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Costa Rica

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Costa Rica Safaris

An eco-tourist’s dream, Costa Rica has become synonymous with all an unspoiled tropical paradise can be. With a quiet history, free of colonial excesses, Costa Rica has cashed in on its purity. Blessed with beaches and unrivalled biodiversity, this country is a verdant land of misty volcanoes, rushing rivers and thick jungles, teeming with exotic flora and fauna. From waking up to the throaty roar of howler monkeys at dawn and catching a glimpse of the vibrant plumage of scarlet macaws, to braving the white-waters and rafting down the Pacure River ending amongst endless shoals of tropical fish; Costa Rica is a treat for the senses and a treasure trove of some of the Central Americas’ most engaging wildlife experiences.

Located in Central America, close to the equator, Costa Rica is a tropical oasis. With a rich honey pot of tranquil landscapes, coconut-tree-lined beaches lead into rocky coves, steamy volcanoes pave way to savannah-like plains, and misty cloud forests combine with lush jungles. Explore tangled primary rainforest in the Osa Peninsula, indulge in gentle surf swells blanketing pristine-white sand at Tamarindo Beach and encounter Capuchins, tree frogs and sloths in Corcovado. Unwind away from the crowds and explore the best of the natural world.

Why Natural World Safaris for your Costa Rica safari?

At Natural World Safaris, our team has been travelling to Costa Rica for over 17 years. Our team of specialists have developed extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived and explored in great detail the country even off of the well-trodden paths. We place our core focus, unsurprisingly, on the wildlife – and specifically observing it in its most pristine ecosystems. Because of this we have used the same guides in Costa Rica for years, simply because they are the best at what they do. It takes time and patience to find mesmerising jaguars and magnificent macaws but our guides have expert local knowledge which they will share with you, teaching you about your surroundings, from the topography and wildlife to the local people and their cultures.

As a specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists in Costa Rica. We support Selva Bananito, one of Costa Rica’s leading examples of ecotourism and a leader in the region’s conservation efforts, as evidenced by their work to protect wildcats and other species in the area. Visiting this private reserve is the highlight of many peoples' visit, offering guests the chance to place camera traps within the primary rainforest, helping the team to monitor and protect the reserve’s populations of jaguars and ocelot. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

How much does Costa Rica cost?

For a 10-day trip taking in 3 different areas (including Osa), and staying in comfortable lodges, expect to pay from around £4000 per person based on two sharing. This will include transfers and guided excursions throughout, with a mix of private and shared services. On a 2-week safari staying at the country’s finest eco-lodges, with private transfers, perhaps one or two internal flights, and largely privately guided experiences, expect to pay around £6000-£7000 per person for two travelling.

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The Costa Rica Safari Experience

A stunning country packed with wild jungles, high mountains and idyllic beaches lining the shores - there really is nothing not to like about this diverse and friendly country. Here, travellers can adopt the sense of adventure with incredible activities that suit all walks of life. With over half a million species, Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. Four primate species, vibrant birds, unique tapirs, slow-moving sloths, and prehistoric caiman can be found on land and in the jungles. Offshore, whales, dolphins, rays and sharks are found just beneath the waves.

You may wish to include the following in your Costa Rica itinerary:

  • Night safaris – Wander quiet paths through the forests after the sun sets and discover nocturnal creatures such as kinkajous, bats and owls.
  • Hiking - Walk in the high altitude paramo, listening to the birdsong in the thin air around you, or follow a coastal path skirting the rainforest, keeping an eye out for monkeys, macaws and more.
  • Turtle-hatching - Watch both nesting and hatching turtles – this is one of the great advantages of visiting Costa Rica in its green season.
  • Rainforest discovery – Immerse yourself into the forest in search of primates and caiman, sloths and macaws; Costa Rica’s jungles are vibrant, wild and ready to be explored.
  • Adventure - Enjoy exhilarating ziplines, white-water rafting, snorkelling and surfing in the incredible blue seas.
  • Beach relaxation - Kick back and relax in Cahuita, soaking up the distinctive Caribbean atmosphere in a laidback village.

Where to Stay in Costa Rica?

With Costa Rica being one of the most renowned wildlife and eco-friendly destinations, the stunning accommodation tends to reflect this, with many hotels and lodges set in the heart of the tropical ecosystems to fully immerse you in the experience of feeling close to nature. The range of rustic lodges use natural wood and materials to brilliant effect and are often set amongst pristine green gardens, with minimal impact on the environment.

When to go to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica's climate is defined by the rainy and dry seasons. The best time to visit is Costa Rica's dry season which is December to April, March and April are the hottest months. The rainy season is May to November, the wettest months are September and October.

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Costa Rica Safaris FAQs

Is Costa Rica a safe travel destination?

Costa Rica is widely regarded as a secure and popular holiday destination, characterised by its stable political environment and well-established tourism industry. While it's wise to take sensible precautions to guard against petty theft and pickpocketing, the country's exceptional natural beauty, eco-tourism attractions, and adventurous activities render it a compelling choice. It's advisable to stay updated on travel advisories and to show respect for local customs in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Where to go in Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers a diverse range of destinations to suit various preferences. The beaches of Manuel Antonio offer a blend of tropical rainforest and coastal splendour, while Arenal is celebrated for its breathtaking volcano and thermal springs. Nature enthusiasts have the opportunity to delve into the biodiverse marvels of Monteverde's cloud forests, and those in search of serenity can discover solace on the peaceful Guanacaste beaches. For intrepid adventurers, the remote wilderness of the Osa Peninsula presents unparalleled wildlife encounters. Moreover, the vibrant capital city of San José boasts cultural attractions and serves as a convenient gateway to the nation's natural treasures.

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Is Costa Rica very expensive?

Accommodation, transportation, and guided tours can contribute to higher costs, especially in popular tourist areas. Luxury resorts and upscale amenities may come with premium prices. Nonetheless, economical alternatives like hostels, local eateries, and public transportation are available to help manage costs. While Costa Rica may not be the cheapest destination, it offers a wide range of experiences that cater to different budgets, and with careful planning, it's possible to have an enjoyable and affordable trip.

What is Costa Rica best known for?

Costa Rica is renowned for its rich biodiversity and stunning natural landscapes. It's best known for its lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and abundant national parks and reserves. The country is a hotspot for eco-tourism and offers unique experiences such as canopy zip-lining, wildlife spotting (including the elusive quetzal bird), and exploring active volcanoes like Arenal. Costa Rica's beautiful beaches along both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are popular for surfing, relaxation, and marine life observation. The country's commitment to conservation and sustainability, as well as its "Pura Vida" way of life, have also contributed to its global reputation as a leading eco-friendly and adventure travel destination.

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How long should I spend in Costa Rica?

The ideal duration for a Costa Rica trip depends on your preferences, but a well-rounded visit could range from 7 to 14 days. A shorter 7-day trip could cover highlights like Arenal, Monteverde, and a beach destination. Extending to 10-14 days allows for deeper exploration of national parks, diverse activities, various beaches, and potentially less touristy areas, providing a more immersive experience of Costa Rica's natural beauty and culture.