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  • When?March 2015
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Home / Explore - Costa Rica
Explore - Costa Rica
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Explore - Costa Rica

  • 11 Night Holiday
  • B&B
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A sliver of land sandwiched between the Pacific and the Caribbean, Costa Rica offers an extraordinary breadth of natural beauty and wildlife for its small size. Admire white sand beaches and tropical forests, volcanos and hot springs, on this 11 day holiday through this Central American gem.

Our Explore Costa Rica Holiday is now available to book from our sister brand TDactive Holidays – please click on this link to the TDactive Holidays website  to find out more about our TDactive holidays and to book.

 

With one of the highest biodiversity rates in the world, keep your eyes peeled for local flora and fauna, from small tree frogs and brightly coloured birds to swinging monkeys and, if you’re very lucky, the native sloth. Learn for yourself why Costa Rica is world renowned for its coffee, and discover other delicious local produce, from sugar cane and cocoa to tropical fruits. 

Experience the post-colonial capital of San José, visit the steaming Hot Springs at Eco Termales La Fortuna and the Cloud Forest Reserve at Monteverde, and take time to appreciate one of this magical country’s beautiful stretches of coastline from both the land and the sea.

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Costa Rican colón
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time -6 Hours
Passport
British and Irish passport holders do not require a visa for Costa Rica – a valid passport with at least one blank page will be required for entry. It must be valid six months from your return date of travel. Other nationalities should confirm their status with the relevant Embassy or consulate.
Climate

Costa Rica has a diverse and varied climate. Though generally classified as a tropical country because of its close proximity to the equator, Costa Rica has no real winter period, and the sun shines here throughout the year. In general the weather can be classified as a dry/high season and a wet /green season.

Altitude
Poas Volcano is at quite high altitude at 2708m. Altitude sickness is common at high altitudes. Some visitors may suffer from symptoms that will generally disappear through acclimatisation. If you suffer from high blood pressure, anaemia, respiratory problems or heart disease it is recommended to consult with your doctor before travelling.
Vaccination Information

Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau.

Flight Time

The total travelling time from Dublin to San Jose is 20 hours approx, which consists of two flights and a 4 hour stop over in Newark. Juan Santamaría International Airport is located near the city of Alajuela, 20 km west of downtown San José, approximately 20 minutes drive from your hotel in the city. 

Food & Drink

For authentic Costa Rican eating, head to the local Soda, a basic café selling simple, inexpensive food. The local speciality is Gallo Pinto, or rice and beans, which is can be found at any and all restaurants using various combinations of herbs and spices.  International cuisine is easily found, too, including many American, Mexican and Japanese style eateries. There is a variety of local tropical fruits and vegetables to enjoy, including mango, pineapple, papaya and plantain, as well as fresh seafood along the coasts. Most importantly, Costa Rica is known for its coffee, generally regarded as among the best in the world.

Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: $2
  • Beer: $4
  • Glass of wine: $7
  • Meal: $10
  • Soft Drink: $1.50
  • Bottled Water: $1.50
Packing List
  • A warm jacket as temperatures can drop quite a bit at night.
  • Good walking shoes
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sun screen
  • A hat
  • Camera
  • Light, cotton clothing 
Recommended reading
  • The History of Costa Rica, by Ivan Molina and Steven Palmer.
  • The Ticos: Culture and Social Change by Richard, Karen, and Mavis Biesanz,
  • The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics, What Happen: A Folk-History of Costa Rica's Talamanca Coast by Paula Palmer.

Holiday highlights

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Follow the trails on foot through the nature reserve that is home to more than 100 species of mammals and more than 400 species of birds. The unbelievable biodiversity found in Monteverde Cloud Forest has given it international acclaim as one of the most exceptional refuges in the entire world.

Arenal Volcano

Set in the tropical, green lowlands, the perfect cone-shaped Arenal Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Enjoy views of this majestic volcano during your visits to the Areanal National Park and Ecotermales La Fortuna .

Doka Coffee Plantation

Located in the coffee capital of Costa Rica. The farm belongs to the Costa Rican Vargas Ruiz family, pioneers of coffee production for more than 70 years.

El Trapiche Tour

The El Trapiche plantation is run by a Costa Rican family and during your tour you will have the opportunity to learn about sugar cane cultivation, the coffee process and cocoa production. To finish the tour of the plantation, you will be invited to make a short trip in an oxen cart if you wish.

