Crater rims, hot springs and turtles nesting
Visit the world-famous Arenal National Park, discover the secrets of the turquoise waters at Rio Celeste, bathe in the Tabacon hot spring pools and watch turtles testing on the beach in this compact Costa Rica adventure.
This 9-day Costa Rica trip will see you peer over the crater edge to watch steam escaping from Poas active volcano, marvel at the bright blue waters of Rio Celeste due to a chemical reaction from the volcano minerals, bathe in the Tabacon hot springs in the midst of the forest which is known for its spa properties and visit Costa Rica's famous Arenal National Park where you can hike lava trails and spot plentiful wildlife.
Next, it is onto Nosara in Guanacaste for some beach relaxation, and home to some of the best surfing the country has to offer. Depending on the time of year, you'll have the chance to witness the incredible phenomenon which is arribada, where thousands of turtles visit the beach to lay their eggs in mass synchronised sea turtle nesting, an incredible phenomenon.
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Day 1: Arrive & Poas Volcano
On arrival, you will be transported from Juan Santamaria International Airport to Poas Volcano Lodge which is approximately an hour away.
Visit Poas, one of the active volcanoes in Costa Rica’s Central Mountain Range which is accessible by paved road, almost all the way to the principal crater - which is purported to be the widest in the world. Walk the final half a mile to the crater's edge, where you can peer over at the desolate landscape of multi-coloured rock, ash and earth that is devoid of vegetation. Steam escapes from the many fumaroles in the crater and forms a lake, which varies from placid emerald green to a sulphurous, boiling cauldron of mud geysers – depending on the volcano’s current activity.
Spend the night at Poas Volcano Lodge in a garden room.
Day 2: Rio Celeste
Today, you will be transferred by a private driver to Rio Celeste - a journey which takes around 3 hours.
Rio Celeste is famed for the encounter of two rivers which as if my magic change colour into vibrate tones of blue on meeting. The phenomenon is the result of chemical reactions produced by the minerals of the Tenorio volcano, which gives the name to the national park and has four volcanic peaks and two craters. Hot springs, waterfalls and abundant flora and fauna add to the magnificence of the landscape.
Spend 3 nights at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel situated on the slopes of Tenorio volcano in a deluxe forest view casita. Each casita has a private backyard with a secluded outdoor shower, wide glass doors facing the balcony and a jacuzzi
Day 3: Arenal Volcano National Park
Spend a full day in Arenal National Park (approx 2 hours away) hiking through lava trails, crossing the rainforest using hanging bridges or gazing over the edge of the Arenal Volcano, which overlooks the breathtaking Lake Arenal.
Visit the Tabacon hot springs which are thermal mineral springs forming natural pools and cascades in the middle of the forest. These pools are unique to the Arenal Volcano region and unparalleled in the world. Tabacon features more than 20 natural pools and ponds strategically located along the walking trails of the stunning gardens and are a unique, and refreshing bathing spot.
Day 4: Tenorio National Park (Rio Celeste)
Spend today in Tenorio National Park. Located in northern Costa Rica, the Tenorio Volcano National Park is one of the country's youngest parks. Taking its name from the Tenorio Volcano, this national park boasts stunning river views and plenty of opportunities for wildlife adventures. The park was created in 1995 to protect the Tenorio Volcano, which is still active today. The park features four different life zones, as well as the beautiful aqua-hued Rio Celeste.
Day 5: Beach time
Head to Nosara for some beach relaxation, around 4 hours drive away. Located in Gunacaste, in the northern part of the country, Nosara is a little beach town surrounded by mangroves, forests and sandy long stretches of beach. Spend your days on the sand, surfing the waves or floating in the turquoise sea.
Spend 3 nights at Lagarta Lodge which overlooks two rivers, a green forest, expansive sandy beaches and the deep blue Pacific Ocean - the perfect spot to chill out.
Day 6: Ostional National Wildlife Refuge
The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge is famed for arribada during the months of July - December where you will have a unique opportunity to see turtles lay their eggs.
At first, a few hundred turtles will come out on the beach, followed by a steady stream of turtles for the next three to seven days. So many turtles come onto the beach in such a brief time span that most of the first nests are destroyed by later turtles. Therefore, in 1987, a project was initiated to allow local people the right to collect and sell a percentage of the eggs from the first three days of each arribada. This is the only place in the world where it is legal to harvest turtle eggs. This practice is designed to prevent poaching and to help the local community.
Day 7: Day of leisure
Spent today doing as you please - exploring the area, chilling on the beach, surfing or enjoying the hotel pool.
Day 8: San José
Transfer from Nosara back to San José (approx 5 hours), ready for your return flight home tomorrow. Spend one night at the Grano de Oro Hotel & Restaurant in a standard room.
Day 9: Return home
Private transfer from your hotel to the airport for your internal flight home, taking with you many memories of an incredible trip.
Duration: 9 days
Location: Costa Rica Holidays, Central America Holidays
From £2,443pp excluding international flights.
The trip includes all accommodation and activities specified above. Meals are as below.
- 1 Night at Poas Volcano Lodge: Breakfast
- 3 Nights at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel: Breakfast
- Dinner at Tabacon Hot Springs
- 3 Nights at Lagarta Lodge: Breakfast
- 1 Night at Grano de Oro Hotel & Restaurant: Breakfast