Costa Rica - Wildlife and Water

Monteverde Cloud forest and beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio







From $2,420 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Family Adventure Holiday in Costa Rica with fabulous wildlife
  • Included white-water rafting & cruising the canals of Tortuguero
  • Discover how chocolate is made, enjoy zip-wires and horse-rides
  • Lake Arenal and the famous (dormant) volcano!

Famous for its beaches, jungles and extravagant wildlife including howler monkeys, frogs, turtles and toucans, Costa Rica is a great place for a family adventure holiday. We start by heading east to see the stunning wildlife haven of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. Canoe and boat tours take us through the myriad of canals, and we may see the giant leatherback and endangered green turtles on the beaches here. Leaving the Caribbean we have a fun and thrilling morning white-water rafting before travelling to Arenal Volcano. Here, we have the option to sample the Ecothermales Hot Springs and see the recent lava. Sailing across Arenal lake we take a jeep up to the cloud forest reserve at Monteverde, where we include the 'Sky Walk', a canopy-level walk-way for us to explore. We can also visit the wonderful Selvatura Park, with its outrageous butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. Heading south to Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast, we have some time to relax on the beach before continuing down to Dominical to relax on the beach. A unique, easy horse/pony ride to the Nauyaca waterfalls and then a search, in the forest at dawn, for the elusive Resplendent Queztal rounds off this excellent family adventure and wildlife rich holiday.

Is this holiday for you?

Suitable for children from 8yrs old

Activities included in this holiday are easy short walks, horse riding, a tree top tour (Skywalk), swimming, zip-wire rides, boat rides at Tortuguero and white water rafting. The rafting will be on an exciting, but not outrageous, ‘whitewater' river.  The grade varies from 2 (straightforward) to Grade 3 (exciting). There are lots of easy reaches in between the rapids and this does make the overall run quite manageable for novices or youngsters. The horse-riding is also easy and can be done by novices and children. The zip-wire is fully supported with guides and instruction. Throughout the holiday we stay in comfortable hotel or lodge accommodation. This holiday has a strong focus on wildlife and the eco-system of the rainforest.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in San Jose. A single transfer from San Jose Airport is provided.
  • Travel to Tortuguero National Park by bus and boat through the canals.
  • Boat and canoe wildlife viewing in the canals of Tortuguero. Possible turtle hatchlings.
  • Depart Tortuguero, transfer to Sarapiqui. Guided tour of cacao plantation and how to make chocolate.
  • White water rafting on the Sarapiqui River. Transfer to Arenal and La Fortuna Village.
  • Boat trip across Lake Arenal, 4WD trip upto Monteverde for treetop walk and frog gardens excursion.
  • Day in Monteverde. Many optional activities.
  • Transfer to Manuel Antonio. Relax.
  • Day in Manuel Antonio. Walking trails and optional activities available.
  • Morning relaxing. Transfer along coast to Dominical. Zip wire tour.
  • Day Dominical
  • Horse riding trip to the Nauyaca waterfalls for a swim. Transfer to the Talamanca Mountains.
  • Walk to find the Resplendent Quetzal. Drive back to San Jose.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to San Jose Airport is provided.
  • This is a test title for Day 15
  • This is a test title for Day 16
  • This is a test title for Day 17
  • This is a test title for Day 18
  • This is a test title for Day 19
  • This is a test title for Day 20
  • This is a test title for Day 21
  • This is a test title for Day 22
Sat 19 Dec - Fri 01 Jan Code FCW /06/15/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,940 Status Available Book now
Sat 26 Mar - Fri 08 Apr Code FCW /01/16/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,935 Status Available Book now
Sat 02 Apr - Fri 15 Apr Code FCW /02/16/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,935 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 02 Jul - Fri 15 Jul Code FCW /03/16/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,935 Status Available Book now
Sat 23 Jul - Fri 05 Aug Code FCW /04/16/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,935 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 06 Aug - Fri 19 Aug Code FCW /05/16/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,935 Status Available Book now
Tue 20 Dec - Mon 02 Jan Code FCW /06/16/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,935 Status Available Book now
Sat 01 Apr - Fri 14 Apr Code FCW /01/17/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,935 Status Available Book now
Sat 08 Apr - Fri 21 Apr Code FCW /02/17/ Adult$2,420 Child$1,935 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in San Jose, Costa Rica. For clients making their own flight arrangements, San Jose Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • peaks
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in San Jose. A single transfer from San Jose Airport is provided.

