Pristine Nature of Costa Rica Tour: Rainforest, Cloud Forest & Beaches

A 8 day trip to Costa Rica 
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Take a walk on the wild side and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica’s wildlife, rainforest, and coastline. Primary and secondary rainforests grow alongside golden sand beaches as barrel waves travel down the Pacific Coast and starfish cling to the rugged promontories. Scarlet macaws perch in the trees in the west, and green macaws hide in the dense jungle that makes Tortuguero a secluded escape along the Caribbean Sea, reachable only by natural canals. Discover the nesting grounds of sea turtles and search for endangered monkeys as you embrace nature and immerse yourself entirely.  As you plan your Costa Rica eco tours, consider browsing our other itineraries for even more inspiration.

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Bajos del Toro, Tortuguero, Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Los Bajos Town, Golfo Dulce

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Bajos del Toro – Arrive in San Jose and Transfer to Gorgeous Bajos del Toro

Pristine wilderness abounds in Costa Rica where emerald trees blanket the ridges around the Central Valley, and volcanic peaks rise to the north of San Jose. The coffee plantations stop along the hillsides at altitudes reaching 4,500 feet above sea level and craft a visible line around the capital city where the plants cease to grow. Your flight lands at Juan Santamaria International Airport, and your private transfer greets you and escorts you out of San Jose. You gain a sense of the culture and bustling life of a Central American capital city where homes glow with bright colors inspired by tropical nature.

Small markets have open fronts framed by dangling bunches of bananas and plantains. Trees with deep, strong roots grow along the edges of homes acting as a natural fence between properties and the streets. The artisan market contains shops squeezed together and brimming with handmade trinkets. Jewelry, bags, and woodwork offer insight into the cultural heritage of Costa Rica through the various designs on display. Your guide takes you along the edges of the Poas Volcano to reach the region of Bajos del Toro. The sound of thunder pulses through the air from a rainstorm passing by in the distance.

Sunlight washes over the intense emerald hues of the cloud forest. Your eco-resort is located near the hidden gem of Costa Rica: the Catarata del Toro, a waterfall spilling down 300 feet into the crater of an extinct volcano. You settle into the comforts of your luxurious lodge where your suite provides a stunning view of the hills and surrounding canopy of the gorgeous cloud forest. You can dip into the cozy tranquility of the gorgeous pool and enjoy your unique welcome to the natural beauty of Costa Rica.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Bajos del Toro – Explore Culture, Trails, and Waterfalls with a Private Guide

In the morning, hummingbirds roam through the garden located across the stream. An ivy tunnel leads to the suspension bridge crossing the waterway where you will find iridescent plumages fluttering between the blossoming flowers. The larger sabrewing hummingbirds can grow to nearly six inches long and feature a slightly curved bill which they use to feed on nectar from flowering false birds-of-paradise. After breakfast, your guide leads you into town to visit the private residence of an orchid enthusiast. These rare and exotic flowers thrive in the colder tropical climate of the region.

A narrow trail winds through the garden flush with gorgeous petals of blossoming flora. Your guide stops you at row of small petals growing out of a protruding vine. He takes out a magnifying glass and holds it over the flower and shows you how the slender stem helps support the tiny blossom. The miniature orchid often grows in both the dry and wet rainforest at an altitude of nearly 3,000 feet above sea level, blossoming between October and November, and then again from May to August. You continue through the garden past petals of lavender, purple, and sensational neon pink.

After lunch, during which you will learn how to cook fried cheese and handmade tortillas, you take to the trail that winds through the 500 acres of private reserve flanked by two national parks. Your guide stops before reaching the first waterfall and points into the trees to a resplendent quetzal perched on a branch. The male has a tail 25 inches long and flows like a streamer in the breeze, and the bursts of sunlight in the trees cause the vivacious greens along its back to glow brightly against the forest canopy. 

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch

Day 3: Tortuguero – Fly to Remote Tortuguero National Park for a Day at Leisure

Tortuguero means the “Turtle Catcher,” and this name encapsulates the prestige of this secluded region on the Caribbean coastline. You wave goodbye to the hidden gem of your lodge and make your way back to San Jose’s airport for your scenic charter flight to Tortuguero. The rolling hills and mountains surrounding the Central Valley shift to the flatlands blanketed in the jade canopy of the rainforest that resembles what you imagine the Amazon to look like. Narrow canals divide the trees with freshwater winding to the coast. Your flight lands on the small landing strip surrounded by lush tropical trees.

You can hear the lapping waves of the Caribbean brushing against the sliver of sand east of the landing strip. The exotic heat fills the air as you step aboard the boat that will take you to the comforts of a lodge designed to accentuate the natural beauty of this peaceful region. Your suite makes you feel as though you have arrived on a wildlife safari and is surrounded by canals and unspoiled nature. The scent of fresh mangos and coconut emanates from the restaurant. You make your way to Tortuguero Village, which brings to the forefront Afro-Caribbean life in Costa Rica.

Boats travel along the waterway, using the canals like a highway to connect to homes, the airport, gorgeous hotels, and stunning beaches. River otters enjoy the sunlight on the edges of the river, egrets graze in the marshlands near the mangroves, and passionfruit trees grow on the edges of town allowing villagers and visitors to grab the ripe fruit as they pass. False birds-of-paradise bloom around the main street, and the scent of spicy peppers and mango drift out of the bustling restaurants connecting colonial Spanish culture to the Afro-Caribbean traditions.

What’s Included: accommodation at Tortuga Lodge, transfer, breakfast

Day 4: Tortuguero – Discover the Natural Splendors along the Canals and Beaches

In the morning, you indulge in a refreshing freshly brewed coffee to accompany the sweet and sour flavor of passionfruit. Locals enjoy the customary breakfast dish of gallo pinto, rice, and beans with fried eggs. Your guide greets you in the hotel lobby before taking you on a private boat through the jungle canals crisscrossing the more than 120 square miles of protected marshlands, high rainforest, and beaches.

