Wildlife of Costa Rica 2019

Central America’s Garden of Eden

Trip Scholar: Dr Daniela Arroyo Barrantes (Camb)

Archaeologist and Conservationist
Available to Alumni of Oxford and Cambridge, family and friends

16 day tour
Price from £3,395

A jungle-clad jewel nestled between the Pacific and the Caribbean and fringed by powder white beaches, Costa Rica is considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.  In this stunning setting, this exploration goes in search  of some of the world’s most unusual mammals such as sloths, tapirs and armadillos, as well as a host of monkeys and fabulous birds, from bright toucans, macaws and parrots to the highly prized resplendent quetzal.  Staying in carefully chosen lodges and hotels throughout, this tour sets itself apart with congenial companions and expert trip scholar.  With Dr Daniela Arroyo Barrantes discover the waterways of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast and the lush rainforests, waterfalls and lakes of Arenal Volcano. Experience outstanding wildlife in the mist-covered Cloud Forests of Monteverde and jungle beaches of Manuel Antonio. Encounter squirrel monkeys, cheeky white-faced capuchins, white nosed coatis, birds such as roseates and northern jacanas and stunning butterflies such as the bluemorpho. Truly a paradise on earth, Costa Rica is utterly beguiling.

Tour highlights

  • Learn about Costa Rica’s world-leading commitment to environmental sustainability
  • Encounter incredible birdlife, from bright toucans, macaws and parrots to the prized resplendent quetzal
  • Search the jungle beaches, waterfalls and volcanic rainforests for some of the world’s most unusual mammals including sloths, tapirs and armadillos
  • Look out for wildlife in the canopy, including squirrel monkeys, white-faced capuchins and white-nosed coatis
  • Learn about Costa Rica’s little-known indigenous history by exploring San José’s Jade Museum and the excellent Pre-Colombian Gold Museum

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1:     Tour starts in San Jose |  Temple World’s recommended BA flights from London arrive same day
Day 2:     Gold & Jade Museums & National Theatre | Coffee tasting in Barrio Amori | Overnight San Jose
Day 3:     Travel to Parque Nacional Tortuguero, museum, beach and town | Overnight Tortuguero
Day 4:     Tortuguero National Park | Overnight Tortuguero
Day 5:     Tortuguero to Sarapiqui | Overnight Sarapiqui
Day 6:     Visit La Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve | Hike Sueno Azul Reserve | Overnight Toruguero
Day 7:     Sarapiqui to Arenal | Overnight Arenal
Day 8:     Full day exploring Arenal Reserve | Overnight Arenal
Day 9:     Arenal to Moteverde | Scenic journey by boat and road | Overnight Moteverde
Day 10:   Travel to Manuel Anotonio Area with visit to Carara National Park | Overnight Manuel Antonio
Day 11:   Morning in Manuel Antonio Park | Travel back to San Jose | Overnight San Jose
Day 12:   Tour ends after breakfast | If flights booked through us, fly overnight to London with BA
Day 13:   Temple World flight tickets only – arrive back in the UK this morning

4 - 15 May 2019
Room TypePrice Per PersonSingle SupplementOptional Flight with British AirwaysAvailability
Standard£3,395£699From £750-850 returnAvailable

Optional flights
Temple World can arrange group flights for approximately £750-850 return inc. taxes from London with British Airways.

Booking your own flights
You are most welcome to book your own flights to coordinate with this tour. The start and end point is SAN JOSÉ Costa Rica, and there are no activities on the first and last day so that guests can arrive/depart at any time. We can  arrange private transfers to meet any flight (supplement applies).

Very Important! Those who plan to book their own flights should not make any binding or non-refundable arrangements until their place has been confirmed in writing on the tour and Temple World has confirmed a guaranteed departure.

The tour price includes
Hotel accommodation in twin or double bedded rooms with en suite bathroom throughout, all excursions with local guides including entrance fees (except any optional excursions if mentioned), full board (except Day 1 and Days 12 and 13), expert leader.

Not included
International flights, drinks, tips to drivers & guides, items of a personal nature.


NHS Fit For Travel advises travellers to Costa Rica are usually recommended to immunise against: Hepatitis A. There is a risk of Malaria in parts of Costa Rica but the areas we are visiting are considered a low risk, so antimalarials are not usually advised. A Yellow Fever Certificate is required if entering from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission. Please seek professional medical advice at least 8 week before departure. NHS Fit For Travel Website


UK and US passport holders do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica as a tourist. Nationals of a few countries may require a visa in advance, so please check with your local Costa Rican consulate before travel. Those transiting through the USA must have a valid ESTA or Visa prior to departure.

Fitness Guideline
We have graded the fitness level required for participation in this tour as Moderate. There is quite a lot of walking (not hiking) in the tour, on jungle trails and in rain-forest conditions which can be a little wet and slippery.  There may not be anywhere to rest or sit down regularly.
Full fitness guideline for this tour























































Trip Scholar

Dr Daniela Arroyo Barrantes
Following a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge and a degree in Earth and Archaeological Sciences from the University of Rome, Dr Daniela Arroyo Barrantes is Professor of History and Heritage Management at the University of Costa Rica.

Dr Daniela Arroyo has extensive fieldwork experience across different geographies, including Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. At UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, she worked towards the conservation of natural and cultural sites around the world. She has also led hundreds of scholar visits in the UK, Italy, France and Turkey.

With a passion and expert knowledge of Costa Rica, her home country, as well as an engaging lecturing style, Dr Arroyo Barrantes’ particular interest is the sustainable conservation of environmental and cultural heritage, as well as community-based ecotourism.

