Costa Rica

Ultimate Wildlife 14-Day EcoTour

Tour:
14 Days
Price From:
$4,998
Pricing Details
Singles:
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SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Single travelers staying in a room by themselves will be charged this additional single supplement fee, as all of our regular prices are otherwise based on double occupancy.

SINGLE SHARE OPTIONS (if available)
If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will make every effort to find you a roommate of the same gender, in which case you will not have to pay the single supplement fee. The single supplement will be charged until we are able to confirm a roommate for you. If we are able to match you with a roommate, the single supplement will be refunded. In the event that we cannot find a share for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement fee.

New: Click the Singles Find a Share' icon below or check our "Community" page to connect with other single travelers looking to share.

Rating:
Easy to Moderate
Our Trip Was Sensational!

" Our trip was sensational! Every day showed planning and careful selection of places and activities to provide a variety of novel adventures.  And everywhere we went, people knew Josh and commented on his enthusiasm for that planning. Coming into Monteverde, Koky asked several of the guides where quetzals had been spotted. They said no quetzals had been seen in weeks. Koky stepped several feet beyond the entrance, threw back his head, and gave the call of the male quetzal.  Within seconds he heard the answering female, and after she turned up, a male followed. Koky called in another pair and a single female before we left the park. After that, we knew if there was wildlife to be seen, we’d see it all - and first! We loved it!

- Jeanne & Rich Kearn, Costa Rica; Costa Rica 2006
Click to Read More Traveler Reviews

Costa Rica

Ultimate Wildlife 14-Day EcoTour

Destinations

  • Cahuita
  • Sarapiqui
  • Arenal
  • Monteverde
  • Carara
  • Manuel Antonio
  • Puerto Jiminez
  • Corcovado
  • Dominical
  • San Jose

Highlights

  • Bird & Wildlife Viewing in over 8 National Parks and Wildlife Preserves
  • Cloudforest Canopy Tour
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Flatwater Wildlife Float Trips
  • Sloth Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Day-Hiking, Hot Springs
  • Beaches
  • Volcano
  • Night Hikes for Nocturnal Animals
  • Sea-Kayaking with Dolphins
  • Snorkeling at Night in the Bioluminescence
  • Expert Naturalist Guides
  • Breathtaking Rainforest Lodges

Itinerary at a Glance

  • DAY 1 Cahuita - Nocturnal hike
  • DAY 2 Cahuita National Park, Sloth Rescue Center
  • DAY 3 Sarapiqui - La Selva Biological Preserve
  • DAY 4 Sarapiqui River Rafting*
  • DAY 5 Arenal - Volcano, Hot Springs, Proyecto Asis Wildlife Interaction
  • DAY 6 Monteverde Cloudforest
  • DAY 7 Monteverde Canopy Tour, Ecological Farm
  • DAY 8 Carara, Manuel Antonio
  • DAY 9 Manuel Antonio National Park
  • DAY 10 Puerto Jimenez - Sunset Sea-Kayak, Snorkel in Bioluminescence
  • DAY 11 Corcovado
  • DAY 12 Corcovado National Park
  • DAY 13 Corcovado, Dominical
  • DAY 14 San Jose

More Value! Compare our Itineraries!

Compare Wild Planet Adventures award-winning Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife to any other adventure travel company offering trips in Costa Rica. We include more destinations. More activities. More park admissions. All meals. We create special activities so you see more wildlife, for longer periods, at closer range. Our high-end biologist and naturalist guides accompany you throughout the entire tour and run our exclusive activities. There is no fine print indicating "free days" requiring you to pay more money for activities. We do not have lodges run our tours (lodge-run tours are more commercial because they visit the same places every day, often with large groups. With a captive audience they have no need to hire high-end guides with the depth of wildlife expertise offered by Wild Planet's high-end biologist and naturalist guides.)

Our Trip Was Sensational!

" Our trip was sensational! Every day showed planning and careful selection of places and activities to provide a variety of novel adventures.  And everywhere we went, people knew Josh and commented on his enthusiasm for that planning. Coming into Monteverde, Koky asked several of the guides where quetzals had been spotted. They said no quetzals had been seen in weeks. Koky stepped several feet beyond the entrance, threw back his head, and gave the call of the male quetzal.  Within seconds he heard the answering female, and after she turned up, a male followed. Koky called in another pair and a single female before we left the park. After that, we knew if there was wildlife to be seen, we’d see it all - and first! We loved it!

