Tailor-Made Holiday

Costa Rica - A Hiking Holiday

13 days

from £3,695pp

This holiday is a truly remote adventure in the mountains of Costa Rica, away from main tourist trails and overcrowded parks. Whilst 25% of Costa Rica is National Park, sometimes it can be hard to find a little piece of your own wilderness.  We have found two.  The first is in the hills of Monteverde, a cloud forest shrouded in mist and moss and the other in the mountains of San Gerardo de Rivas.  These hikes are not for the fainted hearted, with very basic refuge accommodation, variable weather and challenging altitudes, but they will take you deep into the Costa Rican wilderness for a wonderful, privately guided nature experience.

  • Explore the remote forests of Monteverde
  • Summit the highest mountain in Costa Rica, Mt. Chirripó
  • Observe a wide variety of plants, birds and mammals
  • Escape the main trails and touristy parks
  • A privately guided nature experience
  • Refuge accommodation combined with some of the best luxury hotels in Costa Rica


On arrival to San Jose, begin with a night just at the delightful Xandari Hotel Resort and Spa. In the morning you will be transferred to Monteverde for a stay at Heliconias Lodge to prepare for the next few days. The following morning embark on a two day trek through different ecological zones. From wind-battered elfin woods on exposed ridges to areas of majestically tall trees strewn with orchids and ferns.  If the legs are still up to it, night walks are a great opportunity to track mammals such as peccaries, ocelots and pumas.  The Laguna Pocosol Biological Station is located in the dense rainforest of Bosque Eterno de los Niños. To reach the station is an 8 hour trek across rivers with the opportunity to encounter a wide range of mammals, birds and amphibians which have been sighted in this area, not to mention some 3,000 species of plants.

Take an early morning bird watching tour before breakfast and transferring to San Jose and the Grano de Oro for a well-deserved hot shower and a little luxury for the night.  The following morning transfer to San Gerardo de Rivas. Staying at a simple hotel there will be a dinner and an equipment check before embarking on the exciting trip into Chirripó National Park.  The first day is a gruelling uphill stretch broken up into three stages.  Pass through dwarf cloud forests draped in bromeliads, and hope to see colourful toucans, trogons and monkeys. Overnight in the park shelter before embarking on summiting Mt. Chirripó the following morning.  Pass numerous lakes, which gave the park its name ‘Place of Enchanted Waters’ and reach the summit at 3,800 metres in time for sunrise and the descent back to camp.  

Conclude your holiday to Costa Rica at the fantastic Kura Design Villas for some out and out luxury and a good rest overlooking the striking South Pacific coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to San Jose


Most visits to Costa Rica start and finish in San José, the country's capital. This bustling city lies in Costa Rica's Central Valley and enjoys a year round, spring-like climate and a cosmopolitan feel. And while it may lack the impressive colonial architecture of other latin cities, it offers a handful of good museums, regular cultural events and excellent day trips into the surrounding countryside. In the central highlands above San Jose, you will find the small towns of Alajuela and Heredia as well as numerous coffee plantations located on the fertile slopes of the Poas Volcano. The accommodation in this area is a great alternative offering a peaceful retreat from San José's city centre.


You will be staying at Xandari Resort & Spa

Day 2

Drive from San Jose to Monteverde (Road Journey)


Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the tropics. Spanning six ecological zones, the Reserve provides a habitat for hundreds of species of mammals, birds and plants. Exploring the Reserve is a delight and involves adventures from zip lining or aerial tram rides to short jungle trails or romping mountain hikes.


You will be staying at Heliconia Hotel

Day 3

Monteverde Hiking Adventure Day 1
Your guide will meet up with you at your hotel this morning and then it's time to head out on foot into the cloud forest for day 1 of this 2 night/3day trek. This is a challenging hike and you must be confident of completing up to 8 hours of hiking each day, occasionally in hot and humid conditions and across rough terrain. Please bear in mind that conditions at both refuges are very basic. Blankets are not provided at Eladios and Pocosol Refuge. You will be required to carry a sleeping bag and have a good backpack to carry your gear. This must include a plastic water bottle, personal water filter to refill your water bottle (recommended, but not essential), good rain poncho, warm clothes (layered, polypropylene) to keep warm in damp and cold mountains, sunscreen and insect repellent, cotton shirts - long and short sleeved, parka, lightweight trousers (jeans are not recommended - too slow to dry), short hiking socks (plan on getting your feet wet on a daily basis, be sure to bring spare pairs of socks), hats with visor for rain and sun protection, flashlight with spare batteries, binoculars, footwear - lightweight hiking boots with traction and ankle support (be sure to break in your footwear before the trip), walking sticks(recommended).

