11586
Costa Rica
The Best of Costa Rica: Exploring Natural Wonders
With more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity, 121 volcanic formations, 801 miles of coastline and hundreds of endemic birds, Costa Rica is a true Mecca for nature lovers to explore.
Rating (5)
Program No. 11586RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
2,499
Special Offer
Flights start at
455
89 Reviews
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5 Average
Joan
(5)
The Best of Costa Rica Natural Wonders is a fantastic tour. A perfect combination of learning and activities. Our guide was the best - so knowledgeable about his country!
Ursula
(5)
Really enjoyed Costa Rica with our guide Cristian. Our primary interest was birding and it did not disappoint. The people in our group, our instructors, hotel staff were all lovely; genuinely friendly and welcoming. Watching kindergarteners 'graduate' was precious.
Paul
(5)
"Pura vida"--catch it!
Robert
(5)
This program is very "nature" oriented. If you love birding and seeing mammals, reptiles and birds in their natural habitat, then this trip is for you. The hotels in the nature reserves added a special event - being awakened by Howler Monkeys and having White Faced Monkeys watch you eat breakfast. The rain becomes part of the experience and did not impact the trip at all.
Jim
(5)
The Best of Costa Rica: Exploring Natural Wonders was the very best Road Scholar trip I have experienced. Lead by a skilled, highly effective guide experienced nature at its best, most interesting, see animals unique to that region, including sighting the very rare sighting of a jaguar. I was active every day. Well fed. Tried each night and eager for more each morning. Great adventure! Thank you Road Scholar and Holbrook Travel.
Charles
(5)
Excellent leadership and an exciting adventure with wonderful people! Exceeded all expectations! The speakers contributed to the program theme and the accommodations were outstanding! Thank you Edwin Ramirez for your knowledge, patience and leading us to the best discoveries! Pura Vida!
Spurgeon
(5)
Costa Rica natural wonders is an exceptional program showing the broad biodiversity across the country. Extremely informative and engaging for all. Our guide was exceptional in every way making for the most enjoyable experience ever.
Gerald
(5)
We wanted to experience the flora and fauna of Costa Rica's rain forest. We got to see lot's of bird varieties and animals. We stayed several nights in "eco hotels" that had no AC, but the nights were cool and we could hear the birds and monkeys through the open windows.
Therese
(5)
This program is excellent. You are given information about the history and culture along with flora and fauna.
Stephanie
(5)
I was able to cover much of the country of Costa Rica in 12 days! Saw amazing wildlife and nature every single day, let by an amazing guide!
Irene
(5)
This program gives a very thorough understanding of different of many diverse areas of Costa Rica and it's biology and history.
Crystal
(5)
This was an excellent trip to Costa Rica. It is great for seeing nature, learning about Costa Rica, seeing all the different areas. The lodges are all wonderful places to stay at. Our tour guide, Javier, was an excellent leader, very knowledgeable, kind and caring.
Robin
(5)
We could not have been more pleased with our Road Scholar trip to Costa Rica! The gorgeous landscape, wildlife, and lovely Costa Rican people were a delight at every turn. Our guide, Edwin Ramirez, and guide-in-training Wendy made our experience remarkable. Their expertise, warmth, and professionalism are to be commended! Even our bus driver, Alvaro, was superb! We highly recommend this program!
Barbara
(5)
I would recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in Costa Rica. It is a beautiful county that strives to have a better "carbon footprint" in the next few years.
Mary
(5)
A wonderful experience! Great leadership and wonderful accommodations.
Lorrie
(5)
The Costa Rica Natural Wonders Program was a very enjoyable learning experience and a fun vacation. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about the ecology and wildlife of this beautiful Central American country, I made new friends. I am blown away by the knowledge, sense of humor and warmth of our guide. Our van driver was also very knowledgable and extremely courteous and helpful. If you want to see alot and learn alot in a beautiful, warm, welcoming place I highly recommend this trip!
June
(5)
This program offers a wide variety of experiences and exposure to many parts of the country. Although there are many miles covered by bus, rest stops are well planned and additional commentary by the guide adds interest. If you are interested in nature (plants, animals and birds) this is the trip to take. Walking trips were nicely paced with much stopping to look (and learn). I rate this as one of my all time favorite trips.