    Rendezvous at group hotel in San Jose. KE Land Only package services begin with a single timed transfer from the airport to the hotel. On arrival we will meet the group and the guide.

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Travel to Tortuguero National Park by bus and boat through the canals.

    We leave the city this morning on our journey east to the infamous Tortuguero National Park. The exciting journey takes us first by bus and then by boat through the canals and forest teaming with wildlife into the heart of the park. Tortuguero is located on the Caribbean coast, it is only accessible by boat or airplane. Its beaches are key nesting grounds for the endangered sea turtles such as Hawksbill, Leatherbacks, Green and Loggerheads. The park has incredible bio-diversity with several different habitats, including rainforest, swamps, beaches and lagoons. It has a tropical, humid climate which is great for wildlife. In the late afternoon we visit Tortuguero village before checking in to our lodge for the next 2 nights.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bd

  • Boat and canoe wildlife viewing in the canals of Tortuguero. Possible turtle hatchlings.

    After breakfast at our lodge we set off in canoes into the minor creeks and canals of the National Park. This is a superb way of seeing the wildlife without disturbing it. We gently drift along and can expect to see monkeys, caimans, iguanas and hopefully the sloth. The bird life is incredible and with 300 different species we are bound to come across some of the more colourful and handsome of them. After lunch we are taken in a motor boat to the Cano Palma, a narrow, palm-filled canal that is separate from the Caribbean sea by just 200-300 metres. If we are lucky we maybe able to some of the endangered turtle species on these beaches. Leatherback turtles lay their eggs between Mar and May, and Green turtles between July and October. Their eggs incubate in the sand for about 2 months before hatching. If you are travelling at Christmas it is likely that you will see turtles hatching either here or at Manuel Antonio National Park later in the holiday. We return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bd

  • Depart Tortuguero, transfer to Sarapiqui. Guided tour of cacao plantation and how to make chocolate.

    We depart Tortuguero by boat again, navigating through the Rio La Suerte to the town of La Pavona (1hr 30mins). Here we meet our awaiting vehicle and transfer to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui through banana and pineapple plantations. On arrival we visit La Tirimbina natural reserve and learn about one of our favourite foods: Chocolate. The guided tour takes us to the cacao-growing plot and we will witness how the cacao is transformed, through harvest, fermentation and drying to today’s chocolate. We can taste different kinds and will learn the story of pre and postcolonial chocolate - umm delicious! Check into our hotel in Sarapiqui.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bd

  • White water rafting on the Sarapiqui River. Transfer to Arenal and La Fortuna Village.

    This morning is an adrenaline-paced adventure, rafting on the Sarapiqui River. A fun wet ride, of grade 2 to 3 rapids and is totally suitable for the children. Full training and safety equipment is supplied as well as experienced river guides. We will shoot some of the rapids, and there is also plenty of time to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery whilst drifting down the river. After drying off and some lunch we transfer to La Fortuna, the village at the base of the magnificent and Arenal Volcano. Arenal is Costa Rica’s best known volcano, it is a large symmetrical mountain built on layers of ash, rock and lava, almost 2000m high. From 1968 to July 2010 it was an active volcano throwing lava and smoke high into the air. Arenal is very rich in animal life and it is possible that we may see three different spices of monkey, sometimes peccaries, and then the beautiful toucan and numerous other birds. We have an optional visit to the thermal hot springs. We check into our hotel in La Fortuna.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bd

  • Boat trip across Lake Arenal, 4WD trip upto Monteverde for treetop walk and frog gardens excursion.

