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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 Wildlife Holiday: Tortuguero Turtles + Arenal Sloths + Ostional Beach

Costa Rica Turtles: Tortuguero + Arenal + Ostional Beach
RRD12S
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday Tortuguero Turtles Arenal Sloths Ostional Beach

This fabulous Costa Rica wildlife holiday combines the Tortuguero wetlands on the Caribbean coast, where Green sea turtles nests from July to October, with the rainforests & hanging bridges of Arenal Volcano, where you can see sloths, monkeys & colourful tropical birdlife. Then relax at Nosara, where Olive Ridley turtles nest on Ostional Beach from June to December. All transfers & sightseeing included.

Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday Tortuguero Turtles Arenal Sloths Ostional Beach
• 
Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday
• 
San Jose
• 
Tortuguero Wetlands
• 
Green Sea Turtles
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs
• 
Sloths
• 
Tropical Birds
• 
Nosara Beaches
• 
Ostional Beach
• 
Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday
• 
San Jose
• 
Tortuguero Wetlands
• 
Green Sea Turtles
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs
• 
Sloths
• 
Tropical Birds
• 
Nosara Beaches
• 
Ostional Beach
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 you will be collected from your hotel for a shared half day excursion, walking for 3-miles (5-km) along one of the trails around the base of the volcano.
 
Arenal Volcano rises to 5,250 ft (1,600 m) and towers over the village of La Fortuna. On the morning of 29 July 1968, after having been inactive for three thousand years, it erupted in the most spectacular way. The earth started shaking, clouds of ashes rose into the sky, women washing clothes by the river felt the water becoming hot, and lava started pouring down the side of the volcano.
 
Your guide will explain more about this eruption as you walk along one of the trails through the rainforest, where you can see large lumps of sandy lava rock and view the many plants now growing here, as the rainforest has recovered. At the top of the trail, on a clear day you will have beautiful views over Lake Arenal. There is also a deck at the end of the trail, with postcard views of the volcano.
 
The afternoon is at leisure to relax at your lodge or explore the town. If pre-booked, there is also the option of visiting La Fortuna Waterfall, which plunges down nearly 250 ft (75-m) from a cliff outside the town. Surrounded by lush foliage, the climb down to the waterfall is tough (500 steps) but the view once you get there will be worth the effort. At the bottom there is the opportunity to swim in the cold waters of the surge pool and shallow river at the bottom.
 
Note: Group size 2 to 14 per guide. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars & rain gear. Also sun hat, sunscreen and insect repellent. Bring swimwear and water shoes for the waterfall climb, which is not suitable for anyone with mobility issues.
Day 7
At leisure to explore more of the magnificent surroundings of La Fortuna and Arenal National Park, with its many natural hot springs (pay any entrance fees locally).
 
Optional activities include hiking, mountain biking, zip-lining, horse riding or a gentle cruise down the Penas Blanca River. If you are adventurous, you can try canyoning or thrilling white water rafting down the Rio Balsa (grade 2 & 3 rapids) or Rio Toro (grade 3 & 4 rapids).
 
Day tours are available to the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, the rainforests of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, the turquoise waters of the Rio Celeste, or across the border into Nicaragua to view the Penas Blancas Massif.
Day 8
Today leave La Fortuna and transfer 5-hours, travelling around Lake Arenal and through the beautiful landscapes of Guanacaste province to Nosara.
 
Check into your hotel in this small surfing town situated on the Nicoya Peninsula, with its stunning Pacific Ocean beaches and amazing sunsets.
 
Note: Your driver will only speak Spanish. During the turtle nesting season, on arrival at your lodge you should immediately book your turtle tour for the following night, as these cannot be pre-arranged (pay locally - approx $60 pp).
Days 9 To 11
At leisure to explore the laid-back town of Nosara on the Pacific Coast, where access to the beach is through a 200 m strip of coastal forest where howler monkeys live, as well as armadillos, porcupines, green iguanas, squirrels, wild cats, crabs, pelicans and other wildlife. The Surf Club offers a convenient beach base for a daily fee (pay locally).
 
With its long wide beaches and consistent easy waves, this is one of the best places in the world to learn to surf. It is also a well-known yoga centre. Optional horse riding, snorkelling, fishing, canopy tours or kayaking through the mangroves of Nosara Reserve can be arranged (pay locally).
 
But the reason this town is most famous is because every year on nearby Ostional Beach hundreds of thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtles return to lay their eggs, the second largest nesting site in the world. Turtles nest all year, but from June to December an amazing natural phenomenon occurs known as the 'arribadas' (or 'arrival') – when tens of thousands of turtles coming ashore simultaneously to nest and lay their eggs. This lasts for only a few days and usually occurs around new moon. Seeing a huge sea turtle lumbering ashore to dig a nest and lay her eggs, before returning to sea is an unforgettable experience, with the whole process taking about 1-hour.
 
Note: Nocturnal turtle tours set out at 8 pm and include a 30-minute transfer to Ostional Beach. Wear dark clothing to ensure you do not disturb the turtles, closed shoes and long trousers to protect your legs from mosquitos. Flashlights are not permitted. The best time to visit is around new moon (avoid full moon, as the turtles like the camouflage of darkness).
Day 12
This morning transfer 5-hours from Nosara, travelling through the beautiful scenery of central Costa Rica to San Jose.
 
You will be dropped off at your hotel situated in a location convenient for the airport.
 
Note: Your driver will only speak Spanish.
Day 13
Transfer to San Jose Airport for your flight home.
 
Note: Your driver will only speak Spanish.

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