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  • Come face to face with Costa Rica's wildlife. read more

  • A Costa Rica expedition cruise is like living an issue of National Geographic. read more

  • Relax on remote beaches accessible only by small ship. read more

  • Experience Costa Rica's nature and wildlife up close on an expedition cruise. read more

  • Explore the rain forests and wildlife up close aboard a small ship. read more

  • Explore Costa Rica with renowned experts from National Geographic. read more

Costa Rica

A longtime favorite among adventure travelers, Costa Rica offers verdant rain and cloud forests, an astounding diversity of tropical birds and wildlife, active volcanoes, spectacular waterfalls and beautiful beaches. Mountains, rivers and coastline provide endless opportunity for hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding and more! Explore from upscale wilderness lodges or aboard a Costa Rica cruise by small ship.

Costa Rica Cruise Experts

Nobody has more Costa Rica small ship cruises or experience than AdventureSmith. Actively explore Costa Rica's wondrous environments from small ships that travel beyond crowded beaches and busy national parks. We continually refine our itineraries and style of travel, and our knowledge ensures you maximize the diversity of environments visited.

Costa Rica Tours & Custom Adventure Travel

Complement your Costa Rica small ship cruise with a stay at an exclusive jungle lodge or boutique beach hotel. Choose from one of our scheduled small group tours, a private independent tour or let us plan the perfect custom Costa Rica trip. Our Costa Rica experts will handle all the logistics for a seamless Costa Rica cruise and vacation. 


Treasures of Costa Rica & The Panama Canal
Special Offer Available
From $2990
8 days
Travel Season
DecJanFebMar

Cruise

Treasures of Costa Rica & The Panama Canal

Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting on a luxurious small ship cruise to Costa Rica and Panama. Cruise to the nature reserves and national parks of Isla Coiba and Manuel Antonio, witness life in the San Blas and cross the celebrated Panama Canal. Your home base is the 36-cabin mega yacht Variety Voyager.
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Costa Rica & the Panama Canal
Special Offer Available
From $5990
8 days
Travel Season
DecJanFebMar

Cruise

Costa Rica & the Panama Canal

Explore famous national parks, tropical gardens and wildlife reserves of Costa Rica and Panama aboard the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion. Transit the legendary Panama Canal visit Barro Colorado with scientist escorts from the Smithsonian Research Station. Hike, kayak, swim and snorkel along wildlife-rich coastlines.
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Panama to Costa Rica with Monteverde, Sarapiqui & Arenal Volcano
Special Offer Available
From $7080
15 days
Travel Season
DecJanFebMar

Cruise

Panama to Costa Rica with Monteverde, Sarapiqui & Arenal Volcano

Cruise the legendary Panama Canal and Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula & Manuel Antonio aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion. Then visit Nicaragua. Explore famous national parks, tropical gardens and wildlife reserves. Hike, kayak, swim & snorkel. Nicaragua amazes us w/ family haciendas, nature reserves & artisan towns.
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Quest for Pura Vida
From $2700
9 days
Travel Season
FebAprJunJulAugOctNovDec

Land

Quest for Pura Vida

Our premier itinerary in Costa Rica combines the cloud forests of Monteverde and the active Arenal Volcano with the verdant lowland tropical forests of Tortuguero to highlight Costa Rica's diversity of nature and culture.
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Costa Rica Family Adventure
From $1895
9 days
Travel Season
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Land

Costa Rica Family Adventure

Costa Rica is one of the world's most adventurous family-friendly places, widely known for its dedication to peace, cultural exchange, and environmental education. Our Costa Rica family adventure visits areas that exemplify these qualities creating wonderful shared memories for years to come. All aspects of this tour have been designed with the traveling family in mind.
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Pacific Costa Rica
From $2995
9 days
Travel Season
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Land

Pacific Costa Rica

This soft adventure vacation reveals the best of Costa Rica's Pacific coast in style. Explore Corcovado National Park from a luxurious lodge overlooking the ocean. Snorkel Cano Island and raft the beautiful Savegre River canyon. Conclude your adventure at the magnificent beaches and stunning wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park.
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Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest
From $1395
6 days
Travel Season
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Land

Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest

Costa Rica is one of the world's most adventurous and friendly places, widely known for its dedication to peace, cultural exchange and environmental education. Our Costa Rica Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest tour visits areas that exemplify these qualities creating wonderful shared memories for years to come. This trip is a perfect extension for any of our Costa Rica small ship cruises.
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Costa Rica has long been recognized as a "must visit" for the nature and adventure traveler. Its reputation is well deserved, as the country's location on the isthmus between North and South America has evolved an astonishing abundance of tropical flora and fauna. Costa Rica protects these habitats in an extensive system of national parks and private reserves, covering 25 percent of the country's available land.