Eleanor
(5)
The trip was outstanding. We saw so many more turtles, plants, animals and birds than I would have expected. Edwin was an excellent and knowledgeable guide, and Hector, our bus driver, was very helpful. It rained but it didn't bother us. Great Trip
Barbara
(5)
We had a FABULOUS 12 day trip to Costa Rica with Road Scholar. We saw so much Magnificent Rainforest, lots of monkeys PLUS much more. Our first major stop Tortuguera was my favorite. – This is one of the few places in the world where the green sea turtles go to lay their eggs. We were there at the right time of year, and actually saw a female turtle lay her eggs (80-100) and cover them with sand from the beach. Afterwards they return to the sea. The eggs are left to hatch into turtles, and return to the sea (if lucky). We adopted a turtle - her name is Bobbi. In Tortugueroa- we didn't need an alarm clock - the Howler monkeys let you know the sun has risen. Other highlights of the trip included the cloud forest, Arenal Volcano, a crocodile and bird excursion, river rafting, and more. Our fellow travels were all very friendly and our group leader did an excellent job of meeting the diverse needs of our group. Food, accommodations, travel vehicles, places seen and educational component were all great. We highly recommend visiting Costa Rica. Over 25% of the country has been set aside to retain its natural state. For more details call Road Scholar, and then book yourself a trip of a lifetime. Costa Rica with Road Scholar was such an enlightening and invigorating; we can’t wait to book another trip with Road Scholar.
Richard
(5)
Perfect for a first time visit to Costa Rica. You see a lot of the country in a short time. If there is a place you really like, you can return when you make your second visit.
Cynthia
(5)
This program really does include the best of Costa Rica--from the two sea shores to the mountains and everything in-between. It is an active program with not an abundance of free time and lots of time for interacting with the people of Costa Rica at the sites we visited.
Elizabeth
(5)
What a great adventure! I was amazed and awestruck at the variety of flora and fauna the group saw. I was overwhelmed daily with a sense of gratitude at being able to discover and experience this beautiful part of the world.
Penelope
(5)
My email is not letting me answer your questionnaire. This was my first Road Scholar trip and I could not have asked for a better trip!The guide, Cristian Gamboa, was outstanding! He was very knowledgeable about the flora & fauna as well as many other things(about Costa Rica) which we asked him. His English was excellent. The group was very compatible & curious about everything. We had fun! Even the bus driver, Frank, would point things out to us. Sometimes we stopped if something interesting was occurring. The variety of places we visited were diverse & varied as were the accomodations. My travels went smoothly,also. I have a small criticism: the National Geographic map & the travel guide were useless & expensive. The folder we were given on site had a good map which Cristian marked for any of us who wanted it.
Wendy
(5)
Wonderful tour- amazing birds, animals, fauna, new friends, and the most outstanding guides every- our walking encyclopedia- here's to you Wendy and Pedro! http://wwatling.zenfolio.com/p188610176
Ray
(5)
I have guided many tours myself and was very impressed with every aspect of our Costa Rica experience. I plan to participate many more times with Road Scholar.
Mary Jo
This reviewer did not give a star rating.
My first Road Scholar trip surpassed all expectations. Awesome would be an understatement. Our tour guide Christian could not have done a better job. I'm sold on Costa Rica and Road Scholar. Can't wait to book my next trip which will be this year too.
Suellen
(5)
I loved the combination of actual experiences with informative guided walks and lectures. We experienced the incredible diversity of climate zones, vegetation, plants, animals, birds, and butterflies in such a tiny country. Our guide was knowledgable and personable and the other people on the tour were friendly and interesting. It was an unforgettalbe experience!
Mike
(5)
This was our fourth Road Scholar trip in Costa Rica. We have enjoyed them all. We have had new worthwhile learning experiences every time. The quality of guides, talks, drivers, fellow travelers, and accommodations remains consistently high.
Rod
This reviewer did not give a star rating.
