Classic Costa Rica

Trip Code: QVSR

Why we love it

Swap the concrete jungle for real jungle on this trip into the rainforests, waterways, hot springs and palm-lined beaches of Costa Rica., Long-nosed tapirs, white-faced capuchin monkeys, elegant ocelots and three-toed sloths – Costa Rica is home to exotic animals, and this trip puts you in the perfect position to spot them all., Go deeper than the average tourist with a homestay in a quiet agricultural community; the perfect opportunity to experience local life and practice your Spanish., Refresh after jungle hikes spotting endemic wildlife in the rejuvenating hot springs of volcanic La Fortuna., Visit the indigenous Maleku community to share a traditional meal and learn about their way of life – this small tribe has big ambitions for regenerating local forests and natural habitats.

Is this trip right for me?

Many of the activities (both included and optional) on this trip take place in the great outdoors. This means you'll need to be prepared to deal with insects and occasionally rustic conditions. It's all part of immersing yourself in this natural paradise.

Costa Rica is generally hot year-round, and from May to October can be pretty wet too. Of course, you wouldn't get that gorgeous, emerald-green rainforest without the rain, but please carefully consider which time of the year you'll feel most comfortable travelling.

There are many opportunities to get active on this adventure. Some of the optional activities require a moderate level of fitness and sturdy walking shoes. If you'd prefer to take it easy, however, there are plenty of other things you can do instead. 

The homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday local life. A hearty homecooked dinner and breakfast will be served during your stay, which can be a lot more basic than what you're used to.

With so much to see and do, Costa Rica can sometimes be expensive. Expect to pay more than you would in other Central American countries for a lot of things.

Important information

1. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance tickets to Manuel Antonio National Park. Delays to provide this information may result in changes to your itinerary and we will not be able to guarantee entry. Details provided must be accurate as per your passport bio page.

2. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.

3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 5 & 6 (Rio Celeste) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

4. Please be careful when booking flights to/from San Jose; make sure you fly into/out of Juan Santamaria International Airport [SJO]. Please do not book flights to/from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.

What to bring/pack

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 15-20kg for check in luggage and a maximum of 5kg for carry on.

Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

ESSENTIAL:
- Warm as well as light clothing. Central America is often assumed to have hot weather, but it can get cold in the countryside, mountains and at night in the winter so we suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer
- Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings
- Sun protection - hat, sunglasses, sunscreen (reef-safe sunscreen for swimming)

RECOMMENDED:
- Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, travel insurance etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments
- Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and Band-Aids.
- Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
- Swimwear
- Travel beach towel
- Tissues &/or toilet paper &/or wet wipes
- Insect repellent
- Camera with a spare memory card, charger &/or batteries

OPTIONAL:
- Earplugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate
- Phrasebook

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your safe if available. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.

LAUNDRY:
Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo).

Physical rating

 
2

None of the activities featured in this trip require special training or skills, just a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to participate. Cobblestones and uneven roads are common and you may be required to walk in hot and humid conditions. If you are in any doubt, please share these concerns or issues with your sales consultant so that your leader is aware prior and can pre-empt your needs.

Joining your group

Autentico Hotel, Ave 5 and 7 40 st., East Sabana,, San Jose, 10108, COSTA RICA, Phone: +506 22225266

This streamlined modern hotel is a 15-minute walk from Contraloria train station. Unfussy rooms with warm decor offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers, as well as safes and ceiling fans. Breakfast and parking are complimentary. Other amenities include a landscaped garden with an outdoor pool and seating, and an understated restaurant and bar that hosts regular themed buffets.

Alternate Joining Point

For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
02 Mar 2024 (QVSR240302)
09 Mar 2024 (QVSR240309)
14 Mar 2024 (QVSR240314)
06 Apr 2024 (QVSR240406)
23 Apr 2024 (QVSR240423)
27 Apr 2024 (QVSR240427)
11 Jul 2024 (QVSR240711)
03 Aug 2024 (QVSR240803)
09 Nov 2024 (QVSR241109)
Hotel Parque del Lago Boutique Hotel
50 meters east of the entrance to Paseo Colón
San Jose
COSTA RICA
Phone: +506 40002020
For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
16 Mar 2024 (QVSR240316)
19 Mar 2024 (QVSR240319)
20 Jul 2024 (QVSR240720)
16 Nov 2024 (QVSR241116)
Fleur De Lys Hotel
13th street
between 2 and 6th avenue
one block from the National Museum
San Jose
San Jose
10736
COSTA RICA
Phone: 506 22231206
For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
05 Mar 2024 (QVSR240305)
Urban Green Hotel
Main Avenue
Streets 1st & 3rd
San Jose
COSTA RICA
Phone: +506 40806262