An extensive system of national parks and private reserves covers 25 percent of Costa Rica. From pristine lowland rainforests, to misty mountain cloud forests and active volcanoes, Costa Rica is a naturalist's dream come true.

From pristine lowland rainforests, to misty mountain cloud forests and active volcanoes, Costa Rica is a naturalist's dream come true. Monkeys, sloth, caimans, sea turtles and exotic birds in their natural habitat are just some of the species often spotted by travelers.

The nation's topographical diversity lends itself to adventurous endeavors and rewards those who explore beyond the fringe. Actively wind your own way through Costa Rica's wondrous environments, whether by foot, boat, kayak, horseback or raft. Costa Ricans are extremely friendly hospitable people and are proud of their country. They have developed a tourism infrastructure suitable for any style of travel. No other country in Latin America offers so much to see and experience in so small an area.

As more travelers visit Costa Rica, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the solitude and intimacy once common throughout the nation's rainforests and beaches. We continually refine our itineraries and style of travel for more discriminating adventure travelers. Our knowledge of nature reserves, travel routes and adventure activity options ensures you maximize the diversity of environments visited and quality of experience. Our unique style of travel utilizes adventurous activities to explore remote, off the beaten path, destinations. Travel with professional naturalist guides and adventure leaders whose experience and insight invariably becomes the most appreciated aspect of the journey. Stay in distinctive wilderness lodges, B&Bs and hotels representative of local culture. Lodges are chosen for their proximity to nature, commitment to sustainable tourism, their service and for your comfort.

AdventureSmith Explorations offers travelers an opportunity to experience the genuine Costa Rica in style while engaging in fun and exciting activities in premier natural environments.

Costa Rica Travel Map

Costa Rica boasts a pleasant mild climate suitable for travel at any time of year. Most regions have a dry season (December through April) and a wet season (May through November), which also establish peak and off-peak travel periods.

Temperatures are determined more by elevation and location than by season, ranging from tropical on the lowland coastal plains to cool and temperate in the interior highlands. Some rainfall should be expected throughout the year, usually falling for short intervals during the afternoon and evening. While the country lies wholly within the tropics, it boasts at least one dozen climactic zones and is markedly diverse in local microclimates, which make generalizations misleading. While the dry season tends to be nearly rainless on the Pacific Coast, this is when it rains the most on the Caribbean Coast. September and October are the driest months on the Caribbean while it is wet elsewhere.

Costa Rica's Travel Seasons

The sudden onset of a dry spell called veranillo (little summer) occurs between late July and early August and is popular with families who prefer to travel during school vacations. We can help plan your trip at any time of year based on regional variations.

In general most travelers visit Costa Rica to escape winter in North America when average rainfall is lower and migrant bird populations are highest. Increasingly visitors are enjoying the benefits of travel during the off peak "green season." During this time, May through November, rain usually falls for a few hours in the afternoon or at night and rarely disrupts travel. Some benefits of travel during this season are being in natural areas without large crowds of other tourists, lush and vibrant vegetation, a better choice of naturalist guides and availability at popular accommodations, lower seasonal rates and seasonal animal migrations such as the arrival of nesting sea turtles.

Green Season - The Best Time to See Costa Rica Wildlife

The green season (May through November) is usually the best time to see wildlife in Costa Rica. During the green season the impact of tourism on wildlife is much lower. Fewer tourists walk the national parks of Costa Rica, so that animals are not scared away as easily. In addition, many plants and trees provide fruits that serve as food for the animals during this time of year. With more feeding in the forests comes more wildlife sightings.

Between the end of July and mid-October the green sea turtles come to Tortuguero en masse for nesting. Since these giants of the oceans are an endangered species, it is a very special and unforgettable experience to watch them. This is one of the main reasons why Tortuguero is so famous. You cannot witness this spectacle outside the green season.

Many rivers used for whitewater rafting in Costa Rica are more enjoyable in the green season. Because water levels are higher during this time they are more exciting and often better manageable due to more consistent water levels, i.e. fewer boulders and rocks to navigate.

The opportunities to see the volcanoes are usually higher from June to October. Arenal Volcano and the central mountains' misty weather are mainly affected by weather from the Caribbean side. During these months on the Caribbean side there are fewer tradewinds from the Atlantic Ocean and they have less power to blow clouds toward the country’s interior. In addition, clouds and fog usually vanish after a heavy rain and leave the mountains with excellent visibility, often at night when the lava shows are most spectacular.

