Costa Rica Volcanoes Tour
Estimated Cost £2250
Details and Itinerary

Costa Rica forms one of the countries which lie in the strip of land connecting the North and South American Continents. It lies on a plate boundary where the Cocos and Caribbean plates are colliding, and as a result, the backbone of the country consists of a chain of volcanoes, many of them active. Costa Rica has pioneered “Ecotourism” as a source of revenue, with large areas of the country now declared as National Parks and Forest Reserves. The spectacular scenery, volcanoes and huge array of wildlife attract tourists from all over the globe. This tour visits five active volcanoes, some of which have seen eruptions in recent years. All excursions will be escorted, making use of a local guide who has specialist knowledge of the local flora and fauna, landscape and volcanic history of the area. The party will be led by Alan Clewlow, an experienced geologist who will also be on hand to offer advice and some explanation of the features seen.

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The Volcanoes of Costa Rica
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Planned itinerary

Day 1 (January 19th)
Leave London (Gatwick) on late morning direct flight with British Airways to San José, Costa Rica, arriving late afternoon local time. Transfer by coach to the 4-star hotel Bougainvillea in the city.

Day 2
The morning will be spent on a visit to Volcan Irazú, Costa Rica’s highest active volcano. From the summit of Irazu, weather-permitting, can be seen both the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. The bright-green crater lake at Volcan Irazú, due to sulphurous gases bubbling through it, has a pH approaching zero ~ it is highly concentrated sulphuric acid. Afternoon city tour accompanied by local guide with visit to Gold museum.

Day 3
The morning will be spent on the pleasant drive climbing through the area of coffee plantations and cattle farming to eventually reach the Poas Volcano, which has erupted as recently as 2006. We view the main crater lake within the active caldera, surrounded by hissing sulphurous fumaroles. Following this, we visit La Paz waterfall gardens ~ a set of large waterfalls plunging down a steep-sided ravine into which has been incorporated a butterfly farm, hummingbird garden and areas to view local fauna and flora. After lunch we continue to La Fortuna de San Carlos, home of the impressive Arenal Volcano.

Day 4
We’ll begin this day with a visit to the Arenal Volcano National Park, located 15km from Fortuna in the North-West of Costa Rica, between the foothills of the Cordillera de Tilaran mountain range and the San Carlos plains. Several trails allow observation of much of the park’s flora and fauna, as well as the remains of lava tracts. From here we will continue towards the Sky Adventures Nature Park, where we will take an aerial tram ride to take in the impressive views of the rainforest, the Arenal volcano and the lake.

Day 5
A journey up to the Nicaraguan border, to the area of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, a RAMSAR site of worldwide importance. We take a river tour on the Rio Frio, through the rainforest (offering the chance to see caymen, sloths, iguanas, monkeys and countless exotic bird species).

Day 6
Visit to Las Hornillas, located on slopes of the Miravalles Volcano, to walk around the active crater with hot stones, crystalized sulphur and fumaroles. Opportunity to relax in the thermal water spa and mud baths. The afternoon will be spent on a coach-transfer to Riconcito Lodge, in the north-west of the country, close to the Volcano Rincon de la Vieja.

Day 7
Tour to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. The trail continues past hot springs, bubbling mud-pools and steaming fumaroles. The walk also allows a close view of an ancient forest hundreds of years old. Huge trees protect spider and howler monkeys, leaf-cutter ants, toucans, iguanas and many other creatures. The afternoon will be spent visiting the Simbiosis Spa, hidden in the tropical dry forest, surrounded by the Colorado river, with sauna, thermal volcano mud water pools and pristine water pools.

Day 8
Departure to the north Pacific coast and the beach resort of Tamarindo, near the Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge and Las Baulas National Park. Our stay for the last two nights of the tour is at the Hotel Tamarindo Diria.

Day 9
This is a free day to enjoy the sites of Tamarindo – relax at the hotel, take an optional tour or visit the nearby beaches.


Day 10 (January 28th)
Coach transfer to San José airport, with a stop for lunch on the journey. We will check in for the early evening British Airways return flight to London Gatwick, arriving the following morning, January 29th (Day 11).


(Please note that this might have to be amended due to local conditions, but hopefully all planned activities will take place. Feedback from previous visits has suggested that more free time on the Big Island would be appreciated, so an extra day has been added.)

The estimated cost of the visit is £2250* (see below). This includes return flights (and taxes) by British Airways, coach transfers and local excursions on the itinerary listed in the tour brochure (not including any optional excursions). Included in the cost is 9 nights accommodation in 4-star accommodation (2 nights at Hotel Bougainvillea; 3 nights Arenal Springs Resort & Spa; 2 nights Riconcito Lodgel; 2 nights Tamarindo Diria). Meals provided as part of the package include breakfasts at all hotels, lunches on 5 days and group dinners on 2 evenings. Accommodation is based on two people sharing a room. It should be possible to arrange single accommodation for those who require it, but this will involve a supplement (estimated at £595). All those taking part in the tour are expected to arrange their own holiday insurance, which can be obtained from any travel agent or insurance broker.


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