- Jeanne & Rich Kearn, Costa Rica; Costa Rica 2006
Click to Read More Traveler Reviews

Ultimate Wildlife 14-Day EcoTour

Our most value-packed itinerary emphasizing wildlife and bird-watching "off the beaten path." This is our signature wildlife adventure, with many of Wild Planet's special touches, including:
. More value than any other professional wildlife tour, including over 8 paid admissions to national parks, wildlife refuges, private wildlife reserves, and adventure activities such as canopy tours and hot springs.
. Expert Local Naturalist Guides Even biologists in some places.
. Breathtaking Rainforest Lodges Each specially chosen for the unique access they offer to our unique wildlife destinations, as well as their distinct level of comfort. Many have been featured in top magazines and guidebooks for excelling in quality and comfort.
. Specifically designed to optimize the chances of seeing more wildlife by visiting a variety of different eco-systems, with no commercial "filler" activities.

Detailed Itinerary

DAYS 1-3 Cahuita National Park, Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary
Highlights: Jungle Beach, Canoeing on Virgin Wetlands, Rainforest Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary, Bird and Wildlife Watching.

Wildlife: sloths, white-faced monkeys, anteaters, otters, caiman, morpho butterflies, poison-arrow frogs, and over 300 species of exotic tropical birds.

Start your adventure visiting the world-famous Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary, featured on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel, where you'll interact with wildlife experts, watch feeding of newborn sloths, and learn about one of the most endearing and cuddly animals of the rainforest. Then canoe on the rescue center's own private wildlife refuge through virgin wetlands where rainforest canals (similar to Tortuguero, but without the crowds!) are habitat for exotic colorful birds such as the purple gallinule, boat-billed heron and northern jacana.

In the afternoon, we'll hike in Cahuita National Park, a crowd-free rainforest beach teeming with monkeys, sloths, toucans and more. We'll usually see 5-12 troops of monkeys of 2 species (with 3-30 individuals in each troop) as well as 5-20 sloths of 2 species, and a wide variety of other wildlife common to the Caribbean lowlands. This easy-paced hike ends with relaxing on the beach before heading into Cahuita for a fresh-caught seafood dinner at one of the most acclaimed restaurants on the Caribbean coast.

DAYS 3-4 La Selva Biological Reserve, Sarapiqui River
Highlights: Whitewater rafting, flat-water wildlife expedition on a rainforest river, hiking in a biological station with biologists studying the rainforest.

Wildlife: Extreme biodiversity including 400 species of birds, rare rainforest frogs, river otter, agouti, coati, monkeys, anteaters, and more.

The Sarapiqui is one of the highlights of every paddler's "dream trip." Passing directly through La Selva Biological Reserve, the river is surrounded by old-growth rainforest and exotic birds. The next day we'll run the Puerto Viejo River, a remote river that rarely sees any humans besides us!

Wild Planet Adventures Exclusive

Choose from rafts or inflatable kayaks for both whitewater and flat-water segments. More boats spread out along a wider stretch the river exposes us to more wildlife habitat, which means we see more wildlife! And in the flat-water sections we can stop, get out of our rafts and observe wildlife for a more intimate experience of the rainforest and wildlife than any other conventional tour.

DAY 5 Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, Wildlife Interaction
This morning we'll stop by Proyecto Asis Wildlife Rescue Center for a short "voluntourism" segment. We'll hike the trails around the reserve, meet each of the animals in residence and contribute to their care, feeding and rehabilitation. Later, we'll enjoy soaking in a spectacular hot springs at the base of the Arenal Volcano, with spectacular views of the volcano, right from our lodge!

DAYS 6-8 Monteverde Cloud Forest
Highlights: Cloud forest, Canopy Tour, Naturalist-guided Hiking and Birding.

Wildlife: Resplendent quetzals, trogons, rare hummingbirds and hundreds of birds unique to the cloud forest. Howler monkeys and other small mammals.

The bio-diversity and exuberance of life in the cloudforest is a result of clouds drifting in and dripping constant moisture on the dense canopy tops. A naturalist guide points out a stunning array of plant and birdlife, perhaps even the endangered resplendent quetzal. Later, a series of suspended bridges and platforms offers an unforgettable glimpse of life high amongst the canopy and the transcendent sensation of walking amongst the clouds.

EVE 8 Carara National Park
Highlights: Evening scarlet macaw migration, rare wildlife, giant exotic hardwoods.

Wildlife: Crocodiles, scarlet macaws, anteater, ocelot, peccaries, white-faced and spider monkeys, poison-arrow frog.

An old growth forest of striking complexity and density, Carara's giant trees include 10 of the rarest hardwoods in Costa Rica. The unique combination of ecosystems is habitat for many rare and endangered animals, including one of the largest populations of scarlet macaws in the country, which migrate twice daily from the inland rainforest to the coastal mangrove swamps.

