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Costa Rica Coast to Coast

Costa Rica Coast to Coast

01606 720199

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  • Holiday type
    Guided walking
  • Duration
    12 nights
  • Accommodation
    hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • From £2599per person, tour only

    Flight inclusive prices from £3349 per person
  • NEW FOR 2020  
  • Departures
    Selected Saturdays from 14 Nov '20 to 15 Nov '21
  • What your holiday price includes
  • 12 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 evening meals
  • Management by our sister company, Exodus
  • Services of an experienced walking guide
  • Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (if booking inclusive flights)
  • All transport and activities listed
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Optional Upgrades
  • Suitable for
  • Solo travellers
  • Couples
  • Excellent choice for
  • Flora & fauna, bird spotting opportunities
      from 23 reviews

Dr Cooke says...
We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday so are using this space just to air one worry; that of marketing. We're not great website browsers for this aspect of ...
Read reviews »

Gallery

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Coast to Coast

  • Travel from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast
  • Day walks to waterfalls through diverse scenery
  • National parks, forests and volcanoes
  • Comfortable eco-friendly lodges and hotels
  • 3 daywalks and 5 shorter walks

Follow handpicked walking trails in search of wildlife, waterfalls and outstanding views. From emerald rainforests, smouldering volcanoes and tropical savannah, to steam-fed springs and bubbling mud pools, vibrant Costa Rica is a destination that always delivers. Country tracks or forest trails lead us to a number of waterfalls, where mineral rich water provides the perfect refresher after a day's walking.

Weather

Costa Rica is located 10º north of the equator and has a tropical climate. The average temperature range is 10ºC - 13ºC in the highlands, and from 22ºC - 26ºC in the lowlands. There is a rainy season from May to November when there are daily downpours, though these are usually quite short and there is still sunshine, so midsummer is not necessarily a bad time to go. December to April is the driest time of the year but you should still expect some rain.



We're here to help

If you have any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open from 9am today) or email sales@headwater.com

Typical holiday itinerary

Walking information

This trip has been graded 3, Moderate. There are 3 daywalks and 5 shorter walks. Walking is typically on good trails leading to viewpoints of volcanoes or waterfalls. There are some opportunities to swim in natural pools and waterfalls. As the climate in Costa Rica is fairly humid, a reasonable level of fitness is recommended for this trip. We reach a maximum altitude of 2,183m and the average altitude is 230m. There is only very limited walking available in Tortuguero due to it being a region of vast waterways and canals. Tortuguero is included as this is such an iconic highlight when visiting Costa Rica.




We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 01606 720199 , or email sales@headwater.com

Day 1: Fly to San Jose

Those on group flights will arrive in the evening and be transferred from the airport to the hotel. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.


You stay at the Hotel Balmoral (or similar)

Day 2: To Tortuguero N.P.; short coastal walk

Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero's vast network of waterways, canals and swamps is remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge. This afternoon we visit Tortuguero village (which lies on a thin strip of land between the sea and the main canal) and take a short walk following a pathway parallel to the coastline. Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean. Today's travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast.

Total walking distance: 6km. Time: approx. 3 hours.


You stay at Laguna Lodge (or similar) (all meals included)

Day 3: Boat tour of Tortuguero; kayak the waterways

An early morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast by the river. Then we take a kayaking tour through the jungle lagoons to have a different perspective on the forest, navigating the streams, canals and rivers. Alternatively the lodge is a tranquil spot to relax if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities this afternoon, or there is an nice walk available within Tortuguero National Park.


