Is it possible to get to know the most beautiful places in Costa Rica in only two weeks? Yes, that is possible! During this two-week journey, you will see a wide variety of landscapes, spend the night in unique accommodations far from civilization and relax on one of the many tropical beaches in Costa Rica. While travelling, you will discover that Costa Rica does not only consists of the jungle, but that the many microclimates result in great natural diversity. Because of this, no destination is the same and you will certainly not be bored!
Explore the rainforest search for Costa Rican wildlife. Search for monkeys, snakes, frogs, iguanas and crocodiles and enjoy all the beautiful plants and flowers that you will encounter along the way. If you want a bit more adventure still, then go rafting on the wild waters of Turrialba, explore the mountains on your mountain bike or book a canopy tour to experience the jungle from above.
This two-week trip certainly satisfies travellers who want to experience nature in an adventurous way!
Your tour around Costa Rica starts in San José, the nation’s capital. This large city has a bustling city center where you will find many shops, markets, restaurants and bars.
A fun, but intensive way to explore the city is via a (free) city tour. But if you rather want to escape the crowds, then visit the Irazú volcano, for example. At 3400 meters, it is the highest volcano in Costa Rica and it has a beautiful blue-green crater lake.
In the evening there are plenty nice restaurants and bars to choose from, once it’s time to have dinner. Barrio Escalante is an up-and-coming neighbourhood, which really has been transformed over the past few years. Here you find authentic Costa Rican fare, but also Italian, Japanese, Indian, vegan and fusion cuisine.
Want to know more about nice hotspots and where you can find the most authentic gifts? Read our blog about San José!
Your next destination lies south of the Tortuguero nature reserve. Already early in the morning you’ll be picked up at your hotel and by bus and boat you’ll travel to Barra Pacuare.
You will stay in a simple but comfortable lodge near the tiny village of Barra Pacuare. You will be well looked after so that you can enjoy the jungle in optima forma. During your stay you’ll go on a guided tour in the rainforest reserve and the nearby canals.
If you are here during the turtle-nesting season, you might see the large leatherbacks come ashore in the evening to lay their eggs, a unique experience!
From the coast you drive inland on your way to your next destination; an eco lodge surrounded by rainforest. This gigantic area barely escaped the planned deforestation. Now the owners are determined to preserve the land in its original state; as primary and secondary rainforest. During your stay you will learn, hear and see more about the importance of nature conservation.
Bird and nature lovers find themselves in paradise here. Therefore, booking a guided hike is a must-do while staying here. As mentioned, the Costa Rican family with German roots , will tell you all about nature conservation, but they will certainly pamper you with great food and drink as well!
In the evening, all guests eat together at a large table, a fun and pleasant experience. After dinner you can enjoy a private frog concert from the balcony of your cottage, after which a good night sleep is guaranteed!
You continue your way to your next destination, Turrialba, which means “river of fire”. During your travels you will notice that there are many (micro) climates in Costa Rica and this leads to great biodiversity and different landscapes. You will travel through tropical rain and cloud forests.
You will spend the coming nights at the 300-hectare farm of a local family. They’ve built beautiful eco decks (open, wooden houses) in nature. From your bed you have a magical view over the valley and onto the Turrialba volcano.
The rivers in this area are known for their wild waters and therefore you can do some excellent rafting here. Other tour options include horseback riding, mountain biking or canyoning. If you prefer to take things a little easier, you can also visit the CATIE botanical garden (guided tours are available here as well).
In Copey de Dota you can taste the real Costa Rica! In this region excellent coffee is being produced, in addition, it is known for its excellent climate and therefore beautiful flora and fauna.
The lodge where you are staying has 15 hectares of private land. You can explore the beautiful natural surroundings by foot and check out their vegetable garden. Here they produce coffee, avocado, blackberries and the local fruit ‘naranjilla’.
If you like fresh produce and are interested in production processed, do book a coffee tour at the large cooperative of nearby coffee farmers.
During cooking classes at the lodge, you can l earn how to make compote or t0 prepare a typical Costa Rican meal.
A tour to a the nearby apple farm is also a special experience. Apples don’t grow naturally in Costa Rica. Because apple trees need 4 seasons, apples must be pollinated by hand here. A very laborious but interesting process!
Via a beautiful route through the mountains of the Cerro de la Muerte, you will drive to the village of Uvita on the Pacific coast. This village is known for the beach in the shape of a whale tail. Maybe because of that, it is the perfect place to spot whales and dolphins.
In the nearby area you can also make other nice trips. For example, visit the beautiful beach Las Ventanas. Furthermore, surf hot spot Dominical is only a short drive away. Here you can take surf lesson, but also hike to the impressive Nauyaca waterfalls or book a guided tour exploring the jungle at Hacienda Baru.
From Uvita you drive to your next destination near Quepos. Here you will stay in a nice safari tent surrounded by nature and near a beautiful lodge, a fantastic glamping experience! Of course you can take it easy during your stay here, but adventure is only just around the corner!
Go kayaking through the mangrove forests or hike to a nearby beautiful waterfall. In addition you can go rafting under the guidance of the excellent guides of the lodge.
Your safari tent is originally from South Africa and provides your with a true “jungle” feeling during your stay. Your hosts are originally from South Africa and in the evening you can enjoy a traditional “braai” (a South African bbq). In this way this destination offers a unique and unforgettable blend of Costa Rican nature and African hospitality!
Your trip around Costa Rica is slowly coming to an end. You spend the last night before departure in a small, comfortable hotel near the airport in Alajuela.
Enjoy the tropical flora and fauna in the garden of the hotel and take a final dive in the pool before stepping on the plane!
Have a safe flight home!
We noticed that at all the hotels in Costa Rica paid great attention to sustainability. Our hotel in Bananito Sur was our number one favourite! The whole family thought this was the nicest hotel.
Beautiful bungalows with large windows, glass doors and great views. Intimate atmosphere with other guests during joint meals and tours. The natural surroundings were stunning, we thought it was really a small paradise far away from the rest of the world.
We made an extra jungle hike here, participated in an evening hike and planted a tree. Thanks to the super nice and knowledgeable guide Harvey, these were fun experiences. (2018)
We had a super nice holiday! Costa Rica is a relaxed and friendly country. Everyone helps you and is friendly.
We really enjoyed it and we have seen a lot. Spotted many different frogs and were amazed when we saw the famous red-eyed frog.
One evening hike turned out to be a private tour with guide. The weather was excellent, so we saw a lot. On the more adventurous side, we very much enjoyed our zipline tour, for our kids this was also a great adventure! (2018)
When we were staying near the town of Uvita we booked a whale and dolphin tour. We were lucky to spot many whales, it was a great tour and very well organized! (2018)
For us, our stay in Barra Pacuare was an absolute highlight of our tour in Costa Rica. The transfer by boat through the lagoon and later an improvised night excursion through El Capitan were fantastic. We asked if we could visit the ranger station at night while watching the turtles. This could not be arranged on such a short term, but our skipper came up with an alternative and we went crocodile watching with him and the kitchen staff of the hotel. Great experience! (2017)
Our accommodation in Quepos was fantastic! We very much liked our safari tent to sleep in. The food was excellent and the activities a lot of fun. Great stay! (2018)