail that leads through rainforest and passes the impressive Caribbean beaches. Although a fairly small park in terms of size, there is plenty of diversity here. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the beach, join an optional snorkelling excursion to discover the underwater world or enjoy the hotel.Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
After breakfast we visit Aviarios del Caribe, Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary. This rescue and rehabilitation centre conducts research into sloths and works tirelessly with the goal of releasing sloths back into their natural habitat. In 2013 it was the subject of an Animal Planet TV show called 'Meet the Sloths'. You'll learn all about these fascinating animals on a two hour tour of the sanctuary, where you find out about the rehabilitation process and take a boat tour along the river to see sloths, monkeys, butterflies and birds in the wild. In the afternoon there is free time to relax in Cahuita.Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge or Ciudad Perdida (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Our next destination is Turrialba Valley, a rich agricultural region located in the Central Highlands. On the way to Turrialba we visit La Marta Wildlife Refuge, an area of both primary and secondary forest within La Amistad Biosphere (recognised as a UNESCO World Patrimony of Humanity). The topography of this region is mountainous, with waterfalls, rivers and caves - the varied elevation supports a wide range of plants (such as orchids, bromeliads, lichens and mosses) and animals (such as anteaters, ocelots and tapirs).Accommodation: Villa Florencia (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
After breakfast we depart towards San Gerado de Dota and Savegre Cloud Forest. This is said to be one of the best places in the whole of Costa Rica to see the beautiful, colourful and notoriously shy Resplendant Quetzal and we have two nights here to discover the region. These endangered birds rely on the cloud forest for their habitat - the males in particular are striking with a green crest, red breast and tail feathers that can reach a metre in length. A good pair of binoculars will be helpful for quetzal spotting as these birds camouflage themselves well amongst the wet leaves of the forest! After lunch we take a short walk into the cloud forest.Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Today is free to relax and explore Savegre Valley. Bring your binoculars to spot some of the 170 bird species, trek through the tropical cloud forest or simply relax in the grounds of the lodge. For those who are passionate about trekking, an optional tour to Los Quetzales National Park can be arranged to admire the tropical cloud forest and sub-Andean vegetation. Birds that may be seen in this area include hummingbirds, colibri, tanagers and trogons, whilst tapirs and Squirrel monkeys may also be seen.Accommodation: Savegre Hotel, Nature Reserve & Spa (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Our journey continues towards the small town of Sierpe, where we board a small motorboat to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula. Passing the huge mangrove swamps that line the Sierpe River, our boat crosses the ocean before arriving into Drake Bay. This region is very remote and with extremely limited road access, which means the majority of supplies, as well as visitors and locals, must arrive by boat. Originally discovered by Francis Drake, getting here is part of the adventure! The bay is spectacular, with just a handful of lodges scattering the horizon and the rest thick verdant forest and rocky coves as far as the eye can see. Our next three nights will be spent at the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, a family run property positioned close to the 'town' of Drake Bay and with ocean views from every corner.Accommodation: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Board a small boat to Caño Island, located 12 nautical miles from Drake Bay. During this 45 minute boat ride there may be opportunities to spot migrating whales or playful dolphins in the surrounding waters (Orca whales might be seen between approx. December to April and Humpback whales might be seen between approx. July to November). The interior of the island is thought to have been a burial ground for the indigenous Daquis tribe during pre-Columbian times, and many perfectly spherical man-made stones have been found here. But it's the marine life that is the biggest highlight of Caño Island, with Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles, Manta rays and White-tipped reef sharks being just some of the likely encounters on today's snorkelling excursion. This area has been rated as having the best snorkelling in the whole of Costa Rica, with excellent water visibility and a huge marine diversity awaiting beneath the waves in the protected reef. Enjoy a picnic lunch on nearby San Josecito beach, where Capuchin monkeys, Coatimundi and lively Scarlet macaws may make an appearance.Accommodation: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
When National Geographic describes an area as ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’ it has to be worthy of investigation! This morning we board a small boat for a 30 minute journey to San Pedrillo Ranger Station, our entrance point to Corcovado National Park. This is undoubtedly Costa Rica's most secluded and tranquil region. Protecting around one third of the Osa Peninsula (some 164 square miles), Corcovado is Costa Rica's largest national park and encompasses 13 major ecosystems across various elevations, with montane forest, cloud forest, freshwater and mangrove swamps being just some of these. Scientists have recorded half of all of the species in Costa Rica on this peninsula alone. On today's hike along the parks trails we may see all four of Costa Rica's monkey species (Squirrel, Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider monkeys), tamandua (anteater), two and three-toed sloths, peccary, tapirs (including the endangered Baird's tapir) and of course many reptiles, insects and amphibians. Puma and jaguar are known in this area but very difficult to see. With over 500 tree species, the bird count stands at an impressive 365 and the park protects the largest population of Scarlet macaws in the country, which can frequently be seen and heard flying overhead.Accommodation: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
After breakfast, we board another boat to depart from Drake Bay and return to Sierpe town. On the way our boat will take a short tour of the huge mangrove forest that lines the Sierpe River. Delving into the network of tributary rivers and streams is fascinating and a chance to learn more about the role of mangroves in the eco-system and the numerous creatures that depend on them, such as fish, crabs, birds, molluscs and shell fish. In Sierpe town we transfer to our private minibus and commence our journey to San Jose.Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Our adventure comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Free transfers to San Jose airport are available to all clients today.**
what’s included
Accommodation
  • 13 nights comfortable hotels and lodges , All accommodation 
Meals
  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners
Transport
  • Travel by minibus and boat 
  • All transport and listed activities
Others
  • Green turtle nesting season: July to October
  • Tour leader throughout
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from San Jose are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 14 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 16 participants
Minimum Participants 6 people
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends San Jose, Costa Rica/ San Jose, Costa Rica
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Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 388 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 56 days before departure. For any departures within 21 November 2018 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Costa Rica's Coastal Secrets tour. You can cancel the tour up to 57 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 56 days of departure.
other information
Exodus Travels / Product Category: Marine wildlife
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