You stay at Laguna Lodge (or similar) (all meals included)

Day 4: El Toro Waterfall walk; to La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano

We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived by taking a small boat to the pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of La Fortuna, passing huge banana, pineapple and sugar cane plantations. On the way we stop for a short walk in the area of Bajos del Toro, where the highest and most impressive waterfall of the country is located. Our walking trail takes us all the way to the bottom of the waterfall, which empties at a height of 90 metres into an old extinct volcanic crater. There are several fantastic viewpoints on the first 500 metres of the trail, which is generally flat and surrounded by forest. Over 27 species of hummingbird have been recorded here! The second part of the trail is steep, following concrete steps with hand railings which lead all the way to the base of the waterfall, where the striking rock formations and colours will leave you in awe. We continue our journey to Arenal, reaching the Arenal Volcano National Park. Following a massive eruption in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. As well as the volcano, this region has much to offer, including thermal waters, waterfalls and dense vegetation.

Total walking distance: 2km. Time: approx. 1.5 hours.


You stay at the Arenal Montechiari (or similar) (breakfast and evening meal)

Day 5: Platanar Volcano hike; optional visit to Ecotermales Hot Springs

Today we travel to the province of Alajuela in the central valley where the Juan Castro Blanco National Park is located. Known as the 'Parque del Agua' (the park of the water), this national park protects mid-elevation wet forest and high altitude cloud forest on the slopes of three extinct volcano peaks - these are Porvenir (2,267 metres), Platanar (2,183 metres) and Viejo (2,060 metres). Our hike focuses on reaching the summit of Platanar Volcano, a spectacular hike through the varying forest climates as well as panoramic views at some of the highest points. This is a full day hike along a one-way trail, so after reaching the highest lookout point we'll re-trace our steps. On our return it's possible to detour to a small waterfall where swimming is permitted if you feel like a refreshing dip! Many of the streams born here feed the San Carlos River whose waters are used in the plains. Lunch today will be taken with a local family. After today's hike we return to Arenal and there is the option to visit Ecotermales Hot Springs to relax any aching muscles.

Total walking distance: 9.5 km. Time: approx. 6 hours.


You stay at the Arenal Montechiari (or similar) (breakfast and evening meal)

Day 6: Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Waterfall walks; to Tenorio

There is a short guided hike this morning through Arenal Volcano National Park. The park has a great system of trails passing through secondary forest and near lava fields created by previous eruptions. The high vantage points on this walk allow great views overlooking Lake Arenal, and the birdlife is plentiful. Waterfalls are abundant in the region of Arenal and we also visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a 65 metre cascade of water plunging into an emerald pool below. A short trail through the rainforest brings us to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to the exit - the hike/climb takes around 20-30 minutes. Reward your efforts with a dip into one of the natural pools punctuating the foliage to cool off!

After our lunch stop, we have a short transfer to the region of Tenorio, where we stay for the next two nights.

Total walking distance: 6km. Time: approx. 3 hours.


You stay at the Celeste Mountain Lodge (or similar) (all meals included)

Day 7: Walk along Rio Celeste in Tenorio Volcano National Park

After breakfast we travel to the Tenorio Volcano National Park where we join a hiking trail along the Rio Celeste towards 'Tenideros'. After merging with a small creak this section of the river takes on a striking blue turquoise colour, the result of components such as copper and sulphur reacting together. There is a legend that says the colour was created when God washed his paintbrushes in the river after painting the sky. It's a beautiful trail, leading towards the magnificent Rio Celeste Waterfall. This afternoon we return to our hotel and have the afternoon at leisure to rest and enjoy the hotel facilities.

Total walking distance: 4km. Time: approx. 3 hours.


You stay at the Celeste Mountain Lodge (or similar) (breakfast and evening meal)

Day 8: Walk from Miravalles Volcano to Aguas Claras with views of Rincon de la Vieja N.P.

We depart early towards the area of Rincon de la Vieja, an area that combines dry forest with enchanting waterfalls and is best known for its bubbling mud pots, steaming vents in the earth, hot springs and a whole host of wildlife. The starting point of our walk will be close to the Miravalles Volcano, from which we walk towards Aguas Claras town along a gravel road. Taking in pasturelands and patches of secondary forest, we have great views of the tropical savannah and the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. At the end of today's walk we continue by bus to our hotel, which we should arrive at later this afternoon.

