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Costa Rica for Solo Travelers: Volcanoes, Jungles & Beaches

9 days |  12 days with Volcano Region & San José Region extension
9 days |  12 days with Volcano Region & San José Region extension
Group size1528 travelers
Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

9
Physical activity
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OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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Mother Nature pulls out all the stops on this spectacular, solo-friendly tour.

Where better to connect with the outdoors—and other solo travelers—than the hiking trails, national parks, and golden beaches of Costa Rica? You and your tour mates will soak in caldera and lake views in the country’s volcano region, jungle scenery (and sounds) along its Central Pacific Coast, and plenty of sun and surf in Manuel Antonio National Park. Get to know even more of the country’s unspoiled scenery, precious wildlife, and warm hospitality by extending your tour: You’ll visit two sought-after national parks, Tenorio and Arenal, as well as a pioneering sustainability-driven ranch.

Your tour package includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 3 dinners, some with beer or wine
  • 1 tasting
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Included highlights

  • Coffee farm & tasting
  • Toucan Rescue Ranch
  • Tárcoles River cruise
  • Mangrove reforestation project
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
Read more
Start planning today

An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

Talk to a Tour Consultant

Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
San José Region3 nights
Day 1: Arrival in San José
Included meal: Light dinner

Fly to Costa Rica and settle in at your hotel in San José. Enjoy a light dinner this evening.

Please note: If you arrive after 9pm, dinner will be served in your hotel room.

Day 2: Coffee farm visit & Toucan Rescue Ranch
Included meals: Breakfast, Welcome lunch, Tasting

Make your way from your hotel to a local farm and discover one of Costa Rica’s finest exports—coffee. Regarded as some of the best in the world thanks to a Goldilocks combination of growing conditions, Costa Rican coffee accounts for close to 8% of the country’s gross domestic product.

  • Tour a family-owned estate to learn how coffee cherries yield coffee beans, and how those pips—after a multi-step process of cleaning and roasting—eventually become the flavorful drink in your mug each morning.
  • Learn how the estate protects and preserves the biodiversity of the area, and how it employs traditional methods to cultivate its crop.
  • Indulge in a tasting of some of the farm’s coffees, then sit down to a welcome lunch and continue getting to know your fellow travelers.

Afterward, continue on to the Toucan Rescue Ranch. Dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of native wildlife, this nonprofit organization looks after toucans, sloths, and other animals. Join a rancher for a guided walk of the grounds, hear the stories of the various creatures in their care, and come to a better understanding of the importance of conservation in Costa Rica.

What better way to get to know authentic Costa Rica than through its traditional food and dance? Kick up your heels with an optional excursion that highlights the local folklore. Or, if you’d prefer, use your free time this evening to explore some of San José’s modern and colonial architecture.

Costa Rican Folklore Dinner

From $95 per person

Day 3: Free day in the San José Region
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in the San José Region or add an excursion.

Cartago & Irazú Volcano National Park with Lunch

From $75 per person

Central Pacific Coast3 nights
Day 4: Tárcoles River cruise & transfer to the Central Pacific Coast
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Tárcoles, a quiet town that boasts beautiful vegetation, abundant wildlife, and ocean views. Climb aboard a boat for a guided tour of the Tárcoles River, which is known for the large number of American crocodiles that inhabit its waters.

  • Soak in views of lush mangrove forests and jungle scenery.
  • Look out for crocodiles, iguanas, lizards, and monkeys, as well as scarlet macaws, kingfishers, and over 50 species of birds.

This afternoon, continue to your hotel along the Central Pacific Coast, where you’ll find tropical rainforests, beautiful beaches, and an impressively diverse ecosystem.

Day 5: Palo Seco mangrove reforestation project
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, head to Playa Palo Seco, one of the largest mangrove ecosystems in Central America. There, take part in a mangrove reforestation project, one of Costa Rica’s key efforts to promote environmental sustainability.