    Leaving early we will transfer to Lake Arenal. We board the boat and cross the lake (approx 40 minutes). The peaceful ride across the lake shows off the rolling hills of farmland with Arenal Volcano as a backdrop. Arriving at the village on the other side of the lake we have time for coffee before driving with our 4WD vehicle up a potentially muddy track into the cloud forest of Monteverde (approx 1 hr 30 mins). The village at the forest is called Santa Elena and it is here we stay. Monteverde was founded in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers. It is an idyllic settlement occupying a secluded site on a high plateau. Originally, some of the virgin forest-land was cleared for dairy farming, but the founders’ environmental consciousness has subsequently led to the creation of a biological preserve that hosts one of the richest ecological systems in the country. The reserve is home to over 100 species of mammals, more than 400 species of birds, including the quetzal, and 30 local hummingbird species. There are also 120 species of amphibians and reptiles. Temperature ranges from 13-24ºC (55-75ºF), and as this is cloud forest we can expect some mist and/or rain during our visit. This is an excellent place for bird spotting and there are several miles of forest trail to explore. This afternoon we have a treetop walk ‘Sky Walk’ via a network of suspended bridges which allow a bird’s eye perspective over the cloud forest and enjoy the forest sounds and sights from the hanging bridges. After our Sky Walk we visit the frog garden in Monteverde where we can observe over 25 different species of frogs, with wacky colours, names and poisoning tendency’s! We return to our hotel in Santa Elena/Monteverde.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bd

  • Day in Monteverde. Many optional activities.

    There are many optional activities that we can participate in here in Monteverde and we have a free day to enjoy these or just to relax a little at the hotel. We can easily go for another gentle walk through the forest or take part in the zip wire course here in the high trees.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bd

  • Transfer to Manuel Antonio. Relax.

    Departing the forest in the clouds we transfer south to the Central Pacific regions. At the Tarcoles River we stop and observe the enormous crocodiles basking under the bridge – an incredible site. On arrival in Quepos the town next to Manuel Antonio National Park we check into comfortable rooms at a hotel close to the beach. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the beautiful beach, the hotel pool or walk around the craft shops on the sea front in nearby Quepos. Approx 4 ½ hours transfer. Overnight Manuel Antonio.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bd

  • Day in Manuel Antonio. Walking trails and optional activities available.

    This morning we visit the Manuel Antonio National Park. There are plenty of easy walking trails here with various wildlife including sloth, 4 monkey spices and plenty of iguanas, to mention a few. If we are lucky we may even be able to see some baby turtles coming out of their eggs from the ground – an incredible sight. There are also some beautiful beaches which are great for snorkelling. We have the afternoon at leisure. There is a wide range of optional extra activities available here many of which can be arranged at short notice through the hotel or in town. These activities include sea kayaking, horseback riding, coastal paddling and sport fishing. Activities can be arranged through the hotel or in town and payment is made directly. Some of these activities may need to be booked when you first arrive. There are many restaurants in Quepos serving a variety of different types of food, many with views over the beach and Pacific Ocean.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals b

  • Morning relaxing. Transfer along coast to Dominical. Zip wire tour.

    We have the morning at leisure to continue to enjoy this paradise, relax and let the children enjoy the beach and the activities here. After lunch we continue south down the Pacific coast to the beautiful beaches of Dominical. At the Hacienda Baru Eco Reserve we have a quick look around seeing if we can find the leaf cutter ant and or the sloth (if we’ve not seen one previously), we then participate in the ‘Flight of the Toucan’ – an awesome zip wire tour leaping from one tree to the next. Our expert guides will kit us out with harnesses and the gear required before giving us a safety briefing and guidance on how to ‘zip’ through the trees. The guides will be at every platform helping us with the next wire. Flying through the rainforest is a magical experience of fun, adrenaline and let’s us see the forest from a different angle. We then transfer back to our hotel in Dominical.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bd

  • Day Dominical

    We have a free day in Dominical. The pace of life along this beach is slow and relaxed. This is a surfers paradise and we can have an optional surf lesson if we so wish. Other options include kayaking or a snorkelling boat trip. The roads here are not paved and there are a few cafes to relax, read and lie in a hammock if we don’t fancy any water sports.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals b

  • Horse riding trip to the Nauyaca waterfalls for a swim. Transfer to the Talamanca Mountains.