The itinerary has been very well developed. The focus is on biodiversity so our visits have been to organic growers (coffee, pineapple, and a general farm). We’ve had lectures by experts along the way and they’ve given us backgrounds on how Costa Rica is developing their national parks to enhance the various wildlife ‘corridors’ to preserve the wildlife. We had stops that start on the eastern side of the country and traverse all the way to the Pacific side. The daily pace of the tour is jam packed…which I love. We get to see alot and each stop has been carefully thought out to offer us a key element in the various biological areas in Costa Rica. The daily pace is also well thought out. We often started the day with an optional 6am bird walk .. usually just around the hotels. We then would have breakfast at 7 then we leave for the morning activity at 8am. The bus rides were fine. The bus was comfortable although the leg room was limited for my 6 ft. 3 in husband who was really only comfortable in the very back seats .. which wasn’t a problem. What made the trip AMAZING were the leaders. The main lead, Pedro was extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and is amazingly good at spotting the wild life (try finding a 2 inch green-black frog in a rainforest at night). He was kind, efficient, knowledgeable, had a great scope that brought monkeys, birds, etc very close. He was also patient. When you are leading twenty ‘older’ people around for 2 weeks, patience is an absolute requirement. He handled everything with patience and respect. These issues ran the gamut of keys locked in rooms, malfunctioning room safes, straggling guests, guests who got irritated due to fatigue, medical issues, etc. There was a second leader, Wendy, who is also very well versed in the area and the wildlife. She was in training for her own stint as a lead and I know she’ll be great! Words of caution..it was hot and humid. Be prepared for it - hat, water bottle, sun screen, dark glasses.
Carol
(5)
This program was very informative and was a great overview of all different regions of Costa Rica from the Caribbean up over the continental divide and down to the Pacific. Our guide, Pedro, was extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of Cost Rica's natural world and was also just a delightful person. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to experience the natural world of Costa Rica up and close.
Susan
(5)
This trip was quite educational as well as fun. The accommodations exceeded my expectations and were quite satisfactory. The schedule is quite full, despite a lot of time on the bus, and took a little more energy than I expected. The guide, Chris, was simply outstanding.
Ellen
(5)
This trip far exceeded my expectations. The activities were varied and the participants and tour guide were wonderful. Costa Rica is not to be missed. I never thought of myself as a bird watcher, but found myself gettting up early most mornings for the optional 6:00 am walks. This was my first bio-tourist experience and I loved every moment.
Richard
(5)
Excellent tour providing a great view of Cost Rican wildlife and culture.
Casey
(5)
Our leader (Cristian) was outstanding and the lecturers and on-site presentations were informative and enjoyable. A wonderful trip!
Virginia
(5)
We chose the longest CR trip to see as much of the country as we could. Tortuguero and San Gerardo are both worth the effort it takes to get to these remote locations. We rate this Road Scholar trip an A+.
Stuart
(5)
It would be difficult to pick just one or two items as to why I would recommend this trip. First of all, if you were only going to take one trip to Costa Rica, this tour seems to cover key sights and geography of Costa Rica. From the city of San Jose, to the coastal canals of Tortuguero, to the rain forests of the Arenal region, to the Pacific Beach coast and dry tropical forest of Punta Leona and finally into a mountain valley at San Gerardo de Dota, one leaves Costa Rica with a full picture of the country. Secondly, the quality of our guide, highly knowledgeable, caring and he had a great personality. Thirdly, the trip had nice hotels and great food. And finally, the tour consisted of a fantastic group of fellow travelers to share the adventure.
James
(5)
The "Best of Costa Rica" tour was extraordinarily well planned and well executed. Our guide was exceptionally well prepared and very helpful and considerate. The variety of landscapes and wildlife experienced far exceeded my expectations and the tour physically challenged this too-sedentary 78 year old by just the right amount. Highly recommended!
Sharon
(5)
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent trip to Costa Rica. Our leader, Pedro, was excellent and knowledgeable about the country and natural wonders and wildlife! I highly recommend the trip.
Deb
(5)
Costa Rica has been on my "to visit" list for a long time. I wanted a guided introduction to the amazing diversity of the country and I got that and so much more through this trip. I have a long list of new birds and animals and insects seen. Our leader was very skilled in orienting us to the different life zones and webs of interactions. I can hardly wait to go back and focus on some of my favorite regions.
