Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
Rain Forests, Volcanoes, 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 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.
- 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 green depths of the Monteverde cloud forest, search for the resplendent quetzal, hummingbirds, monkeys, sloths and more on nature trails and a canopy skywalk
- Explore the tropical rain forest around Arenal Volcano via hanging bridges, and hike at night with our Expedition Leader to observe fascinating nocturnal creatures, including colorful frogs
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. 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Arenal Observatory Lodge – A Special Highlight
Arenal Observatory Lodge has made many lists of the World’s Top Nature Lodges for good reason—staying here is truly a spectacular experience. Set opposite the base of the volcano, the lodge is close enough that seismologists have placed their equipment on site to monitor seismic activity. While most travelers make long day trips to observe the volcano, we spend the night adjacent to the famous volcano, with a network of trails over the lava and through the rainforest right outside the door!
- 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, our 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Costa Rica travel books
for this trip.