Classic Costa Rica

15 days
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
View all 9 photos
4.5/5 Excellent
100+ reviews  
94%
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
premier

Health Safety +

USTOA

Small Group Tour
Discover incredible, lush Costa Rica, and understand why this part of the world is called the ‘rich coast’. This 15-day adventure, beginning and ending in lively San Jose, will provide you a comprehensive journey through the jungles, farmlands, beaches and cities of this pure Central American location. Stay with a local family in Santa Rosa de Pocosol and get...
27%
$2,749
From$2,010
See departure dates

Overview

Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Highlights

    • Swap the concrete jungle for real jungle on this trip into the rainforests, waterways, hot springs and palm-lined beaches of Costa Rica.
    • Long-nosed tapirs, white-faced capuchin monkeys, elegant ocelots and three-toed sloths – Costa Rica is home to exotic animals, and this trip puts you in the perfect position to spot them all.
    • Go deeper than the average tourist with a homestay in a quiet agricultural community; the perfect opportunity to experience local life and practice your Spanish.
    • Refresh after jungle hikes spotting endemic wildlife in the rejuvenating hot springs of volcanic La Fortuna.
    • Visit the indigenous Maleku community to share a traditional meal and learn about their way of life – this small tribe has big ambitions for regenerating local forests and natural habitats.

What's this trip about?

    Discover incredible, lush Costa Rica, and understand why this part of the world is called the ‘rich coast’. This 15-day adventure, beginning and ending in lively San Jose, will provide you a comprehensive journey through the jungles, farmlands, beaches and cities of this pure Central American location. Stay with a local family in Santa Rosa de Pocosol and get your hands dirty on a sustainable farm. Soak in springs that get their heat from an active volcano in La Fortuna. Spot three-toed sloths in the thickets of the Manuel Antonio National Park, then relax beneath swaying palms on the nearby beaches. This adventure takes you into the heart of a country whose people are all about a ‘pura vida’.

Details

Itinerary focusOff the Beaten Path
Group sizeSmall Group - max of 16 people
Age range15 years and up
Flights and transportN/A
Start CitySan Jose
End CitySan Jose

Travel Themes

  • Cultural
  • High Adventure
  • Local Immersion & Homestays
  • National Parks
  • Nature & Wildlife

Destinations

  • Central America
  • Costa Rica

Attractions

  • La Fortuna
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Monteverde
  • Tenorio Volcano National Park
  • Tortuguero National Park

Activities

  • Culture
  • Historic sightseeing
  • Wildlife viewing

Trip includes

    • Tortuguero - Boat ride to Tortuguero
    • Tortuguero - National Park Entrance
    • Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Home-cooked Meal
    • Santa Rosa de Pocosol - Homestay experience
    • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
    • Guatuso - Maleku Community Experience
    • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Entrance
    • Manuel Antonio - Cooking Class & Lunch
    • Manuel Antonio National Park - (Entrance fee)
    • Manuel Antonio National Park - Tour with a Naturalist Guide

Popular Trips

Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1 San Jose

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica. With over a third of the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is packed with both people and culture. Begin with a welcome meeting at 6 pm at your hotel; a good chance for you to meet your group leader and fellow tra...

Day 2 Tortuguero National Park

Leave the hotel this morning and descend to the Caribbean lowlands on a 4-hour scenic (and a bit bumpy) public bus journey that ends at the port of La Pavona. This rustic port is your entry point to Tortuguero National Park. Hop aboard a small boat and journey for aro...

Day 3 Tortuguero National Park

Today you're free to explore the park at your own pace. If you're woken by the chattering of the forests’ some 300 bird species, why not haul yourself out of bed for a sunrise canoe trip? It’s a magical way to see the maze-like canals of the park, and you can look out...

Day 4 Santa Rosa de Pocosol Homestay

Bid farewell to the evergreen rainforest this morning and make the 4-hour journey to Santa Rosa de Pocosol by private vehicle. Today is a memorable homestay experience, but as the family you'll be staying with doesn’t speak much English, your leader will conduct an in...

Day 5 Tenorio Volcano National Park Area - Rio Celeste

After breakfast drive for 2 hours to Tenorio Volcano National Park area, where you’ll visit the Rio Celeste: a river fed by two different water sources, and when they collide, the water takes on a distinctive light blue colour. On the way, stop off to visit an indigen...

Day 6 Rio Celeste

Today is as clear as the Costa Rica 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...

Day 7 La Fortuna

Beneath the watchful eye of the immense Arenal Volcano lies La Fortuna, a sleepy town with an abundance of hot springs and natural pools to enjoy. Departing at 8 am, you’ll arrive by private vehicle after a 2-hour drive and have the rest of the day to do as you please...

Day 8 La Fortuna

Enjoy a free day to explore La Fortuna as you wish. The region offers a range of sights such as stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and water-based sports on the lake. The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area has plenty of thermal springs wh...