Kenneth
(5)
A super experience. Highly recommend using Road Scholar for future trips. They cover everything, are well organized and thorough. Can't wait to go with them someplace else.
Jaydene
(5)
I loved the Costa Rica trip that my husband and took. It could not have been better.
Sally
(5)
I would highly recommend this trip to Costa Rica. You will get a good perspective of the country and visit a variety of places rich in biodiversity and natural wonder.
Gary
(5)
If you're on the fence deciding what program to choose, you have arrived. The education, inspiration, and fun you'll have is priceless and the accommodations superb. Worth every penny and SO much more!
Rodman
(5)
This program is for those who want to learn about the creation of the isthmus of Panama and how the bio-diversity of the area affects us all. The flora and fauna of Costa Rica are unequalled anywhere in the world for the amount of land mass encompassed
Joann
(5)
Tomas was an outstanding guide. He is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He made it both educational and enjoyable!
Terry
(5)
We had visited Costa Rica before (on our own at a resort) but had seen very little of the country. With this tour we were able to visit many places and a variety of different locations in Costa Rica. From the Alantic Ocean, rivers, mountains (above 10,000 feet), different types of rain forests to transitional forest areas, the Pacific Ocean, many bird species, three species of Monkey. Saw different species of reptiles. If you like nature this is the tour for you. Overall this was one of our best trips ever. We were not ready to come home!
Martha
(5)
Costa Rica is a wonderfully hospitable nation with amazing biodiversity. The fact that they stress sustainability and eco-tourism is a definite plus!
Annette
(5)
A wonderful experience! Costa Rica is a beautiful country.
Theodore
(5)
An excellent tour with plenty of chances to see amazing wildlife and better understand ecosystems and their importance.
Kathleen
(5)
I would recommend this vacation/experience for anyone! The program is well planned. We learned a lot, met new friends, have a great time, and all enjoyed ourselves.
James
(5)
Loved the trip! I would recommend this vacation for anyone!
Archibald
(5)
This trip is a great way to get a quick look at the biodiversity of this beautiful country. The trip also includes a great overview of the country as a whole.
Monica
(5)
WOW! is all I can say. Costa Rica is an incredibly diverse place. This program was amazing. I can't say enough about our leaders Pedro and Wendy. They were knowledgeable and attentive. Their enthusiasm was contagious. As a single woman travelling alone, I felt comfortable and included in everything.
John
(5)
The instructors were professional and friendly. Other citizens of Costa Rica were also friendly. A wonderful program that allowed me to see a diverse set of flora and fauna.
Margaret
(5)
Touring Costa Rica with Roger Melendez ... what more can you ask for! You may not get to see the green turtle laying her eggs on the beach a Tortugero or a nest of baby turtles running to the ocean but it is still an educational, delicious, amazing trip. You may even see the resplendent quetzal and get a photo. We did!
Margaret
(5)
Go! Costa Rica is an amazing place . Our guide Roger was so knowledgeable and made us all feel comfortable .
Laurie
(5)
Had an excellent Road Scholar adventure to Costa Rica. Our guide, Roger, was the best! The country is beautiful and unbelievably diverse. Traveling, meeting new people from other countries & fellow travelers, makes me a better person.
Kathryn
(5)
This Costa Rica trip presented a wonderful sampling of the country, its people, its cuisine, and a wonderful balance of birding and other activities. If you enjoy a diverse program combined with some leisure time, this is the trip for you.
Janet
(5)
We thoroughly enjoyed this trip, even more than we had expected. It was at the urging of friends and family that we went. Our reluctance was because we live in SW Florida, have traveled in Belize, Guatemala, British Virgin Islands and the Amazon. The Costa Rica trip had much variety of terrain, activities, accommodations, lectures/presentations. Our naturalist guide Erick was the best, the group small enough (17) and despite going during the rainiest month of the year, October, it only rained when it didn't matter. And, it was low tourist season which made it perfect. We enjoyed this trip more than we did the Amazon (with a different company).
Helen
(5)
Outstanding experience visiting what may be the most beautiful country in the world!