Joining instructions

Intrepid offers a pre-arranged arrival transfer service from San Jose International Airport [SJO] at an additional fee. If you have pre-booked this service, please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organized. If you plan to arrive earlier, this transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

If you have pre-booked this service; you will be met after exiting the terminal building to the outside. As you exit please look for the Intrepid sign with your name on it. There is no designated area for transfer drivers to wait inside the building so please take your time to look around after exiting to the outside through the last glass automatic door.
If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please call our Intrepid Emergency number listed under the ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document. If you don’t have a device or mobile coverage, San Jose Airport has a free Wi-Fi connection so you can call that same number via an online application such as Skype. There are also several information desks and tourist information desks around if you require further assistance.

Otherwise, you can travel from the San Jose Airport to the hotel by taxi. We recommend you use either the authorized taxi services organized from inside the terminal, or the authorized orange taxis outside the terminal building. They will charge you approximately USD$30 for a trip to downtown. The drive to where the hotel is located is approximately 35-45 minutes depending on traffic.

Finishing your trip

Autentico Hotel, Ave 5 and 7 40 st., East Sabana,, San Jose, 10108, COSTA RICA, Phone: +506 22225266

This streamlined modern hotel is a 15-minute walk from Contraloria train station. Unfussy rooms with warm decor offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers, as well as safes and ceiling fans. Breakfast and parking are complimentary. Other amenities include a landscaped garden with an outdoor pool and seating, and an understated restaurant and bar that hosts regular themed buffets.

Alternate Finish Point

For trips departing on the following dates
use this finish point.
02 Mar 2024 (QVSR240302)
09 Mar 2024 (QVSR240309)
14 Mar 2024 (QVSR240314)
06 Apr 2024 (QVSR240406)
23 Apr 2024 (QVSR240423)
27 Apr 2024 (QVSR240427)
11 Jul 2024 (QVSR240711)
03 Aug 2024 (QVSR240803)
09 Nov 2024 (QVSR241109)
02 Jan 2025 (QVSR250102)
04 Jan 2025 (QVSR250104)
07 Jan 2025 (QVSR250107)
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23 Dec 2025 (QVSR251223)
25 Dec 2025 (QVSR251225)
27 Dec 2025 (QVSR251227)
30 Dec 2025 (QVSR251230)
Hotel Parque del Lago Boutique Hotel
50 meters east of the entrance to Paseo Colón
San Jose
COSTA RICA
Phone: +506 40002020
For trips departing on the following dates
use this finish point.
16 Mar 2024 (QVSR240316)
19 Mar 2024 (QVSR240319)
20 Jul 2024 (QVSR240720)
16 Nov 2024 (QVSR241116)
Fleur De Lys Hotel
13th street
between 2 and 6th avenue
one block from the National Museum
San Jose
San Jose
10736
COSTA RICA
Phone: 506 22231206
For trips departing on the following dates
use this finish point.
05 Mar 2024 (QVSR240305)
Urban Green Hotel
Main Avenue
Streets 1st & 3rd
San Jose
COSTA RICA
Phone: +506 40806262

Ave 5 and 7 40 st. | East Sabana, San José 10108, Costa Rica.
Call. +506 22225266
Intrepid offers a pre-arranged departure transfer service to San Jose International Airport [SJO] at an additional fee. If you require this service, please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure.

If you have pre-booked this service, your transfer driver will collect you from your hotel 3.5 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel reception to call our Intrepid Emergency number, listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document.

Alternatively, you can travel from the hotel to the airport by taxi. The hotel reception will be able to assist you with a taxi. The drive to the San Jose Airport will take approximately 30 minutes depending on traffic and will cost approximately USD$30.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 5

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 1

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

Climate & seasonal information

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +506 4113 9300

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation