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If you are due to travel shortly, we will be in touch to support and guide you in either postponing or cancelling your holiday, based on current Foreign Office advice and your insurance arrangements.
 
We hope that international travel will resume soon, but to ensure you can still enjoy a holiday this year, we have introduced the following new initiatives:
 
(a) For all new 2by2 Holidays we have relaxed our Booking Conditions, with refundable deposits & later final payment dates. This will allow you to plan your next long-haul holiday with more confidence, despite coronavirus uncertainties.
 
(b) We have launched Auriel Holidays – dedicated to finding you a range of wonderful holidays closer to home. Working with like-minded tour operators, who know their destinations intimately, safety is uppermost in everyone's minds. Our holidays within the United Kingdom and Europe will be mindful of this, and can be tailor made to your exact requirements - whether travelling by road, rail, sea or air.
 
After three months of hibernation, we are more than ready to start dreaming again!

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director

Costa Rica + Belize Holiday: Turtles + Sloths + Birds + Wildlife + Ambergris Caye

Costa Rica + Belize - Ambergris Caye
RRL14S
14 NIGHTS
FROM £2,975
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Costa Rica Belize Holiday Turtles Sloths Birds Wildlife Ambergris Caye

Enquire about this fascinating Costa Rica & Belize holiday, that combines the turtles, sloths, birds & rainforest wildlife of this small Central American country with spectacular Ambergris Caye in the Caribbean - visiting the Tortuguero wetlands, Arenal Volcano with its hot springs, Monteverde cloud forest & Manuel Antonio national park. All transfers, park fees & specified sightseeeing included.

Costa Rica Belize Holiday Turtles Sloths Birds Wildlife Ambergris Caye
• 
Costa Rica + Belize Holiday
• 
Tortuguero
• 
La Fortuna
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges + Hot Springs
• 
Sky Tram Ziplines
• 
Monteverde
• 
Mauel Antonio
• 
Ambergris Caye
• 
Turtles, Sloths, Birds & Wildlife
• 
Costa Rica + Belize Holiday
• 
Tortuguero
• 
La Fortuna
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges + Hot Springs
• 
Sky Tram Ziplines
• 
Monteverde
• 
Mauel Antonio
• 
Ambergris Caye
• 
Turtles, Sloths, Birds & Wildlife
Day 1
You will be met at San Jose Airport and transferred to this capital city in the Central Valley, surrounded by the Talamanca Mountains to the south and the volcanoes of Poas, Irazu and Turrialba.
 
Check into your hotel and relax in this modern city.
Day 2
An early pickup from your hotel this morning for your scenic shared 4-hour coach transfer to the flooded forests of Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Coast - known as the 'Amazon of Costa Rica'.
 
This remote wetland system covers an area of over 300 square km. Meaning 'Land of the Turtles', it is the largest nesting site for endangered Green sea turtles in the western hemisphere and supports a wide range of threatened flora and fauna. It is also a RAMSAR birding site of international significance.
 
After travelling 1.5-hours by air-conditioned coach, we stop at Guapiles for a Costa Rican breakfast, before continuing another 1.5-hours to the dock. Here we board the boat for our 1-hour ride along the La Suerte River and the wider Tortuguero River, to your lodge in the heart of these lush waterways.
 
On arrival check into your lodge and book your turtle tour in season (see below). After a buffet lunch we visit the local village, with balance of afternoon at leisure.
  
Note: Noctural turtle tours are run from July to October, as this is when green sea turtles nest and lay their eggs, with hatchlings emerging 45 days later. The timing of your tour (8-10pm or 10-12pm) and the beach zone you will visit are allocated by the park authority and must be booked 24 hours in advance, so it is essential to book your tour with hotel reception on arrival, as it cannot be pre-booked (approx. $40 per person).
Day 3
Today you will explore the waterways and rainforests of Tortuguero National Park on a shared boat ride, accompanied by a lodge guide.
 
Tortuguero is a critical breeding ground for vulnerable Green Turtles, which lumber up these beaches in their thousands from July to October each year to nest, with their hatchlings emerging 45 days later - an unforgettable sight. Leatherback turtles - the largest of all sea turtles - nest here in March & April and a few Loggerhead turtles nest here in June & July. The critically endangered Hawksbill turtle may be found here in very small numbers in September and October.
 
Although these beaches are best know for their sea turtles, Tortuguero is also an excellent place to see two and three-toed sloths, mantled howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, basilisk lizards, green iguana, red-eyed tree frogs, spectacled caiman, black river turtles and over half of all bird species found in Costa Rica. These include the Great green macaw, Keel-billed toucan, Boat-billed heron, Blue heron, Laughing falcon, Bare-throated tiger heron, Yellow-crowned night heron, Green-backed heron, Osprey, Snowy egret, Northern jacana, Anhinga (snakebird), Green ibis, Green kingfisher, Southern mealy parrot, Turkey vulture, Social flycatcher, Montezuma oropendola and many more.
 
