7 road journeys, longest up to 6hrs. 2 boat journeys
This trip uses modest medium class accommodation in convenient and often delightful locations.
Breakfast daily, lunch days 5, 6, full board days 3, 7 and 8
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
• San José: rainforest aerial tram zip-line
• Pacuare : river rafting
• Arenal : Cerro Chato hike and La Fortuna Falls
• Arenal: mountain biking
• Rio San Juan: jungle expeditions
• Ometepe Island: biking tour
• Ometepe Island: hiking expedition to Maderas volcano
Summary of nights
16 days, 15 nights: San José 2; Pacuare 1; Arenal 3; Rio San Juan 2; Granada 2; Ometepe 3; Nicaragua Pacific coast 2 .
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities.
• International flights from the UK.
• Meals other than specified.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Optional excursions
The unit of currency in Costa Rica is the colón. In Nicaragua it is the córdoba.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$40 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday price, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in San José and Managua airport, and in Granada: taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip and in many shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency in San José and Granada at the beginning of your trip, and possibly some travellers’ cheques, though these are increasingly falling out of use. (American Express cheques are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can exchange sterling but the rate may be unfavourable and there are fewer outlets providing this service. US dollars are accepted as payment in many places.
Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $10 per person for a half day and $20 for a full day for guides and half that for drivers.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be foundon our Travel Insurance page.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
Generally this holiday is suitable for all able, reasonably fit people who are used to an active lifestyle. If you have a disability please contact us.
This itinerary takes you to tropical climes where the sun is strong and temperatures high – often over 30°C. Those travelling between May and October journeys should encounter higher temperatures (around 35°C) and high humidity. It is a bit cooler at higher altitudes. The ‘official’ rainy season is May to October.
Clothing and special equipment
Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes or boots. A waterproof jacket is also necessary. We suggest that you plan to ‘layer’ your clothing; it is more efficient and flexible to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper, and sensible to have long sleeves for areas where mosquitos may be . Sports sandals are a good informal option for evenings. Protection against the sun (sunblock, sun hat) and mosquito repellent are essential and you should bring swimwear. A daypack is useful for carrying around sunblock, guidebook, water and any extra layers. A breathable cycling top with pockets will be useful when rafting as well as biking. A sports strap for sunglasses and small dry back are also recommended.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in Central America.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US, you will need to fill in an application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.
Clients with a different nationality should refer to our Briefing Dossier and check with the Costa Rican and Nicaraguan Consulates.