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Untouched Costa Rica

Remote lodges and wildlife | View photos »

Stay in the finest properties in some of the least visited parts of Costa Rica as you experience, first hand, the combination of biodiversity and great hospitality which makes this such a popular place to visit.

17 day trip described, guide price £5,660pp i

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Sample itinerary

Travel to Costa Rica

On arrival in San José you are met and taken to your boutique hotel overlooking the central valley. Your first taste of the Costa Rica wildlife will be in the cloudforest surrounding the lodge, an idyllic place to recover from your journey. International flights are quoted separately for this trip.

Relax in the grounds of your lodge

Today is free to relax at your hotel. The hotel is set amid 40 acres of coffee and fruit plantations and has a number of self-guided trails. Otherwise simply relax and enjoy the facilities, which include three swimming pools. If you wanted to get out and explore, nearby are the Poas Volcano and the Doka Coffee Estate.

Travel to a lodge on the Golfo Dulce

This morning fly from the domestic airport in San José to the Golfo Dulce down in the south, Costa Rica’s last wilderness. Whilst you are in this region you have an excellent chance of seeing several species of monkey and a host of birdlife. The more elusive jaguar, ocelot, and tapir also make the forest their home. On arrival you have the afternoon free to settle into your beautiful jungle lodge. This evening you might like to join the night walk to give you your first taste of the local wildlife.

Guided tours around the Golfo Dulce

Each day you have a menu of guided hikes and excursions to chose from in the surrounding area, as well as a network of self-guided trails to explore. All of the excursions are led by the excellent staff of English-speaking naturalist guides, most of whom are from the local area. Choose from hikes to waterfalls, wildlife spotting and kayaking in the deep blue waters of the bay.

Guided tours around the Golfo Dulce

You have another full day to enjoy this spectacular natural area. You might like to consider taking a boat out to spot the various species of dolphins which are frequently sighted. In June to September you also have the splendid sight of migratory humpback whales. For a more active day, you might like to try out Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), it's a fun way to explore the waterways and coastline.

Travel back to San José by plane

You leave the jungles of the far south this morning and fly back north to San Jose to stay overnight, this time in a lovely boutique hotel in the centre of town. You should have some time to explore independently this afternoon. Although not the most enchanting of cities, the Gold Museum and theatre are worth a look, and there are some very good restaurants.

Raft through the rainforests of Pacuare

Today you will be met and taken in to your lovely lodge in the Pacuare rainforest. A stop for breakfast is made along the way, after which you will arrive at the embarkation point. You will then travel by raft, experiencing some exhilarating waves, as you make your way through lush tropical vegetation.

Day to explore the Pacuare jungle

You have a full day today to explore the surroundings of Pacuare Lodge. The setting is absolutely beautiful, on the banks of the river looking along the high valley sides. It’s often possible to see monkeys directly from the lodge, and there is abundant birdlife. As well as hiking in the vicinity of the lodge, you can also choose to hike to a local indigenous settlement and learn about their way of life.

Raft some more then drive to the Cloudforest

Raft out of the jungle on a thrilling and scenically stunning journey. Shooting through tropical humid rainforest, you will be surrounded by steep forested hills and plunging canyons, often enshrouded in mist. After the rafting is finished and you are dry, you will collect the keys to your 4x4 and set off on the two hour drive to the Bajos del Toro cloudforest area to the north of San José.

Self guided walking on cloudforest trails

Today is free to explore the fascinating flora and fauna of the cloudforest. The lodge has a system of well-maintained forest trails of varying length and strenuousness. Guides are on hand to suggest routes that would be most suitable for you. The cloudforest canopy is extremely rich with humming birds, colourful butterflies, exotic frogs and orchids.

Drive up north into the dry forests

Head north today, up to Rio Perdido in the Guanacaste province. Your lodge is set deep within its own 600-acre private reserve, where the waters from two rivers meet in converging canyons. Explore and walk up to the lodge's thermal springs, tucked away in the gorge.

Explore your surroundings from a new angle: zip lines

The lodge has a first rate series of zip lines, swings and hanging bridges which run between platforms suspended high on the canyon walls, and this morning we include the canopy adventure. Tubing is another option on offer here, climb into a large inflated inner tube and let the river take you.

Drive to the remote Pacific coast

Set off from your hotel this morning and drive to the Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. There are various options for hotels during this part of your holiday; here we describe the most remarkable of them, Nosara. Set among the trees overlooking the sweeping golden sands of the Pacific coast, your lodge is the perfect hideaway.

Enjoy time at Nosara

Today is free to relax or perhaps try something more adventurous. During the day you can take surfing lessons, ride horses and mountain bikes, go zip-lining in the forest canopy, walk, kayak on the local river or relax on the beach. No activities are included but the following is a suggestion of what you may like to do each day. This is equally a place where it is very easy to just be still.

At the beach, or exploring road

Another day at leisure. You may want to try your hand at surfing today – the hotel can point you towards the best spots. If you’re a beginner you can also book a private surfing lesson. These take place on the local beach which is quiet and uncrowded – perfect for getting your confidence up.

Last day at the coast

As this is your final day you may just like to relax and soak up the sun. The sunsets on this stretch of the Pacific coast are particularly spectacular.

Travel home

Head off from your hotel after breakfast back to San José airport to check-in for your chosen international flight home. Please note: international flights are quoted separately for this holiday.

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Map of the area

"Our holiday to Costa Rica surpassed all our expectations - it was truly a trip of a lifetime in all that we saw and experienced."

"Our holiday to Costa Rica surpassed all our expectations - it was truly a trip of a lifetime in all that we saw and experienced."