Christiane
(5)
This program is exactly as it it titled; The Best. Our group of 16 truly explored natural wonders. Our guide, Jorge Mario,is an amazing leader and instructor. His knowledge is beyond expectation and his people skills are friendly, comforting and organized. Seeing the Green Sea Turtle building a nest and laying her eggs was incredible. I highly recommend this program to those who can meet the activity level and early hours.
Lynn
(5)
Exploring Natural Wonders gave an excellent introduction to several of Costa Rica's life zones. The program was well-organized, run like clockwork, and the group was ably cared for by Edwin, our extremely knowledgeable tour guide and Frank, our driver. By the end of the 12 days Edwin's 19 chickadees (participants) did indeed seem like familia. The highlight of the program was watching the green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs under the moonlight; the nadir was the puerile coffee presentation at Café Brit.
Nora
(5)
Great trip for an overview of a wonderful country. Need to go back and find the Squirrel Monkeys next time. The wildlife was amazing!!!
Terri
(5)
This Road Scholar program was excellent. Road Scholar took such great care of us and every little detail was handled. This was a very learning program and there were lots of activities to participate in.
Suzanne
(5)
Pura Vida! Costa Rica is a tiny jewel of a country with enormous treasures. In just 12 days we went from lowland rainforest to mountain tops to the Pacific beach to cloudforest and more! Saw more birds, animals and plants than I thought possible, and met the nicest people you could imagine. This trip is well organized, paced, and led. Erick is an excellent guide and more. I can't give him enough praise. Our driver Ramone was competent and was a welcome addition to our small group. Rainy season? I lugged my huge camping rain parka all over the place and never needed it. And a good dousing of deet every morning took care of the biting bugs. The educational program included exceptional lecturers and I feel really enriched and can't wait to go back to this beautiful place. Best trip ever!
Tom
(5)
Costa Rica is inspiring, and I cannot recommend it highly enough: the wildlife and natural beauty were spectacular as expected, but the deep knowledge and appreciation of the environment and society exhibited by virtually everyone we encountered took me by surprise; there is much to be learned by visiting this very friendly, justifiably proud country.
Robert
(5)
We, my wife and I, had never been on a Road Scholar tour and did not know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are considering other tours.
Barry
(5)
Fantastic program that gives a great overview of CR. Found out that I (Tally) don't do well in humidity--and it was the "dry" season! Also, it would help to be a morning person. However, we're both very glad we went, and I have fantastic pictures to remember the experience.
Hartmut
(5)
An excellent adventure trip full of great rain forest and coastal wilderness. Great hotels, fine food and few mosquitoes!
Leonard
(5)
Exceptionally informative content, coherent organization and inspiring speakers, all in an amazing environment. The tour leader was a shining example of teaching at its best. Sharon & Len S.
Lori
(5)
Excellent program to get a broad view of Costa Rica. Many exciting experiences enhanced our trip. We found it to be very educational but great fun at the same time. We were constantly busy doing interesting aactivities.
Mira
(5)
I recently traveled with Road Scholars in Costa Rica and would urge travelers not to fear the Zita virus. We traveled in February and did not encounter any misquotes in the daytime when the variety that carries this virus is active. I believe that only pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, or people with compromised immune systems should be concerned about the Zita virus.
John
(5)
This program provides an excellent introduction to the natural history of Costa Rica and its ecological recovery efforts. You will explore the entire broad range od diverse envoronments in a short period of time.
Carol
(5)
The Best of Costa Rica: Exploring Natural Wonders program gave us the opportunity to see the diversity in topography, botany and biology that Costa Rica is famous for. We observed many plants and animals from a river boat or while walking in a forest. We also learned about the history and culture of the country when we participated in field trips and lectures. Everything we did was fun and educational. We didn't experience any problems with mosquitoes or other insects. The insect repellent was the only item that we never unpacked! It was a wonderful trip.
Hazel
(5)
A very enjoyable, informative, trip through a beautiful nation.
Joseph
(5)
An informative and enjoyable trip to a beautiful country.
Charlotte
(5)
If you're interested in learning about the flora and fauna that live in tropical rain forests, cloud forests and on or near the shore or mountains where there is more diversity of plants and animals than anywhere else, this is the trip for you! Take your camera and/or binoculars. This is a casual trip; no need for anything fancy, just lightweight, quick-drying layers plus a sweatshirt for the cloud forest, a poncho for rain, and a hat with a chin strap for the sun and wind. Pura Vida!