Sunset Catamaran Cruise from Playa Hermosa

Enjoy a sunset Catamaran tour while silently glide along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast while passing some of Guanacaste’s exotic bays, white sand beaches and tropical jungles. Gaze off the bow with a cold tropical drink prepared and served by the crew as you scan the seas for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish or even a breaching whale.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Costa Rican colón
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time -6 Hours
Passport
British and Irish passport holders do not require a visa for Costa Rica – a valid passport with at least one blank page will be required for entry. It must be valid six months from your return date of travel. Other nationalities should confirm their status with the relevant Embassy or consulate.
Climate

Costa Rica has a diverse and varied climate. Though generally classified as a tropical country because of its close proximity to the equator, Costa Rica has no real winter period, and the sun shines here throughout the year. In general the weather can be classified as a dry/high season and a wet /green season.

Altitude
Poas Volcano is at quite high altitude at 2708m. Altitude sickness is common at high altitudes. Some visitors may suffer from symptoms that will generally disappear through acclimatisation. If you suffer from high blood pressure, anaemia, respiratory problems or heart disease it is recommended to consult with your doctor before travelling.
Vaccination Information

Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau.

Flight Time

The total travelling time from Dublin to San Jose is 20 hours approx, which consists of two flights and a 4 hour stop over in Newark. Juan Santamaría International Airport is located near the city of Alajuela, 20 km west of downtown San José, approximately 20 minutes drive from your hotel in the city. 

Food & Drink

For authentic Costa Rican eating, head to the local Soda, a basic café selling simple, inexpensive food. The local speciality is Gallo Pinto, or rice and beans, which is can be found at any and all restaurants using various combinations of herbs and spices.  International cuisine is easily found, too, including many American, Mexican and Japanese style eateries. There is a variety of local tropical fruits and vegetables to enjoy, including mango, pineapple, papaya and plantain, as well as fresh seafood along the coasts. Most importantly, Costa Rica is known for its coffee, generally regarded as among the best in the world.

Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: $2
  • Beer: $4
  • Glass of wine: $7
  • Meal: $10
  • Soft Drink: $1.50
  • Bottled Water: $1.50
Packing List
  • A warm jacket as temperatures can drop quite a bit at night.
  • Good walking shoes
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sun screen
  • A hat
  • Camera
  • Light, cotton clothing 
Recommended reading
  • The History of Costa Rica, by Ivan Molina and Steven Palmer.
  • The Ticos: Culture and Social Change by Richard, Karen, and Mavis Biesanz,
  • The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics, What Happen: A Folk-History of Costa Rica's Talamanca Coast by Paula Palmer.

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 - Travel Costa Rica

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Morning

Travel to Costa Rica

Upon arriving in San Jose you will be met by our local representative in the arrivals area of the airport, before being transferred to your hotel.

Day 2 - Muelle de San Carlos

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Morning

Muelle de San Carlos

Today you will travel from San Jose to the Muelle de San Carlos area with a visit to Doka Coffee Plantation and Poas Volcano National Park en route. Enjoy lunch at a typical Costa Rican restaurant before arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon.

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Evening

At Leisure

Relax at your hotel and get to know your surroundings.

Day 3 - Arenal National Park & Eco Termales Hot Springs

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Morning

At Leisure

Enjoy a morning at leisure in Muelle de San Carlos.

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Afternoon

Arenal National Park & Eco Termales Hot Springs

Take in views of the majestic Arenal Volcano during your afternoon tour to the Arenal hanging bridges at Arenal National Park followed by a visit to Eco Termales Hot Springs to enjoy the thermal pools. The Eco Termales’ natural hot springs are heated right from the heart of the Arenal Volcano. Set within the rainforest, this offers the perfect opportunity to unwind. Enjoy dinner at Eco Termales La Fortuna before arriving back at your hotel in the evening.

Day 4 - Muelle de San Carlos

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Full Day

Muelle de San Carlos

Enjoy a full day at leisure in Muelle de San Carlos. Our local representative will be happy to suggest some optional activities that you can avail of locally.

Day 5 - Monteverde

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Morning

Monteverde

In the morning depart for the Monteverde area, with stops included en-route. Located high in the Tilaran Mountain Range at an altitude of about 4300ft above sea level, Monteverde is one of Costa Rica’s most scenic spots. Monteverde is best known for its biological reserves protecting a treasure trove of rare flora and fauna including the three-wattle bell bird and the legendary resplendent quetzal.

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Afternoon

At Leisure

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings, or opt in for more excitement with some local excursions which your guide can assist you with.

Day 6 - Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

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Morning

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Depart your hotel in the morning for the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Follow the trails on foot through the nature reserve where more than 100 species of mammals live in the park as well as 2,500 species of plants. The Monteverde Reserve is also one of the best places to see the endangered quetzal bird, as it migrates to the lower portions of the park during mating season. The unbelievable biodiversity found in Monteverde has given it international acclaim as one of the most exceptional refuges in the entire world.

