Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Four new ways to see Costa Rica.
Cloud forests, coral reefs and volcanoes top a long list of Costa Rican attractions. And this year there are new ways to see them, as well as the country’s turtles, toucans, sloths and colourful iguanas.
A top trip for families is the eight-night Costa Rica Family Adventure with Responsible Travel. Each holiday takes up to 16 guests and includes a crocodile safari, boat tours, canopy walks through the jungle, white-water rafting and climbs to see crater lakes inside smoking, dormant volcanoes.
As the group crosses the country with guides on hand, thrill-seekers can try zip-line rides (Costa Rica has some of the longest in the world) while others can visit butterfly farms or swim in a hotel pool.
The minimum age is five and costs from £1,760pp plus flights (responsibletravel.com).
Responsible Travels is offering an eight-night Costa Rica Family Adventure where you can go white-water rafting. Above is a rafting team on the country’s Pacuare River
Just You’s 11-night Real Costa Rica tour takes you on a trek through a tropical forest to swim at the base of La Fortuna Waterfall (pictured)
There’s much to offer solo travellers on trips such as Just You’s 11-night Real Costa Rica.
Coffee plantation visits and tastings of locally made chocolate are included as tour managers lead up to 20 guests across the country to the best spots to see monkeys, herons, hummingbirds and more. You’ll bed down in hotels and jungle lodges on the coast, in national parks and by the Arenal Volcano.
One trek takes you through a tropical forest to swim at the base of La Fortuna Waterfall, and boat tours in Cahuita and Tortuguero national parks are the perfect place to spot nesting sea turtles. From £4,124pp including flights and with sole occupancy of double or twin rooms throughout (justyou.co.uk).
If you prefer to be behind the wheel, a 13-night Costa Rican self-drive adventure is new with Luxtripper this year, where flights, car, route, accommodation and activities are all arranged in advance. Trips start with snorkelling over coral reefs before boat tours through the nearby national park.
Then drive along the planned route to hotels and lodges by the country’s best beaches and cloud forests. Extras include spas, yoga, nocturnal safaris, jungle hikes and candlelit soaks in hot springs. The holiday ends by the Pacific Ocean with a stay in a luxury lodge.
From £7,700pp including flights (luxtripper.co.uk).
The year’s ultimate private tour is arguably Abercrombie & Kent’s Rustic Luxe Adventure, a five-star, 14-night holiday that can be tailor-made with longer stays in places that capture the imagination most.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Rustic Luxe Adventure, a five-star, 14-night holiday, includes a stay at Nayara Springs (pictured)
Plunge in: At Nayara Springs, each villa’s private plunge pool is fed by local hot springs
Guests on the Rustic Luxe Adventure tour finish their trip at the Four Seasons Resort (pictured)
Horse rides across lava fields and helicopter rides over the rim of dormant volcanoes can be arranged, alongside sand bike rides on empty beaches and cookery classes.
Stays include Nayara Springs, where each villa’s private plunge pool is fed by local hot springs, and Origins Lodge, with its own Michelin-star chef who offers tours to forage for dinner ingredients.
Guests finish their retreat at the Four Seasons Resort, a private peninsula with beaches on both sides. Bespoke, two-week holidays from £13,100pp including flights, accommodation and transfers (abercrombiekent.co.uk).