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Central Pacific

 

Easy accessible by road, Costa Rica's Central Pacific region offers beautiful beaches with azure waters, lush rainforests, national parks and exciting wildlife.

From Puntarenas up north to Uvita in the south, the Central Pacific is one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations due to its proximity to San Jose and the Central Valley. 

This region is the perfect getaway for those seeking relaxation or adventure in Costa Rica. 

Surfing on Playa Jaco and Playa Hermosa beaches, whale and dolphin watching tours in the Marino Ballena National Park are popular off-shore activities, along with sport fishing and scuba diving. 

The much-loved Manuel Antonio National Park is home to some of the best beaches in Costa Rica along with exotic flora and fauna.

 

Discover Central Pacific

Trogon Lodge

Boutique lodge just 11 km from Los Quetzales National Park, Costa Rica’s newest national park - ideal for Birders.

Resplendant Quetzals
Birders Heaven
2 Nights from
£157pp
View
Transfer from San Jose

Hacienda AltaGracia

Boutique hacienda in exceptionally beautiful ‘Valle de General’ region - scenery, exceptional cuisine, spa, activities.

Homestyle Luxury
Luxury Hacienda
2 Nights from
£304pp
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Includes Transfers & Breakfast

La Cusinga Lodge

Offering spectacular ocean views, La Cusinga Lodge is surrounded by pristine rainforests. It is located withing walking distance of Playa de Arco.

Eco-lodge & Beach Experience
Uvita & Ballena Marine Park
7 Nights from
£1108pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Alma del Pacífico

Set on Esterillos Beach, the exclusive Alma del Pacífico Beach Hotel & Spa offers colourful villas with 2 private pools and a hot tub each.

Great Value Luxury Holidays
Central Pacific Coast
7 Nights from
£1234pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Arenas Del Mar

Luxury boutique beach resort by two beaches, within walking distance of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Manuel Antonio National Park
Luxury Boutique Resort
7 Nights from
£1234pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Gaia Hotel & Reserve

Offering spectacular ocean views, this luxury boutique hotel is located close to beautiful beaches and surrounded by pristine nature.

Luxury Boutique Hotel
Manuel Antonio Beach
7 Nights from
£1596pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Kura Design Villas

6 private luxury villas in a lush rainforest setting, with sweeping views over Bahia Ballena - ideal for honeymooners.

Honeymoon Heaven
Luxury Private Villas
5 Nights from
£2934pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Unique Costa Rica

This tailor-made tour offers a different side of Costa Rica. Explore some of the most exciting destinations in Costa Rica.

Nature and Beach Holidays
A different Costa Rica
11 Nights from
£1575pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Costa Rica Family Holiday

This tailor-made family tour offers an exciting oportunity to discover Costa Rica's most beautiful places. 

Costa Rica for Families
Adventure & Beach Holidays
12 Nights from
£1885pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Costa Rica Nature & Beach

Combine Arenal & Monteverde with Manuel Antonio on a 13 day trip combining a few days touring with a relaxing beach stay.

Includes Manuel Antonio
Arenal & Monteverde
12 Nights from
£1995pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Taste of Costa Rica

Discover a taste of Costa Rica - coffee, volcanoes, hot springs, canopy walkways, national parks, idyllic beach.

Beach stay at Manuel Antonio
Discover Costa Rica
12 Nights from
£2095pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Relaxing Costa Rica

Discover some of Costa Rica's most beautiful places on a relaxing nature and beach twin coast holiday.

Nature & Beach Holiday
Pacific & Caribbean
12 Nights from
£2195pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Volcano, Forest & Beach

Discover some of Costa Rica's most beautiful places on a relaxing nature and beach twin coast holiday.

Best of Costa Rica
Nature & Beach Holiday
12 Nights from
£2295pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Costa Rica & Panama Cruise

Unforgettable experience cruising along Central America's Pacific Coast. From Costa Rica to Panamá, discover amazing wildlife and pristine nature.

Cross the Legendary Panamá Canal
Boutique Cruise
9 Nights from
£3995pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Damas Island Kayak

Row in the tranquil waters of this magical place to enjoy kayaking and explore the animal life of the coastal mangroves. This is also an excellent excursion for bird watching.

