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14 days

Highlights of Costa Rica with Beach Holiday at Playa Sámara

Get right up close to Costa Rica’s stunning scenery and wildlife in Tortuguero National Park, at Arenal Volcano and in Monteverde Cloud Forest, and end the tour at Playa Sámara’s beautiful beach.

Highlights of Costa Rica with Beach Holiday at Playa Sámara
Highlights of Costa Rica with Beach Holiday at Playa Sámara
14 days
HomeLatin AmericaCosta RicaHighlights of Costa Rica with Beach Holiday at Playa Sámara

Highlights of Costa Rica with Beach Holiday at Playa Sámara

Get right up close to Costa Rica’s stunning scenery and wildlife in Tortuguero National Park, at Arenal Volcano and in Monteverde Cloud Forest, and end the tour at Playa Sámara’s beautiful beach.

HomeLatin AmericaCosta RicaHighlights of Costa Rica with Beach Holiday at Playa Sámara
What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Return flights from the UK to San José (enquire regarding direct flights)
  • Private transfer from/to San José airport
  • Bus: San José – Tortuguero – Guápiles
  • Minibus: Guápiles – La Fortuna – Monteverde – Playa Sámara
  • 10 nights at good hotels, including breakfast
  • 2 nights at lodge in Tortuguero with full board
  • 1 x lunch (day 5)
  • Welcome meeting in San José
  • Individual tour, where all excursions take place in small, international groups with local, English-speaking guides. Transfers also take place in smaller international groups
  • ATOL certificate
  • 24-hour manned emergency telephone throughout the tour
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Possibility of daily departure

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Excursions in Tortuguero National Park
  • Visit the Arenal volcano
  • Treetop walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Admission to all attractions mentioned


Look forward to a tour to beautiful Costa Rica and get right up close to the vivacious “ticos”, as the Costa Ricans are known, and their unique life philosophy “Pura Vida”, which translated into English means pure or simple life. It is simply about being happy and focusing on the positive things in life.

From the Costa Rican capital San José, you head to the lush jungle in Tortuguero National Park, where you may be lucky enough to encounter turtles, caimans, monkeys, sloths, iguanas and an array of fascinating birds such as the beautiful toucan with its colourful beak.

From the rainforest, the tour takes you to Costa Rica’s most famous volcano, Arenal Volcano, which forms a beautiful towering backdrop to the town of La Fortuna.

The mysterious cloud forest in Monteverde is home to unique flora, which you can experience on a walk along the hanging bridges in the tree tops.

The tour ends in an idyllic setting at Playa Sámara’s beautiful sandy beach surrounded by swaying palm trees.

Why choose this tour

  • Get the perfect combination of Costa Rica’s fantastic nature and animal life with a relaxing beach holiday
  • Discover the iconic Arenal volcano and the beautiful nature surrounding it
  • Feel the butterflies as you go on a hike across suspended bridges in the treetops of Monteverde’s cloud forest
  • Finish up on the Pacific Coast at Sámara’s gorgeous, palm-clad and bathing-friendly beach

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in San José

Today, you leave the UK and head to Costa Rica with connecting flight(s) along the way. On your arrival in the capital San José, you will be met by a driver, who will drive you to your hotel. The drive from the airport takes around 45 minutes. The rest of the day is yours to do as you please.

San José has a wonderful spring-like climate all year round. The city lies 1,172 metres above sea level in the central part of the country. Founded in the early 18th century, it was made Costa Rica’s capital in the early 19th century.

Day 2: Welcome meeting in San José

In order for you to enjoy the best possible start to your holiday, you will be picked up after breakfast and driven to our partner’s office, where you will be given a warm welcome. You will run through your travel itinerary together, and you can ask any questions you may have. After the meeting, you have the rest of the day to yourself to explore San José or purchase an extra excursion.

The city offers a host of exciting museums where you can learn about Costa Rican history, see modern art from Costa Rica and find out more about the culture and art of the pre-Columbian era.