Total walking distance: 14 km. Time: approx. 6.5 hours.


You stay at the Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar) (all meals included)

Day 9: Follow walking trails to the 'cauldrons' and waterfall in Rincon de la Vieja N.P

Covering some 14,804 hectares, Rincon de la Vieja National Park is full of geological features and has the active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano (1895m) within its boundaries, as well as a series of other craters and volcanic peaks. This region is still relatively undiscovered but is starting to attract more visitors. This morning we walk inside the national park, widely regarded as one of Costa Rica's hidden gems. We have a one and a half hour hike through the park along a pre-defined trail, the highlight of which is likely to be our visit to Las Pailas, the bubbling mud pools that flank the volcanic crater. Steaming fumaroles and hot springs are also found in park, attesting to how active the volcano is! This afternoon we take La Cangreja Waterfall trail walking through tropical forest and Guanacaste savannah. If we are lucky we may see Howler monkeys, White-faced Capuchin monkeys or any of the 257 species of birds present here. The waterfall is spectacular, plunging 40 metres and forming a clear blue pool at its base as a result of the dissolved copper minerals from the volcano.

Total walking distance: 13 km. Time: approx. 6.5 hours.


You stay at the Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar) (all meals included)

Day 10: Hike on trails surrounding Hacienda Guachipelin; to Samara beach on the Pacific coast

Today's hike takes place on trails within the grounds of Hacienda Guachipelin, located in the sunny Guanacaste province next to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. On this expansive 3,400 acre ranch there are 360° views of the Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Maria volcanoes, the Guanacaste plains and the Pacific coastline. On our hike we'll discover three waterfalls: Oropendula, the Choreras and Victoria Waterfall. The Victoria Waterfall drops 35 metres into the Rio Negro and you can swim in the crystal clear pool surrounding the waterfalls base. The pretty trails wind through dry tropical forest where some 300 bird species reside, alongside armadillos, collared peccaries, iguanas, snakes, coatis, and White-faced, Howler and Spider monkeys, which we may see if we are lucky. After today's hike we transfer around 2.5 hours to the Pacific coast and Samara beach, our home for the next two nights.

Total walking distance: 15km. Time: approx. 4.5 hours.


You stay at the Samara Beach Hotel (or similar) (breakfast included)

Day 11: Free day to enjoy Samara beach or sign up for an optional activity

Samara beach is one of the best kept secrets in Costa Rica! The broad, shady bay stretches for 4 km and is backed by coconut palms. The water is calm and safe for swimming thanks to a coral reef just out to sea on which the normally large, Pacific waves break before reaching the beach. There are plenty of facilities in Samara but there's a noticeable absense of big resort hotels, which makes for a nice atmosphere. Today has been left free for you to spend at your leisure. Spend time relaxing on the beach or join one of the optional excursions available in the area such as a boat tour to see dolphins, kayaking tour, SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) or mountain biking.


You stay at the Samara Beach Hotel (or similar) (breakfast included)

Day 12: Free morning at Samara; to San Jose.

This morning is free to enjoy Samara beach before we leave the Nicoya peninsula and transfer back to San Jose, a journey of approximately 4.5 hours.


You stay at the Hotel Balmoral (or similar) (breakfast included)

Day 13: Depart San Jose

The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Those on the group flights will be transferred back to the airport, whilst land only clients are free to make their own arrangements.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 14: Arrive London

Passport

Costa Rica


All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Costa Rica


Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica - we suggest you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them. All passengers flying via the USA will have to clear immigration during transit. Prior to travel you must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (USD14) under the Visa Waiver Programme. Please see here for more information. If you are not a UK citizen please check with your local U.S. Embassy. Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required. If you are travelling via the USA and are eligible to transit under the Visa Waiver Programme (most British and western European citizens with a machine readable passport are), you are now required to register in advance for an Electronic Travel Authority (ESTA). There is a US$14 charge for the ESTA, which is only payable online with a credit card. Please see our website www.exodus.co.uk/usvisa for further information. All other nonresidents passing through the US must get a visa in advance. Check with your local embassy or consulate for more details on how to obtain a visa.