DAYS 9-10 Manuel Antonio National Park
Highlights: Spectacular world-class beaches.

Wildlife: White-faced and squirrel monkeys right on the beach!

The most popular national park in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio offers dense rainforests spilling down onto brilliant white sand beaches populated with friendly white-faced and squirrel monkeys.

DAYS 11-14 Osa Peninsula / Corcovado National Park
Highlights: This is THE place you dream of when you think Costa Rica! The most remote, most bio diverse, most wildlife (including many rare and indigenous species) and NO mosquitoes! Osa also holds the largest remaining stand of virgin rainforest in Central America. One of the last truly unspoiled and wild places in the world.

Wildlife: Osa is the absolute best place to see all 4 types of Costa Rican monkeys, (including rare squirrel monkeys) peccaries and other exotic wildlife, in greater numbers than anywhere else, and your best chance to spot jaguar and other big cats. It is one of the last stands for many extremely rare and endangered species including the Harpy Eagle and King Vulture. Over 400 species of birds including the largest population of scarlet macaws in the country.

Wild Planet Adventures Exclusive

Enjoy sunset kayaking with dolphins on the tranquil waters of Golfito Bay. Then, after the sun goes down, we'll snorkel at night to see the water come alive with blue sparkles of bioluminescence. Hike deep into Corcovado National Park with wildlife experts and search for tapir and other rare and endangered wildlife. Enjoy pristine beaches teeming with scarlet macaws. Relax at a world-class rainforest lodge by the beach, which are home to 2,000 nesting pairs of scarlet macaws!

Extensions:

Bocas Del Toro - Snorkeling, Islands & Beaches

Much of Costa Rica's coral reef has been destroyed due to polluted run-off from banana plantations, which means the snorkeling is poor at best. However, the nearby archipelago of Bocas del Toro just across the border in Panama is world renowned for some of the best snorkeling in all of Central America, even better than that of Belize's renowned barrier reef. Bocas has coral of every imaginable color, teeming with marine life, as well as dolphins and turtles. On islands such as Bastimentos you can visit an authentic indigenous village and hike with indigenous guides to see the endemic strawberry poison arrow frog and rare night monkeys, neither of which exist in Costa Rica.

Tortuguero National Park

A natural network of scenic jungle canal navigable only by boat, Tortuguero protects over 350 species of birds and mammals, including endangered great green macaws and jaguars. It is one of the most important nesting sites for green sea turtles. Enjoy boating, canoeing and wildlife watching from your waterfront lodge. Call for different price options.

Drake Bay

Explore Osa's wild northern end. Hike Corcovado National Park with local naturalist guides, boat to Cano Island for a day of snorkeling, or just relax at one of Costa Rica's best jungle lodges. Call for different price options.

 

Costa Rica Lodging

Our Ultimate Wildlife itinerary specializes in small, one-of-a-kind rainforest and jungle lodges, many of which have been featured on the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and in top travel magazines such as Travel & Leisure and Conde Naste Traveler. Great care has gone into our selection of lodging partners, with particular emphasis on lodges that offer outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities. These breathtaking lodges offer all the comforts of home, including hot & cold water, flush toilets, tastefully decorated beds (often orthopedic with Guatemalan fabrics), and delicious home cooked meals, sometimes extravagant, always healthy, and catering to special dietary needs.

CAHUITA

Magellan Inn

Magellan Inn is a unique boutique hotel in a magical jungle setting. It offers comfort, elegance & tranquility with a tropical paradise just outside your door. 

Suizo Loco Lodge (Alternate Lodge)

Enjoy the swiss quality under the caribbean sun in a charming eco-friendly boutique hotel! The hotel offers a sense of peace and security on a small piece of land where you are lulled by the music of nature. The place is green year round, ideal for nature lovers.

Aviarios del Caribe Sloth Sanctuary (Alternate Lodge)

Adopt-a-sloth at this world-famous Sloth Sanctuary, featured on Animal Planet, Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures and the Discovery Channel. A privately owned wildlife sanctuary and lodge, Aviarios protects over 120 acres of the Estrella River delta. This extremely bio-diverse habitat is home to nearly 300 species of birds and a wide variety of mammals including a troop of howler monkeys that live in the rainforest surrounding the lodge. Because of an unusually large population of sloths, Aviarios is at the forefront of scientific research dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of sloths. They are the only researchers who have been successfully able to document this mysterious animal's mating habits.

SAN JOSE

Corteza Amarilla Art Lodge

A great value for a little more upscale lodge, Corteza Amarilla Art Lodge is a real find. Originally built in 1993 as a residential home with a unique art theme; Corteza Amarilla is a true jewel with great architectural value. The 11 junior suites and 2 master suites are artfully decorated and surround the marvelous gardens found in the property. The over-sized rooms offer comfort, elegance and a very unique ambiance. All of them are well equipped with free wireless internet, air conditioning, cable TV and mini bar.