With eleven different habitats - including rainforests, mangroves, swamps, beaches and lagoons - this hot and humid park has a rainfall of up to 250 inches (6,400 mm) a year. As a result it sustains a wide range of wildlife and is teeming with birds, reptiles, small mammals and insects. Occasionally bottlenose dolphins swim up the river from the sea and you may also see crocodiles, anteaters, ocelots and more.
 
Your boat ride will either be in the morning or afternoon, depending on the scheduling done by the ranger station. Your second activity for the day is a shared guided walk through the grounds of your lodge - looking out for frogs, birds, sloths, butterflies and other wildlife.
 
In the evening, if you join an optional turtle tour, wear dark clothing to ensure you do not disturb the turtles, closed shoes and long trousers to protect your feet & legs from mosquitos. Flashlights are not permitted.
 
Note: As the park receives up to 250 inches (6,400 mm) of rain a year, it is very likely that it will rain during your visit - so bring rain gear with a hood and expect to get wet. Wear sports clothing that will dry quickly (not jeans, which take too long to dry).
Day 4
This morning depart after breakfast and transfer 1-hour by boat and 1.5-hours by road to Guapiles, where we stop for an included lunch.
 
After lunch continue 2-hours by shared shuttle transfer towards the Arenal Volcano - one of the most active in Central America, with a perfect cone that on a clear day is visible from almost anywhere in the area. Your route crosses a large cattle and agricultural area, where chocolate is grown. Cacao was very important in the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations and today it is enjoyed throughout the world.
 
Check into your hotel in La Fortuna, where you can relax surrounded by rainforests, waterfalls and thermal hot springs.
 
Note: When travelling by shuttle, your luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one item of hand luggage.
Day 5
This morning enjoy a shared visit to the Arenal Hanging Bridges - a series of nine fixed and six suspension bridges, located in a natural corridor followed by migratory birds travelling between North and South America and offering wonderful views of the lake and volcano.
 
This 2-mile (3-km) self-guided trail will allow you to enjoy the great diversity of flora and fauna inside this mountainous zone, as well as outstanding bird watching. Keep an eye out for howler monkeys, sloths, anteaters, coati, racoons and other rainforest wildlife. Birds you can hope to see include the Yellow-throated toucan, Crested guan, Grey-headed chachalaca, Baltimore oriole, Clay-coloured thrush and Red-throated ant tanager, amongst others.
 
In the afternoon relax at the magnificent Tabacon Hot Springs, with its many natural waterfalls and pools, as well as a large swimming pool with swim-up bar. Dinner at the hot springs is included this evening.
 
Note: Group size 2 to 12 per guide. This trail is not suitable if you have a fear of heights. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars & raingear. Also sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, swimwear and water shoes.
Day 6
This morning transfer from La Fortuna to the lake for a 1-hour boat crossing to the small settlement of Monteverde, situated high in the mountains on the continental divide.
 
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was gifted to the nation by a small community of conservation-minded Quakers, who moved here from the United States in the 1950's to avoid being drafted to fight in the Korean War. Shrouded in mist for most of the year, this pristine primary rainforest comprises six different ecological zones spread over 10,500 hectares (26,000 acres) at different elevations - 90% of which is virgin cloud forest. As a result, it has an exceptionally large plant biodiversity.
 
On arrival you will be collected from the boat and transferred to your hotel in the mountains. Check into your lodge and on a clear day enjoy distant views over the Gulf of Nicoya.
 
Note: Your driver will only speak Spanish.
Day 7
This morning enjoy a shared tour exploring Monteverde Cloud Forest with a naturalist guide.
 
Set on Costa Rica's continental divide, this high elevation cloud forest offers miles of walking trails and is a magnet for certain flora and fauna thanks to its high rainfall and constant veil of mist. Woodlands give way to rainforests and tall trees festooned with orchids, bromeliads, ferns, vines, strangler figs, ephiphytes and mosses rise high into the sky. In other parts you will find swamp forests and deep gorges with numerous streams creating waterfalls, rapids and pools.
 
Monteverde Cloud Forest sustains over 2,500 different plant species including the highest number of orchids in the world, over 90 different avocado species, 120 reptiles and amphibians and thousands of butterflies and other insects. However be aware that spotting birds and wildlife in this cool high altitude region is much more difficult than elsewhere in the country. Although not often seen, more than 100 small mammals are present (including sloths, white faced and spider monkeys).
 
Over 400 bird species can also be found here including two toucan species, the Three-wattled bellbird, Bare-necked umbrella bird, Golden-browed chlorophonia, Black-breasted wood quail, Bananaquit and the magnificent resplendent quetzal, which is most often seen during the breeding season from February to May. Many hummingbird species can also be seen at the feeders outside the park, including the Magenta-throated woodstar, Coppery-headed emerald, Lesser violetear, Violet sabrewing, Purple-throated mountain gem and Green-crowned brilliant.
 
