After landing at Liberia airport you’ll head on a three hour journey to Arenal for the first part of your tour. Here, you’ll find one of Costa Rica’s six active volcanoes standing majestically over the valley, and natural, geothermal springs that heat up to 38 degrees – perfect for helping you relax into holiday mode. It’s thanks to these cone-shaped giants that the country’s one of the most eco-friendly places in the world to visit – it recently ran purely on renewable energy for 300 days. Staying at the Arenal Springs Hotel? Set your alarm early and take a yoga class overlooking the mile-high volcano. More of a late-riser? Look out for hummingbirds and geckos flitting around the grounds after you’ve kicked off the day at the buffet breakfast.
Head to Los Chiles, just four kilometres from the border with Nicaragua, for a boat trip along the Rio Frio. This Amazonian-like stretch is bracketed by jungle, where you can spot everything from two-toed sloths hanging lazily from branches to spider monkeys causing a ruckus. Keep an eye out for walking water lizards gliding across the river, too. You’ll be accompanied by a tour guide who’ll know exactly where to look for wildlife. They also have tonnes of animal facts on hand – think a Costa Rican version of David Attenborough. Don’t forget to bring along a pair of binoculars – the river’s a nesting spot for hundreds of tropical birds, with 52 species of hummingbirds alone.
Get ready for a day of total relaxation at the Tabacon hot springs. This Jurassic-Park-style natural park in La Fortuna is home to a waterfall that spills into bubbling thermal pools, which are perfect for swimming in. Soak in the mineral-packed waters before exploring the national park’s unusual flora and fauna. After a morning of relaxation, you’ll make your way to Monteverde. As darkness falls, head into the forest on a night tour. This is your chance to spot the animals that inhabit Costa Rica’s jungle scene after dark – think tarantulas, emerald green viper snakes and red-eyed frogs.
Your first full day in Monteverde starts as every day should – with a strong cup of coffee. You’ll head to a coffee plantation to see the process first-hand, from picking the beans, grinding, and roasting to the best bit – taste-testing the freshly-brewed beans. After a few strong cups of coffee, you’ll head into a jungle that’s complete with a soundtrack of ribbets and squawks. Choose between walking across the world-famous hanging bridges and look out for toucans and famous quetzal birds, or test your nerve by zip-lining between the tree canopies. For an extra fee, you can do both of the activities.
The final day of this itinerary will see you heading to the Caribbean Coast for some relaxation. All in all, the journey will take around four hours, with a stop off point so you can refresh and grab a coffee. If you’re lucky, you may even see some Scarlett Macaws en route. Fancy extending the adventurous part of your holiday? TUI offer plenty of trips from Guanacaste, your final stop of the trip. Head for a tour of the De La Vieja volcano, or visit the Caribbean slice of Costa Rica with a trip to Puerto Viejo to boost your tally of wildlife spottings. Book this tour as a Multi-Centre and you can enjoy three or seven nights soaking up some sun at a beachfront hotel.
Want more info on Costa Rica?
See the details of all of our Costa Rica tours – including a seven-night Grand Tour that covers off the majority of the above, along with added extras like white-water rafting, horse riding, visiting the turtles in Tortuguero and a sightseeing tour of capital city, San Jose. Take a look at the full itinerary and find out when’s the best time to visit. Want to see what other tours TUI have on offer? Have a read of our favourites.
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Located on the gloriously unspoiled Matapalo Beach, Riu Guanacaste is a five-star beauty that feels like your own private paradise.
Jungle surroundings, a beach on your doorstep, and free rein of eight top-class restaurants – just a taste of what the Hotel Westin Playa Conchal has to offer.
The Riu Palace Costa Rica has a peaceful setting right on the beach. Enjoy dining in the four à la carte restaurants or chill by one of the four outdoor pools.
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