Rebecca
(5)
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore a beautiful country with so much biodiversity. There is beauty, adventure, surprises and excitement everywhere you go.
Claire
(5)
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and I am amazed at how much we saw and did during our 13 days. We learned so much about the birds and plants and animals. Our guide Pedro Bosques was superb and our driver Omar as well. We had plenty of room on the bus for the 16 people in our group and the hotels and meals were all very good. Costa Rica is a beautiful unique country and well worth a visit. The people in our group just added to the fun!
Jane
(5)
What a fabulous trip! It was everything we had hoped it would be and made even better by our wonderful guide, Dee. We couldn't have asked for a better team leader and she was filling in for someone else at that! We enjoyed the diversity of activities and loved the wildlife.
Seiko
(5)
Costa Rica is a very diverse country. It is small enough so that on a trip such as this one you are able to experience the essence of the diversity. Great trip!
Mark
(5)
This was my first guided tour and I was a little aprehensive. I'd traveled to many countries on my own, and was interested to see what the guided / group experience was like. I'm happy to report that it exceeded my expectations. In 13 days the group got to see a small but representative portion of Costa Rica's amazing diversity. Having the worlds best guide and excellent lectureres also added to the experience. Going with a small group worked well and we were all able to access and learn from our guide and instructors. The ability to see and experience nature close up helped understand what the country is trying to do with Ecotourism and they are to be commended. We saw over 125 bird species, many sloths and other interesting animals. I highly recommend visiting Costa Rica and going with Road Scholar.
Veronica
(5)
Veronica from Massachusetts Just returned from the "Exploring Natural Wonders" trip with Luis Vargas as our amazing tour guide. As Getta said, if you love exploring the natural world and having fun while you do it, this is the trip for you. The tropical rain and cloud forests were stunning - real jungle!The Caribbean and Pacific coasts were beautiful. The high mountains and the volcanoes brought even more diversity to the birds and animals and plants we saw. We travelled over a 12,000' range. There is time for other fun such as white water rafting. The lectures were always interesting and most were actually inspiring as people spoke about how they have worked over decades to protect and restore the wild life and the natural forests of Costa Rica. Small group. Very knowledgeable guide who was not only passionate about protecting wild life but also fun, entertaining and respectful and supportive to all members of the group. Loved this trip.
Susan
(5)
Our trip to Costa Rica lived up to its advertising. It was educational and fun. We learned alot, experienced some beautiful parts of the country led by an excellent guide, Luis Vargas, and traveled with an excellent and safe bus driver through some interesting roads. The variation in the destinations was great - highlands, lowlands, oceans, volcanoes, rain forest and cloud forest. We got the maximum out of our 12 days together. And we were exposed to tons of animals, plants, and terrain. All and all - a photographer's dream! Thank you!
Georgetta
(5)
"The Best of Cost Rica: Exploring Natural Wonders".If you are interested in a trip with a variety of ecosystems, many chances to see birds, mammals, flowers, trees, etc. led by an exceptional leader and which includes great accommodations, food, educational content and the chance to meet the wonderful Costa Rican people, this trip is for you. Nothing is too strenuous for most folks of a certain age and you will learn a great deal. You will see two coasts, the cloud forest, the highlands and much more.
Linda
(5)
This program wa delightful, very interesting and educational, Roger was a well-informed, thoughtful, patient guide, accommodations were great, food was too good, and the program was just as described in the catalog, only better. If you are a birder, try to get Roger, oh, just try to get Roger for a guide whether you are a birder, or not.
Lawrence
(5)
Costa Rica is treasure, inviting, well equiped for tourism and a joy to behold.
Kathy
(5)
This program is rich in the diversity of the geography, the history and the activities provided...from beach to mountains, from hiking to riverboat!
Elaine
(5)
The tour enriched my Costa Rican experience. If I had travelled on my own there are many things I would have missed seeing - especially flora, fauna and animals. I would also not have had as much knowledge about Costa Rica's history.





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