Natural Highlights of Costa Rica: Quetzals, Cloud Forests and Coast

Costa Rica is famous for its incredible diversity of habitats and wildlife, from vibrant birds like the scarlet and chartreuse resplendent quetzal to the elusive spotted jaguar, and steamy cloud forest to tropical sandy beaches. On this 11-day holiday you’ll enjoy a thorough introduction to Costa Rica’s wildlife, visiting a number of national parks and taking part in nature walks with knowledgeable guides. Staying in remote lodges you’ll be ideally placed for seeing Costa Rica’s animal residents in their natural habitat.


  • Glide along the unspoilt waterways of Tortuguero National Park
  • Spot Costa Rica’s vibrant birdlife, including the resplendent quetzal
  • Walk among unspoilt Cloud Forest and enjoy incredible views
  • Explore Costa Rica’s newest national park with a guide
  • Stay on the remote Osa Peninsula and discover the resident wildlife
Costa-Rica wildlife holiday map



Day 1 – Arrive in Costa Rica

Fly to Costa Rica and land late evening in San Jose. On arrival you will be driven to your hotel a short distance from the airport.

Day 2 – Drive to Tortuguero National Park

You’ll be collected from your hotel in the morning and driven through Braulio Carillo National Park to a dock from which you’ll take a boat to Tortuguero National Park. Sailing from the river dock to your lodge, on arrival you’ll be taken on a guided visit to Little Tortuguero Town.

Day 3 – Explore Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is home to 11 different ecosystems and the best way to explore is by boat. Sail through the mangrove forests and keep your eye out for many varieties of monkey – including howler, spider and white-faced capuchin – three-toed sloth, river turtle, caiman and all manner of colourful lizards and birds. After lunch an experienced guide will lead you on a wildlife walk through the rainforest; depending on the season, we can also arrange turtle watching trips after dark.

Day 4 – Travel to Savegre

Fly from the Tortuguero airstrip to San Jose, where you’ll be met for your transfer to the Cordillera de Talamanca Mountains. Your lodge is hidden among the cloud forest in a valley that sits at 2,100 metres.

Day 5 – Discover Savegre

An early wakeup call affords the best chance of spotting the region’s prolific birdlife. Join your guide for a birdwatching tour of the lodge’s private cloud forest reserve, looking out for the vibrantly-coloured resplendent quetzal and many hummingbird species. Your afternoon is free to explore as you wish; perhaps take a walk along the easily-navigable trails to a hidden waterfall, from which you can enjoy the views of the cloud forest.

Day 6 – Drive to Los Quetzales

This morning you’ll depart for a tour of Costa Rica’s newest national park, Los Quetzales, named for its most famous resident, the quetzal bird. Enjoy views of its jagged peaks and glacial lakes while exploring the cloud forest, while your guide points out wildlife – hopefully you will get to see the quetzal, trogon and sooty robin. The park’s other residents include jaguar, Baird’s tapir and squirrel monkey.

Day 7 – Drive to Osa Peninsula

Head through the Pacific Lowlands to Palmar Sur, boarding a boat to glide through the mangrove-lined rivers to the Pacific Ocean. Sail along the coastline to your beachside lodge near Corcovado National Park.

Days 8-10 – Staying on the Osa Peninsula

The Osa Peninsula is one of Costa Rica’s most remote destinations, home to vast rainforest where jaguar and tapir hide among the trees, enormous mangrove forests and cerulean waves popular with intrepid surfers. During your three days staying on the Osa Peninsula you’ll explore Corcovado National Park, home to a large concentration of scarlet macaw, sloth, monkey, crocodile and reptile species across its eight different habitats. A boat trip will take you across to Cano Island where you can snorkel and swim with manta rays and fish, hike to the lighthouse or relax on the beach. You’ll also have free time to enjoy the unspoilt surroundings of the peninsula and your lodge, swimming in the pool, walking along the beautiful beaches or exploring the lodge’s private reserve on foot or by boat. With picnic lunches included throughout, you’ll be fortunate to spend plenty of time in Costa Rica’s great outdoors.

Day 11 – Return flight

You’ll be driven to Palmar Sur’s airstrip for your short flight to San Jose. You’ll be met and taken to the international airport for your flight back to the UK.


For more information please contact us directly for a tailor-made travel quote.