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A message to our customers:

In these extraordinary times, I would like to reassure all 2by2 customers who are due to travel shortly that we are in the process of contacting you individually, once you are within 30 days of travel. Depending on Foreign Office advice at the time and your insurance arrangements, we will assist you in either postponing or cancelling your trip. We are also looking after customers who are still abroad and ensuring they return home safely. If you are concerned about a family member currently travelling do get in touch. I would like to thank each of our customers who have already been contacted for your kindness and understanding in these difficult times. Our brilliant team will continue to support you throughout this crisis, as we are set up to work remotely. May I take this opportunity to send our best wishes to you and your loved ones during these unprecedented circumstances.

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director

Best of Costa Rica + Nicaragua, with Granada

Privately Guided: Costa Rica + Nicaragua
RPN14S
14 NIGHTS
FROM £3,995
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Costa Rica Nicaragua Holiday Arenal Rincon Vieja Granada Ometepe Island

Combine the wildlife of Costa Rica & Nicaragua with its Spanish colonial culture on this two-country privately guided holiday. Visit Tortuguero Wetlands, Arenal Volcano, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, Monteverde Cloud Forest & volcanic Rincon Vieja, ending in picturesque Granada on Lake Nicaragua, with excursions to Ometepe Island & Islets Archipelago. All guiding, transfers & specified sightseeing  included.

Costa Rica Nicaragua Holiday Arenal Rincon Vieja Granada Ometepe Island
• 
Cost Rica & Nicaragua Holiday
• 
Tortuguero National Park
• 
Ometepe Island
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs
• 
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
• 
Monteverde Cloud Forest
• 
Rincon Vieja
• 
Granada
• 
Isletas Archipelago
• 
Cost Rica & Nicaragua Holiday
• 
Tortuguero National Park
• 
Ometepe Island
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs
• 
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
• 
Monteverde Cloud Forest
• 
Rincon Vieja
• 
Granada
• 
Isletas Archipelago
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.
 
Here you will meet your guide, who will drive you 3-hours 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.
 
Our route crosses a large cattle and agricultural area, where chocolate is grown, where we stop for a Chocolate Tour. Considered a 'gift from the gods', the cocoa tree was very important in ancient Mayan and Aztec civilisations, having both ceremonial and economic value, with the seeds used as coins in many areas. Today its produce is enjoyed throughout the world in cocoa and chocolate treats. Learn the secrets of transforming cacao and view the chocolate-making process - from the harvesting of the fruit to the drying and grinding of the seed. Then treat your tastebuds to some delicious organic rainforest chocolate.
 
Afterwards we continue to our hotel in La Fortuna, where you can relax surrounded by rainforests, waterfalls and thermal hot springs.
Day 5
This morning your guide will take you to the Arenal Hanging Bridges - a series of 9 fixed and 6 suspension bridges located in a natural corridor followed by migratory birds travelling between North and South America, offering wonderful views of the lake and volcano.
 
This 2-mile (3 km) 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: 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
Today transfer 1.5-hours to Los Chiles for a full day shared excursion to Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, situated on the border with Nicaragua.
 
This humid wetland system protects over 350 different birds including the Anahinga (snake bird), Wood stork, the endangered Jabiru (the largest bird in Central America), Olivaceous cormorant and the beautiful pink Roseate spoonbill, as well as many migratory species. The park is home to least 160 different mammals including howler monkeys, white faced monkeys, spider monkeys, three-toed sloths, tapirs, ocelots and peccaries. You can hope to see iguanas, turtles and caimans in this wildlife reserve that also provides sanctuary for endangered species such as jaguars and cougars.
 
All wildlife viewing is by boat (about 2.5-hours), travelling along tranquil waterways that pass through these tropical rainforests and pastures, followed by an included lunch. Afterwards we return to La Fortuna.
 
Note: You need to bring your passport with you today to gain entry. Group size 2 to 44 guests per guide/boat.
Day 7
This morning we depart from La Fortuna and travel 4-hours 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.
 
Check into your lodge and on a clear day enjoy distant views over the Gulf of Nicoya.
Day 8
This morning enjoy a private 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: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars, camera, jacket & raingear. Also sun hat, sunscreen & insect repellent.
Day 9
Today travel 3-hours from Monteverde through the beautiful landscapes of northwestern Costa Rica to Rincon de la Vieja.
 
Situated in the scenic Guanacaste Mountain Range, this active cinder volcano rises 6,286 ft (1,916 m) above sea level and is surrounded by nearly 35,000 acres of national park. With volcanic steam vents, bubbling mud pots, hot springs and 32 rivers and streams, this is a fascinating region of geothermal activity.
Day 10
At leisure to enjoy the many hiking trails, waterfalls and hot springs around Rincon de la Vieja - which means 'Old Woman's Corner'.
 
Optional activities include horse riding, mountain biking, abseiling, canyoning, tree top canopy tours and tubing through spectacular scenery.
Day 11
Today we leave Rincon de le Vieja and travel 4-hours across the border to Granada in Nicaragua, stopping for immigration formalities at Penas Blancas,.
 
Continue to your hotel in beautiful Granada. Situated on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, this elegant city is home to many Spanish colonial buildings that have survived repeated pirate invasions. Check in and absorb the atmosphere of this historic place.
Day 12
Today enjoy a boat excursion to Ometepe Island in vast Lake Nicaragua, followed by a walking tour of the city of Granada.
 
Ometepe Island is known for its twin volcanoes - active Concepción in the north and Maderas in the south, which has trails to the San Ramón Waterfall. In the village of Altagracia we visit Ometepe Museum, which has some ancient petroglyphs.
 
We then return to Granada for a guided walking tour of the city. Central Park, the main plaza, is dominated by the distinctive yellow and white bell towers and dome of the colonial Cathedral of Granada, towering far above and visible for miles. The nearby San Francisco Convent and Museum is the oldest church in Central America, dating back to 1585. It is a striking building with a robin's-egg-blue birthday cake façade. It houses both an important convent and one of the best museums in the country, with a wonderful display of pre-Columbian statues. Our tour ends with a visit to the Casa de los Leones colonial mansion, which is now a cultural centre.
Day 13
Today enjoy an excursion to Masaya National Park, where you can see Nicaragua’s most accessible active volcano.
 
The hills and elevated flatland (meseta) surrounding the town of Masaya are scattered with huge crater lakes and here you will find a collection of small picturesque white stucco villages known as the Pueblos Blancos ('White Towns').
 
We visit San Juan de Oriente with its unhurried lifestyle, where most residents are skilled in traditional arts and crafts such as ceramics and pottery. We also stop at the nearby town of Catarina, which has spectacular views across the Apoyo Lagoon towards Lake Nicaragua and the Mombacho Volcano, before returning to Granada.
Day 14
Today transfer to Granada Port for a 6-hour excursion to the beautiful Isletas Archipelago, consisting of over 350 small tropical islands situated on Lake Nicaragua.
 
Navigate 40-minute by boat to this spectacularly archipelago, that is covered in lush vegetation and is home to many aquatic birds. These small peaceful islands are accessible only by boat and are inhabited by a rural community.
 
Enjoy an included fish barbeque lunch on Zopango Island, with stunning views over Mombacho Volcano and the bay. Here you can see orchids, rare birds, turtles and many beautiful trees. You can also enjoy kayaking, walking on the island, bird watching and swimming in the lake. In the late afternoon we return to Granada by boat.
Day 15
Transfer 1-hour from Granada to Managua Airport for your flight home.

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