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The Best of Costa Rica

DURATION

12 days

ACCOMMODATION

Hotels

Trip Difficulty
DIFFICULTY
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LOCATION

Central America, Costa Rica

MEETING POINT

Juan Santamaría International Airport

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Welcome to The Bucket List Company’s Best of Costa Rica Trip, an adventure-packed journey through one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Costa Rica is a land of stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and incredible wildlife, and our carefully crafted itinerary is designed to help you explore all of this and more.

From the vibrant capital city of San José to the stunning beaches of Manuel Antonio, our Best of Costa Rica Trip is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and vibrant culture of this incredible country. You’ll have the opportunity to explore pristine rainforests, hike to active volcanoes, soak in natural hot springs, and relax on stunning beaches.

Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to discover the rich cultural heritage of Costa Rica, from the bustling markets of San José to the laid-back Caribbean vibe of Puerto Viejo. You’ll sample delicious local cuisine, explore charming villages, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of this incredible country.

At The Bucket List Company, we are committed to providing you with a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience. Our Best of Costa Rica Trip is the perfect way to explore this incredible country and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, our trip has something for everyone. Join us on this adventure of a lifetime and make your travel dreams a reality.

costa rica map

What is 'The Best of Costa Rica' like?

The Best of Costa Rica Gallery

What's Included In Our The Best of Costa Rica

All Activities Mentioned In The Itinerary All Activities Mentioned In The Itinerary

Max 16 Travellers Per Group Max 16 Travellers Per Group

3* Hotels & Guest Houses (Twin Share) 3* Hotels & Guest Houses (Twin Share)

Private Transport Private Transport

11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches & 11 Dinners 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches & 11 Dinners

Expert Guides With You Throughout The Trip Expert Guides With You Throughout The Trip

The Best of Costa Rica Itinerary

  • Day 1: WELCOME TO COSTA RICA!

    WELCOME TO COSTA RICA! You will meet your Bucket List Leaders at the airport and fly out as a group for Bucket Lister + Trips. If you have booked a Bucket Lister Trip we will see you in Costa Rica soon! If you have transfers with us we will take you to the hotel. For those making their own way, we will see you in San José.

  • Day 2: TURRIALBA

    TURRIALBA We travel to Turrialba today, on the way stopping at the Irazu Volcano, the highest in Costa Rica. On clear days you can see both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans from its summit. We continue to Turrialba and after lunch leave for the Balaica biological corridor. This passage between the Tapanti and Barbilla National Parks is protected by inhabitants of the different communities here. After an explanation from your local guide about the history and objectives of the project, we will set off on foot through the Costa Rican countryside. Whilst enjoying the views of the Turrialba and Irazu volcanos, we will meet local farmers who work the sugar cane fields, and observe toucans flying above us or sloths hanging from the trees.

  • Day 3: PUERTO VIEJO

    PUERTO VIEJO After breakfast we leave for the South Caribbean. We will join our accommodation on the Caribbean coast (either in Cahuita or Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, depending on the departures), with its villages wedged between sea and mountains. The villages here owe their charm to their colourful wooden houses, some of which are perched on stilts.

  • Day 4: CAHUITA NATIONAL PARK

    CAHUITA NATIONAL PARK Cahuita National Park has the largest coral reef system in Costa Rica, including 6 species of coral, a wide range of colourful tropical fish, and the occasional encounter with a harmless reef shark or ray. This beach is horseshoe-shaped, with the park entrance at one end and beautiful Punta Cahuita at the other end. We start with a scenic 20-minute boat ride to have two snorkelling sessions. We then stop off at La Punta to enjoy a delicious fruit break and snacks on the beach, followed by a 1-hour guided hike in this wonderful coastal forest; monkeys, sloths, birds, poison dart frogs, iguanas and other interesting encounters are common.

  • Day 5: LA FORTUNA

    LA FORTUNA Today we leave the hotel early for one of the most exciting activities of the trip: Rafting! Pacuare is world famous for its great beauty. A true river gorge, it is flanked by steep green walls. Here you'll enjoy the feeling of total isolation from urban life and the reality of being connected to nature. You see waterfalls cascading into the river from both sides as colourful tropical birds fly overhead. Breathtaking views of this pristine rainforest area appear as you descend through this true land of exploration. Wildlife is abundant, with sloths, toucans, parrots, coatis, morpho butterflies and colourful frogs being common sights. We then continue to La Fortuna and the majestic Arenal volcano. Once we've checked into our hotel near the volcano we allow ourselves a moment of relaxation in a spa in an intimate atmosphere. The hot waters come directly from the hot springs of the Arenal Volcano.

  • Day 6: SKY ADVENTURES PARK

    SKY ADVENTURES PARK Today we visit Sky Adventures Park and 'Sky Trek'; a thrilling zip line circuit located in the magical forests of La Fortuna. Your tour will begin in an open-air gondola to the highest point of the mountain where you’ll be dropped off at an observation area to admire fantastic views of the surrounding forests and the Arenal Volcano. From here, you'll start riding down a unique zipline circuit that stretches across canyons, between mountains, and in between treetops. In total you'll ride 7 cables, up to 750m (2460ft) in length and at speeds of up to 70km/h (43.5mph), and you'll have unique views of the surrounding mountains.

