Perfect for travelers looking to hike and observe wildlife, this itinerary starts and ends in San José and includes many of the Caribbean coast's best destinations—including a famous sea turtle nesting site in Tortuguero and Cahuita National Park. Compared to the Pacific Coast, the Caribbean side tends to be less crowded, with more cultural diversity. From nature treks to pristine beaches, this itinerary offers something for everyone who wants to experience splendid scenery with a laid-back feel.
Jaguar Animal Rescue Center, Chocolate Tour & Waterfall Swim
Spend the day immersing yourself in nature and culture on this varied tour. Start the morning at the Jaguar Animal Rescue Center, which offers shelter, treatment, rehabilitation, and protection to ill or wounded wild animals in the area. The shelter is run by a biologist with many years of experience caring for wild mammals in captivity. The center has become a sanctuary for wild animals through the organization's hard work, with terrariums for snakes and small animals, larger spaces for the monkeys, and special quarantine cages for animals arriving with serious injuries. Your entrance fee and support help keep the center running.
After the rescue center, visit a local Bribri family that grows cacao trees on their land. They will show you the entire process, from cacao fruit to a bar of chocolate. You will have the opportunity to purchase some of their chocolate or other indigenous handmade crafts. Later, your guide will bring you to a waterfall with beautiful swimming holes. Enjoy a dip in the water before hiking back to the vehicle and returning to the hotel.
Includes: Round-trip transportation, driver/tour guide, tour at the Jaguar Animal Rescue Center, entrance fees for the chocolate tour and waterfall, snacks, drinks
Itineraries with Jaguar Animal Rescue Center, Chocolate Tour & Waterfall Swim
On this fun 10-day adventure created for families, you'll swim in waterfall pools, spot sloths in the trees, and sample homemade chocolate while learning how it's made. The itinerary takes you from the bustling streets of San José to the rainforest of Tortuguero National Park, then onward to the beautiful beaches of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and the rivers, volcanoes, and hot springs of Arenal. Highlights include a safari-style boat ride, a nighttime jungle hike, and a visit to a jaguar rescue center.
From the markets of San José to the rainforests alive with birds and frogs, the best of Costa Rica's culture and coastal landscapes await travelers on this 8-day trip. Ideal for families, you'll see historic San José and visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens. In Tortuguero, a region known for its vibrant wildlife—including resident sea turtles—you'll travel to the beaches of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Finishing the adventure in Cahuita National Park, where you'll have the chance to snorkel with tropical fish and visit a nearby jaguar rescue center.
Boating, hiking, snorkeling, cycling—all outdoor activities await travelers on this family-friendly 6-day tour around Costa Rica's beaches and wetlands. Beginning and ending in San José, and you'll get to know the historic city on a walking tour before heading into the wilderness of Tortuguero National Park for a nighttime wildlife hike and a boat trip along jungle canals. Spot monkeys in the wild and baby turtles on the sand before continuing onto a snorkeling excursion in Cahuita National Park and the stunning black, golden, and white sand beaches around Puerto Viejo.
Look for monkeys in the trees, go whitewater rafting, and swim in waterfall pools on this exciting 11-day adventure perfect for families. You'll start the trip in colorful San José, then explore the rainforest of Tortuguero National Park. Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and the volcanoes, hot springs, and rushing rivers of Arenal. Along the way, you'll go on a safari-style boat ride, visit a jaguar rescue center, and learn how chocolate is made at a cocoa bean farm.