Vaccination

Costa Rica


There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Zika fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad. The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary. For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.

To find out more call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open from 9am today) or email sales@headwater.com

Hotels & lodges, Costa Rica

12 nights in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges, all with en suite facilities. From a rustic wooden lodge set in tropical gardens to a hotel overlooking the Pacific ocean, most of the properties that we use are small, family run establishments offering a warm welcome and relaxing surroundings.

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners are included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Costa Rican specialities include 'Gallo Pinto', a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruit is abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics.

Travel

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open from 9am today) or email sales@headwater.com

Air

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers

Tour only

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Holiday extras

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges directly through their website - or call us on 01606 720199 for further details of all the services on offer. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

Reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.


Dr Cooke, 27/02/2015

We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday so are using this space just to air one worry; that of marketing. We're not great website browsers for this aspect of life, so may find that doing that would have answered this query, but EVEN in the small-print details in our package received AFTER financially commitment to the holiday, its physical reality was scarcely described adequately to have enabled all people to make a good choice for themselves. Hard to grade walking meaningfully for this type of trip as opposed to a European walk, but no idea was given of the length and mountainous nature of minibus driving involved, on nearly all days whether transferring hotel or not! So, we surveyed what C.R. has to offer (phew!), which was good for us because we can stand lengthy driving on unmade roads etc. (EXCELLENT driver). But that isn't guaranteed in people even lovers of wildlife and/or walking, so this aspect should have been made clearer, at brochure level or certainly in active telephone/e-mail followup before deposit-paying. Temp. and rainfall deviated widely from the expectations given, but that's probably an inevitable liability coming from climate-change. We had 3-4 days rainfall, and then ended up walking in dry but mid-30s temps! Forewarning of possible variation would have been useful.


Mrs Hill, 05/01/2015

Costa Rica is an amazing country especially if you are intersted in wildlife. We were exceptionally fortunate to have two excellent guides, Pedro and Erika, and a fabulous driver, Walter( who always seemed to pop up with a fruit picnic when we most needed one !) Pedro and Erika went the extra mile to ensure that everything ran like clockwork, they worked very hard throughout the holiday.Their command of English was impeccable as was their knowledge of their country and it's history and wildlife. They went out of their way to ensure that all our needs were met and that we got the very most of every experience. I could not recommend them highly enough. They are an asset to the headwater company. The walks and activities were interesting and varied the hotels were, in the main, excellent. The food was of a high standard and there were snacks and drinks available at all times.


Mrs Aspinall, 14/12/2014

A wonderful holiday, full of memorable experiences. The hotels were all well chosen and the food was so good - better than I expected. Our guides were brilliant; very efficient, knowledgeable, friendly and unfailingly helpful and good humoured. A nice touch was the always available water and snacks on the minibus. However, I did find the walking harder than expected, (my husband throughly enjoyed it) partly because of the heat and humidity. There was no problem in not taking part in some of the walks on the days that we were not moving onto a different hotel and enjoying the trails in the hotel grounds at Arenal and the swimming pools.


Mr Lundy, 06/12/2014

Costa Rica wildlife walk excellent trip although quite challenging in terms of the walking terrain and gradients, early starts, long days, heat and particularly humidity, 2 local guides and driver through Camino Travel brilliant, long travel time from UK but well worthwhile. Small group of 14 worked very well. Costa Rica a very interesting country, great scenery, lots of birds mammals and other wildlife, good knowledgeable and informative guides as we had with Pedro and Erika and driver Walter make a massive difference to the enjoyment of the holiday especially the wildlife aspects. Hotels were all good, food generally excellent and plentiful, free water and snacks provided by the driver


Mrs Wyke, 01/12/2014

Most enjoyable, however, I would point out that the walk that, for me, promised to be the highlight of the trip did not take place. That was the walk to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. This cancellation was because that area of the National park was closed due to volcanic activity, a perfectly understandable reason. However, that had been the case since 2011 and I feel that the Headwater catalogue should have pointed this out, perhaps with a clause to say that it might be possible to do this walk if the status of the volcano changed by the date of the holiday. The alternatives provided by our wonderful guides were very good.