You can also go for a walk in the Parque Metropolitano La Sabana, San José’s largest park. It is so large that it houses the national stadium, a museum, a large lake and sports grounds. The local Costa Ricans, known as “ticos”, also enjoy exercising or meeting up with friends and family for a picnic here.

Day 3: San José – Tortuguero National Park

Early the next morning, it’s time to say goodbye to San José, and the tour heads to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast. You drive past large banana plantations, which are an important source of income for the country.
It isn’t possible to drive all the way to Tortuguero, so when you reach the end of the road, you will switch from the bus to a boat and continue down the small canals to your lodge, which is located in Tortuguero’s lush rainforest.

A delicious lunch awaits you in the lodge’s restaurant before you visit the small village of Tortuguero in the afternoon. Your local guide will show you around the cosy little village and tell you what it’s like to live somewhere as remote as Tortuguero. The village can only be reached by boat or plane.

When darkness falls, many of the animals and insects of the national forest wake up, and you can sit and listen to the sounds of the jungle from your veranda while the sun goes down.

Day 4: Experiences in Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is renowned for its stunning scenery and fascinating wildlife, and today you will be going on a boat trip along the canals in search of the park’s exotic residents, including caimans, turtles, sloths, river otters, tapirs, iguanas three fascinating monkey species: spider monkeys, howler monkeys and capuchin monkeys. You will also learn about the park’s exotic flora.

The remainder of your time at the lodge can be spent relaxing by the pool, on hikes along the small paths through the rainforest, or unwinding on the beach. It is possible to purchase extra excursions at the lodge.

The name of the national park comes from the Spanish word “tortuga”, which means “turtle” or “tortoise” in English, and, as the name suggests, the park is famous for its many turtles. During the period from February–July, the green sea turtle, the leatherback sea turtle, the hawksbill turtle and the loggerhead turtle come and lay their eggs on the Caribbean coast at Tortuguero National Park, among other places. The turtles usually lay their eggs when the sun has gone down, so in the evening and at night, you may only go on the beach with a guide. It is very important not to frighten the turtles when they come ashore. So you have to be very quiet and not use torches or cameras with a flash. As with any wild animals, there is no guarantee of seeing the turtles.

Day 5: Tortuguero National Park – La Fortuna

After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to Tortuguero and head the same way back through the canals by boat and then bus to the town of Guápiles, where lunch (included) is served. After a short lunch break, you continue to the small town of La Fortuna. The town itself is not all that well known, but the same cannot be said of its stunning surroundings. La Fortuna sits at the foot of Costa Rica’s most active and iconic volcano, Arenal. The volcano was dormant for more than 400 years, but then suddenly woke up with a violent eruption in 1968, burying three villages in its lava. However, the volcano has remained calm since 2010 and is described as a dormant volcano that is safe to visit.

You arrive in La Fortuna in the afternoon, where the rest of the day is spent at your leisure.

Day 6: Exploring the Arenal Volcano

The day’s excursion does not take place until the afternoon, so you have a quiet morning to spend by the hotel pool, for example.

In the afternoon, you will be visiting a private reserve near Arenal Volcano, where your guide will take you on a short walk out to a lookout point from which you can enjoy a great view of the volcano, Laguna Verde and Lake Arenal. Afterwards, you will go for a walk in the wooded area at the foot of the volcano, where you will learn much more about the special flora and fauna of the area. You may be lucky enough to see monkeys, sloths and exotic birds such as toucans and peacocks.

After an exciting, action-packed day, you’ll be driven back to your hotel. You also have the option to extend the excursion to include a wonderful wellness experience at the hot springs which La Fortuna is so famous for. See more below.

Please note: The minimum age for participation in the Arenal Volcano hike is 8. If you are travelling with children under the age of 8, you will go on a boat trip on Lake Arenal instead of the hike, and a guide will tell you all about the history of the volcano. There is a small supplement for this tour.

