In Search of Whales and Turtles

San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America, Americas

From $1,316 for 13 nights
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How is it eco?
The detail

"Using expert local knowledge to discover amazing wildlife, sounds good to me? Let alone you'll be visiting some of the best Costa Rica has to offer!"

Every year, between July and October, a pod of Antarctic Humpback Whales migrates to Costa Rica; here, in the warm tropical waters off Dominical Beach, the mothers give birth to their calves. This expedition provides the optimal opportunity to spot pods of whales and their calves in their natural habitat; spy hopping, fin slapping, breaching and fluke flipping – it’s the ultimate whale-watching experience! Costa Rica’s coastline is also renowned as a turtle hotspot, with four different species making their homes on the country’s golden beaches.

Uncover the natural treasures of Costa Rica as you tour its most popular areas, including Dominical Beach (an ideal surfing and whale watching spot), Manuel Antonio Park and Tortuguero. This tour isn’t limited to whale and turtle watching - there’s also the chance to explore the magnificent cloud forest, frog ponds and waterfalls of the Monteverde Biological Reserve. You can also enjoy a thrilling zip-line tour, and take some time to explore the gorgeous Manuel Antonio Park trails that twist from the coast up to the mountains. Of course, the whales and turtles are why we’re all here - you’ll never forget your first sight of the humpback’s tail fluke, so don’t miss out!

To learn more about whale-watching in Costa Rica, click here!

Our local Costa Rican partners have various recycling, electricity-saving and water efficiency initiatives to help minimise waste and reduce emissions. They also work to replant native trees, helping to regenerate natural habitats.

To address the social and economic pillars of sustainability, they aim to bring benefits to local communities by hiring local guides, ensuring that revenue stays within destination communities. The company has also improved its commitment to social responsibility by adapting tours to meet the requirements of people with disabilities.

Finally, our partners also promote programmes like the CST (Certification of Tourism Sustainability) and The Blue Flag Ecology Program - programmes that aim to protect the environment for future generations whilst also providing education relating to sustainable practices.

This further verifies our Costa Rican experiences above and beyond our own world rating system!

Day 1
day 1

Arrive at San Jose prepared to begin your Costa Rican journey! You will be met and transferred to the Hotel Park Inn before the real experience starts after breakfast in the morning.

Day 2
day 2

You will receive your fully insured 4x4 model (yours for eight days!), before departing for Dominical Beach. Known for its huge waves ideal for surfing, the area is also a popular spot for dolphin and whale watching. Tonight you will be staying at the Hotel Villas Rio Mar to enjoy 4* luxury before a truly exciting day ahead.

Day 3
day 3

Enjoy an unforgettable guided tour at Dominical Beach and see schools of dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. The period between July and October is the time in which the humpback whales migrate to have their calves, making it the perfect time to experience the true joys of Costa Rican wildlife. End your evening back at the Hotel Villas Rio Mar.

Day 4
day 4

Today you will head to the renowned Manuel Antonio National Park and enjoy the phenomenal hiking trails of the area. Keep an eye out for wildlife including the white-faced capuchin monkey and the three-toed sloth, or simply relax on the pristine white sand beaches. Spend the evening at the Hotel Costa Verde.

Day 5
day 5

Visit the magical Monteverde Biological Reserve; you will be on cloud nine as you enjoy hikes through the unique cloud forest. Learn about the creatures that inhabit the forest with informative local tour guides who can identify the birds by their call. Relax at the end of the day at the 4* Hotel Costa Verde.

Day 6
day 6

Enjoy another day spent in Monteverde, allowing you to explore the area that is rife with wildlife. You can also explore the natural reserves or take an exhilarating zip line tour - if that wipes you out you can later relax in the natural hot springs. Tonight you will stay at the Hotel Heliconia.

Day 7-8
day 7-8

Travel to Arenal, home to what was the most active volcano in Costa Rica! Hike the trails and enjoy the spectacular sights before relaxing in the hot springs, surrounded by tropical gardens. End the evening at the Hotel Volcano Lodge.

Day 9
day 9

Head off to Tortuguero and enjoy a traditional Costa Rican breakfast before you begin a pleasant exploration of the banana plantations and learn about the community with a tour of the local villages. Later you can enjoy a canoe cruise up the canals until you reach the Pachira Lodge for some welcome drinks and lunch. There’s even a museum, beach and Tortuguero town to discover, so you can use your own intuition and explore the area in whichever way you please! Whatever you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful experience.

Day 10
day 10

Another day in Tortuguero in which you can trek the tropical trails and enjoy another canal tour. In the evening (and only during the nesting season of July to October) there will be the opportunity to enjoy the sights of the sea turtles hatching and heading back out to the sea!

Day 11-12
day 11-12

You will be situated in Puerto Viejo de Limon for the next two days, so take your time to explore the area. Choose to visit the national parks, or simply recline on the beach and enjoy the Costa Rican climate.

Day 13
day 13

Head back to San Jose to explore the city for the final time on your tour. Make sure you’re fresh for your flight back tomorrow though!

Day 14
day 14

Return your rented 4x4 and head to the airport for your flight home.

Rate Conditions

  • Price shown is based on double occupancy (2 adults sharing) during the low season
  • Create an enquiry to find out more about this tour's departure dates and costs
  • Price shown is with taxes included
  • Prices may change due to rate change from providers or lack of availability where a change could imply an extra cost


  • 11 x nights of lodging with breakfast included
  • Excursion to see dolphins and whales (during the season from July to October)
  • A three-day/two-night guided tour to Tortuguero (including transportation, accommodation, meals, guide, entrance to the National Park, and an excursion along the canals and the town)
  • Daihatsu Bego 4×4 for 10 days (with full cover insurance)


  • International flights
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Services not mentioned in the itinerary - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' to chat directly to the operator!

Area & Location

San Jose, Costa Rica
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enquiry form
We will keep all your information confidential and only contact you in relation to your enquiry. We respond to all enquiries within 24 hours.