During this three week tour you will visit some great still-undiscovered destinations and enjoy Costa Rica’s vibrant flora and fauna to the fullest. Your accomodations include a comfortable bungalow in the middle of the jungle, but you will also stay with a local family. All accommodations are small-scale and are run by inspiring Costa Ricans who live the true `Pura Vida` life.
During your journey you will travel to both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica. You will soon discover that these regions have their own, rather special character and the beaches are stunning. In addition, you also go to the mountainous north of the country, near the border of Nicaragua, where you can go wildwater rafting and hike to beautiful waterfalls. This trip also includes a visit to Corcovado National Park: a unique piece of tropical rainforest, on the Osa peninsula in the south-west of Costa Rica.
Today you will arrive in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Our Edventure taxi will pick you up and take you to your first hotel in the city center. San José is a bustling city, located in the so-called Central Valley area.
During the day you can explore the many shopping streets in the center, where you also will encounter various markets. Here you can buy everything; from exotic fruits and vegetables to typical Costa Rican souvenirs.
Do you like museums and history? Visit the gold museum and the National Theater! In the evening, you will most probably find your perfect dinner in or near the “Calle Gastronomico”, the so-called “gastronomic street”, an up-and-coming area with many new, trendy bars and restaurants. From your hotel you can easily take a taxi (a 5-minute drive) to go there and enjoy a nice evening.
Start the trip right away with the Caribbean vibes. Manzanillo is the southernmost town on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. Here the road stops and you will find the most beautiful, pristine beaches in the country. In addition to beautiful nature, you’ll find an interesting mix of cultures in this region. Predominant is the relaxed Afro-Caribbean culture, once brought by Jamaicans who came to Costa Rica as guest workers.
The atmosphere is relaxed and everything goes easy here. Reggae and calypso music sounds everywhere from the houses and restaurants painted with bright colors. Get into the rhythm and take time to chat with the locals and enjoy the beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine.
Time to really go off the beaten track! You will travel a different part of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica on your way to the ultimate jungle experience. You will stay in a simple lodge in the middle of the jungle, near the tiny village of Barra Pacuare on the south side of the Tortuguero National Park.
Here you are far away from the many hotels and hostels in and around the wellknown village of Tortuguero. There’s no fancy swimming pool nor Wifi here, but nature will entertain you during your stay here. You will explore the jungle by boat accompanied by a guide who will help you spot a multitude of animals. Furthermore, howler monkeys will wake you up in the morning and after dinner you may be lucky to watch leatherback turtles laying their eggs on the beach, a truly unforgettable experience.
From the Caribbean coast you travel back to the more inhabited world and you receive your rental car near the town of Guapiles. After completing the paperwork, you drive towards Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, originally a small town along the Sarapiqui River.
Near Puerto Viejo will stay at one of our favorite places in Costa Rica, a great family farm / bed and breakfast surrounded by nature. You will meet Don Rodolfo and his family and experience the true ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle in the countryside.
A tour of the farm is included in your stay. Furthermore, bird lovers can indulge themselves (the region is an important bird migration area) and if you like water sports, go rafting!
From Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui you drive up north to Boca Tapada and Maquenqu, a relatively new nature reserve and an important area, because the now rare Great Green Macaw still lives here.
You stay in a beautiful lodge in the jungle that can only be reached by boat. Even though your hotel is quite remote, that does not mean that there is nothing to do! You can go explore the jungle accompanied by a guide or take a boat trip up the river towards the border with Nicaragua.
With a bit of luck you spot toucans and pizotes when enjoying your breakfast. Take a refreshing dive in the pool during the day or borrow one of the kayaks to go around the lagoon.
If you have always dreamt of sleeping in a real tree house, let us know! The lodge offers a few tree houses (some as high as 20 meters above the ground) which are truly spectacular.
Bijagua is a small and typical Costa Rican village near the volcano Tenorio and Rio Celeste. According to the traditional stories of the Indian tribes, the river is so blue because God washed out his brushes in it after he had painted the sky…
Around Bijagua there’s a lot you can do. Go horseback riding, mountain biking or hiking. If you want to take it easy, just relax in natural hot springs! Frog’s Paradise is a nice tour, a guide will accompany you to find the most beautiful frogs that live in Costa Rica.
In the evening you can have dinner in the hotel, or go into town to taste the local speciality, tilapia!
Zapotal de Miramar is a true “off the beaten track” destination, a tiny village near the much more famous town of Monteverde. Here you sleep in a simple cabin or in people’s homes and you will find yourself immediately at home in this small, but extremely hospitable Costa Rican community.
Do not expect to sit back and relax during your stay… You will learn how “tapa dulce” is made into a delicious sweet drink made from pressed sugar cane, to cook typical Costa Rican and help in the garden or with the animals on the organic farm. Your stay in this local community will again be an unforgettable experience!
