Day One: Fly to Costa Rica
Fly to San Jose, the friendly, cosmopolitan capital of Costa Rica. Meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel, then rest and relax after your journey.
Day Two: Travel from San Jose to Tortuguero
Very early this morning, we'll board the coach and head east, through the spectacular jungle landscapes of Braulio Carrillo National Park, towards the Caribbean. After an en-route stop for breakfast, you'll arrive at the pier in Cano Blanco or Pavona, and board a canal boat for the last part of the journey, to the very edge of the Caribbean Sea.
Spend two nights in Tortuguero National Park, at Mawamba Lodge. The park is a treasure trove of biological diversity - it's home to land turtles, monkeys and manatees, and some 375 species of bird - criss-crossed by canals and navigable lagoons.
Day Three: Optional and included Tortuguero wildlife tours
Early this morning you'll have the chance to see the astonishing wildlife of Costa Rica come to life as a new day begins on an optional canal tour in the company of an expert guide.
Return to the lodge for breakfast, then head out once more for a full-day tour of the park. Hidden within the landscape of waterways and tropical forest you may spot monkeys and manatees, sloths and caimans, tiny turtles and toucan, as well as macaws, iguanas and water-walking 'Jesus Christ' lizards.
The park is also a vital nesting site for both green and leatherback turtles, and visitors in September will have the opportunity to visit the hatching site where (with luck) newly hatched turtles will be emerging!
Complete your stay in this amazing place this evening with dinner at the lodge's floating restaurant.
Day Four: Included hot springs visit
Leaving Tortuguero behind, we'll travel across the Costa Rican lowlands to La Fortuna and the Arenal Paraiso Hotel for two-night stay with views of majestic Arenal. After 40 years, the eruptions of this exceptionally active volcano have finally died down, but the region is blessed with hot springs and thermal baths, including those at Eco Termales that you'll visit this evening.
Day Five: Included chocolate tour
Learn about the secrets and history of chocolate production, from cacao pods to ceremonial drinks and confectionery bars, on a fascinating Rainforest Chocolate Tour. And, this afternoon, burn off any samples you may have indulged in on a gentle hike through the volcanic landscape to the El Silencio look-out point where you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the volcanic slopes.
We'll return to the hotel in La Fortuna this evening.
Day Six: Coach travel to Monteverde
Today, we'll head around Lake Arenal and make our way to into the cloud forests of Monteverde, where private conservation sites and reserves protect wildlife communities quite unlike those elsewhere in the country. Our base for two nights, the El Establo Hotel, boasts extensive hillside grounds and offers spectacular views across the forested hills and - on clear days - all the way to the Nicoya Gulf.
Day Seven: Included Selvatura Monteverde cloud forest tour
Today we'll follow the 1.9km trail over eight bridges through the lush rainforest canopy of Selvatura Park. Visit the Hummingbird Garden, and Butterfly Garden for a close encounter with these sparkling creatures, and perhaps dare to ride Selvatura Park's 15 zip lines (the longest of which is one kilometre long!) through the cloud-forest canopy on an optional excursion.
Day Eight: Coach travel to San Jose
Today you'll return to San Jose and head to the airport to board your flight home.
Day Nine: Arrive home
Arrive back in the UK after an overnight flight.