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Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa RicaKeel-billed Toucan, Tortuguero National Park, Costa RicaMonteverde Cloud Forest, Costa RicaHowler monkey, Tortuguero National Park, Costa RicaTortuguero National Park, Costa RicaArenal rain forest, Costa RicaOcelot, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa RicaArenal Observatory Lodge Waterfall, Costa RicaSan Luis Lookout, Monteverde, Costa RicaArenal Volcano, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa RicaViolet Sabrewing, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Eric Rock: Suspension bridge, group in boat, couple at waterfall, San Luis Lookout, hummingbird
Patrick J. Endres: Monteverde Cloud Forest, Arenal rainforest
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9-10 Days / From $4695 (800) 543-8917 for Availability
Home Mexico & Central America Natural Jewels of Costa Rica

Natural Jewels of Costa Rica

Rain Forests, Jungle Wildlife, Tropical Birds & More on Costa Rica’s Best Nature Adventure!
Costa Rica may be a small country wedged between two continents, but few locales in the world are bigger on nature and adventure. Flanked by miles of wild beaches on the Pacific and the Caribbean, Costa Rica’s interior is a lush tangle of rainforest, mist-veiled mountains, active volcanoes and habitat for some of the greatest biodiversity on Earth. Within the layers of green upon green, thousands of species thrive: gigantic ferns, magenta orchids, neon-bright parrots, three-toed sloths, monkeys, peccaries, crocodiles, iguanas and frogs, just for starters. In the colors and cacophony of the tropical jungle, our senses are never so engaged.

Trip Highlights

  • Spot prolific wildlife on private boat cruises through the dense jungles of Tortuguero National Park and learn about green sea turtle conservation
  • In the misty depths of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, search for the resplendent quetzal, hummingbirds, monkeys and sloths on nature trails and a canopy skywalk
  • Discover the hidden beauty of rarely visited Corcovado National Park on coastal trails and inland paths that meander through rain forest, mangrove swamps and along remote beaches

Exploring Costa Rica is Better with Nat Hab!
Costa Rica offers many options for visitors, from beach resorts to self-drive hotel-based tours. If you love nature, however, you experience Costa Rica with us—it's that simple. We've been scouring Costa Rica for more than 25 years to find and share the most captivating, 'hidden' nature sites. From a private exploration of Tortuguero to little-visited Corcovado National Park, our itinerary has been meticulously crafted to offer experiences that typical travelers miss. Our Expedition Leaders are the country's best-trained and most experienced guides. Our groups are the smallest you'll find. And we have an uncompromising focus on highest-quality, most remote and intimate lodges and locales. As a nature traveler, when you experience Costa Rica with us, you'll have a superlative experience. Here's how:
  1. Small Groups Make a Big Difference in the Rain Forest
    Imagine following a narrow trail through the rain forest with 15, 20 or 30 other travelers. Footsteps and voices drown out the delicate forest sounds; a sense of solitude in nature is impossible. Yet many companies run groups this size. With that much human company, there is simply no chance for quiet personal enjoyment as you spot the rare resplendent quetzal or listen to a troop of howler monkeys calling in the canopy. You won't even be able to hear your guide whisper details about the animals to you.  That's why our groups average just 8 travelers, and we cap our groups at 11. 
  2. The Optimal Costa Rica Wildlife Itinerary
    We’ve been working in Costa Rica for many years, and our goal has always been to share the country’s best wildlife sites with our guests. This ideal itinerary, carefully crafted and regularly updated, has been designed in conjunction with WWF to facilitate the closest of wildlife encounters in the most intimate manner, away from the crowds.
  3. Private Boat Tours of Tortuguero National Park
    Our small group enjoys exclusive private boat cruises through the canals of one of Costa Rica's top wildlife destinations, Tortuguero National Park. Most travel operators and lodge-based tours have you joining with guests from other lodges—not us! As ever, an intimate experience of nature is paramount on our trips. 
  4. Distinctive Lodgings that Immerse You in Nature
    While other companies may base you at large, centralized lodges in more developed areas, our accommodations are chosen to create a seamless experience with nature. Our deluxe jungle ecolodge in Tortuguero features individual cabanas tucked within the rainforest, surrounded by birds and monkeys. Xandari Plantation Lodge, on a 40-acre coffee and fruit plantation, melds with the lush tropical landscape replete with gardens, waterfalls and trails lacing the jungle. 
  5. A Rare Chance to Visit Corcovado National Park
    Corcovado National Park, which National Geographic described as the “most biologically intense place on Earth,” lies off the standard tourist itinerary even though it occupies more than 100,000 acres, incorporates at least 13 ecosystems and protects a host of endemic wildlife and plant species. On guided hikes and exclusive nature walks, we explore the coastal trails and inland paths that traverse this stronghold of biodiversity in search of scarlet macaws, toucans, parrots, tapir, monkeys and elusive jaguars.
  6. A Chance to Observe & 'Adopt' Endangered Sea Turtles
    Tortuguero National Park is famous for its green sea turtles, which nest here from approximately July to October. Guests traveling with us during those months may be able to book an optional excursion to see them on the beach late at night. Though we can't book this activity in advance or guarantee availability, your Expedition Leader can arrange it upon arrival through the lodge, if there is space. All travelers on our Natural Jewels of Costa Rica trip are also provided the complimentary opportunity to "adopt" a sea turtle as part of this adventure. The adoption process includes material about this conservation program, an adoption form, and a free one-year membership to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, for guests who wish to sign up. Membership allows participants to track the status of their turtle, but they can also adopt a turtle without membership, if they do not wish to receive info from STC.
  7. The Finest Naturalist Guides 
    Natural Habitat Adventures is known worldwide for employing the finest naturalists on the planet! This is so important in places like Costa Rica, where rain forest wildlife spotting requires finely honed skills. Rather than using less-qualified local lodge guides at each stop, or a single driver-guide as a trip escort, our highly trained NHA Expedition Leaders personally escort our groups from start to finish. Each averages nearly 20 years' experience and receives exclusive resources from WWF’s world-class scientists. We also travel with an experienced driver/assistant guide, enabling us to divide our already small group into even smaller groups for more intimate nature encounters. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  8. The Most Comfortable Vehicles
    Our deluxe Toyota Coaster mini-buses aren't just sleek and stylish, they're also ultra-spacious, with high ceilings, large windows, a wide aisle and ample space between seats. And of course, since we never fill our vehicles to capacity, every guest has a window seat plus plenty of room to spread out. Our vehicles also offer the smoothest ride you'll find over Costa Rica's sometimes rugged roads in natural areas. Thanks to long tapered rear leaf springs and independent front suspension with double wishbones and upper torsion bar, the Coaster delivers a comfortable, stable ride.
  9. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Superior Costa Rica Experience
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, which clearly states that we will meet the lofty expectations we set in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  10. Feel Good About the Way You Travel
    We care deeply about our planet, just as you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset – Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company.
  11. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund – the world's leading environmental conservation organization – has named Natural Habitat as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Reading List
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Costa Rica travel books for this trip.

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