Posada Canal Grande

This charming country inn is a mere 20 minutes from the international airport and 45 minutes from San Jose. It is perfect if you are arriving early or staying a day late and need a clean, quiet hotel in a safe area close to the airport (we make the arrangements for you at our special rate.) Posada Canal is an especially unique boutique hotel with some distinct advantages to other airport hotels. The owners are an incredibly friendly and helpful Italian couple with a flair for old-world aesthetics and decor. On a practical level, Posada Canal is a quiet oasis by the airport, nestled on a beautiful coffee and mango plantation. These qualities give it a distinct advantage over many of the hotels around the airport which are either right on the street and quite noisy, are commercial chain hotels with little character or charm, or are in areas that are not as safe or convenient.

Trapp Family Lodge Alajuela

The Trapp Family Country Inn is located only 1 mile from Juan Santamaria International Airport. They offer comfortable accommodations along with genuine family service in a peaceful atmosphere. This colonial style hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens with centenary fig trees. From the private balcony of your room, in the terrace or by the pool, you will enjoy nature and relax with the musical sound of the birds. A true oasis in the middle of the city.

DOMINICAL

Cuna del Angel

Cuna del Angel (Angel's cradle) Hotel is an exclusive and cozy boutique hotel amidst an exuberant tropical forest in Costa Rica, in the lobby of the Earth's most ecologically diverse area. Astonishing views, all along the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, are the red carpets that lead the way to this intimate and warm construction in Colonial and Native Costa Rican style; a celebration of the encounter of cultures, where the best of both worlds meet, keeping the glamor and elegance of a modern world, and evoking the spiritual world of the indigenous cultures that inhabited our small yet rich country.

CORCOVADO

LagunaVista Villas (Alternate Lodge)

Overlooking Playa Carate and a freshwater lagoon, LagunaVista lodge is a gateway to Corcovado National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places on our planet and a popular area for eco-tourists. LaguaVista's Mediterranean style villas are solar powered and eco-friendly, providing conscientious accommodations in a luxury setting. From your villa deck, take in the panoramic views of the rainforest, lagoon, beach, ocean and sky.

Luna Lodge of Costa Rica

Travel & Leisure Magazine named Luna Lodge one of the "Top 25 Eco-lodges in the World." We can't say enough about this world-class eco-lodge. The incredibly remote location, 4-star service, attention to beauty and aesthetics, breathtaking open-air yoga structure, massage, and even after-dinner salsa dancing are why Luna generates regular rave reviews by the likes of Conde Naste and the Discovery Channel. But nothing can describe the tangible feeling of peace you will notice immediately upon arrival, and will linger long after you depart.

PUERTO JIMENEZ

Las Islas Lodge (Alternate Lodge)

This delightful and authentic Costa Rican family-owned lodge is the newest lodge in Puerto Jimenez. Wildlife is abundant with various species of monkeys, Iguanas, Scarlet Macaws, Toucans, and other exotic birds. Puerto Jimenez is the last "frontier town" before venturing deep into Corcovado National Park, and Las Islas makes it feel just like home!

Parrot Bay Village

Parrot Bay Village is a unique sport fishing and rainforest eco-lodge on Costa Rica's Southern Pacific Osa Peninsula. Parrot Bay is the ONLY beach front jungle lodge in the town Puerto Jimenez. Parrot Bay is located on the edge of virgin rainforest, looking over a calm sunny beach, walking distance to a small sleepy pueblo called Puerto Jimenez, and close to Costa Rica's excellent inshore and offshore sport fishing.

Parrot Bay Village has seven private cabinas and two family style houses set around an open air restaurant, bar, and beautiful botanical garden. All cabinas are private, air-conditioned and richly appointed with white cotton linens, varnished tropical hardwoods and cool clean tile.

MANUEL ANTONIO

Villa Nicolas (Alternate Lodge)

Ideally situated in a quiet, secluded area of Manuel Antonio, Villa Nicolas's comfortable rooms are surrounded by tropical gardens and visited by pleasant ocean breezes. A pool, outdoor bar and restaurant give this a relaxed ocean villa vibe.

Byblos Resort

Surrounded by the rain forest, at the top of the hill of Manuel Antonio, Byblos is a unique jungle resort that offers truly amazing opportunities for adventure travelers and relaxation seekers alike. Byblos offers not only the opportunity of being in the jungle, but also beautiful views and easy access to some of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches. Ample grounds allow you to experience Costa Rica's exotic wildlife without ever having to leave the property!