    Departing the coast we have a short transfer to the start of the trails. We saddle up on our well-behaved small horses or pony’s and have a gentle 45 minute ride to Don Lulo’s house. Here we have a typical Costa Rican breakfast before continuing for another approx 40 minutes to the waterfalls. We can cool off with a swim in the natural pools of the waterfall whilst the horses rest in the shade. On the return we again stop with Don Lulo and have some refreshments and rest in his hammocks before returning to the road head and where we say farewell to our horses. In the afternoon we transfer to the Talamanca Mountains and overnight in a lodge.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Walk to find the Resplendent Quetzal. Drive back to San Jose.

    An early breakfast and we have an exciting morning walk in the forest to find the Resplendent Quetzal. These birds are bright green and red with tuffy plumage on their heads, and the breeding males have very long tails. After our walk we return to the vehicle and transfer back to San Jose. We have a celebratory final meal with the group.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • Departure day. A single transfer to San Jose Airport is provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. A single timed airport transfer is provided.

    • Meals b

  • This is a test title for Day 15

    Heading for the largest inland delta in the world, we will spend the next two nights at our tented camp enjoying game walks, optional swimming opportunities and birdlife in this wildlife rich area.

  • This is a test title for Day 16

    With a maze of lagoons and channels to explore, there is only one way to explore this beautiful and remote location and that is by the Mokoro, a traditional dug-out canoe. As we are poled along this wild network of waterways, this gentile method of safari provides the ultimate in game viewing and bird watching experiences.

  • This is a test title for Day 17

    Driving out of the Delta we may be lucky enough to encounter some wildlife en-route to the wild-west town of Maun. With an optional scenic flight over the Delta (at own expense), we arrive in Maun at where there is time to relax or enjoy a swim.

  • This is a test title for Day 18

    The size of Switzerland, during rainy season the Makgadikgadi Pans provide a place of refuge for herds of Wildebeest and clouds of Flamingo when these arid pans transform into nutritious grassland. As we travel across this pan, we may encounter some of Africa's smaller creatures, that are vital to the survival of the eco-system.

  • This is a test title for Day 19

    Swapping our saltpan for a safari, we head to the first national park of Botswana, Chobe National Park. Large herds of elephants are the attraction here and as we board our afternoon river cruise, we may be lucky enough to see herds of elephants cooling off in the river.

  • This is a test title for Day 20

    Heading onto our forth and final country we make our way across the border into Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The falls tumble 108m creating a cloud of spray that has earned it the title 'The smoke that thunders'. Making our way to superb vantage points to view the falls we have ample time to marvel at this natural wonder.

  • This is a test title for Day 21

    On this free day there are many optional activities to choose from at your own expense. Exploring the local handicraft markets, enjoying a sunset cruise or view the falls from scenic flights. Alternatively you may just like to relax in the hotel gardens and pool.

  • This is a test title for Day 22

    Land only services finish after breakfast. Airport transfers can be arrange on request.

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English speaking local leader
  • A single timed airport transfers
  • Meals as per the meal plan
  • All transfers on private vehicle or boat
  • Boat trips in Tortuguero and over Lake Arenal
  • White-water rafting at Sarapiqui
  • Entrance fee to INBioparque
  • Chocolate tour at La Tirimbina
  • Sky Walk at Monteverde
  • Entrance fees to the Manuel Antonio and other National Parks
  • Zip wire at Hacienda Baru Eco Reserve
  • Horse-riding to Nauyaca Waterfalls
  • All other tours as described in the itinerary

  • Travel Insurance
  • Departure tax on leaving Costa Rica (if applicable)
  • Meals as per the meal plan
  • Tips for guides and drivers
  • Optional visits (e.g. Thermal hot springs at Arenal and optional activities at Manuel Antonio)
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A single group transfer will be arranged on day 1 of the itinerary from San Jose Airport. This transfer will normally be in the evening on Day 1. The KE local guide or a representative of our local agent will assist with the transfers between the airport and the group hotel in San Jose. On the last day of the land only itinerary a transfer is arranged from hotel in San Jose to the airport to coincidence with the flights that leave in the late afternoon.

