Turtles, Volcanoes and Monkeys

Turtles, Volcanoes, & Monkeys: Turtles, volcanoes, and monkeys, oh my!  Take a journey to a remote corner of Costa Rica to witness the magical spectacle of seasonal turtle nesting/hatching up in Tortuguero before moving inland to the iconic Arenal Volcano.  Explore primary rainforest rich with lush fauna and wildlife and soak in therapeutic mineral hot springs in the evening.  Hike along the turquoise blue waters of Rio Celeste and to its beautiful cascading waterfall.  Cap off your adventure by lounging alongside troops of howler monkeys at Capitan Suizo’s beachfront pool.  These authentic, charming hotels offer a front row seat to Costa Rica’s “wild side” without sacrificing your own creature comforts.

Destinations: San Jose, Tortuguero, La Fortuna, Tamarindo

Duration: 11 days

*Price Range: $$$

*Rates inclusive of full vacation experience – hotels, tours, domestic transfers, and tax (excluding international airfare).  Actual price based on length of travel, number of travelers/rooms, seasonal rates (high, low, peak), number of tour activities, and mode of domestic transportation.

$$$: At or under $1,200 per person.

$$$: $1,200 – $1,800 per person.

$$$: $1,800+ per person

  1. Day 1

    Fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) where one of our local airport representatives will meet you before immigration holding a sign with your name on it.  Outside the airport your private transfer will be waiting to help you with your luggage.  Drive 15-minutes into the heart of San Jose and check into Grano de Oro, a once Victorian mansion converted into a luxury boutique hotel.  With one of the top restaurants in the city, you’ll want to have dinner on the property before retreating to their rooftop jacuzzis.

  2. Day 2

    An early start will have you headed up to the far northeast corner of Costa Rica for a nature-intense experience along the canals of Tortuguero.  Your half day’s journey to this remote part of the country is part of the adventure!  Keep a watchful eye out for birds, monkeys and sloth as you traverse the water canals to reach Hotel Manatus.  Enjoy an a la carte lunch after check-in and refresh in the pool with a tropical drink before heading out on a Twilight Tour to experience the jungle come alive (again) at night.

  3. Day 3

    Kayak or boat through Tortuguero National Park for a chance to spot an abundance of wildlife – birds, monkeys, sloths, crocodile, caiman, tree frogs, jaguars (if you’re really lucky), and manatees all call these forests and waterways home.  If experiencing Tortuguero during turtle nesting or hatching season, a guided night tour is a must to see these massive and majestic creatures make their way up the beach to lay eggs or to see the babies hatch and migrate out to sea.

  4. Day 4

    Make your way from the far corner of Costa Rica back inland to the iconic Arenal Volcano.  Located on 120-acres of primary rainforest, your stay at Lost Iguana is a jungle oasis further removed from the other hotels in the region.  With an ambiance that naturally blends into the surrounding, you’ll feel at one with nature while still being a stone’s throw away of all the adventure activities Arenal is known for.

  5. Day 5

    No trip to Arenal Volcano is complete without an evening in the hot springs.  Combine the hot springs experience with one of many half-day activities such as horseback riding to La Fortuna Waterfall, hanging bridges, or the famous canopy zip-line.  During the other half of your day, enjoy the cascading waterfall pool at Lost Iguana or walk one of the self-guided trails through tropical rainforest.

  6. Day 6

    Journey an hour north of Lost Iguana to Tenorio Volcano National Park where you’ll hike along the incredibly vibrant blue waters of Rio Celeste.  The deeper you hike into the jungle along the winding river, the more blue the water becomes.  Hike down to its impressive waterfall for a picturesque photo opportunity.

  7. Day 7

    Today’s shorter journey will bring you to the Pacific Coast just outside the happening town of Tamarindo.  Here you’ll check into Capitan Suizo, a charming beachfront boutique hotel with a privileged location removed from the center of town but within comfortable walking distance to all the action.  Tall palms and lush landscape attract troops of monkeys who are known to lounge alongside guests at the pool.

  8. Day 8

    Grab a complimentary surf or boogie board and head down to the beach!  The calmer break directly in front of Capitan Suizo is perfect for beginners learning to surf.  Intermediate and advanced surfers can head further down the coastline for more challenging surf opportunities.

  9. Day 9

    After a massage on the beach, enjoy a catamaran trip where you’re likely to spot dolphins playing in the boat’s wake.  Grab a mask and snorkel to see what other marine creatures lie beneath the ocean or simply enjoy a drink while soaking up the sun.

  10. Day 10

    Sometimes one of the best vacation activities is simply doing nothing at all!  Enjoy your last full day in paradise on the beach.  Cheers your last (for now) Costa Rican sunset at Capitan Suizo’s beachside bar.

  11. Day 11

    Take a private ground transfer to Liberia (LIR) for your international flight home.

Itinerary Highlights:

  • Dine at one of the top restaurants in San Jose, Grano de Oro
  • Watch turtle nesting/hatching up in Tortuguero (seasonal)
  • Walk along the vibrant blue river banks of Rio Celeste
  • Lounge poolside with howler monkeys at Capitan Suizo
  • Catch a colorful sunset while dolphins swim alongside your catamaran


Best for: Nature Lover, Family, Couple, Wellness/Spa  

Bucket list experiences: Turtle nesting, wildlife, Tortuguero National Park, volcano, hot springs, rainforest, waterfall, dolphins, beach

Accommodations & Location:

  • Grano de Oro, San Jose
  • Manatus, Tortuguero
  • Lost Iguana, La Fortuna
  • Capitan Suizo, Tamarindo

Every Central America Vacation itinerary includes 24/7 in-country support.  We’re here with you every step of the way to insure the best experience possible, from the initial planning stages to the moment you’re on your flight home!