Costa Rica: Wildlife Sanctuary of the Americas

9 Days
Private Travel
2 Guests
From $4,500

Itinerary

What is Custom Travel? 

The itinerary below is only a small sample of available Costa Rica tour options available. Every traveler can envision their ideal way to see the world. Through our sister company, International Expeditions’ experienced Custom Travel Planners create individually tailored tours that match your style of travel, budget and timeline. Tell us the dates you wish to travel, and we’ll take care of the details.

Arrive San José

Fly to Juan Santamaria International Airport, where you are met and transferred to the Park Inn for the night.

San José / Tortuguero National Park

Costa Rica Sea Turtle

Fly to Tortuguero, and cross the Tortuguero River by boat to Tortuga Lodge, where you spend three nights. Originally intended to protect a major nesting beach of the Atlantic green sea turtle, Tortuguero National Park now protects one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. Eleven habitats are found in the park. Spider, howler and white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloths and river otters are frequently seen along the natural inland waterways and canals. Caiman, iguanas, river turtles, basilisk lizards and poison dart frogs inhabit the area, along with more than 320 species of birds including all six species of kingfishers found in the new world, three species of toucans, eight species of parrots. You may also spot other neotropical species such as the slaty-tailed trogon, white-collared manakin, purple-throated fruitcrow, and white-fronted nunbird and many more species.

Walk through the gardens and trails, watching for a variety of wildlife before a twilight hike. Common sightings include several species of frogs that might occur at night like the smokey jungle frog and red eyed tree frog, as well as snakes and other reptiles. It may be possible to observe insectivorous bats, common opossum and mouse opossum. Additionally, the night time hours offer myriad insects, including peanut headed bug, tailless whip-tailed scorpion and a host of katydids. Upon return to the lodge, your guide will take you to the dock where you may be able to see fishing bats hunting. (B,L,D)

Tortuguero National Park

Enjoy a guided morning walk, watching for oropendulas, raptors, king fishers, trogons, toucans, warblers and wrens. After breakfast, explore the creeks of Tortuguero National Park. The morning hours are especially active in the rainforest, when the wildlife is hungry and searching for their daily energy source. It is not uncommon to find troops of howler monkeys in search of tender young figs or the leaves of the Monkey Plum tree. You might also encounter a hunting river otter. The Northern jacana is often perched on islands of water hyacinth looking for insects and miniature shrimp, while caiman quietly wait for its next meal to swim by. Return to the lodge in time for lunch.

Your afternoon is spent on a guided kayaking excursions on Caño Chiquero or Caño Mora. These creeks are designated for non-motorized boats only. Kayaking gives you a whole new perspective of the rainforest. From this position you become the river, look up to see what the rainforest canopy looks like, scan the understory of the forest and imagine foraging for seeds. Close your eyes, listening to the sun-dried seed pod of the Gavilan tree burst making a gunshot sound and dispersing its seeds, the call of the chestnut mandibled toucan in the distance and the sound of spider monkeys crashing through the trees. (B,L,D)

Cerro Tortuguero & San Francisco Village

Meet your naturalist guide for a short boat ride to the village of San Francisco de Tortuguero. Hike to the top of Cerro Tortuguero, the region’s only hill, for a panoramic view of the park and the Caribbean. According to the scientists, Cerro Tortuguero is a dormant volcano, almost 2 million years old. Cerro Tortuguero is home to a large number of species of trees, bromeliads, ferns, shrubs and different types of rainforest vegetation. Birdlife is also abundant, with possibilities to observe trogons, toucans, parrots, guans and many other species of tropical avifauna.

After lunch and perhaps a short siesta, enjoy an afternoon expedition into the creeks of Tortuguero National Park.  You will often find that in the early afternoon the foraging is quite intense. As the afternoon sun starts to go down, many creatures begin bed down for the night while others are just beginning their nighttime activity. If you’re lucky, you may see a mixed flock of egrets coming into their rookery or a pair of tiger herons. White faced capuchins, ever mischievous, may be the last to retire, but as the afternoon light dims, the cacophony of the forest comes to a climax and then as if on cue… quiet. (B,L,D)

Tortuguero / San José / Osa Peninsula

Fly to San José, and connect with your flight to Puerto Jimenez. Upon arrival in Puerto Jimenez, your driver takes you to Carate. Carate is situated at Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast on the Osa Peninsula. Carate is the southernmost region of the Corcovado National Park, and one of the country's most pristine natural areas.  Corcovado National Park is fringed by endless, wide, flat sandy beaches. Enjoy as a self-guided hike along the lodge trails, exploring old growth rainforest or following the river and waterfall trail. Spend the three nights at Luna Lodge. (B,L,D)

Osa Peninsula: Kayaking

Costa Rica Red-eyed Tree Frog

Hike with your naturalist guide through the tropical lowland rainforest to the Madrigal River. Take a dip in the river and meander down the river to arrive at the beach. Biologists estimate that the Corcovado National Park area encompasses approximately 10,000 species of insects, at least 2,418 species of plants, 700 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 367 species of birds and 117 species of amphibians and reptiles. The Osa Peninsula is the home of endemic species of birds, as well as the most significant populations of large mammals such as jaguars, pumas, ocelots, white-lipped peccaries and tapirs on the Pacific coast. There are also large populations of scarlet macaws and great curassow. (B,L,D)

Corcovado National Park

Hike with your naturalist guide through the tropical lowland rainforest to the Madrigal River. Take a dip in the river and meander down the river to arrive at the beach. Biologists estimate that the Corcovado National Park area encompasses approximately 10,000 species of insects, at least 2,418 species of plants, 700 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 367 species of birds and 117 species of amphibians and reptiles. The Osa Peninsula is the home of endemic species of birds, as well as the most significant populations of large mammals such as jaguars, pumas, ocelots, white-lipped peccaries and tapirs on the Pacific coast. There are also large populations of scarlet macaws and great curassow. (B,L,D)

Osa Peninsula / San José

Depart via 4x4s, heading to Puerto Jimenez.  Fly to San Jose, and return to the Park Inn for the evening. (B)

Depart San José

Fly home. (B)