This tour stretches over 14 nights, giving you plenty of time to get to know Costa Rica, from its must-sees to its hidden gems. On your first day, you’ll get stuck in to the country’s iconic natural sights. A hike along the Las Pailas loop trail in the Rincón de la Vieja National Park is first up on the agenda. Once you’ve had your walk, it’s time for a dip in some hot springs, bracketed by waterfalls. On your next day, you’ll be up bright and early to watch the sun rise over the national park, before travelling to the country’s Central Pacific region. The following day, it’s time to tick off another picture-perfect national park – Carara. Wildlife spotting’s the name of the game as you hike through the park – we’re talking monkeys, sloths, and armadillos. In the afternoon, it’s time to board a boat for a trip along the Tárcoles River. Keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds like the scarlet macaw as you bob along the water. On day five, you’ll move on to the Manuel Antonio National Park, which combines rainforests full of animals with beaches blanketed with white sand.
Your next day’s all about Costa Rica’s coastline. You’ll get to snorkel along Cano Island’s coral reefs, before taking a boat ride to Violines Island where swimming and sunbathing’s on the to-do list. In the morning, you’ll visit the cascading Nauyaca Waterfalls. The next day will take you to San Gerardo de Dota, to spot the brightly coloured quetzal bird, before you head off to the Irazu Volcano National Park. You’ll want to pack your camera for this one – think volcanic craters and an emerald green lake. And, to round it all off, you’ll sightsee in Cartago city. The next day brings even more wildlife – this time, turtles. You’ll learn about the sea turtle conservation work that goes on in Tortuguero National Park. You’ll spend a few days here, too, ticking off a sloth-spotting boat trip along the mangroves and a sunrise walk along jungle nature trails. Then, it’s on to San José, the country’s capital. You’ll kick things off with a walking tour here, before taking a dip in the toasty Tabacon Hot Springs. On your second-to-last day, you’ll get to know the rainforest from the floor to the canopy. Wander through the forest and visit the Danaus Ecocenter, before heading right up into the trees to walk the Arenal Hanging Bridges. Your final day will begin with a boat ride across Lake Arenal, before you start your journey to Monteverde. En route, you’ll make a stop at the Don Juan coffee plantation. Here, you’ll find out exactly how coffee’s made, from bean to brew. Then, you’ll finish up with a night-time tour of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, before bedding down for one last night before home-time.
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Mexico’s Caribbean beaches are just the start of its holiday hotspot credentials. It’s crammed with the likes of charming colonial towns and ancient Mayan ruins, so how do you make sure you don’t miss a trick? Well, this tour’s a good place to start. On your first day, you’ll have some time to get settled in your Cancun hotel, and explore the city. The following morning, you’ll head off to the Riá Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, where you’ll take a boat trip to spot flocks of flamingos and crocodiles swimming in the water. Next, it’s time to take a dip in some natural mud baths, before you swim in one of Mexico’s famous cenotes. You’ll finish up your day by travelling to Chichen Itza.
You’ll be up with the sunrise for your third day, but it’ll be worth the early morning – you’ll get to see Chichen Itza before it’s open to the public. On your fourth day, you’ll get to see another ancient city – Uxmal, which comes complete with palaces and a pyramid. Colonial Campeche’s on the cards on your next day – this place has a reputation for being Mexico’s most colourful city. Then, it’s on to UNESCO World Heritage Site Palenque, for a taste of traditional Mayan culture. This city’s right in the middle of the rainforest, and you’ll spend your sixth day here, too. On your final day, you’ll get to see some under-the-radar ruins at Becan. This site has left experts scratching their heads – no one even knows its original name. Finally, you’ll head to Chetumal, where you’ll stay for your last night in Mexico – unless you’ve decided to extend your stay by booking your tour as part of a Multi-Destination holiday.
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If you’ve got seven nights to spare for your Costa Rica adventure, this tour’s ideal for you. Tick off the country’s biggest sights, and get a glimpse into Costa Rica’s infamous wild side. You’ll kick off your trip by watching the sunrise in Arenal, before you take a seat in the saddle for a ride through the countryside on horseback. In the afternoon, you’ll pick up the pace with a river tubing session along three miles of rapids. After a well-earned sleep, you’ll start your next day with a stop at the Don Juan farm to find out how sugar cane liqueur is made, before climbing the Arenal Hanging Bridges, which are suspended between treetops in the rainforest. Finally, you’ll kick back in the Tabacon Hot Springs. You’ll stay in the rainforest for your next day – this one’s all about the wildlife. Look out for sloths, howler monkeys and tiny tree frogs.
On day five, it’s time to hit the Caribbean Coast. You’ll start off with a visit to traditional Tortuguero town, where you’ll learn about the sea turtle conservation work that’s being done there. You’ll see the town’s canals on the following day, with a boat ride to spot sloths, turtles and jaguars. Then, on your final full day, you’re free to explore San José city. The next morning, you’ll have a guided tour of the city’s cultural credentials before you fly home. Or, add a Multi-Destination holiday beach stay to your trip.
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All set to explore Central America?
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We took five ‘energised adventurers’ to test out our brand-new tour of South Africa. From wildlife spotting on safari to hiking up mountains, watch their video diaries to find out exactly what they got up to. Look out for the moment that they found out that TV presenter Julia Bradbury would be coming with them to help guide the way…
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Located right by the beach and backed by lush hills and mountains, Riu Palace Costa Rica is a stylish addition to the RIU portfolio delivers big-resort facilities with a boutique touch.
Located on the gloriously unspoiled Matapalo Beach, Riu Guanacaste is a five-star beauty that feels like your own private paradise.
In a prime spot on the Riviera Maya, the beachfront TUI SENSATORI Riviera Cancun offers up a taste of the finer things in life.
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