Costa Rica small group tour

“13-day small group tour of Costa Rica featuring guided nature trails, river boat safaris and eco-lodge accommodation in the biodiverse national parks of the north and on the Pacific coast. Price includes UK flights.”


Rainforest and wetlands in Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge | Corcovado National Park | Diverse forest treks, river safaris and seashore expeditions | Quality eco-lodge accommodation | 500-plus bird species | Unusual and unique fauna, from sloths to quetzcals |
Responsible Travel, Travel Team

Travel Team

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02 Sep 2019
US $4779
excluding flights
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Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Costa Rica small group tour

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 11 nights in a combination of hotels and eco-lodges around Costa Rica. We use fairly small, family run and locally staffed establishments which ensures that we are benefiting local communities. Our local operator is a leading member of the Rainforest Alliance and has been awarded a "4 Leaf" award from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute for their sustainable tourism practice & dedication to improving standards. An example of eco-friendly accommodation on this trip is Macaw Lodge, an eco-resort that is completely off grid and uses solar power to generate all of its electricity. Made of sustainable wood, it fits beautifully with its forest surroundings. We also stay at Luna Lodge which has been awarded a "5 Leaf" award for its sustainable tourism practice. Luna Lodge generates benefits and growth for the community by creating jobs and supporting local small businesses. The hotel also has internal processes for waste management, water and energy saving which it encourages guests to participate in. In addition, during this vacation we supply drinking water in large containers to enable you to re-fill your own bottle, helping to significantly reduce plastic waste. Recycling is widely available and encouraged in Costa Rica.

Being a wildlife based tour, we are very conscious of our effects on the environment and how we can reduce negative impact and aid conservation. On this trip we visit national and private parks, including Los Angeles Cloud Forest, Carara and Corcovado, where entrance fees directly support conservation efforts. We also visit an area called Boca Tapada, where the surrounding rainforest and wetlands have been designated as a biological corridor and provide wildlife habitat for a large diversity of species, including an important nesting site for the endangered Great Green macaw. Whilst in national parks and reserves we are always careful to visit with a naturalist guide who will ensure we adhere to local guidelines, such as sticking to footpaths and respecting the environment, flora and fauna.

Local Craft, Culture and Community:
Although this is a largely nature based trip, we incorporate as much benefit to local people as possible. One of the ways to support local people and boost the economy is to buy crafts in some of the remote regions that we visit, such as Boca San Carlos. Having the opportunity to purchase locally made handicrafts encourages cultural exchange and provides a significant form of alternative income. Guides are careful to explain that any souvenirs on sale over the duration of the trip which are made from animal parts, shells or local hardwoods should not be purchased. Local people are employed in the hotels and restaurants, and products and food supplies are sourced locally so that small communities are supported and directly benefit from our visit. Tour guides and drivers are almost always Costa Rican – they are paid a fair wage and given training opportunities to enhance their knowledge.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

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