Headwater response:
Dear Mrs Wyke, Thank you for completing your post holiday questionnaire and for the feedback you have provided, we were pleased to see you rated your holiday overall as excellent. I am sure you have brought back some great memories and photographs to treasure. I have passed on your constructive comments to the programme manager for this region, she will ensure your feedback re the volcano is highlighted in our Costa Rica web and brochure pages, we are sorry for any disappointment this may have caused. I have also passed on your lovely comments about the guides, we were really pleased to see they provided a great service. We would like to thank you for travelling with us this year and look forward to welcoming you back on another of our holidays in the future, Yours sincerely, Lisa


Mr Lankester, 12/04/2014

* First hotel was the Buena Vista, which was very good on all counts.



We chose the holiday for the mix of walking and wildlife, and the opportunity to see various different areas of the country. It came up to expectations and was very well organised. We really appreciated the fact that all the activities and every meal was included in the holiday price. We were kept busy every day with well organised walks, guided activities and wonderful waterfall swims. Our two guides complemented each other very well and were happy to answer questions and share knowledge, while we were lucky enough to have Mario as our driver, which made all the difference to driving on poor surfaces and difficult roads (we had been apprehensive about the travel, having been warned about the roads, but thanks to Mario, it was not an issue).


Mr Crowson, 01/04/2014

This was a very enjoyable holiday. We learnt a lot about Costa Rica and found the guides to be excellent at spotting wild life. Frank in particular was passionate about birds.

The walking was quite challenging at times and walking poles would be advisable, if you are in the habit of using them. The kit list should include water bottles.


Ms Jobson, 24/03/2014

I really enjoyed my trip to Costa Rica - on return I felt as though I had had a real holiday It's a long way to travel but the holiday is relaxing with everything well organised. You need to quickly adapt to the early starts but this allowed the walking to start when the temperature was pleasantly warm and some free time in the afternoon for swimming/relaxing. The Guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and were central to the success of this holiday.


Mrs Sandford, 09/03/2014

'The holiday met and surpassed my expectation. Everthing worked like clockwork. The local guides were supurb: friendly, very knowledgeable and ensured everything went according to plan. The walks were just the right length and the flora and fauna we saw was stunning. An amazing experience.


Mrs Eynon, 04/03/2014

Fascinating and very enjoyable


Mr Huddart, 02/03/2014

Good introduction to landscapes and wildlife of Costa Rica.


Mrs Hadwen, 27/02/2014

A varied and beautiful holiday with an amazing variety of trees, plants birds and other animals. Camera and binoculars essential. I thought the walks were all lovely and suitable except a very long walk (more than 17 km) on day 5. It was quite a hard slog on a road and the mini bus could easily have dropped us off two or three kilometres into it. The views of the lake and volcano were lovely.

I wasn't expecting to sit down to lunch in a restaurant so often, which gave us a break from the midday sun and let us experience a variety of cooking styles. Another welcome provision were the snack packs which were provided on the minibus to keep us going on the longer journeys and treks.

Pleasingly Day 9 was changed and was an easier day than it looked in the brochure. 6.5 hour would have been beyond two boots as was day 5.


Mr Taylor, 25/02/2014

The holiday overall was very good and the group dynamics were great.



The guides had excellent local knowledge of history, fauna, and wildlife but the organisational role of the senior guide (Carlos) left something to be desired with often conflicting advice. I suspect he had not done this tour before and had a tendency to lecture rather than to listen to the group requirements. He created a lot apprehension about the longest walk on day 5 which really had some members very concerned as to their capabilities. In fact it was not a difficult walk just too long in the heat for some and could have been shortened by an hour without any loss of local interest.