Caiman hide in the water revealing the tops of their eyes and resembling driftwood. Your guide points to the sneaky reptile as you pass. When in need of heat, they crawl on the banks and open their mouths to absorb the sunlight faster. Toucans chirp from the treetops, their strong arched bills shining with colors of dark cherry, lime green, and a streak of brilliant blue.

A low groan spreads through the treetops with a rumbling, endless echo. You worry the call might stem from a jaguar or puma, but your guide points out the howler monkey troop in the trees, from which the call originated. The howler monkey grows to a length of 36 inches and is known for its unique, heart-striking call that can be heard up to three miles away. They yowl again to assure their territory in the trees. You catch the sight of a rare green macaw as it flies overhead. The birds are known to nest along the Caribbean slopes in an area less than 450 square miles.

What’s Included: accommodation at Tortuga Lodge, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Corcovado – Travel to the Osa Peninsula to Lounge in Beachside Luxury

Between the months of July to October, Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles nest on the quiet beaches with leatherback turtles returning to the shores from February to April. In the morning, you take your time on the soft, white sand of the Caribbean to enjoy the refreshing sea breeze while searching for nests before breakfast. After the meal, you take to boat and travel to the airport for your charter flight across Costa Rica to Puerto Jimenez. As you land, you notice the thin stretch of jade grass and long landing strip surrounded by endless tropical rainforest to the east. Fishing boats wade in the calm water of the Osa Peninsula with fishers casting their lines from the shoreline, on the boats, and while standing on the wooden dock.

Surfers venture to the unexplored village along Cape Matapalo to enjoy the feeling of seclusion. The waves barrel and break beyond the reef, and whitewater foams against the opulent beaches at the southern tip of the peninsula. Travel with your private driver to your magnificent lodge set atop a mountain ridge and featuring a view of the gorgeous rainforest and crystalline indigo water. The lodge is situated at 350 feet above sea level and blends into the surrounding landscape from a distance. Scarlet macaws perch in the treetops and stand-out with their vivacious red plumage. Tree frogs hide amongst the vines until night when their orange eyes and blue blacks glint in the moonlight.

What’s Included: accommodation at Aguila De Osa, transfer, breakfast

Day 6: Corcovado – Learn Local Marine Biology and Search for Birds at Sunset

At sunrise, the howler monkeys call out to one another claiming their territory amongst the canopy. The water rolls out at low tide leaving hermit crabs to rest on the sand in shells disguised as pebbles. Your guide greets you after breakfast,t keen on introducing you to the wildlife on both land and sea. Your exploration combines primary and secondary forest while also allowing for a visit to the beach and rivers spread across the miles of landscape. The sea breeze fades beneath the stoic tropical heat while scarlet macaws squawk in the trees.

Corcovado National Park is the only place in Costa Rica where all four monkey species found in the country coexist. In the quiet morning, your guide points out the spider monkeys foraging for fruits and nuts in the trees. The leaves rustle above you as the troops leap to the neighboring branches. You continue to the beach to wander along the Golfo Dulce, one of four tropical fjords in the world. The small coves and rocky islets frame the lapping water where fishers catch sea bass and snapper in abundance. Boats linger in the marina at Golfito as your guide offers information on the biodiversity of the marine life, and you discover starfish, sand crabs, and sea cucumbers along the rugged shoreline.

What’s Included: accommodation at Aguila De Osa, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Corcovado – Descend into Remote Rainforest or Perfect Beaches at Leisure

At breakfast, you delight in the sweet and juicy pineapple, accompanied by the scent of fresh coconut. Blue morpho butterflies flutter around the rainforest underbrush, and boa constrictors blend in with the vines dangling from the tree branches. The day is yours to follow the trails of the rainforest or to bask in the splendors of the sandy beaches at your leisure. Return to the paths leading into the remote primary rainforest. Your private guide points to prints made by tapirs and jaguars that have recently passed across the soil. Harpy eagles glide overhead, and the sunlight washes over the slate-black feathers of their wings and the white plumage along their belly.

You scour the trees in search of the red-backed squirrel monkey, a species which is critically endangered after losing nearly 90 percent of its original habitat. The primate populates the more than 160 square miles of protected area in Corcovado National Park. Your guide has heard of a family populating the trees along the path and leads you in their direction. He points to the burrowing holes of white-lipped peccaries and the recently shed skin of a large boa. You hear rustling in the trees, and you follow the sound to find a group of around 20 resting on the branches above. Their orange back leads to olive shoulders standing in contrast to their white cheeks. The adults can reach a length of nearly 12 inches with a tail stretching longer than their entire body.

What’s Included: accommodation at Aguila De Osa, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Corcovado – Depart for Home

Your lodge helps protect 1,000 acres of primary and secondary rainforest where more than 325 birds nest across a variety of ecosystems. Before breakfast, you partake in one final tour to enjoy the pleasures of Costa Rica’s nature, searching for raucous birds enjoying the cool morning air. The Amazon Kingfisher glows with green plumage and streaks along its flank, and it perches on branches or rocks close to water before plunging into rivers in search of fish or insects. Bare-throated tiger heron enjoys the marshland and stand in contrast to the grass with a greenish-yellow hue around their throat. Your private transfer greets you at the hotel and escorts you to the airport at Puerto Jimenez. You carry the thrills of the wildlife and nature’s pristine elegance with you on your flight back to San Jose. You land at Juan Santamaria International Airport with plenty of time to check-in to your flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast 

Price

Price 

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.