MONTEVERDE

Trapp Family Lodge Monteverde (Alternate Lodge)

The closest lodge to the Monteverde Reserve, Trapp is built in a classic mountain lodge style, with rich hardwoods and magnificent cloudforest views. Inside, you'll feel like you're in the Swiss Alps, as its mountain decor and spacious suites showcase one of the newest lodges in Monteverde. Owned and operated by Costa Ricans, you can't get any closer to the cloudforest reserve than this acclaimed lodge. Recent Wild Planet trips were delighted by a nesting pair of Resplendent Quetzals only 50 meters from our panoramic windows!

Hotel Montana

Located on a ridge with spectacular views of the Gulf of Nicoya, this recently remodeled mountain lodge features spacious, comfortable rooms, many with jacuzzi tubs. Behind the lodge is a pond that attracts bellbirds and many of Monteverde's most famous animals and birds -- a wildlife lover's delight!

ARENAL

Villa Decary (Alternate Lodge)

Universally raved about in every guidebook, Villa Decary is set in a remote location in the hills overlooking lake Arenal, with Arenal volcano at one end of the lake, and Monteverde Cloudforest at another. Villa Decary's spacious rooms have their own entry, private tiled bath, as well as their own balcony with scenic views overlooking the lake, rain forest and mountains. The rooms, accented by colorful fabrics from Guatemala and pottery lamps made by the Chorotega Indians, all reflect the workmanship of local Costa Rican artisans who have crafted the fine wood doors and furnishings.

Arenal Springs (Alternate Lodge)

Each distinctive Junior Suite comes with direct views to the beautiful Arenal Volcano. Each room is surrounded by exotic gardens, and beautiful flowers, where Costa Rica's native species of birds and animals are readily seen.

Hotel Los Lagos

Located in the Arenal region, this is an exclusive resort with its own 13 platform Canopy Tour, private hot springs, and a spectacular observation point on the property. You can enjoy five different pools of natural hot water and regular pools tucked away in their own enclaves. The views offered here are complimented by stunning grounds and great attention to detail throughout. Los Lagos received a Trip Adviser Certificate of Excellence in 2012.

SARAPIQUI

La Quinta de Sarapiqui

La Quinta is an eco-lodge nationally certified by the Costa Rican Tourists Board with its Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). La Quinta has 5 Leaves level, being 5 Leaves the maximum qualification. The CST is a comprehensive program that categorizes and certifies each tourism company to the degree they comply with the model of sustainable tourism.La Quinta strives to have little, to no negative impact on its immediate environment. Every effort is taken to co-exist harmoniously with our surroundings. Our ten acres are composed of regenerating agriculture, a reforested area with native trees, an old-growth forest on the riverside and tropical gardens.We will always treat our environment with the utmost care and responsibility, and would greatly appreciate your help in upholding these practices while you are here. Please consider this your home, and your family, during your visit, and help protect what we have held sacred for so many years. We hope you enjoy the natural beauty of this place as so other guests have done before you.

 

Costa Rica Activities

At a Glance

Alt 1

As wildlife travel experts, one of our greatest advantages are some of the specially arranged activities we've created just for wildlife lovers. These exclusive, wildlife-focused activities - and our top guides - are the reasons why you maximize your chances of seeing more volume of wildlife and more rare and endangered species when you travel with Wild Planet Adventures than with any other travel company.

  • Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Birdwatching
  • Cloudforest Canopy Tour
  • Whitewater and Flatwater River Running
  • Volcano & Hot Springs
  • Beaches/Ocean
  • Sea-Kayaking in Golfito Bay
  • Snorkeling at Night in the Bioluminescence

Exclusive Wildlife Activities

ultimate-wildlife-14-day-eco-tour-costa-rica-exclusive-wildlife-activities
Our Trip Was Sensational!

" Our trip was sensational! Every day showed planning and careful selection of places and activities to provide a variety of novel adventures.  And everywhere we went, people knew Josh and commented on his enthusiasm for that planning. Coming into Monteverde, Koky asked several of the guides where quetzals had been spotted. They said no quetzals had been seen in weeks. Koky stepped several feet beyond the entrance, threw back his head, and gave the call of the male quetzal.  Within seconds he heard the answering female, and after she turned up, a male followed. Koky called in another pair and a single female before we left the park. After that, we knew if there was wildlife to be seen, we’d see it all - and first! We loved it!