  • Day 7: RIO CELESTE

    RIO CELESTE Today is as clear as the Costa Rican air, and with plenty of optional activities available, how about a guided tubing excursion at Rio Celeste? The light-blue waters of the river are generally off-limits to travellers; however, you’ll have the opportunity to float along the water in an inflatable doughnut and spend the day lazing along the river.

  • Day 8 : BARRA HONDA

    BARRA HONDA We continue towards the Pacific coast, passing first through the rural town of Barra Honda where the National Park of the same name is located -  the only one in Costa Rica with a complex of underground caverns. Only 19 of the 42 caverns in the network have currently been explored, and these present an array of calcareous formations - soda straws, cave grapes and pearls, alongside the more famous stalactites and stalagmites Very few of these caverns are open to the public, and those that are open require a guide; however, conditions are suitable for inexperienced visitors and are thus ideal for adventure tourism.

  • Day 9: SAMARA BEACH

    SAMARA BEACH After breakfast you'll continue to your final destination in the Guanacaste area, Samara Beach, which is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and conservation of one of the area’s most beautiful and diverse marine ecosystems. On the way, you’ll visit Matambu, the only indigenous territory of the Chorotegan people.  After lunch get to know a local artisan at his pottery workshop, and learn about the ancient art of pottery and how its traditions are passed down from generation to generation.

  • Day 10: FREE DAY IN SAMARA

    FREE DAY IN SAMARA Free day to enjoy the activities available in the Samara area such as surfing, hiking or adventure tours.

  • Day 11: BACK TO SAN JOSÉ

    BACK TO SAN JOSÉ After breakfast, we return to San José. The included city tour will allow you to see some of the most iconic buildings in the capital.

  • Day 12: DEPARTURE DAY

    DEPARTURE DAY This marks the end of our Costa Rican adventure.  

  • Day 1

    3* Hotel – Twin Room
    breakfast Not included
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  • Day 2

    Guest House – Twin Room
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  • Day 3

    3* Beachfront Bungalow – Twin Room
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  • Day 4

    3* Beachfront Bungalow – Twin Room
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  • Day 5

    2* Hotel – Twin Room
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  • Day 6

    2* Hotel – Twin Room
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  • Day 7

    Guest House – Twin Room
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  • Day 8

    3* Hotel – Twin Room
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    Dinner
  • Day 9

    3* Hotel – Twin Room
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    Breakfast
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  • Day 10

    3* Hotel – Twin Room
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  • Day 11

    3* Hotel – Twin Room
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  • Day 12

    Flight
    Breakfast included
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    Lunch Not included
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The Best of Costa Rica Dates & Availability

Our Trailblazer trips

Trailblazer trips are our first run-throughs of our trips. Get the benefits of a Bucketlister+ Trip at the cost of a Bucketlister and all we’ll ask for in return is your feedback!

For more information click here!

Trailblazer trips are our first run-throughs of our trips. Get the benefits of a Bucketlister+ Trip at the cost of a Bucketlister and all we’ll ask for in return is your feedback!

For more information click here!

Our Bucket Lister Trips

Bucketlister trips are our standard for all our incredible trips. When you book a Bucketlister trip we will organise everything for you from the first to the last location on your adventure and you’ll have a local guide with you every step of the way. All you’ll need to organise is your own flights and transfers. (Additional Options for Land Only Transfers)

Bucketlister trips are our standard for all our incredible trips. When you book a Bucketlister trip we will organise everything for you from the first to the last location on your adventure and you’ll have a local guide with you every step of the way. All you’ll need to organise is your own flights and transfers. (Additional Options for Land Only Transfers)

The Best of Costa Rica Reviews

The Best of Costa Rica Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a minimum age for this trip?

    Due to the nature of some activities, the minimum age for this trip is 12 years.


  • What is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

    The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. However, this is also the busiest time of year, so expect higher prices and larger crowds. The rainy season, from May to November, can be a great time to visit if you don’t mind occasional showers and lush green landscapes.


  • Do I need a visa to visit Costa Rica?

    Citizens of many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union, do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica for tourism purposes. However, you will need a valid passport and may be asked to show proof of onward travel and sufficient funds for your stay.


  • What is the currency in Costa Rica?

    The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón (CRC), but US dollars are widely accepted, especially in tourist areas. It is a good idea to have some local currency on hand for small purchases and street vendors.


  • What types of accommodations are available in Costa Rica?

    There are a range of accommodations available in Costa Rica, from budget hostels and guesthouses to luxury resorts and eco-lodges. Some popular options include vacation rentals, all-inclusive resorts, and boutique hotels.


  • What are some must-see attractions in Costa Rica?

    Some of the must-see attractions in Costa Rica include Arenal Volcano National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Manuel Antonio National Park, Tortuguero National Park, and Corcovado National Park. You may also want to explore the country’s beaches, hot springs, and cultural sites.


  • Is it safe to travel in Costa Rica?

    Costa Rica is generally considered a safe country for travelers, with a low crime rate and a stable political environment. However, as with any destination, it is important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Petty theft and scams can occur in tourist areas, so it is best to keep valuables hidden and use caution when dealing with strangers.


  • What is the food like in Costa Rica?

    Costa Rican cuisine is known for its fresh, simple ingredients and emphasis on rice and beans. Some popular dishes include gallo pinto (rice and beans), ceviche (marinated seafood), casado (a dish with rice, beans, meat, and vegetables), and plantains. You can also find international cuisine and street food throughout the country.


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