Luggage not required on the trek may be left with our agents and returned to you when you're collected at the end of the trek. Snacks will be provided throughout the day and breakfast and dinner will be cooked for you by your guide.

Today's 6 hour hike will take you through the cloud forest to the Eladios Biological Station right in the heart of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Monteverde is acclaimed for one of the most important and extensive reserves in Central America. It contains habitats on both the Atlantic and the Pacific slope that include eight different ecological zones. Wind-battered elfin woods on exposed ridges are spectacularly dwarfed, whereas more protected areas have majestically tall trees festooned with orchids, bromeliads, ferns and vines. If you are still in good shape at the end of today´s trek, your guide takes you on an exciting night tour to track mammals such as pecaris, ocelots and pumas after dinner.


You will be staying at Eladios Refuge

Day 4

Monteverde Hiking Adventure Day 2
The goal today is an 8 hour hike through Bosque Eterno Los Ninos to the Laguna Pocosol Biological Station, located deep in the dense rainforest, comprosing of more than 3,000 species of plants. You will be hiking through exuberant fauna and flora, crossing rivers, passing huge trees and encountering some of the more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and more than 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles which have been sighted in this area. The trek finishes in La Tigra de San Carlos.


You will be staying at Pocosol Refuge

Day 5

Monteverde Hiking Adventure Day 3
Before breakfast your guide will take you on an extraordinary bird watching tour. Tuck into a hearty breakfast, have a short rest and then pack your belongings for the transfer back to La Fortuna (1 hour) or San José (4 hours).

Drive from Monteverde to San Jose (Road Journey)


You will be staying at Grano de Oro

Day 6

Drive from San Jose to Chirripo National Park (Road Journey)


You will be staying at Hotel El Pelicano

Day 7

Trek to Chirripo Base Camp
You depart in the morning to begin your trek into the Chirripó National Park.

Today you hike in three stages as you ascend the mountain, eating snacks and lunch before you arrive at the camp by midday. The uphill trail is steep and can take up to 12 hours in poor conditions for slow trekkers. Fit, experienced hikers can do it in 6 to 7 hours. After passing the sign "Trail to Chirripó, you begin a gruelling uphill stretch called La Cuesta del Agua (allow 2 hours). This climb crests at Monte Sin Fe ("Faithless Mountain"). Expect to see colourful toucans, trogons, monkeys, and more as you pass through dwarf cloud forests draped in "Old Man's Beard" mosses. The camp is situated 6 km below the summit.

Note: A water filter is useful for re-filling your water bottle. There are not many water sources on this day.


You will be staying at Los Crestones Refuge

Day 8

Summit of Mount Chirrpo
Get up very early to begin trekking to the summit of Mt. Chirripó before the fog rolls in. The Chirripó National Park protects 50,150 hectares of high elevation terrain. Half the park above 8,250' elevation is covered by cloud forest. Along the way you will pass by numerous lakes and it is clear why the Talamanca Indians called this area Chirripó - "Place of Enchanted Waters." Enjoy the sunrise; the view to the Pacific and Atlantic is stunning. Continue descending to the Refuge Los Crestones. After breakfast, you hike back to San Gerardo de Rivas.

(Breakfast & lunch included)


You will be staying at Hotel El Pelicano

Day 9

Drive from Chirripo National Park to Uvita de Osa (Road Journey)


You will be staying at Kura Design Villas

Day 10

Time at leisure
Free time to enjoy the facilities of the Lodge or surrounding area. These include cowboy/girl experience, Terra-Sierpe mangroves, bird watching tours, surf and stand up paddle boards, Corcovado National Park, horseback riding, kayaking, snorkelling at Ballena Marine Park, zip lining, Cano Island park tours and much more. We are able to pre-book tours should you wish.


You will be staying at Kura Design Villas

Day 11

At leisure


You will be staying at Kura Design Villas

Day 12

Drive from Uvita de Osa to Quepos (Road Journey)

Fly Quepos to San Jose

Fly San Jose to London overnight

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Xandari Resort & Spa

Xandari Resort & Spa

The Xandari Resort & Spa consists of 24 spacious villas in a 40 acre coffee and fruit plantation overlooking Costa Rica's Central Valley....

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Grano de Oro

Grano de Oro

Situated on a quiet street just off Paseo Colon in San Jose, Hotel Grano de Oro is a true oasis in the heart of a bustling city....

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Kura Design Villas

Kura Design Villas

A collection of beautifully designed luxury suites and villas incorporating cutting edge modern design and the best materials in a primitive and wild natural setting....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

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James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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John Faithfull, Travel Expert

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"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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