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Afternoon

At Leisure

Enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure in Monteverde.

Day 7 - Playa Hermosa

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Morning

Playa Hermosa

Today you will travel from Monteverde to Playa Hermosa, situated on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast, for a 3 night stay.

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Afternoon

Playa Hermosa

Spend the rest of your day at leisure, enjoying the facilities at your hotel, and the local beach.

Day 8 - Playa Hermosa & Sunset Catamaran Tour

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At Leisure

Morning

Enjoy a free day to avail of your hotel facilities and the beach.

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Evening

Sunset Catamaran Cruise

Set off on a Sunset Catamaran tour, silently glide along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast while passing some of Guanacaste’s exotic bays, white sand beaches and tropical jungles. Gaze off the bow with a cold tropical drink as you scan the seas for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish or even a breaching whale.

Day 9 - Playa Hermosa

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Full Day

At Leisure

Enjoy a free day to avail of your hotel facilities and the beach.

Day 10 - San Jose

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Morning

Travel to San Jose

Depart Playa Hermosa in the morning for a transfer to San Jose. On arrival in San Jose you will stop for lunch at El Patio Restaurant in downtown San Jose.

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Afternoon

San Jose

Enjoy a panoramic city tour of San José. San Jose is located in the centre of the Central Valley surrounded by volcanic mountain ranges. The city tour will show you the main sights, residential areas and the National Theatre. A visit to the Gold Museum is included. The Gold Museum has the largest collection of Pre-Columbian gold jewellery in Central America

Day 11 - Return Home

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Morning

Return Home

Depart your hotel for an early morning transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Hotel Palma Real 3 Star

Hotel Palma Real is located in San Jose, 400m from La Sabana Park, home to the Costa Rica National Stadium. With its welcoming atmosphere and comfortable, well equipped rooms, it provides an ideal base for relaxing and sightseeing in the city.... read more read more read more

Hotel Palma Real is located in San Jose, 400m from La Sabana Park, home to the Costa Rica National Stadium. With its welcoming atmosphere and comfortable, well equipped rooms, it provides an ideal base for relaxing and sightseeing in the city.

Hotel address
Hotel Palma Real
Calle 50, Ave 9
200 Mts. North of ICE
Sabana Norte
View available dates for this hotel

Tilajari Resort Hotel 3

Tilajari Resort Hotel lies in a green setting alongside the San Carlos River in the northern zone of Costa Rica, where cool mountains and warm plains dotted with ranches and farms combine with lush natural beauty. Just a 30 minute journey away is the spectacular Arenal Volca... read more read more read more

Tilajari Resort Hotel lies in a green setting alongside the San Carlos River in the northern zone of Costa Rica, where cool mountains and warm plains dotted with ranches and farms combine with lush natural beauty. Just a 30 minute journey away is the spectacular Arenal Volcano and its lake. 

Hotel address
Tilajari Resort Hotel
P.O. Box 81
4400 Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica

San Carlos
View available dates for this hotel

Hotel Heliconia 3

Hotel Heliconia is located on a stunning 6 acre property and is surrounded by lush, tropical rain forest, home to hundreds of exotic birds and animals. The lodge offers a unique panoramic view of Monteverde and the area. The rustic-style rooms are decorated with a wood finish, co... read more read more read more

Hotel Heliconia is located on a stunning 6 acre property and is surrounded by lush, tropical rain forest, home to hundreds of exotic birds and animals. The lodge offers a unique panoramic view of Monteverde and the area. The rustic-style rooms are decorated with a wood finish, contributing to the homely ambiance.

Hotel address
Hotel Heliconia
Monteverde Cerro Plano
Puntarenas

View available dates for this hotel

Hotel Bosque del Mar 3 Star

Hotel Bosque del Mar is located on one of the best maintained beaches in the country, in the sunny province of Guanacaste, on Playa Hermosa. While stying at the Bosque del Mar, guests can enjoy the bar, restaurant, swimming pool, jacuzzi, and lush tropical gardens with hammocks. ... read more read more read more

Hotel Bosque del Mar is located on one of the best maintained beaches in the country, in the sunny province of Guanacaste, on Playa Hermosa. While stying at the Bosque del Mar, guests can enjoy the bar, restaurant, swimming pool, jacuzzi, and lush tropical gardens with hammocks. The beach-front makes this hotel unique and charming.

Hotel address
Hotel Bosque del Mar
Guanacaste Province
Playa Hermosa
Costa Rica
View available dates for this hotel

*Some hotel facilities are seasonally operated and may not be available at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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