Costa Rica Inside Out (Private Tour)
9 days with Alexander+Roberts Rating:
Day 1 - Welcome to Costa Rica
On arrival in San José, you’ll be greeted and chauffeured to the stylish Hotel Grano de Oro, set on a quiet street in the heart of the capital. The rest of this day is yours to relax and enjoy as you wish.
Day 2 - By Private Car to San Gerardo de Dota
After your breakfast, your private car and driver will be waiting for you. Traveling south from the capital, you’ll make your way into the Savegre River Valley that winds through the rugged Talamanca Mountains. The cloud forest terrain here is lush and verdant, providing prime habitat for hundreds of unique species.
Your destination is the inviting Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve & Spa in San Gerardo de Dota. After lunch here, the rest of the afternoon is yours to do as you wish. You might relax, indulge in a treatment at the Del Río Spa, or explore the forest setting of our hotel. (B+L+D)
Day 3 - San Gerardo de Dota
After breakfast, you can tailor your exploration to your personal interests with the included morning excursion of your choice. With its remote location farther afield than better-known areas like Manuel Antonio and Arenal, San Gerardo de Dota and the surrounding forests remain relatively undiscovered. With our engaging naturalist leading the way, your privately guided excursion will reveal the beauty, flora and fauna of this untouched region:
+ Páramo Highlands: Usually associated with the Andes Mountains, the Páramo ecosystem is a tropical variant of the alpine tundra, where scrubby vegetation and hardy wildlife exist just above the tree line. Offering a unique opportunity to explore this environment, San Gerardo de Dota is the farthest north that this tropical life zone is found. With an expert guide, you’ll hike into the Páramo Highlands to observe and learn about the birds, mammals and plants that thrive here.
+ Cerro Buena Vista: This invigorating hike takes you up Buena Vista Hill to explore the transitioning eco-systems as you ascend from the Cloud Forest with its mighty oaks and evergreen plants into the sparser vegetation of the Sub-Alpine Forest.
+ Birdwatching Expedition: This guided tour is designed to show the enthusiast as many different birds as possible. The Resplendent Quetzal that put San Gerardo de Dota on the map may be the most sought-after sighting but even if you don’t spot this elusive bird today, we promise an enriching adventure. With hundreds of species residing in the valley and forested peaks, your sightings may include the spot-crowned woodcreeper, sooty robin, emerald toucanet and three-wattled bellbird – as well as numerous species of woodpeckers, hummingbirds and tanagers.
If you want more time in San Gerardo de Dota to enjoy multiple privately-guided activities, you can take advantage of our special rates to add extra nights. Just contact us for details. (B+L+D)
Day 4 - Onward to Pérez Zeledón
Arise early for an invigorating nature walk with your private guide. This is the best time of day to spot tropical birds. And with a bit of luck and sharp eyes, you’ll spot the signature iridescent green plumage of the Resplendent Quetzal. The male of this elusive species can be identified by its long, flowing emerald-green tail feathers. After breakfast, the rest of the morning is yours to enjoy the amenities of our hotel. You might just take it easy, explore the surrounding forest on your own, or indulge in a treatment at the spa.
After lunch, your chauffeured journey takes you deep into the rolling hills and forested mountains of Pérez Zeledón, another undiscovered region of untouched natural beauty. On arrival, check in to the gracious Hacienda AltaGracia, where your deluxe suite offers more than 1,100 square feet of living and sleeping space. The rest of this day is free to relax, explore and dine as you wish. The hacienda’s Ambar restaurant offers fine farm-to-table cuisine in a casually elegant dining room - or al fresco on the terrace. (B)
Day 5 - Choose Your Adventure
Today you’ll have another opportunity to customize your experience with a private tour or activity geared to your personal interests and taste for adventure:
+ Life of a Caballista: With 22 stables and the finest equestrian facilities in the country, AltaGracia offers a chance to experience the life a Costa Rican cowboy. Accompanied by a private guide, you can explore the open rolling countryside with its pastoral vistas of nearby farms or venture into the forest along the private trails that surround our Hacienda.
+ Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary: Embark on a privately guided hike through this 192-acre nature reserve. It was once the home and outdoor laboratory of Alexander Skutch, a pioneering American naturalist who devoted much of his life to studying the tropical birds of Central America. Well-maintained trails make it easy to experience the tropical forest as you observe and learn about the flora and fauna.
+ A Culinary Experience: Costa Rican cuisine is, at its heart, savory, satisfying and simple. Here at AltaGracia, the farm-to-fork cuisine makes excellent use of the hacienda’s own produce and the fresh fare available from neighboring farms. With your own personal instructor-chef, our hands-on culinary experience offers a fresh, contemporary perspective on traditional Costa Rican dishes.