Day 9 Lake Arenal - Monteverde

A morning of travel by bus and boat leads to incredible Monteverde. Cross the lake by boat (45 minutes) and then hop on a bus again to continue on to Monteverde (2 hours). There are options in town for lunch on arrival. Settled by North American Quakers in 1951, the a...

Day 10 Monteverde

Make the most of your time in lush Monteverde and organise a local guide to take you on a nature walk. There also several local communities that operate cooperatives worth visiting. You may wish to get a different perspective on the forest by walking through the canop...

Day 11 Manuel Antonio

Wedged between the beautiful Pacific coast and the national park, Manuel Antonio is a laidback town. After a 4-hour journey in a private vehicle you will make a stop in Quepos; a chill town with a vibrant nightlife. This afternoon, you'll get the chance to meet three ...

Day 12 Manuel Antonio

Today, feel the soft crunch of foliage underfoot while you hike the trails of the national park on a leader-led Nature hike. Keep one eye on the scenic views and the other looking out for the abundant wildlife. Monkeys, armadillos, sloths and hundreds of birds are amo...

Day 13 Manuel Antonio

Today is free for you to do as you please. If you wish, you could return to Manuel Antonio National Park and continue your search for the solemn, white faces of the capuchin monkeys who live in the trees. Alternatively, why not kick-off your shoes and feel the sands o...

Day 14 San Jose

Bid farewell to the coast and return to San Jose via public bus. In the evening, you could head for dinner with your fellow travellers and group leader.

Day 15 San Jose

With no activities planned for the day, you are free to depart at any time.

Want a tailor-made trip instead?

Your trip, your way, planned by an expert:

  • You choose budget, destinations, activities, transport & lodging type
  • Expert designs the itinerary for you, and once approved, takes care of logistics
Design custom trip

Dates & Availability

Price From $2,010
Price per day$134
Last Updated: 2/20/2024
Start Date
Finish Date
Base Price
Availability
29 Feb 2024
14 Mar 2024
$2,290
3 spots left
02 Mar 2024
16 Mar 2024
$2,252
8 spots left
05 Mar 2024
19 Mar 2024
$2,163
6 spots left
07 Mar 2024
21 Mar 2024
$2,163
6 spots left
09 Mar 2024
23 Mar 2024
$2,597
5 spots left
12 Mar 2024
26 Mar 2024
$2,295
5 spots left
14 Mar 2024
28 Mar 2024
$2,295
2 spots left
16 Mar 2024
30 Mar 2024
$2,380
Sold Out
19 Mar 2024
02 Apr 2024
$2,189
2 spots left
26 Mar 2024
09 Apr 2024
$2,252
5 spots left

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Intrepid Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.5/5  Excellent
Excellent
3,306
Great
672
Average
144
Disappointing
80
Terrible
195
B

Beth

Jan 2018

Written on

warning

Do not book any extra nights or transportation to the airport with Intrepid. If you have a change of plans they will not refund your money if you don't cancel 30 da...

R

Rachel

Sep 2015

Written on

Our guide was absolutely lovely and managed

Our guide was absolutely lovely and managed the group in a professional but relaxed and friendly way. The hotels chosen were very good quality. The balance and flexi...

D

Denise

Sep 2015

Written on

Overall I think the trips are well

Overall I think the trips are well planned and offer interesting and diverse experiences that you wouldn't normally have the opportunity to experience if you were tr...

M

Michael

Sep 2015

Written on

A really good experince with a good

A really good experince with a good guide (Randy) with lot knowledge of the nature, animals, the country, etc. Small, cool,group._x000D_ _x000D_ Magic moments includ...

C

Claudia

Sep 2015

Written on

I would say it was Excellent from

I would say it was Excellent from the point of view of the commitment from the guide, and very good in terms of the overall result._x000D_ I would suggest Intrepid t...

Write a Review

Other Intrepid Travel Reviews

M

Mike Lau

Nov 2023

Written on

We joined the Intrepid “Real Italy Food…

We joined the Intrepid “Real Italy Food Tour” and enjoyed it thoroughly. Our tour guide, Micol, was very knowledgeable and provided us with lots of good information....

A

Audrey Tavares

Nov 2023

Written on

Central Asia Explorer

This was my third trip with Intrepid, and I'll continue to plan future trips with them. I choose Intrepid to travel to parts of the world where I don't feel comforta...

N

Nic

Feb 2024

Written on

Do not book a tour with Intrepid

Do not book a tour with Intrepid. Their “policy” on deposits is unreasonable, inflexible and downright thieving. I booked a tour in India with them over seven month...

Write a Review

Travelers also viewed

Tour Operator

Intrepid Travel

premier
View Profile

The Intrepid Travel Experience

If you’re looking for adventure, you’ve come to the right place. For the past 25 years, we’ve been taking small groups of travelers on unforgettable trips around the world. What makes them unforgettable? Take a look for yourself and discover the Intrepid experience.