Lectures during our tours

All our tours are accompanied by an academic ‘trip scholar’ as well as local guides. The local guide or guides provide the day-to-day guiding on our tours, whilst the trip lecturer will give regular lectures on his/her specialist subject throughout to provide an academic overview. Lectures/talks usually last 30-40 minutes including questions and answers (if applicable). These are generally held in the evenings before dinner and attendance is optional. We don’t usually specify before travel which days the lectures will be given (for operational reasons) but guests can expect them roughly every other day as a minimum, with some lecturers giving some kind of talk or presentation more frequently.

Optional Post-Tour: 3 night/4 day Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park

For those with more time, we have arranged an optional group post-tour with local guides to what National Geographic has termed “the most biologically intense place on earth”, the Parque Nacional Corcovado. The last great tract of original tropical rainforest in Pacific Central America, it is home to dozens of endangered species including Baird’s tapir, the elusive giant anteater and the spectacularly large harpy eagle.


16 May 2019:   San Jose to Oso Peninsula
Leave before the main group early this morning for a transfer to the local airport and a 60 minute flight to Palmar Sur in the south of the country. You will be met by your local guide and transferred to Sierpe from where a 90 minute boat journey down the Sierpe River then the Pacific coast, observing the mangrove wetlands on the way, takes you to Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. Check in for a three night stay. The Four Star Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge offers the closest accommodation to Corcovado National Park and is set in lovely surroundings above a palm-fringed beach in 170 acres of private tropical rainforest. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the beach, hiking trails and swimming pools at the lodge.

17 May 2019:   Corcovado National Park
Have breakfast at the lodge before beginning the day’s exploration. Starting out from the lodge with your naturalist guide head into Corcovado National Park. The cool morning hours offer a good opportunity to spot wildlife and to observe some of the incredible variety of birds that abound in the park. Along the trail your guide will have a chance to tell you some of the fascinating stories about life in the rainforest and you can hope to spot white faced capuchin, red-tailed squirrel, collared peccary, white nosed coati and northern tamandua, with birdlife including pairs of scarlet macaws and mangrove black hawk. Later, coming down through the forest you will find a river and then discover an incredible waterfall. Now is your chance to cool off in one of the shaded pools of the rushing river. Afterwards, you wind your way down the river until reaching the Park Station at San Pedrillo. There under shade trees on the beach you will enjoy a picnic with fresh fruit and ice-cold drinks. After lunch there will be time to explore the beach or to just relax. In the afternoon it’s a short distance along the coastal trail to return to the lodge. Dinner and overnight at Casa Corcovado Lodge.

18 May 2019:   Osa Peninsula activities
Today’s morning tour starts after a leisurely breakfast, when you’ll meet your guide at the Gear House to select your flippers and mask. It’s then a 40-minute boat ride to the ‘Coral Garden’. At certain times of the year, you may also see pilot or humpback whales, and dolphin along the way. The snorkelling site is located within a marine reserve, and is a good place for spotting a wide variety of fish and marine mammals, including – if you are lucky – manta rays, turtles and small white-tipped sharks. The lodge’s inflatable diving vests can be adjusted to allow you to bob on the surface, fully supported, or dive down below, whichever you prefer. Accompanied by your guide, this is a great tour for beginners and experienced snorkellers alike. Guests usually snorkel for around an hour. A picnic lunch is laid out and served at the rancho on the Casa Corcovado long beach on your return. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight at Casa Corcovado Lodge.

NOTE: If you would like to look for specific animals such as Baird’s tapirs, silky anteaters, ocelots, jaguars (v rare) you may need to take a different excursion on one of the two days (we recommend the lodge’s Sirena Park Station excursion for tapirs, for example), or possibly extend by another few nights to make sure you have time to visit the parts of the park best known for certain species at the right time of day or night.

19 May 2019:   Osa Peninsula to San Jose and onwards
After a hearty breakfast, return up river to the town of Sierpe for a transfer to the airport and flight to San Jose, where the extension arrangements end. Those travelling on Temple World’s recommended flights with BA (available twice-weekly) will catch a flight at 17.25 overnight to London. Those on earlier flights may need to overnight in San Jose and fly tomorrow. Transfers back to San Jose city and hotel accommodation is available to book for those who need it – please ask for a quote.

20 May 2019:  Those on BA flights only
Those who have booked Temple World’s recommended BA flights will arrive at around 10.30 this morning.

PRICE:   £1440 per person, based on twin share.  This post-tour extension is accompanied by local guides and can run with a minimum of two participants.  Single supplement £TBA.
INCLUDES: Air transfers to and from the Osa Peninsula, full board, shared guided transfers and excursions (provided by the lodge).  Excludes: Tips, drinks, items of a personal nature.

Private extensions
An infinite number of private extensions throughout Central America can also be arranged to suit your individual interests, with neighbours Nicaragua or Panama making great combinations.   For those flying via the USA and wishing to stop on the outbound or return journeys, we can arrange car hire and hotels in most regions.  It is also possible to stay longer in the Corcovado National Park area and we have a selection of delightful lodges to choose from in the Drake Bay and Puerto Jiminez sides of the Peninsula.  Please note that if staying more than three nights it won’t be possible to use the BA direct service back to London as this only departs on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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The itinerary was very well put together. We covered an edifying variety of sites, but the pace was well judged with enough time to rest when needed. Pierre & Susan

Congenial Companions

Our small group tours are exclusively available to alumni of Oxford and Cambridge universities and their friends and family, making for a wonderful atmosphere amongst like-minded individuals.

Expert Lecturer

All our small group alumni tours are accompanied by a university lecturer as well as local guides, with illuminating lectures given throughout the tour to enrich understanding of the destination.

To reserve a place on one of our small group alumni tours, contact us for availability then send us a signed booking form and deposit.

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