Land Only clients must inform the KE office of their flight details and should let us know if a transfer is not required. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

During this holiday we stay in hotels, lodges and 1 night in a simple lodge in the rain forest.

We spend 2 nights in the centrally located hotel Hotel Aranjuez, in San Jose, with pleasant outside seating area. The hotel has many 'eco' qualities including encouraging recycling, using solar panels and ensuring lights etc are switched off in the rooms.

In Tortuguero we stay Rana Roja Lodge which is a series of simple wooden cabins built with access by a raised walkway in the forest. The cabins sleep upto 4 people with an en-suite bathroom. You may be woken in the morning by the howler or white-faced monkey, and see the blue morpho butterfly fluttering by!

Our lodge in Sarapiqui (1 night) is part of the Tirimbina Rainforest Center, an organisation created to conserve the rainforest and to provide environmental education and scientific research.

Our hotel in Arenal (1 night), Catarata Eco-lodge, has views of the volcano, and a swimming pool set in pleasant grounds.
In Monteverde we stay for 2 nights in Cala Lodge which is surrounded by the forest and has easy access to the attractions. They have standard rooms and family rooms.

Our hotel in Manuel Antonio for 2 nights is the Casitas Eclipse, has a swimming pool surrounded by palm tree filled gardnes, and pleasant airy rooms. It is on a hill, just 1 mile from the main beaches of Manuel Antonio.

In Dominical we stay for 2 nights at the Natuga Lodge, which is a short drive from the main beach. The hotel is situated in the forest, surrounded by gardens with a pool. The rooms are in individual cabins located in the grounds.

Our final night before returning to San Jose is at the Suria lodge, a small simple family run accommodation with individual cabins in the gardens. There are different sized cabins for different sized families.

As a general rule, children of 11yrs and under will share with parents in a triple for a family of 3 or a double with 2 extra beds for a family of 4. Children over 12 yrs will share with parents in a triple for a family of 3, or have 2 rooms for a family of 4. We will do everything to ensure that you are happy with your rooming allocation.

Additional hotel nights are available pre and post the holiday. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Costa Rican food is generally flavourful but fairly mild (not too spicy). The most popular dish is ‘gallo pinto’ which is black beans and rice. Main meals are based around beans and rice, and will be accompanied by vegetables or fried plantains, and meat (chicken or beef) or fish. Dessert is usually a selection of fruits. Breakfasts are usually fruit and yogurts and sometimes eggs. Lunch can vary from sandwiches to rice and beans!

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 9 dinners are included. You should budget US$10 - $15 per meal not included.

We estimate that around US$500-600 (or equivalent in Sterling or Euros) will be sufficient to cover spending requirements for a family of four (two adults and two children) including the non included meals, tips for guides and drivers, airport tax (on departure from San Jose, it is possible you will be required to pay US$29 airport tax, occasionally this is included in your airline ticket) and other incidental expenses such as snacks and drinks. Dinners and lunch should be around US$10-15 per person per meal. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Colon) outside the country. You can exchange money at the airport on arrival. Credit and bank cards can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs in San Jose or at the airport and often this is at the most favourable rate of exchange though your credit card company may make a charge for this. Credit cards can also be used at most restaurants in San Jose, and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs. US dollars can be used directly to purchase most goods and services in Costa Rica though not necessarily at the most favourable rate of exchange. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES. These are subject to change without notice. The thermal hot springs at Arenal are approximately US$50, Damas Island mangrove tour (Manuel Antonio) US$65, Horseriding (Manuel Antonio) US$70, Mountain Biking (Manuel Antonio) US$40, Canyoning (Manuel Antonio) US$85.