Costa Rica Average Temperature & Rainfall

San Jose

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High (F) 73 75 77 78 78 78 77 77 76 77 75 73
Avg. Low (F) 59 59 60 60 62 62 62 62 60 60 60 59
Rainfall (Inches) 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.6 3.4 4.4 3.3 3.8 5.1 5.1 2.2 0.6

 

Arenal

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High (F) 81 83 85 85 82 81 81 81 80 80 80 81
Avg. Low (F) 62 62 63 63 64 64 64 63 63 63 63 63
Rainfall (Inches) 3.5 3.0 1.5 1.6 5.0 7.1 8.0 7.8 7.6 7.8 7.7 8.2

 

Corcovado

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High (F) 91 92 92 91 90 89 89 89 90 89 89 90
Avg. Low (F) 72 71 73 73 73 72 71 71 71 71 71 71
Rainfall (Inches) 2.4 2.2 3.2 3.9 7.4 6.8 7.4 8.2 8.6 10.8 8.5 4.5

 

Monteverde

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High (F) 68 69 71 71 71 71 69 69 71 69 68 69
Avg. Low (F) 53 53 53 55 57 57 57 57 55 57 57 57
Rainfall (Inches) 2.5 1.5 0.7 1.9 5.3 6.4 5.5 7.0 7.6 6.6 6.6 5.1

 

Manuel Antonio

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High (F) 87 87 89 89 89 87 87 86 86 86 86 86
Avg. Low (F) 69 69 71 71 71 71 69 69 71 71 71 69
Rainfall (Inches) 1.1 0.5 0.9 2.6 6.0 6.6 7.1 7.3 8.1 9.9 6.0 2.6

 

Tortuguero

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High (F) 88 88 87 87 87 87 88 86 87 87 85 88
Avg. Low (F) 68 68 69 71 71 71 71 71 71 71 69 69
Rainfall (Inches) 4.9 3.2 3.1 4.3 4.3 4.6 4.7 4.8 2.2 3.2 6.0 6.9

 

Arenal Manoa Lodge

Arenal Manoa Lodge

Perched on a mountainside one mile from the water, Arenal Manoa Lodge offers the finest accommodations and breathtaking views of Arenal Volcano.
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Arenal Observatory Lodge

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Set high on a ridge facing Costa Rica’s most active and spectacular volcano, the Arenal Observatory Lodge offers adventure travelers a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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Capitan Suizo

Capitan Suizo

Hotel Capitán Suizo rests on Playa Tamarindo, one of the most beautiful Pacific coast beaches in all of Costa Rica.
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Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, tucked away in the trees and cooled by the Pacific Ocean, is a 170-acre private reserve bordering the north side of Corcovado National Park.
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Hotel Bougainvillea

Hotel Bougainvillea

The unique and comfortable Hotel Bougainvillea is a place where guests can truly experience the world-famous beauty of Costa Rica, just ten minutes from San José.
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Hotel Fonda Vela

Hotel Fonda Vela

The Hotel Fonda Vela is located in beautiful Monteverde, Costa Rica, with spectacular views of the Gulf of Nicoya.
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Hotel Presidente

Hotel Presidente

Hotel Presidente is a four-star, 92-room hotel in the heart of downtown San José, Costa Rica. Its ideal location is only a few blocks from the city's most important cultural and historical landmarks.
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La Mariposa Hotel

La Mariposa Hotel

La Mariposa Hotel is an award-winning accommodation best known for its stunning 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Manuel Antonio National Park and surrounding tropical vegetation.
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Monteverde Lodge

Monteverde Lodge

Located in Costa Rica’s Tilarán Mountain Range at 4,600 feet above sea level on the edge of the world's best-known cloud forest, Monteverde Lodge is the expression of the ultimate lodging experience.
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National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion

National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion

Twin expedition ships National Geographic Sea Lion and Sea Bird accommodate 62 guests with special features including a hydrophone and Splash-Cam. Onboard experts from National Geographic make these ships unique. 
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Tortuga Lodge

Tortuga Lodge

The Tortuga Lodge, situated on 50 acres of private land on Costa Rica's northeast Caribbean coast, reflects the essence of Tortuguero’s slow moving tropical rivers.
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Variety Voyager

Variety Voyager

Cruise in fine style through the Panama Canal and along the Costa Rica and Colombia coasts aboard the 36-cabin Variety Voyager mega yacht, launched in May 2012.
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