A Week in Costa Rica
Spend time in 2 of Costa Rica’s top wildlife and activity destinations: Arenal and Manuel Antonio, on this week long concentrated highlights holiday.
A Week in Costa Rica
Prices from: £1,515 pp for 8 days
If you have limited time and want to see what makes Costa Rica such a special location, this holiday is designed for you. Making the best use of your time you travel to just 2 destinations after your initial night at a coffee plantation just outside San José. This means that you spend more time exploring and watching wildlife and less time travelling from A to B and packing and unpacking your bags.
At Arenal you take to the heights with a Sky Walk, crossing bridges suspended high in the rainforest canopy and watching from viewing platforms, with a guide on hand to help you spot the many birds and mammals. It’s an almost ethereal experience, so high above the ground. You also see the forest from the ground on a hike near the base of Arenal Volcano, as well as walking through lava flows formed as recently as 1991.
Manuel Antonio National Park combines rainforest with the coast, and your introductory guided tour shows you some of each aspect. After that you have free time to indulge in the many activities available, from counting how many species you can spot to listening to frogs on a night hike, to the sight of dolphins on a catamaran tour to touring a spice plantation with the air heady with the scent of vanilla and cinnamon. And of course you can always laze on the beach…
Add lovely hotels, smiling people and tasty food and this would be a week well spent in anyone’s book!
- San Jose 1 night
- Arenal 2 nights
- Manual Antonio 4 nights
Day 1: A representative is waiting to meet you when you arrive at San José international airport, and drives you to your first night’s accommodation just 30 minutes away. Finca Rosa Blanca is a delightfully quirky villa set on a coffee plantation in the hills above the Central Valley. Cool off with a swim in the pool (complete with a waterfall), take a stroll in the gardens and admire the many paintings and sculptures found throughout the property. There’s a restaurant if you don’t feel like venturing into town for dinner.
Finca Rosa Blanca
Day 2: After breakfast in the open-sided restaurant, you set off for Arenal, a drive of around 3 hours, stopping when you want to stretch your legs. Your hotel is within sight of the mighty Arenal Volcano, a perfectly symmetrical cone, whose top is often covered in cloud. As soon as you’ve freshened up you’re whisked off to experience the Sky Walk. This is made up of a series of suspended bridges connecting forest trails, and is a wonderful introduction to the lush beauty of the rainforest, with a knowledgeable guide bringing the scene vividly to life. You return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Breakfast
Arenal Springs Hotel
Day 3: With nothing planned for this morning you can opt for a lazy start if you wish, but you might like to rise early to join the dawn birdwatching tour and a chance to spot toucans, parrots and tanagers among many others, benefitting from the keen eye and expertise of your guide. You return in time for breakfast. After lunch you have a guided walk at the base of Arenal, taking in the varied terrains of rainforest and lava flows. The hike concludes with a visit to some hot springs and a delicious soak in the health-bestowing waters, so don’t forget your bathing costume and towel! Breakfast, dinner
Day 4: Time to head to the coast. It’s a trip of about 5 hours, though you can stop en-route when you wish. Your destination is Sí Como No, a 58-room resort with great access to both the rainforest and the beach – the twin attractions of Manuel Antonio National Park. You have time to check out the hotel’s facilities which include a lovely swimming pool, pretty gardens, a spa and gift shop. There are 2 restaurants within the resort and others within walking distance, so you have plenty of choice for tonight’s meal. Breakfast
Si Como No
Day 5: This morning you accompany a local guide on a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park. The walk lasts approximately 3 hours and travels through rainforest where you can expect to encounter several species of monkeys, sloths, iguanas, butterflies and lots of birds. The walk ends at one of the park’s beautiful sandy beaches. From here you can return directly to the hotel or opt to spend some time sunbathing and swimming. There are regular shuttle buses from the beach back to Sí Como No, so you can head back whenever you like. Breakfast
Days 6 and 7: There’s almost too much to do! Wildlife: join a bird watching tour, visit the butterfly garden, marvel at the scarlet macaws of Carara National Park. Adventure and activity: test your mettle with a zip-line canopy safari, hike to a waterfall, go horse riding in the rainforest, go surfing or parasailing, join a tour of a local spice plantation. (Guided tours to be paid for locally). Of course you can just stay put and enjoy some quiet r and r at the hotel or on the beach. It’s completely up to you. Breakfast
Day 8: Enjoy breakfast on the terrace within sight of the ocean before packing your bags ready for the 3 hour drive to the airport at San José and your flight home. Breakfast
2017 price from (pp sharing): Jan-April £1,595. May-June and Sept-Oct £1,515. July-Aug £1,575 (ex. international flights)
Note: Dates over festive periods such as Easter will attract a supplement over the prices above.
Transfers, ground transport, 6 nights twin share accommodation, meals as specified
Tours: afternoon private Sky Walk in Arenal National Park, afternoon guided hike and hot springs visit in Arenal, morning guided hike in Manuel Antonio National Park
International flights, departure taxes, visas, travel insurance, meals not specified, drinks, optional excursions and activities, personal expenses, tips
This tour starts and ends in San Jose. Return flight prices from the UK start from around £600.
This is a private, tailor-made holiday and can begin on any day you chose, subject to availability.
Just a short drive from San José international airport, this striking white-washed villa is on a working coffee plantation overlooking the Central Valley. It is no less impressive on the inside: walls throughout the property are covered with local paintings and artworks commissioned by the artist-owner, adding colour and character. Suites have ceiling fans, minibar, coffee maker with a supply of coffee from the plantation, free Wi-Fi and bathroom with shower and organic toiletries. Many also have Jacuzzis. You’ll have a private terrace where you can sit and unwind. Facilities include a lounge, bar, restaurant and spa. Feel free to wander round the gardens where you’ll find a greenhouse and chicken coop, and spend lazy hours by the outdoor pool.
The hotel offers accommodation is spacious air conditioned suites with TV, phone, minibar, hot drinks maker, safe and private terrace. There are 2 swimming pools, 1 adult-only and with a swim-up bar. As a guest you also have access to the 4 hot springs, all set at different temperatures, a hydro-massage Jacuzzi and extensive gardens. The spa provides several types of massage, body wraps, manicures and pedicures. The main restaurant offers local and international dishes, and there’s also an Italian diner where you can enjoy pastas and pizzas. While here you can enjoy nature tours and adrenalin activities in Arenal National Park and the surrounding area.
The resort occupies part of the hillside above one of Manual Antonio’s gorgeous beaches. While here you can go hiking in the forest, take canopy tours, go snorkelling, surfing and cruising in a catamaran. Activities can be interspersed with visits to the spa where you can enjoy a therapeutic massage or cleansing scrub, and relaxed downtime by the pool. Sí Como No’s standard rooms provide comfort and amenities such as minibar, phone, air conditioning, ceiling fan, en-suite bathroom and views of the rainforest. Deluxe rooms and suites also have balconies. One of the restaurants specialises in seafood and has a terrace with views of the ocean, and the other is a more casual diner by the pool.
Take the plunge...
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