One of the beauties of the wild forests of Costa Rica Quetzal - sacred bird of the Mayan tribe

Off The Beaten Track Vacation in Costa Rica

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

Costa Rica

Places Visited

San Jose, Orosi Valley, Cartoga, San Gerardo de Dota...

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Suggested Duration

9 Days

The world looks different from off the beaten path, revealing true beauty and charm during your customizable Costa Rica vacation. The mist of the cloud forest burns away illuminating the iridescent plumage of the rare resplendent quetzal. Hidden trails ascend the Pacific Coastal range where twin waterfalls fall over open caves. Whales and sea turtles swim off the pristine white sand beaches, and isolated islands give way to vibrant coral reefs. Spectacular exploration brings you adventure, excitement,...

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • View the nesting grounds of Olive Ridley sea turtles while visiting Ballena
  • Discover hidden waterfalls and open caves overlooking the Pacific mountain range away from the beaten path
  • Explore an uninhabited island on the Osa Peninsula to find wild pigs and boa constrictors on land, and manta rays and coral reefs in the glassy water
  • Traverse an unfamiliar cloud forest in search of magnificent wildlife hiding in the primary forest where rare resplendent quetzal nest
  • Move across the Pacific Ocean on a whale-watching tour in search of acrobatic spinner dolphins and wandering humpbacks
  • Witness the unique Byzantine and Colonial architecture of the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles in Cartago, the first capital of Costa Rica
  • Travel to the highest point of the Inter-American Highway in Costa Rica at Cerro de la Muerte, located at 10,950 feet above sea level
  • Tour the National Marine Park and the Vida Silvestre Playa Hermosa National Reserve

Detailed Description

Your 9-day Costa Rica vacation will immerse you in the natural splendor of the jungle, cloud forests, opulent beaches, and mangrove trees. Step away from the known trails for an exploration of the authentic beauty that enchants visitors from around the world. Your flight lands in San Jose at Juan Santamaria International Airport, where your private transfer greets you and escorts you to a luxurious hotel outside the city center with a view over the Central Valley. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the cultural museums at the heart of the capital city or to bask in the comfort of your accommodation.

The following day, your private transfer escorts you away from the Central Valley and into the Orosi Valley. En route, you stop to view the remarkable Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles Basilica in the country’s first capital, Cartago. Explore the stunning orchids blossoming in the Lankester Botanic Garden, which showcases the variety of tropical plants thriving in the varied microclimates. Continue discovering the heritage of Colonial Costa Rica at Paraiso while visiting the country’s oldest Christian structure, the church of Ujarras. The next day, travel to San Gerardo de Dota on the scenic road passing the Cerro de la Muerte. You will reach your marvelous lodge attached to a private reserve and enjoy a night tour highlighting the regional nocturnal fauna.

The journey continues on the trails, which you can take at your own pace, following your guide in search of the magnificent wildlife wandering amongst the primary forest along the private reserve bordering Los Quetzales National Park. You can find pumas, ocelots, thrushes, and the famous quetzal. In the afternoon, you partake in a guided horseback ride for a tranquil stroll through the highlands. The next day, you travel to the western slopes of the Tinamaste Mountains. Visit a private medicinal garden and enjoy the rugged trail leading to a double waterfall that overlaps an open cave before you continue your voyage west to Costa Ballena and the Ballena National Marine Park.

After taking the time to settle into the luxuries of your accommodation, you will board a boat and set out to sea in search of dolphins and whales on a semi-private sightseeing expedition. The next day is at your leisure to enjoy the gorgeous seaside at your preferred pace. Bask in the white and gold sand along the crystalline Pacific or take a boat ride to nearby Caño Island for a fascinating snorkeling excursion. The following day, your private transfer leads you back to San Jose, stopping at Playa Jaco and Playa Hermosa National Reserve along the way to enjoy the beaches, surfing, and turtle nesting grounds. Your private driver greets you at the hotel on your final day and escorts you to Juan Santamaria International Airport, bringing a quiet, relaxing end to your unforgettable vacation in Costa Rica.

Starting Price

$2,101 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service

4.91 stars based on 619 reviews.

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