The second guide Karla grew in her role as the time progressed and showed herself to be kind and caring as well as having excellent knowledge of the area and wildlife.



We were surprised that neither guide carried any equipment with them to assist in the case of an emergency or first aid being required. We did not stick to the published itinerary as we only had one packed lunch. As a result some walks were rushed and had a very early start. With a packed lunch they might have been more relaxed with more time available. We were often rushed and felt that we did not have always have time to view the wildlife properly which for us was a key factor in choosing this holiday rather than for the walking aspect alone



The bus was very clean and comfortable and the driver Eric was very helpful. He was always available to assist with the luggage and to look after equipment left on board and helped a lot behind the scenes with the various arrangements. He was an excellent driver and we never felt at risk despite the poor condition of some of the minor roads.

.

In the main the hotels were excellent and in great locations although we did not start in the Hotel Bourgainvillia but Hotel Buenavista. This was close to the aipor which was even more important as our flight was 1.5 houirs late.It also had wonderful views and bird life in the attractive gardens.



We felt that a day more in the Arenal observatory and a day less in Rincon de la Vieja would have been beneficial. We never had time to explore the local walks from the Observatory whilst the two walks in Rincon were very similar.

The change of hotel to the Bosque Del Mar at Playa hermos was brilliant; great hotel, fabulous location, food and staff.



United Airlines is cheap and nasty in my view and I would not be happy using them again. The Immigration at Newark were rude and unhelpfull and it took 1.5 hours to get through with no priority for transit passengers or any sign of assistance from United staff. As we only had 1 hour 50 mins between flight we would have missed the connection if it had not been delayed. More time should be allowed on this route. Travelling back via Houston was much more relaxed with proper provision for transit passengers allowing us to get through immigration in about 30 mins.





As stated at the beginning the holiday was very good but my partner and I feel that a few changes in line with above would have made it excellent.



Costa Rica is a beautifuly country and one we have always wanted to visit and we were not dissappointed. If it was a bit closer we would certainly be visiting again!








Mr Selby, 23/02/2014

Although not a cheap holiday, it was well led and the guides were very knowledgeable.


Dr Tunbridge, 30/01/2014

An interesting holiday in good company. A lot of minibus travelling but that is inevitable if one is to visit widely separated parts of the country. However the time spent in the minibus, however good the driver (as Eric was), needs to be less than the time spent visiting any site. The day on the river required 5 hours to and from the hotel in the minibus for two wonderful hours on the river then an hour or so on land for lunch. Perhaps a picnic on the boat instead of on land could have added more time on the river.

My three ' walking' holidays with Headwater have all involved more time in vehicles than walking and it might be better to move on to a nearer hotel rather than return to that day's departure hotel,although two day and thre-day stopovers rather than changing hotels daily were appreciated. MT


Mis Logue, 16/12/2013

Like being in a David Attenborough documentary in terms of the animals we saw. Our guide, Gio was extremely good and could spot a hawk in a tree at 30mph on the Pan - American highway and insist that the driver reverse so that we could all see it!



You need to go in the next couple of years before all the roads are paved, which will enable big tour buses to get to the Cloud Forest at Monteverde. which will be a great shame.


Mis Robbins-Hallam, 09/12/2013

The best Headwater holiday we've ever had. Excellent value for money, with snacks, fruit, water and soft drinks/ juices available on the minibus everyday. Our only additional expense was alcoholic drinks. There are some long journeys on the minibus, but they worth it for the walks or the river boat trip at the end of it. Also we always saw interesting wildlife from the bus as we drove around. Gio, our local guide was superb - his knowledge of Costa Rica its history and wildlife was brilliant. The walks are varied and we saw something new everyday. The evening stroll on Day 4 is much much more than that and was very good indeed. Its a 2 hour night walk and was amazing. Overall - AMAZING Trip.