In the evening we suggest an optional visit to the Monteverde Frog Pond (pay locally).
 
Note: Group size 2 to 9 per guide. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars, camera, jacket & raingear. Also sun hat, sunscreen & insect repellent.
Day 8
Today enjoy your 4.5-hour shared shuttle transfer to Manuel Antonio, a busy tourist town known for its sandy Pacific beaches surrounded by lush coastal rainforest.
 
Along the way the shuttle will stop at the bridge over the Tarcoles River, one of four rivers flowing out into the Nicoya Peninsula and home to one of the world’s largest populations of American crocodiles, with some up to fifteen feet long. There are also over 50 different bird species here, including the rare scarlet macaw and a great variety of resident and migrant waterfowl, iguana and Jesus Christ lizards.
 
On arrival in Manuel Antonio, check into your hotel and relax in your verdant surroundings.
Day 9
Rise early this morning to avoid the heat of the day for a 2-hour privately guided hike with a naturalist, through the tropical humid rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park - the oldest and most visited national park in the country.
 
Situated on the Pacific Coast, this wildlife sanctuary consists of four protected white sandy beaches bordered by verdant tropical jungle. A series of boardwalks offer two main routes - either a direct 2-mile (3.2 km) hike to the main beach, or a longer 3.5-mile (5.6 km) circular hike that includes a second spectacular beach.
 
Over 100 mammals can be found here, as well as over 350 different bird species. You can hope to spot an adorable sloth - a tree-dwelling animal that sleeps for over 15 hours a day, whilst hanging from the branches of trees. The two-fingered sloth is largely nocturnal, so you are more likely to see the three-fingered sloth, although both species have excellent camouflage so can be hard to spot. These cute creatures move so slowly that algae grows on their fur. Look out for white-faced capuchins and cute squirrel monkeys and listen out for howler monkeys calling across the trees. You should see hermit crabs scurrying across the sands, halloween crabs (with their bright orange & black colouring) and may even see a bull frog, Jesus Christ lizard (the brown basilisk that 'walks on water'), helmet basilisk, black spiny-tailed iguana, green anole lizard, caiman, American crocodile, wish moth, wax-tail hopper, rainbow grasshopper or spectacular blue morph butterfly.
 
Birds you can hope to see include the Brown pelican flying in formation over the sea, Yellow-throated toucan, Tendin fruit bat, Long nosed bat, Mangrove hummingbird, Yellow-crowned night heron, Crowned woodnymph and Bananaquit, amongst many others.
 
At the end of your hike you will be given the opportunity to relax on the beach for about an hour, before returning to your hotel. Your afternoon is at leisure.
 
Note: Manuel Antonio Park is closed on a Monday. Wear swimwear, comfortable walking shoes, shorts & T-shirt, as it will be very hot & humid. Bring water, binoculars, raingear, sun hat, sunscreen, towel & insect repellent and expect this park to be very busy.
Day 10
Transfer 4.5-hours by shared shuttle from Manuel Antonio to the city of San Jose.
 
Check into your hotel in a location convenient for the airport.
Day 11
Transfer to San Jose Airport for your onward flight.
 
Note: Your driver will only speak Spanish.

Arrive at Belize City Airport and connect with your light aircraft flight to Ambergrys Caye.
 
You will be met at San Pedro Airport, with shared transfer to your hotel on this spectacular Caribbean island, that is the largest 'caye' (low-elevation sandy island on the surface of a coral reef) in Belize.
 
Note: As this is a single propeller plane, it is essential to avoid oversized baggage and remain within 23 kg, plus one carry on item up to 6.8 kg that must fit on your lap. Oversized bags may not fit into the luggage pods and may not be able to be transported at all.
Days 12 To 14
At leisure to relax on Ambergris Caye, surrounded by the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
 
With a fun and laid-back atmosphere, this tiny island is only 25-miles (40 km) long and 5-miles (8 km) across at its widest point, although in many places it is much less than this. Formerly a fishing village, San Pedro is the island's only town and its sandy streets lined with waterfront restaurants and bars are the centre for most sailing, diving and fishing activities.
 
There are many simple pleasures to be had here, including swimming in the crystal clear waters, riding a bike along the beach or enjoying water sports such as kayaking and windsurfing.
 
If you wish to snorkel or dive, you will need to take a boat ride to the magnificent Belize Barrier Reef, which runs parallel to Ambergris Caye. Here you can explore famous sites such as the Hol Chan Marine Reserve with its abundance of sea life, and the 400 ft (124 m) deep Great Blue Hole.
 
Note: Please be aware that there is a lot of sargassum seaweed on the beach, which is cleared by the hotels daily. The closest reefs for snorkelling and diving are about 15-20 minutes by boat.
Day 15
Transfer to San Pedro Airport for your light aircraft flight to Belize City Airport for your flight home.

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