Costa Rica is the next big adventure destination for Czech explorers. Especially for families.
Beautiful beaches. Unique wildlife. Volcanoes, cloud forests, hot springs and friendly culture. Costa Rica makes adventure easy for all ages. But don’t follow crowds of American tourists to crowded tourist hotspots and substandard hotels.
Our client wanted the ultimate three-week Costa Rica holiday for his family, combining beach leisure with soft adventure. This is the trip we created.
Day 1 – Flying to Costa Rica
Flight connections to Costa Rica are surprisingly good from Central & Eastern Europe. For example, depart Vaclav Havel Airport at 06:00 and you can arrive in San José, Costa Rica, at 14:35 on the same day. Then it’s a 90-minute road transfer to El Silencio Lodge. You’ll arrive in time for sunset in the cloud forest.
Days 2 – 4 – Cloud Forest Experience at El Silencio Lodge
Hummingbirds flutter in the trees. Waterfalls hide down mountain bike trails. Zip lines take you through the canopy. It’s silent up here, a tranquil place to rest and relax. But the cloud forest is also a place for adventure. So spend three full days enveloped in the atmospheric mists of the cloud forest, connecting with nature.
Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, zip lining…these activities are for every age and you’ll have an eco-concierge. For example, you can go by 4WD to the rim of a volcano! Or do a wildlife night walk! And don’t think cloud forest means roughing it. El Silencio Lodge is very eco focused but it’s also the first Central American member of Relais & Chateaux. So relax, explore and eat well.
Cloud forests are an iconic highlight of Costa Rica. El Silencio Lodge is a perfect first stop. It’s only 90 minutes from San Jose but feels so remote. It’s tucked among the valleys and waterfalls of Bajos del Toro, on its own private reserve next to two national parks.
Day 5 – Nayara Tented Camp
Costa Rica is famous for volcanoes and the most famous of all is Arenal. Wander its green foothills and along fresh lava trails, looking up at its perfectly conical shape. From Nayara Tented Camp you have the perfect view. Wild sloths cling to the trees here. Wonderful spa treatments take place in natural hot springs. Outdoor hot tubs hide in the rainforest. For five nights you have a private plunge pool, a view onto the volcano, and the perfect base for exploring Arenal.
Days 6 – 9 – The Costa Rica Volcano Experience
Arenal is adventure galore. Start with a private trip over the Arenal Hanging Bridges to La Fortuna waterfall, the most iconic experience in Costa Rica. The next morning you’ll go river rafting in the national park, another example of how this country makes the experience both adventurous and comfortable, regardless of your age. It’s so serene, drifting through the national park, then you hit some rapids, before a picnic out in nature.
Take a private hike on Arenal Volcano, with a picnic lunch, a family photoshoot session. You can hike all the way to the summit, but there are many amazing trails that are easier for young kids. Add in zip lines, mountain bikes, all the natural hot springs, two spas at Nayara Tented Camp. Really you could spend two weeks here!
Days 10 – 13 Welcome to Nowhere and Four Days at Origins Lodge
If you’re looking for the hottest new thing in travel it might just be here. A new lodge, far down an unpaved road in Costa Rica’s rural northwest. Forest, mountain, wilderness and a chance to disconnect from the world. So laze in a fire-heated hot tub with a view over Lake Nicaragua.
Costa Rica is becoming a popular destination but Origins Lodge will never be overcrowded. You’re staying in a deluxe bungalow, inside the mountainous forest, with in-room cuisine provided by Michelin-starred Jean-Luc L’Hourre.
Horses wander the grounds. There’s an infinity pool and meditation labyrinth. You can do nothing. You can enjoy intimate family time. And you can explore a part of the world that’s yet to be populated or explored. Origins Lodge is perfect when you want to create your own adventure – on foot, by bike, on the river or at night.
Day 14 – The Pacific Ocean Beach and Andaz Papagayo
Did you know that Costa Rica has both a Pacific Ocean and Caribbean coastline. The finest beaches and hotels are on the Pacific side and Papagayo is established as the best destination for a five-star Costa Rica beach stay.
We like Four Seasons Peninsula Papagayo and Kasiiya Papagayo, but for this ultimate Costa Rica holiday we recommended Andaz Papagayo, because our clients value properties with a very unique style – the suites were designed by Ronald Zurcher to resemble local shells and cocoons.
Days 15 – 21 – A Week of Jungle Beach Time
In general we recommend all three of these Papagayo properties. The setting is magnificent, service and room quality are very high, and you will find five-star luxury with the feeling of a completely untouched beach paradise.
Here the beaches don’t have footprints. There are no crowds in the waves. Thick green jungle covers the cliffs and hides you from the tourist masses. It’s only when you travel to somewhere like Costa Rica that you realise just how amazing a beach holiday can be.
This is not like a beach holiday in Europe, it’s a beach holiday other people will be jealous of. And you have the Pacific to explore, especially on a beach hopping day trip by 15-metre yacht. For the rest of the week there’s not much more to say – you’re in paradise.
Day 22 – Returning Home
How do you return home from paradise? Well, good news, Papagayo is close to Liberia International Airport. It’s a 14-hour flight from Liberia to Prague via Zurich, with Swiss.
Your Ultimate Costa Rica Holiday
This is an itinerary we arranged for our clients who had three weeks to explore Costa Rica. It’s fully customised to them and the needs of their family. What do you want to explore in Costa Rica? Ask us to plan your ultimate holiday. We’ll guide you through different options, including many secrets we only share in person with clients.
Volcano. Cloud forest. Wildlife. And some of the best beaches on the planet. Are you ready to explore Costa Rica? Go there soon, before everybody else discovers the country.