See more independent reviews for Pura Aventura at Feefo

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"Everything worked perfectly and every location was unique and spectacular... Pacuare was truly magical and the pods and canopy adventure at Rio Perdido were fantastic. All in all an amazing experience. "

"Everything worked perfectly and every location was unique and spectacular... Pacuare was truly magical and the pods and canopy adventure at Rio Perdido were fantastic. All in all an amazing experience. "

See more independent reviews for Pura Aventura at Feefo

Read more »

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About this trip


Stay in the finest properties in some of the least visited parts of Costa Rica as you experience, first hand, the combination of biodiversity and great hospitality which makes this such a popular place to visit.

How adventurous?

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1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5

Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Level of activity

This holiday is primarily conceived of as a journey for lovers of wildlife and the great outdoors who don't want to compromise on their home comforts either. It is about being in the great outdoors, exploring new landscapes and ecosystems and seeing the incredible range of birds, plants and animals which surround you. That does mean that you will be out and about in these different places but the degree of activity tends towards relaxed nature walks.

The exception is the rafting down the Pacuare River. This takes you east towards the Caribbean coast over the course of two days - staying in a gorgeous jungle lodge as a half-way reward. Rafting the Pacuare is a fantastic way to see the rainforest with howler monkeys and toucan overhead and thick vegetation reaching over from each side of you. Depending on the time of year the water levels will mean that the rafting is either a fun and constantly bumpy grade III ride or it will be an adrenaline fuelled grade IV adventure. As long as you can swim, the trip is safe for anyone - the river teams are great at their job.

Saying that, this is a tailor made holiday which we can adapt to suit you. As such, the level of exertion is determined by you and you alone. Costa Rica has landscapes which are incredibly varied given how small it is. This variety feeds through to the activities, everything from hiking to sports fishing, rafting to canopy walkways, horse rides to bike rides is on offer here. What we provide for you is local information based on our first hand experiences to help you create the best possible trip. Sometimes it makes sense for us to include structured activities at the planning stage, other times you are better off waiting until you get to Costa Rica. It is part of our job to advise you which option is best for you in which parts of the country.

Level of comfort

Over the course of this trip you stay in a series of first class lodges and small hotels. In Costa Rica we choose our accommodation very carefully, particularly premium lodges and hotels can quickly become faceless - places where 'luxury' rules the roost to the detriment of personality. On this holiday you stay in a selection of the very finest lodges and hotels, finest in the sense that they are very, very comfortable. They are also in the right places, peacefully and splendidly engaged with their surroundings.

The weather in Costa Rica is defined by the dry season (December - April), and the 'green' season (May - November). However, this is not particularly helpful given the sheer range of micro-climates in the country. It's pretty much always wet and cool in the cloudforest for instance, and it's pretty much always hot and dry in the far north of the country. Broadly speaking, Costa Rica has a tropical climate. This means that it is warm and humid year round. The 'green' season tends to mean that you can get rains on the western side of the country but usually these are showers which happen in the evening and provide welcome relief from the heat of the day. In early May you have the transition from dry to wet season and this can bring heavy rains and storms on the Pacific side so somewhere in May there is usually a week of dramatic weather. Many lodges in the far south close for a period between September and early December.

Level of culture

Costa Rica is a country which does not have a long history of human population, just about 10,000 years. The settlers in Costa Rica had to work their own fields which meant that the colonial powers basically left it alone to grow into its own unique and peaceful personality. This is a country of farmers, a friendly place which, when combined with its extraordinary biodiversity and variety of ecosystems, has made it a very natural magnet for tourism.

This means that it is easy to visit Costa Rica and leave with great memories of the landscapes and all the fun stuff it delivers so well but with little true sense of place. That is why we are so passionate about making sure that you stay in the right places, that you travel the right roads and you travel with as much good information as possible from us to equip you to stop and meet people along the way, see something of ordinarily lives.

One particularly notable example of community-based tourism in this particular holiday, which comes at the end of your trip. You stay in a beautiful hotel which has had a remarkably positive influence on the communities surrounding it - encouraging re-population of what was a fading village, providing work for artisans and artists as well as for guides and workers in the hotel. There are few places you will stay where you get such a strong sense of community integration with a hotel, particularly a premium one.


There is a detailed itinerary for this Costa Rica trip, in the form set out above. Please get in touch and we can email that to you. However, as a tailor made trip, if you would like to make changes, that is absolutely fine too. We just need to take a moment to discuss things with you first to find out how to best create your holiday.

The holiday price is a guideline per person based on two, travelling in high season (January-April), with accommodation and meals as detailed in the summary above. It includes internal flights, transfers and for the latter stages of the trip, a manual 4x4 rental car with GPS for one driver. It also includes activities and excursions as described in the itinerary. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura Aventura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.

Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best flight routings are to fly into San José (airport code: SJO) and out of Liberia (airport code: LIR) which is close to the end point of the journey. It is possible to fly in and out of San José though you may need to overnight in the city before flying home.


Departs any day to suit you, from December through August.

Next steps...

Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure

01273 676712

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

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Book Subscribe to The Pothole » Playa Cativo Lodge from the gulf One of three pools at the Xandari Plantation hotel near San José Coffee beans growing in Costa Rica's Central Valley Rainbow over Golfo Dulce, Osa Peninsula Sloth clinging on Dolphin leaping in the Galapagos Islands Coming in to land on Costa Rica's remote Pacific coast Wild action on the Pacuara River The canopy walkway at the Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica Rafting past the Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica The damp canopy of the bird rich cloud forest of Costa Rica Volcanic mud in a bowl at Rio Perdido, Tenorio Tubing at Rio Perdido Avellanas beach, Nicoya Peninsula The beach at Nosara, Costa Rica Surfing off the beach of Punta Islita, Costa Rica Sunset over the Pacific The striking heleconia flower, symbol of Costa Rica