Read More Close
From £40pp

Carera National Park

Visit this impressive transitional moist to dry forest and follow the trails to observe the variety of plants, amphibians, reptiles and birds such as the famous scarlet macaw. Crocodiles more than three meters long can be seen all along the Tarcoles River.

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From £45pp

Catamaran Excursion

The catamaran morning tour includes a snorkelling adventure at one of the beautiful snorkelling locations along the coast of one of the local beaches. The afternoon tour is ideal for nature lovers and includes Pacific Ocean sunset.

Humpback whales, and dolphins as well as other beautiful marine life can be witnessed on the catamaran tour. Snacks and natural drinks are available on board.

Read More Close
From £55pp

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio is a small town in the Central Pacific of Puntarenas, and is one of the most beautiful and richest wildlife spots in Costa Rica, having its own National Park called Manuel Antonio.

This National Park is one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica, with around 160,000 visitors every year.

The weather in Manuel Antonio is warm and humid, with heavy rains in the rainy season months and many hours of sunlight during the dry season.

Manuel Antonio is located 100 miles south of San José, about three hours driving via the Costanera Highway, that heads along the Pacific Coast parallel to the ocean, offering ocean views along the way.

From the town of Quepos, the closest town and right by the highway, it’s a further 5 miles south to Manuel Antonio. It’s also possible to take a 20-minute flight from San Jose to Quepos.

On the way to the Manuel Antonio town, are many of Costa Rica’s top luxury hotels in the hills surrounding the park.

Many of the best luxury Costa Rica hotels are right at the top of the hills, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Manuel Antonio National Park isn’t large compared with other National Parks in Costa Rica, but offers a huge variety of wildlife and beautiful beaches.

There are four beaches; Manuel Antonio, Playita, Espadilla Sur and Escondido each of which has surf breaks.

Manuel Antnonio has islands close to the shoreline, coral reefs, a dense rainforest with hiking trails where it’s possible to see several species of monkeys such as white-faced monkeys, squirrel monkeys and other mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Manuel Antonio is also a perfect location for Costa Rica birding tours. Due to the small size of the Park, attendance is restricted to 600 visitors per day from Tuesday to Friday, and 800 on weekends. The Park is closed on Mondays.

San Gerardo de Dota

50 km or so south of San Jose, San Gerardo de Dota is a little-known destination in the Savegre River valley offering some of the best bird watching in Costa Rica in an off the beaten track area.

The Savegre watershed is a small area but extremely rich in wildlife, with more than 20% of all Costa Rican bird species present here.

San Gerardo de Dota itself is a tiny village, dwarfed by the surrounding Talamanca Mountains.

Seeing Resplendent Quetzals

Close by, Los Quetzales National Park protects 50 square kilometres of Rain and Cloud Forest and as the name suggests, has many Resplendent Quetzal, as well as Trogon and at least 170 other Costa Rican bird species.

The great thing about Los Quetzales is that the beautiful green and red Resplendent Quetzal can be spotted at any time of year, which isn’t the case in the rest of Costa Rica.

The best way to see a Quetzal is with a specialist guide, and March to April are especially good times of year, as this is breeding season.

 

Accommodation near San Gerardo de Dota

Accommodation near San Gerardo de Dota is limited to a handful of eco-lodges, including the 22 room Trogon Lodge in the Savegre Valley, the pleasant Dantica Lodge and Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve & Spa.

San Gerardo de Dota is about 2 or 3 hours by car to Manuel Antonio and Dominical on the coast and makes a great stop en-route from San Jose to the beach and National Park.

Activities & Climate

Walkers will love the trails in the National Park here, which are of varying lengths and normally very quiet.

One of the best short walking trails here follows the course of the Rio Savegre through the Cloud Forest, crossing a few rickety bridges to a beautiful little waterfall.

Bear in mind that the altitude here (in the Cloud Forest) means things are much wetter and cooler here, so come prepared for both.

Especially if coming straight from the coast, the cooler climate here can come as something of a shock.