- Jeanne & Rich Kearn, Costa Rica; Costa Rica 2006
Click to Read More Traveler Reviews

Sarapiqui River Rafting

Choose from rafts or inflatable kayaks for both whitewater and flat-water segments. More boats spread out along a wider stretch the river exposes us to more wildlife habitat, which means we see more wildlife! And in the flat-water sections we can stop, get out of our rafts and observe wildlife for a more intimate experience of the rainforest and wildlife than any other conventional tour.

Snorkeling at Night in Bioluminescence

This is one of the most magical experiences on our tour. The water is alive with bright blue sparkles of bioluminescent plankton, and every movement you make leaves a trail of sparkles in the water. We'll snorkel in a shallow, protected area right off the beach. We'll start off wading where we can stand, and then the more adventurous can wander a little farther offshore.

Other Activities

Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Birdwatching

Our hiking philosophy is simple: "The slower you go, the more wildlife you see." Most of our hikes last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and the pace is a relaxed meander. with frequent stops to observe nature and wildlife. We may even spend intimate time with a troop of wild monkeys, especially if we observe exciting behaviors such as teaching a newborn to walk, a conflict involving an alpha male, or anything else that has what we call a high "wow" factor.

Cloudforest Canopy Tour

The bio-diversity and exuberance of life in the cloudforest is a result of clouds drifting in and dripping constant moisture on the dense canopy tops. A series of suspended bridges and platforms offers an unforgettable glimpse of life high amongst the canopy and the transcendent sensation of walking amongst the clouds.

Volcano & Hotspring

Enjoy soaking in a spectacular hot springs at the base of the Arenal Volcano, with spectacular views of the volcano, right from our lodge!

Sea-Kayaking in Golfito Bay

Enjoy sunset kayaking with dolphins on the tranquil waters of Golfito Bay.

 

Costa Rica Wildlife

Prolific Sightings

Wild Planet's wildlife eco-tours are designed for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Our "Ultimate Wildlife" eco-adventures are specially designed for maximum wildlife viewing. We take care to seek out wildlife that is rare, off the beaten path, and in greater numbers than you will see on conventional tours. Our expert naturalist guides will educate you in the field so your experience is intimate and unparalleled. Still, wildlife viewing can unpredictable and requires patience and sensory awareness. A partial list of some of the animals you are likely to see is below.

Primates: Howler Monkeys, White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys
Other Mammals: Three-Toed Sloth, Two-Toed Sloth, Coatimundi, Bats
Reptiles & Insects: Crocodiles, Caiman, Blue Morpho Butterflies, Basilisk (Jesus Christ Lizards), Poison Arrow Frogs
Birds: 600 species including Parrots, Trogons, Mot-Mots, Tanagers, Montezuma's Oropendolas, Hawks, Squirrel Cuckoos, Owls, Herons, Kingfishers, 60 species of Hummingbirds and much more.

Likely Sightings

Primates: Squirrel Monkeys
Other Mammals: Tamandua (Anteater), Kinkajou, Agouti, Dolphins, Tayra, Peccaries (collared & white-liped)
Reptiles, Amphibians & Insects: Red-Eyed Tree Frogs, Walking Sticks, Eyelash Pitviper, Fer-de-lance, Leaf-Cutter Ants
Birds: Resplendent Quetzals, Scarlet Macaws, Lovely Cotingas, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Green Honeycreepers, Roseate Spoonbill, Woodstorks, Crested Caracara, Purple Gallinule, Northern Jacanas, Great Curassow

Rare or Endangered Possible Sightings

Other Mammals: Jaguar & other cats, Tapir, Porcupine, Silky Anteater, Grey Fox, Olingo, Paca, Grison
Reptiles: Caiman, Fleishman's Glass Frogs (see-through), Leatherback Turtles, Green Turtles, Hercules Beetles
Birds: Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Harpy Eagle, Great Green Macaw, King Vulture, White Hawk, Great Potoo, Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, Royal Flycatcher, and many more

 

Costa Rica Guides

Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen Wild Planet's Director

Josh personally hand-crafts all of Wild Planet's itineraries to reflect his own love of wildlife and the transformational power of nature. The Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife itineraries remain his favorite after guiding them for nearly a decade. A dedicated wildlife enthusiast and conservationist, his keen eyes and love of nature still make him Wild Planet's most requested guide.

Rayner Araya

Rayner Araya Biologist & Naturalist Guide

I grew up in the forest where I spent my time exploring and discovering nature, playing with poison dart frogs, ants, butterflies, beetles and many other jewels, soon I became fascinated about natural history and science. Since very early in life I Knew I wanted to spend my time doing something that involved nature. I think I was very lucky because I happened to be in one of the hotspots for biodiversity and international conservation efforts, this combined with the educated and friendly Costa Rican people make a suitable destination for travelers from all over the world. As a Naturalist Guide I get to share my passion for wildlife and conservation and I get to explore many different ecosystems constantly in my trips. I went to school for Tourism and Biology, I think this makes a great combination to work in the always growing tourism industry. Before working as a Naturalist Guide I worked for OTS, a worldwide known organization dedicated to Tropical Biology Research which is featured in Wild Planet Adventures' Ultimate Wildlife eco-tour. It was here that I met Josh Cohen and began guiding for Wild Planet Adventures.