Our travelers have three styles of tour to choose from: Basix, Original and Comfort. Each has a different level of inclusions and accommodation, but all have unforgettable real life experiences as part of the package. Travellers can also choose themed trips, such as Family, Sailing or Food, to suit their interests.

Our group size has an average of just ten travellers, which allows us to get off the beaten track, use local accommodation and transport, and really get to know the culture. It also ensures we are contributing to the local economy; by choosing local suppliers we were able to keep AUD 60 million in local economies in 2012. We’re also working hard to reduce our carbon footprint and were the first in our sector to introduce carbon offset trips. This, along with our many corporate sustainability activities, has meant we’re one of the travel industry’s leaders in responsible travel.

Why Intrepid?

  •   Small groups - average of 10 people per trip
  •   Sustainability - pioneers for the industry
  •   Local leaders - authentic perspectives
  •   Local transport - get close and personal
  •   Local accommodation - experience real living
  •   Intrepid travelers - like-minded companions 

History

Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its beginnings in 1989. From two university friends, a typewriter and a kitchen desk, it is now a proud member of The Intrepid Group, taking over 100,000 travelers every year.

Intrepid Travel is part of The Intrepid Group of companies, alongside leading small group adventure companies Peregrine, Urban Adventures and PEAK DMC.

Despite growing into a global business with over 1,000 staff based all over the world and over 800 different trips across every continent, we’ve remained devoted to the same grassroots values and responsible travel philosophies that we had at the very beginning.

 

Values

On every trip we operate and in every interaction we have with a client, supplier or local, we live our core values everyday:

  • Integrity – Doing the right thing
  • Responsible – Think global, act local
  • Growth – Stakeholders in our own success
  • Innovation – Thriving on new ideas and embracing change
  • Fun – It’s engrained into who we are and what we do
  • Passion – We are inspired by the work we do and the trips we offer

 

Why we love this operator
They’re very committed to sustainable and responsible tourism and contribute to important initiatives like climate action.
What they’re known for
Small group tours for active and adventurous travelers at a range of different price points and service levels.

Associations

Why Travelstride

Find your perfect trip

An epic selection of pre-planned trips on every continent, for every style. Thousands of itineraries from over 1,000 trusted travel companies.

Save time

Use simple search and comparison tools to easily find the best trip. Don't sweat the logistics — travel providers plan for you.

Save money

Book directly with the operator. See inclusive packages for the best values, and get access to amazing deals.

Travel confidently

Read unbiased user reviews, pick the operator that suits your needs, and connect with them directly.

Logistics

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights),Lodge (6 nights),Homestay (1 night),

Transportation & Flights

Private vehicle,Public Transportation,Boat,

Transportation & flights

Private vehicle,Public Transportation,Boat
Guides
All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leader or local representative. The aim of the group leader or local representative is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced group leader or local representative however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your group leader or local representative is new to a particular region or training other group leader or local representative. Your group leader or local representative will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your group leader or local representative can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative. If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services
Visa requirements
PASSPORT You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date. We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends. VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:  www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements
Health & Safety
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your group leader or local representative will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines COSTA RICA CRIME Travellers have been the target of crime in Costa Rica, with main targets being popular tourists sites, airports, bus stations and public transport. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching is common in downtown San Jose and in popular tourist areas. To protect yourself from crime, plan to arrive and depart the country in daylight hours, be alert to drink spiking and only use officially registered taxis. Credit card fraud is a risk as is counterfeit Costa Rican and US currency from street exchanges. Keep your card in view when making purchases and only change money at banks or official exchanges. Your leader can advise on the best ways to withdraw or exchange money on tour. PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only. LOCAL LODGINGS: On this trip you will be staying in some restored houses and local lodges - these are one of the charms of this journey, but their staircases, balconies and passages etc may not always comply with western safety standards. Please do not expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state. SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
Age Requirements
15 years and up
Additional Information
Finish point Autentico Hotel Ave 5 and 7 40 st. East Sabana, San Jose 10108 COSTA RICA Phone: +506 22225266 Alternate Finish point For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point. 06 Feb 2024 (QVSR240206), 16 Mar 2024 (QVSR240316), 19 Mar 2024 (QVSR240319), 20 Jul 2024 (QVSR240720), 16 Nov 2024 (QVSR241116) Fleur De Lys Hotel 13th street, between 2 and 6th avenue, one block from the National Museum San Jose San Jose 10736 COSTA RICA Phone: 506 22231206
Trip ID
intrepid-QVSR

Become a member

(it's free)
  • Save up to $700 per person
  • Access members-only specials
  • Personalize trip recommendations
Sign up and save
Top Tour Companies on Travelstride:
All 1,600+ companies >