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Central America
Costa Rica for...

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
Physical activity
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsHotels, 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
  • 1 lunch
  • 3 dinners, some with beer or wine
  • 1 tasting
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Included highlights

  • Poás Volcano National Park
  • Coffee farm & tasting
  • Tárcoles River cruise
  • Mangrove reforestation project
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
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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: Poás Volcano National Park & coffee farm
Included meals: Breakfast, Welcome lunch, Tasting

Spend the morning in Poás Volcano National Park. Its namesake volcano is the largest open volcano in the world—and a powerful symbol of the geothermal forces that formed Costa Rica. After a short walk to a viewing platform, peer into the massive crater and the bubbling, sulfuric, green lake inside it. Be sure to scan the caldera’s walls for damage caused by previous eruptions.

Travel tip: Poás is nearly 9,000 feet tall, and it gets chilly at altitude, so we recommend packing warm layers. Also, please note that while views of the crater are typically clearest in the early morning, we can’t guarantee visibility.

Sit down for a welcome lunch, then continue on to visit a coffee plantation to discover how the country produces some of the world’s best coffee beans.

  • Tour the family-owned estate, hearing how coffee seeds grow into beans and, eventually, become the flavorful drink in your cup
  • Learn how the estate protects and preserves the area’s biodiversity
  • See how estate workers use traditional methods of cultivation, and sample a few varieties of coffee

Enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

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.

Cloud Forest Nature Walk & Toucan Rescue Ranch

From $155 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 wildlife sanctuary
Included meal: Breakfast

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 tour a wildlife sanctuary.

  • Learn about the sanctuary’s mission to provide refuge and protection for wildlife who have been victimized by hunting, deforestation, and other human actions
  • Walk through the sanctuary’s grounds and see jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, tapirs, white-tailed deer, and macaws
  • Hear about the various physical and behavioral problems faced by the animals as a result of their harrowing past traumas

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, or add an excursion.

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

Arenal Hot Springs & Dinner

From $95 per person

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
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.

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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.


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 Santa Ana San José
Hilton Garden Inn Santa Ana San José

This peaceful hotel is located in the Santa Ana neighborhood of San José. Guests enjoy the rooftop infinity pool, fitness center, and city views. Near...

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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, on-site coffee house, and beach access. Nearb...

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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...

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Tilajari Hotel Resort & Conference Center
Tilajari Hotel Resort & Conference Center

This tropical hotel is located in the heart of northern Costa Rica's volcano region in Muelle San Carlos. Guests enjoy the surrounding botanical and b...

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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’...

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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


Print FAQ
Passport, visa & entry requirements
  • In order to enter Costa Rica, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code CR6.
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Tour pacing & mobility
  • You will walk for at least 2.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads, unpaved trails, and muddy paths, with some hills.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and they cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in San José and depart from Liberia (or San José on the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
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Baggage allowance
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
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Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. Comfortable, casual clothing and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are a must for sightseeing.
  • A lightweight jacket is recommended, as the temperatures will change with the elevation throughout your tour.
  • A sun hat, sunglasses, and rain gear will help you stay comfortable in all types of weather.
  • You may also wish to pack a swimsuit.
  • A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road.
  • Binoculars are handy for a closer look at local wildlife and scenery.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
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  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at
  • Take proper care with sun exposure, as the sun can be especially strong in some of the regions on this tour.
  • There are inherent risks associated with snorkeling and other water sports, particularly for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Discuss your planned activities with your doctor or healthcare provider for the best advice on participation.
  • Drink bottled water only. Refrain from ingesting tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • Travelers prone to seasickness should note that this tour includes boat rides.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code CR6.
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  • Costa Rican cuisine is based on staples like rice, black beans, and corn with beef, chicken, or fish. Fresh, locally grown fruits include bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and avocados. Traditional desserts include custards, puddings, and simple cakes. Locally grown coffee is served strong and black, but hot milk is often available if you ask.
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Electricity & air conditioning
  • Costa Rica operates on 120 volts and uses Types A or B plugs. As these are the same as the plugs used in the U.S. and Canada, a voltage adapter is not needed.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in some hotels in this region may not be as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
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  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. In more remote locations, internet access may be limited and is not guaranteed.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
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Time zones
  • Costa Rica is six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and one hour behind Eastern Time (ET). Costa Rica does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
  • When it’s noon in New York City, it’s 11am in Costa Rica from November through March and 10am from April through October.
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  • You will use the Costa Rican colón on tour.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
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  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency or USD. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $8USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
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Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
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