A professional English speaking guide will accompany the group, and there will also be a driver to cater for the group's needs. While rafting there will be one raft for 6 to 8 clients and there will be one experienced river guide for each raft. Other specialist local guides will be used on certain tours.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to you leader and local team. Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service. We advise you to tip as a group.

There is no restriction on the weight of your bag other than that imposed by your airline. However, lightweight clothing is the order of the day for the majority of this trip and you will have a more comfortable travel experience if you pack as light as possible.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

At the present time, nationals of the United States and Canada and members of the European Union need only an onward airticket and a passport which is valid for six months after your return date. This is sufficient to stay in Costa Rica for up to three months. A visa is not required. Other nationalities should contact the Embassy of Costa Rica in their own countries for information on how to obtain their visa.

Passengers intending to travel via the USA, please note the following:

Your passport must have a machine readable bar code if you are transiting through the US. You must complete an online application form to travel to, or transit through the USA.

Under the new Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), all travellers, including children, from the 27 countries under the US visa waiver programme will have to fill out an electronic travel authorization form online ( prior to boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship. You can also use this site to check whether your country is part of the visa waiver scheme.

You will be required to answer questions about criminal records, communicable diseases, past history of visa revocation or deportation, and basic biographical data such as name, birth date and passport information. Changes in address and itinerary can be made online after the ESTA form has been first submitted.

You will not be allowed to board any US bound aircraft without completing the online ESTA form.

If you have a criminal record (including criminal driving offences), you will be required to obtain a visa in advance of entering or transiting the USA.

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Lightweight hiking boots / Trainers / sneakers
  • Sandals (to be used in rafting as well)
  • Socks
  • Lightweight trousers (trek pants)
  • Shorts
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers (rain pants)
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • Shirts or T-shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Daypack 20 - 30 litres (Depending on how much of the kids stuff you will be carrying)
  • Headtorch (Headlamp) with spare bulb and batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (2 pint) x2
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small towel
  • Swimwear
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit, including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Spare laces
  • Shorts
  • Travel clothes
  • Wetwipes
  • Insect repellant (DEET)
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Camera, film / memory cards, batteries etc
  • Toys / games / books etc
  • Notes:
  • It pays to remember when outfitting your family that KE clients are entitled to a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor.

All specialist equipment required for the activities provided on the holiday is included.


A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Costa Rica

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

Transit via USA

You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$14 and you should apply for it at

NOTE: This is required if you are transiting through the USA

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Malaria in Costa Rica

If you are travelling to Limon Province (on the east coast of Costa Rica, including Tortuguero National Park) there is a low Malaria risk. Please consult with your GP whether you require Malaria prophylaxis.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Costa Rica has a generally hot and humid climate. The days are warm and generally sunny with temperatures between 20 - 28°C. However, Costa Rica is a tropical country and it can rain anywhere at anytime. The Caribbean coast is usually wetter than the Pacific side of the country and some rain can be expected in the Monteverde Cloud Forest at any time of the year.

Costa Rica: Lonely Planet. Rachowiecki. Costa Rica. Fiona Dunlop. AA Explorer Series. Insight Guide Costa Rica. Harvey Haber Latin America Spanish phrasebook - Lonely Planet

National Geographic Society. 1:350,000

A good map from National Geographic produced in cooperation with Costa Rica's national survey. It is printed on waterproof and tear resistant paper on both sides with the country divided east/west. Topography is indicated by contours with a 100m interval, and by relief shading and spot heights. A street plan of central San Jose is included plus an overview map of Central America, and an index of selected towns.

Extend Your Holiday

Pacific Coast Beach Extension

The Pacific coast has a hot and dry climate, and with pristine sandy beaches, palm trees, tropical forest and warm waters for snorkelling, it is the prefect location to relax. The hotels offer watersports including diving and windsurfing. Wildlife is also abundant with monkeys and turtles being the main feature. Samara is a local beach town away from the larger developments, it is amongst one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. Transfers from San Jose are around 5 hrs 30 mins.

Hotel Manala

From $470 per person

More info

Recent Reviews & Blog Posts