+ El Cedral Coffee Adventure: Named for the cedar trees that shade its high-altitude fields, this 190-year-old operation is now a leading pioneer in sustainable coffee production. With 800 farmers, this is the world’s first carbon-neutral cooperative. Learn about these sustainable practices, tour the plantation and see the coffee beans naturally drying in the Costa Rican sun. Of course, your privately guided tour finishes with a cup of the co-op’s exceptional brew, noted for its balanced sweetness and acidity - with hints of berry and intense chocolate.
After your included tour or activity, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy the sublime setting of our hacienda-style resort. You might take a dip in the infinity pool, enjoy the panoramic vistas from your private terrace, or indulge in a treatment at the spa. If you want more time in Pérez Zeledón to join multiple tours and activities, we offer special extra night rates here at Hacienda AltaGracia. Please contact us for details. (B)
Day 6 - By Land + Water to Playa Cativo
This morning’s overland journey by chauffeured vehicle takes you deeper into the unspoiled beauty of Costa Rica’s remote southwestern corner. Arriving in the charming port of Golfito, you’ll continue by boat up the coast to our enchanting hideaway. Surrounded by some of the most pristine and ecologically diverse rainforest on the planet, Playa Cativo is not accessible by land and promises undiscovered luxury on the remote eastern shores of Golfo Dulce. After settling in to your deluxe oceanview guestroom, you’ll have time to relax and refresh before an elegant farm-to-table dinner overlooking the gulf. (B+L+D)
Day 7 - Personalize Your Stay at Playa Cativo
Once again, you’ll be able to tailor your day’s activity to your own interests and personal taste for physical adventure. Choose one of these included activities and join other resort guests for a fun and rewarding experience:
+ Farm-to-Table Experience: The staff and management of Playa Cativo are justifiably proud of the resort’s organic produce and their restaurant’s fine farm-to-table fare. Setting out from the resort, you’ll enjoy a guided walk along rainforest trails to the hotel’s own organic fields. Then joined by the farmers, you’ll enjoy a hands-on experience learning to harvest the vegetables, herbs and fruits that will appear later in some of El Gavilán’s elegantly prepared dishes.
+ Piedras Blancas National Park: Our resort is virtually surrounded by the lush forests of the national park, and it offers easy access to a variety of well-maintained park trails - from gentle to challenging. Accompanied by an expert naturalist, this expedition is a chance to observe and learn about the flora and fauna of this undiscovered paradise. 140 unique mammals, 350 species of birds, and 100 kinds of amphibians and reptiles reside here in this unspoiled reserve. There are several thousand species of plants and trees – including several that are rare and threatened.
+ Golfo Dulce Snorkeling: This guided adventure offers a chance to explore the underwater realm of one of the few tropical fjords on our planet. Healthy coral reefs and fantastic undersea rock formations provide the ideal habitat for a wide variety of colorful reef fish. Boat transportation and all snorkeling gear are provided.
+ Stand-Up Paddle Boarding: After an introductory lesson on land and water from the resort’s expert instructors, you’ll set out from the beach for this guided adventure. Sheltered from the wind, the waters off Playa Cativo are usually tranquil and clear in the mornings. Afternoon often brings a gentle surf that adds just the right amount of challenge and excitement. If you head out at dusk, you’re likely to be rewarded with a glorious sunset.
+ Nocturnal Rainforest Hike: The surrounding rainforest comes alive at night with the sounds of evening creatures and the fragrance of nocturnal plants and flowers. With an expert guide, rubber boots and a flashlight, this thrilling adventure offers a glimpse into this rarely-seen world. Frogs, bats and exotic insects are some of the creatures you might observe.
It’s possible to enjoy more than one activity today; call us for prices. In addition, we offer special rates if you would like to add extra nights here at Playa Cativo. (B+L+D)
Day 8 - Return to San José
After breakfast, we’ll take you by boat across Golfo Dulce to Puerto Jiménez for your included flight to San José. On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the Xandari Resort & Spa. Settle in to your spacious Prima Villa overlooking the picturesque Central Valley and dine on your own this evening. (B)
Day 9 - Depart Costa Rica
After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. If you wish to explore more of Costa Rica, we can help you plan the perfect extension: Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio and Tortuguero are especially popular with our guests. (B)
All This Included
Our Private Tour of Costa Rica features the finest mountain lodges and a luxury beachfront resort. You'll visit remote and pristine areas you won’t find on other trips. Customize this tour to your personal interests and taste for adventure with your choice of included activities; they’re expertly guided and designed to show you more of Costa Rica – Inside and Out!
San Jose: Grano de Oro
San Gerado de Dota: Savegre Mountain Lodge
Perez Zeledo: Hacienda AltaGracia
Golfo Dulce: Playa Cativo Lodge
San Jose: Xandari Resort & Spa
Terms and Conditions
For Alexander+Roberts terms and conditions, please click here.
* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.