  • Learn about the importance of the island mangrove forests and how they serve as natural barriers that protect the mainland from storms and high tides.
  • Hear about mass deforestation caused by ocean currents, tides, increased flooding from upland rivers, and business development.
  • Take part in a hands-on activity, like planting mangroves or seeds in the nursery.

Please note: Travelers should wear clothes they don’t mind getting dirty during today’s activity.

Enjoy a free afternoon on the Central Pacific Coast or add an excursion.

Please note: On some departures, the reforestation project and Rainforest Sky Cable & Ziplining optional excursion will take place on day 6 and the visit to Manuel Antonio National Park will take place on day 5.

Rainforest Sky Cable & Ziplining

From $105 per person

Day 6: Manuel Antonio National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Make your way to the small but stunning Manuel Antonio National Park, popular for its breathtaking beaches and scenic hiking trails. Uncover its incredible biodiversity and postcard-worthy beaches on a guided tour.

  • Keep an eye out for some of the 109 mammal species and 270 bird species that call the park home, including howler monkeys and yellow-throated toucans.
  • Walk to the top of rocky Cathedral Point to view the lush park from across the Pacific.
  • Visit Escondido Beach, where a blowhole sends plumes of seawater skyward during high tide.
  • Take in views of the saw-like cliff and sea caves at Punta Serrucho, a landmark whose sawtooth appearance is the result of numerous tectonic movements.
  • Relax on the beach or take a dip in the Pacific Ocean.

Please note: Manuel Antonio National Park closes on Tuesdays. Depending on the departure, your visit may take place on day 5. In that case, the reforestation project and Rainforest Sky Cable & Ziplining optional excursion will be moved to day 6.

Guanacaste Coast2 nights
Day 7: Guanacaste Coast via El Jardín
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Travel north along a scenic route to the coastal province of Guanacaste, which is known for its unspoiled beaches and biodiverse parkland. Along the way, stop to explore El Jardín, a family project providing a welcoming experience. Take time to explore the beautiful gardens, nursery, and souvenir shop featuring unique items made by local artisans. Then, enjoy an included lunch of authentic dishes prepared in their traditional kitchen.

Settle into your hotel on the Guanacaste coast: a mecca for surfers, hikers, and sunbathers that’s home to some of Costa Rica’s most sought-after beaches and landscapes.

Day 8: Free day on the Guanacaste Coast
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Spend a free day relaxing along the Guanacaste coast or add an excursion.

This evening, celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

Guanacaste Sailing & Snorkeling with Lunch

From $119 per person

Flight Home
Day 9: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the Liberia airport for your flight home or extend your stay in Costa Rica to explore the volcano region.

Extension to Volcano Region & San José Region
Tenorio Volcano National Park is a trove of natural treasures, with monkeys, pumas, palm trees, orchids, and plenty more wild wonders making their home within its emerald expanse. See it all—along with the ghostly blue Rio Celeste and its dramatic waterfall, which tumbles into an azure pool—during your thrilling visit. Then, continue on to Arenal National Park for more dazzling volcano and lake views, before ending your journey with a feel-good, farm-to-table lunch at a local ranch whose staff are pioneers in local sustainability.
Volcano Region2 nights
Day 9: Volcano Region via Tenorio National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Head back inland to the country’s volcano region and set out on a guided walk through Tenorio Volcano National Park. The nearly 5,000-square-mile park is home to a variety of wet and rainforests, as well as white-faced monkeys, pumas, orchids, palm trees, and other flora and fauna.

  • Join your Tour Director for a walk along the milky blue Rio Celeste, and see where two mineral-rich volcanic streams come together resulting in the river’s distinctive turquoise color.
  • View the famous—and powerful—Rio Celeste waterfall from above, or walk down a series of stairs for a closer look from a dedicated viewpoint.

Transfer to your hotel, where you’ll have free time for the rest of the day.

Please note: We recommend wearing sturdy shoes for the Tenorio Park visit.