Day 7: La Fortuna on your own

Today is yours to do as you please. Surrounded by beautiful nature, La Fortuna offers a wealth of exciting activities such as bike rides, kayaking, horseback riding and ziplining. You can choose to purchase excursions from home or explore the area on your own.

We recommend a visit to the famous La Fortuna waterfall, situated at the foot of the dormant Chato volcano. The waterfall springs from the Tenorio River and ends in a 70-metre drop into a lagoon where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. From La Fortuna, you can take a taxi to the car park, from which there is around a 20-minute walk to the waterfall through lush rainforest.

Day 8: La Fortuna – Monteverde

After three days in La Fortuna, you head to yet another fantastic natural paradise, Monteverde, which is located at an altitude of around 1,400 metres in the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range. Monteverde is better known as the “forest in the clouds” due to the low cloud and the thick fog that enshrouds the forest.

You travel from La Fortuna to Lake Arenal by bus and then sail across to the other side, where you are picked up again and you continue to Monteverde along winding mountain roads. The trip takes around 4–5 hours.

Day 9: Treetop walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest

Today you will experience Monteverde’s unique cloud forest on an exciting and sometimes thrilling hike along hanging bridges in the treetops! The hike is around 2.5 kilometres long, and from up here, you can closely study the forest’s enormous trees, orchids, ferns, moss and countless plant species growing on the tree trunks. You have a guide with you who tells you about the impressive number of plant, animal and insect species in the area.

For those interested in birds, the area is a veritable mecca with more than 400 different species. Birds you may encounter include the golden-browed chlorophonia, the resplendent quetzal and the clever little hummingbird called the coppery-headed emerald.

After a couple of hours, you will be driven back to your hotel, and the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. You can explore the area on your own or purchase an extra excursion.

Day 10: Monteverde – Playa Sámara

After a few adventurous days in Costa Rica, the tour heads for the Pacific Ocean, where a relaxing beach holiday and lazy days on the sand await you at one of our favourite destinations on the Nicoya Peninsula, Playa Sámara.

Playa Sámara is a cosy little holiday town surrounded by lush nature. Everything takes place here at a slow pace, and you really get a feel for the Costa Ricans’ famous “Pura Vida” life philosophy. The town has only small hotels and has managed to retain its charm, despite the high demand for rooms here.

Its biggest attraction is the beautiful beach, which is surrounded by palm trees and made for both relaxation and water sports activities. The beach has relatively shallow, calm water, making it very child-friendly.

It is possible to round off your tour at other beautiful beach destinations on the Nicoya Peninsula. Read more about them under our selection of upgrade hotels.

The drive to Sámara takes around 4 hours.

Days 11-12: Playa Sámara on your own

The days at Sámara are yours to do as you please. Relax by the hotel pool or laze on the wide, golden sandy beach where swaying palm trees serve as natural parasols.

There is a lot to see and do the area, including the option to purchase a kayaking trip off the small island of Chora and see the exciting life under the waves, or go on a boat trip and experience playful dolphins in their natural element.

You can also go for a walk down the town’s dusty main street and soak in the bohemian atmosphere. Small shops selling jewellery and beachwear lie side by side local bars and restaurants.

Along the beach, there are several cosy eateries where you can enjoy a “happy hour” drink while watching the sun set on the horizon. And be sure to treat yourself to a seafood dinner, enjoyed under the stars, with your toes buried in the sand as you listen to the gentle lapping of the waves in the background.

As it gets on for 10 pm, life in the little town quietens right down, so this is not the place for you if you want to party all night.

Day 13: Playa Sámara – San José – departure day

The time has come to say goodbye to Playa Sámara and fantastic Costa Rica. You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport in San José, from which you will fly to the UK, with connecting flight(s) along the way.

Day 14: Arrival back home

You arrive in the UK after an unforgettable holiday.

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Emily Roper

Emily loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

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