After the mountains, it’s time for the beach and to say goodbye to your host family in Zapotal and descend towards the coastal highway. You travel to Matapalo, a small village in the central Pacific.
You spend the night in spacious and luxurious safari tents and in the morning, you either dive in the ocean or in the swimming pool in front of your tent. The set-up of the beach camp invites you to relax, but if you’re looking for adventure, join the fantastic kayak tour through the mangrove forest. During this tour, you may spot all kinds of birds, crocodiles, monkeys and other wildlife.
If you want to explore the area, check out the surfers’ village of Dominical. Besides its great waves for (starting) surfers, it is also known for the Nauyaca waterfalls.
The beautiful beaches of Uvita and Ojochal and the national parks of Manuel Antonio or Marina Ballena are also close by and definitely worth a visit.
When Sir Francis Drake traveled around the world in the 16th century, he discovered what would later be called “Drake Bay.” This coastal town is still surrounded by fantastic flora and fauna and from here you can further explore the Corcovado National Park.
Corcovado is a so-called “biodiversity hotspot” and you will come across plants and animals that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Nowadays access to the park is limited and you can only enter accompanies by a guide, therefore make sure to make reservations in advance!
From your lodge in Drake Bay you can also explore the nearby, pristine beaches. Looking for more adventure? Then go snorkeling near the beautiful uninhabited island, Isla de Caño.
Drake Bay is best reached by boat. You leave your car in Sierpe and step on the boat. Via mangrove forests and the open sea you reach Drake Bay.
Providencia is a small village in a valley surrounded by the mountains of Cerro de la Muerte and close to the Los Quetzales National Park.
The first residents settled here in the 1930’s and were workers who helped build the Pan American Highway. In the valley they found wild blackberries and saw enough opportunities to live off the land and support their families.
In Providencia you can stay in a comfortable cabin with a great view. But if you like, a homestay is also possible. In any case you are all set to experience Costa Rican country life! A professional guide can take you on a hike to find the now endangered Quetzal bird. For the more adventurous among you, you can go climbing, rapeling and do a ‘Tarzan Swing’ jump.
Providencia is also known for its delicious coffee. Join a local coffee tour and learn more about the production process and do some tasting yourself of course!
You spend your last night in Costa Rica in a small but comfortable hotel near the airport in Alajuela.
Here you can relax and enjoy the beautiful tropical garden with swimming pool before you fly back home.
We booked the 3-week ‘Costa Rica off the beaten track’ tour and everything was beautifully arranged by Edventure. We really liked the diversity of destinations / landscapes and activities. Our children (aged 20 and 22) also enjoyed it very much!
In addition, we liked that some tours were already included when booking the full trip. Others we booked upon arrival at our destination. Some accomodations were more luxurious than others, but we liked this variety and really had a good time everywhere (2018).
In this way we would like to thank Edventure for arranging a very nice holiday in Costa Rica. We’re back in the Netherlands for over 3 weeks now, but we are still talking a lot about the good times in Costa Rica!
Our accomodations during the ‘off the beaten track’ trip were really nice. We like the diversity of destinations and very much enjoyed the activities we did. In our opinion, our holiday was over way too fast! (2018)
Our favorite destination was Boca Tapada. Beautiful location and our bungalow was very nice and private. We loved our terrace, being surrounded by nature. In addition we went on a guided hike and booked a boat trip, we really enjoyed that. (2017)
Our stay at a real ‘finca’ or farm in Sarapiqui was one of the highlights during our trip. What a wonderful sweet people! We enjoyed a nice evening walk around the premises and the next day an extensive tour of the farm. So surprising, and so much fun! (2017)
We really liked our hotel in Bijagua, great stay, great food!
Rio Celeste was busier than expected, our visit was really worth it. We also dived into the river, just outside the national park and had a great time there. (2017)
Everywhere we went in Costa Rica it was really beautiful, but we all loved Drake Bay. The untouched nature and the wild rugged ocean…. to us this was really paradise. Especially when we sat down for a picknick only three meters away from a sleeping tapir and some 10 meters away from a passing shark …. (2016)
To us the beach camp in Matapalo was wonderful and a great place also to relax after our trip to Drake Bay. Our kids were happy with the swimming pool, since the ocean is often too wild.
The tents with bathrooms are wonderfully comfortable. The beach camp totally represented the Costa Rican ‘Pura Vida’ to us! (2017)
In this trip you will stay with different Costa Rican families. They like to socialize and enjoy learning a board game or hearing more about life in Europe or the United States. If you bring small souvenirs from home to share, that will be very much appreciated!Book or ask more info