Day 10: Walking tour of Arenal National Park & ranch visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Join your Tour Director for a guided walk through Arenal Volcano National Park, named for the nearly 5,500-foot-high volcano that towers over the pastures and hillsides that surround it. Though Arenal hasn’t erupted since 2010, you might still spot steam snaking skyward from its caldera.

  • Marvel at the mile-high volcano, a near-perfect conical shape that emerges from the Sierra de Tilarán mountain range.
  • Try to spot slow-moving sloths, snakes coiled around tree limbs, and spiders resting in their webs.
  • Gaze at placid Lake Arenal—Costa Rica’s largest lake—and watch for birds, such as northern jacanas, woodpeckers, and kingfishers, wading and soaring along its shores.

Please note: Costa Rica’s rainy season runs from May through November. During these months, clouds and mist can obscure the volcano’s peak from view. Additionally, hardened lava makes up some of the park’s terrain, and travelers should be able to navigate these uneven surfaces for around two miles.

This afternoon, visit an eco-friendly ranch in La Fortuna.

  • Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch featuring fresh ingredients harvested on-site, as well as local dairy products
  • Explore the ranch with a local guide, and learn how it became the first carbon-negative community of its kind in Costa Rica

Spend the evening to kick back and relax, explore the area your own, or add an excursion

Arenal Hot Springs & Dinner

From $95 per person

San José Region1 night
Day 11: Transfer to the San José Region
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Spend a free morning in the volcano region before traveling back to the San José region.

Tonight, celebrate your trip during an included farewell dinner, served with beer or wine, at a local restaurant.

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Show full itinerary
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Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.7 out of 5

Based on 9 authentic traveler reviews
Sort by

    5 out of 5 stars

    Nature in Costa Rica
    4/27/24 by 2nd-time traveler Christina

    Every trip with EF keeps getting better and better! This is my second tour with EF and it was amazing!!! Patricia, the tour director, was amazing, knowledgeable, friendly, and went above and beyond for everyone on our trip. Michael, our bus driver, honestly handled the bus like the professional that...

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    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 5/21/24

    Thank you for your fantastic review! We can't wait...

    Read more +

    5 out of 5 stars

    Life Changing
    4/27/24 by 1st-time traveler Stephanie

    I went on the very first session of this tour and would never have known! It was amazing start to finish. Pat, our tour guide, paid attention to every little detail and was so thoughtful and knowledgeable. I'm so happy I went with this tour: multiple night stays, varieties of landscapes, varying ...

    Read more +

    5 out of 5 stars

    Costa Rica: La Pura Vida
    4/27/24 by 1st-time traveler Melinda

    This was such a magical experience. We covered a lot of ground and I learned so much about this country and its values and people. On my own, I would never have found some of the special places this tour went to. It truly was Volcanoes. Jungles, and Beaches. Our needs were anticipated and handled wi...

    Read more +
    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 5/13/24

    Melinda, thank you for your glowing review. We are...

    Read more +
    Show more reviews

    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

    Hotels

    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Hilton Garden Inn San José La Sabana
    Hilton Garden Inn San José La Sabana

    This modern hotel is centrally located in San José’s Sabana Park area. Guests enjoy the rooftop pool, spacious rooms, and fitness center. Nearby, you’...

    Read more +
    Croc’s Resort & Casino
    Croc’s Resort & Casino

    This luxury hotel is located on Jaco Beach, on the Central Pacific Coast. Guests enjoy the outdoor pools, an on-site coffeehouse, and beach access. Ne...

    Read more +
    Wyndham Tamarindo
    Wyndham Tamarindo

    This serene hotel is located perched on a hillside of Tamarindo on the Guanacaste coast. Guests enjoy sweeping ocean views, outdoor infinity pool, a l...

    Read more +
    Tilajari Hotel Resort & Conference Center
    Tilajari Hotel Resort & Conference Center

    This tropical hotel is located in Muelle San Carlos, right in the heart of Northern Costa Rica’s volcano region. Guests enjoy the surrounding botanica...

    Read more +

    Flights

    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights

    FAQ

    Print FAQ

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