I love traveling and travelers, I truly believe that by traveling and being exposed to different cultures, languages and life styles we become more tolerant, we learn to accept our differences and that can only make the world a better place!

Koky Porras

Koky Porras Legendary Master Naturalist

Koky's amazing ability to accurately call birds to him has made him the "guide of choice" for scientists researching Monteverde's famous quetzals and bellbirds. Koky has also helped to train many of Monteverde's world-class guides. The cloudforest where Koky has lived his whole life is widely known as the hardest place to guide in all of Costa Rica. Here it requires extremely sharp eyes to spot wildlife because the foliage is more dense than anywhere else in the country. In addition, many species have slight differences in their appearance with as little as 150 meters of elevation change, so it requires an enormous amount of experience to identify birds and wildlife instantaneously. Koky's fascination with the symbiotic relationships in nature is as contagious as his love of laughter.

 

Costa Rica Departures

Costa Rica-Ultimate Wildlife 14-Day EcoTour

Our Trip Was Sensational!

" Our trip was sensational! Every day showed planning and careful selection of places and activities to provide a variety of novel adventures.  And everywhere we went, people knew Josh and commented on his enthusiasm for that planning. Coming into Monteverde, Koky asked several of the guides where quetzals had been spotted. They said no quetzals had been seen in weeks. Koky stepped several feet beyond the entrance, threw back his head, and gave the call of the male quetzal.  Within seconds he heard the answering female, and after she turned up, a male followed. Koky called in another pair and a single female before we left the park. After that, we knew if there was wildlife to be seen, we’d see it all - and first! We loved it!

- Jeanne & Rich Kearn, Costa Rica; Costa Rica 2006
Click to Read More Traveler Reviews

Dec 13, 2014 - Dec 26, 2014 14-days $4,998
Dec 20, 2014 - Jan 02, 2015 14-days $4,998
Dec 27, 2014 - Jan 09, 2015 14-days $4,998
Jan 03, 2015 - Jan 16, 2015 14-days $4,998
Jan 10, 2015 - Jan 23, 2015 14-days $4,998
Jan 17, 2015 - Jan 30, 2015 14-days $4,998
Jan 31, 2015 - Feb 13, 2015 14-days $4,998
Feb 14, 2015 - Feb 27, 2015 14-days $4,998
Feb 28, 2015 - Mar 13, 2015 14-days $4,998
Mar 14, 2015 - Mar 27, 2015 14-days $4,998
Mar 28, 2015 - Apr 10, 2015 14-days $5,198
Apr 11, 2015 - Apr 24, 2015 14-days $4,998
Jun 27, 2015 - Jul 10, 2015 14-days $4,998
Jul 04, 2015 - Jul 17, 2015 14-days $4,998
Jul 11, 2015 - Jul 24, 2015 14-days $4,998
Jul 18, 2015 - Jul 31, 2015 14-days $4,998
Dec 19, 2015 - Jan 01, 2016 14-days $5,198
Dec 23, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016 14-days $5,198
Dec 26, 2015 - Jan 08, 2016 14-days $5,198

All group departures require 4 travelers minimum. Choose to go on your own on a date of your choosing for $899 additional with a 2 person minimum.

Custom itineraries or departures on dates of your choosing are also available. Call 1-800-990-4376 for more information.

** Peak holiday week reservations may be subject to increased Peak Season rates.

 

Costa Rica FAQ

Costa Rica Facts for Visitors

Our Trip Was Sensational!

" Our trip was sensational! Every day showed planning and careful selection of places and activities to provide a variety of novel adventures.  And everywhere we went, people knew Josh and commented on his enthusiasm for that planning. Coming into Monteverde, Koky asked several of the guides where quetzals had been spotted. They said no quetzals had been seen in weeks. Koky stepped several feet beyond the entrance, threw back his head, and gave the call of the male quetzal.  Within seconds he heard the answering female, and after she turned up, a male followed. Koky called in another pair and a single female before we left the park. After that, we knew if there was wildlife to be seen, we’d see it all - and first! We loved it!