Mrs Robson, 05/12/2013

Brilliant ! Costa Rica was a great place to visit and our guide Gio and driver Orlando could not have been better. Their knowledge of wildlife was amazing and we saw 115 different birds and over 30 different animals / reptiles as a result. I cannot recommend this holiday highly enough. Nicky


Ms White, 30/03/2013

Amazing country - so varied and interesting. The guides were first rate and the driver very good. All the hotels were in beautiful locations, and most had spacious rooms and fairly good food. I would say the Headwater brochure was misleading in its temperature guide - 23 in March - it actually varied from about 18 to over 40 and I think people should be warned about this!


Mr Legg, 30/03/2013

This holiday just got better and better as time progressed. The flora and fauna we came into contact with was beyond expectations. The guides from Camino Travel were excellent at imparting their knowledge of Costa Rican flora and fauna as well as the history and infrastructure of the country. They were very helpful and informative at all times. The walks were well planned that had routes with beautiful scenery and took into account the varying abilities of the 14 members of the group. The locations of the hotels were excellent and the food and accommodation were very good. Overall this was a great experience and and a fantastic holiday.


Mrs Hull, 26/02/2013

Physically demanding, wonderful scenery,great weather, knowledgeable and helpful guides. Good companionship. Lovely relaxing finish at beach resort.



One walk was possibly above the level expected from the brochure which caused some difficulty for most of us.


Mrs Alleston, 26/02/2013

The guides were great ambassadors for their country, very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, always cheerful and helpful. The driver was kind and careful. The wildlife was better than the walking.


Mrs Lucas, 02/02/2013

Action packed, with varied walking experiences and a great opportunity to see the local wildlife.



Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.

Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.

This 12 night guided walking holiday includes:

Hotel-to-hotel accommodation

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 evening meals

Management by our sister company, Exodus

Services of an experienced walking guide

Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (if booking inclusive flights)

All transport and activities listed

Tour leader throughout


How to book:

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 01606 720199 (we're open from 9am today) or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

Complete our holiday enquiry form - we'll get in touch when it's most convenient for you
Speak to our sales team on 01606 720199 - we're open from 9am today
Use our live chat to ask us a question

  • Nov 2020
  • Feb 2021
  • Apr 2021
  • Nov 2021
DepartingTour only Including flights Prices  
14th Nov 2020 £2599 £3349 Tour only: £2599
Including flights: £3349
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Including flights Prices  
8th Feb 2021 £2779 £3649 Tour only: £2779
Including flights: £3649
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Including flights Prices  
12th Apr 2021 £2779 £3579 Tour only: £2779
Including flights: £3579
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Including flights Prices  
15th Nov 2021 £2749 £3599 Tour only: £2749
Including flights: £3599
Check availability
Check availability

The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Holiday details

Minimum group sizes
A minimum of 6 people (in total) are required for each departure.

Singles
Add £470.00

Children
This holiday is unsuitable for children.

Holiday type
Guided walking Managed by our sister company, Exodus.

Departures
Selected Saturdays from 14th Nov 2020 to 15th Nov 2021, for 12 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.

Meals
All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 evening meals

Tailor-made travel

Alternative Air
Flights can be arranged from most UK airports, with connecting transfers as required, prices and details on request.

If you choose to book your own flights please check with us first that your chosen departure date is definitely operating as our guided holidays are subject to minimum group sizes.

How to book

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 01606 720199 (we're open from 9am today) or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

Complete our holiday enquiry form - we'll get in touch when it's most convenient for you
Speak to our sales team on 01606 720199 - we're open from 9am today
Use our live chat to ask us a question

Please note: The prices and travel options shown are provided for customers based in, and travelling from/to, the UK. We are happy to arrange holidays for non-UK customers however, if you are travelling from USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, we recommend that you contact your local agent as they can provide appropriate transport options and advice.



Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Costa Rica Coast to Coast. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 01606 720199 to discuss your requirements in more detail (we're open from 9am today).

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