- Jeanne & Rich Kearn, Costa Rica; Costa Rica 2006
Click to Read More Traveler Reviews

Climate/Best Time to Go:

Costa Rica boasts 12 climatic zones, surprising travelers with a wide variety of temperature and rainfall conditions year-round. In general, temperatures in the lowlands range from the low 70's to the high 80's, cooler at elevation. The temperature on top of the continental divide can vary from the mid 50's to low 80's in Monteverde to the 30's on Chirripo, with enveloping clouds drifting over the mountains and bringing mist and occasional rain. December through May is the dry season in most places except the Caribbean coast, which is dryer January through March, but has no real dry season. The "green season" begins very slowly in June and tapers off in July for about 3 weeks which native Costa Ricans call "Little Summer". So don't let rain scare you away from the rainforest! Even in the green season there is plenty of sunshine and great weather for your vacation. Best time to go: late December through early August

Government:

A stable democracy for more than 100 years, Costa Rica is a peaceful nation in the midst of a region that has been troubled by turmoil for centuries. Costa Rica also has the highest standard of living of any Central American country, including literacy rates, medical standards and facilities are all quite high. Costa Ricans are extremely proud that they do not have an army.

Location:

Costa Rica lies on the southern part of Central America, bordered on the south by Panama and on the North by Nicaragua. It's land mass is referred to as an isthmus, which is bordered by the sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and contains the mountains of the continental divide.

Size:

Approximately 51,100 square mile--about half the size of the state of Kentucky. Only 120 km wide in some points, Costa Rica would be easy to traverse were it not for the extreme variation in ecosystems and the continental divide. Over 27% of the country's 12 distinct ecological zones are in protected areas.

Population:

The population of Costa Rica is approximately 5 million, mostly of Spanish descent. Costa Rican people call themselves "ticos" (male) or "ticas" (female.) They are extremely friendly, polite, well educated, and enthusiastic about their country. Costa Rica is home to a large international community as well.

Language:

Spanish is the official language and is spoken, thankfully, at a speed that is much easier to understand than many other countries. English is widely understood, especially in tourist areas, hotels, lodges and restaurants.

Entry Requirements:

A passport and return ticket is required to enter Costa Rica. No visas are required for citizens of the US, UK, Canada, Japan and many others.

Customs:

US residents are permitted a $400 per person (or $1,100 per family) duty-free tax exemption upon returning to the US

Departure Tax:

Approximately US $35.00

Currency:

Local currency is the Colon. One US dollar is worth approximately 375 Colon. US dollars are accepted in many places in Costa Rica. Credit Cards/Travelers Checks: Nearly all hotels, restaurants and shops in the major towns and tourist areas take all major credit cards. Street vendors and smaller establishments in remote areas may accept only cash or travelers checks. Its important to keep travelers checks in a waterproof pouch, as they are considered void if they get wet.

Telecommunications:

All telecommunications services (direct dial phones, fax, telex, cable) are available; but calls from Costa Rica are much higher than an equivalent call to Costa Rica. The country code for Costa Rica is (506) Remote jungle lodges usually have short wave radio communications linked to cellular service.

Time Zone:

Costa Rica is in the Central Standard Time zone, and does not utilize daylight saving time. There is very little seasonal variation between dawn and dusk due to the proximity to the equator, dawn is usually 6:00 am and dusk 6:00 pm.

Sales Taxes:

Costa Rica has high taxes, roughly 15% sales tax and there may be 15% service charge in many hotels and restaurants.

Tipping:

Tipping is voluntary; tips of 15% are acceptable; more if the service is exceptionally good. Some hotels and restaurants add a 15 percent service.

Water:

While the water is said to be safe in most of Costa Rica, we recommend bottled water in most places. Do not eat fruit you have not pealed yourself, stay away from leafy vegetables like lettuce, and avoid ice cubes. These are common causes of amebic dysentery and giardia, both of which are unpleasant enough to be worth avoiding at all costs.

Choose Your Costa Rica Travel Style! Any of our wildlife adventures are also available as fully customizable private trips, honeymoons or family wildlife adventures.
CONTACT US | EMAIL US | CHAT NOW | RESERVE A TRIP | 1-800-990-4376
We're Wild for Wildlife...
  • Unparalleled Wildlife Viewing - It's normal for us to see 10-25 sloths and 5-15 troops of monkeys, plus rare wildlife - in one hike on our second day!
  • Remote & Less-Traveled Destinations - For the widest variety of wildlife experiences and best chance for up-close encounters, without crowds.
  • Interact with Animals, Wildlife Experts & Scientific Researchers - At world famous Sloth Sanctuary, La Selva Biological Preserve, and Proyecto Asis.
  • Special Wildlife Activities - Night hikes for nocturnal animals, sea-kayaking with dolphins, snorkeling at night in the bioluminescence and more.
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