Trip idea / Costa Rica, Galapagos

Unusual Combinations

in Costa Rica & the Galapagos

Flourishing Nature in Costa Rica & the Galapagos

The lowdown

  • When To Go

    Being close to the equator means that the Galapagos are a year-round destination; Costa Rica is at its driest from December to April on the Pacific Coast although there are merits to travelling in green season over the UK summer.

  • Getting There & Around

    You can fly directly into the gateway of San José, Costa Rica from the UK. From there, it’s an easy hop to Ecuador, then on to the Galapagos.

  • Best For

    This trip suits active couples, nature-loving families and would work well for a three-generational family travelling together. All our itineraries are individually crafted to your needs.


  • Enjoy a meticulously organised Real Holidays’ itinerary, tweaked to your liking
  • Have close encounters with rare wildlife in a variety of locations from rainforest, coast, underwater and volcanic islands
  • Be immersed in a remote riverside lodge in Costa Rica, accessible only by river
  • Experience Costa Rica’s pristine Osa Peninsula and stay in a rainforest eco-hotel
  • Soak up cultural pleasure in colonial Quito
  • Finish with a seven-night luxury yacht trip spotting the Galapagos’ endemic wildlife

An unusual combination for wildlife and nature lovers, this adventurous trip starts in Costa Rica and ends aboard a seven-day Galapagos cruise. Not only will you spot an abundance of wildlife in their natural environment be it rainforest, volcanic island, pristine coast or underwater, but you’ll also revel in a variety of stylish stays from jungle eco-lodges, colonial hotels to spacious boats.


Lapa Rios Costa Rica


    Welcome to Costa Rica and one of Central America’s busiest capital cities – San José. Relax in style and recuperate from the journey at Finca Rosa Blanca, an organic coffee farm just 30 minutes from the airport. Encased by verdant, jungle-clad mountains, it’s a fantastic introduction to the greenery of Costa Rica. Shake off jet lag with a swim in the pool or learn all about the journey of coffee on a farm tour starting with picking the ‘cherries’ to the roasted brew.

    The next destination is an authentic wilderness stay at Pacuare Lodge, set in verdant jungle alongside a rugged canyon. Your experience starts before you even arrive as you white-water raft the Rio Pacuare directly to the lodge. Riding the swirling rapids while flanked by tall banks of tangled greenery is an exhilarating start and sets the tone for your secluded immersion into the rainforest.


    Once settled at Pacuare Lodge, start to appreciate your pristine surroundings: the squawk of nature, the gush of the river and all around a jungle of green. Spend your days exploring primordial rainforests with hikes to wild waterfalls, dawn walks with a nature guide to spot colourful toucans and other exotic birds or learning the secrets of the local Cabecar people with a visit to the medicine man.

    Thrill-seekers might like to zip line through the canopy, canyon down narrow gorges and raft more rapids. Come home to swim in the infinity forest pool, have a spa treatment or relax in your wood-crafted villa overlooking the jungle.

    DAY 5 – 10 LAPA RIOS & QUITO

    Your next stop in Costa Rica sees you whisked to the tip of the Osa Peninsula, on the west coast, to stay in an eco-lodge set in one of Central America’s last remaining tropical lowland jungles. Lapa Rios is not only enviable in its Jurassic location, but it also has incredible ocean views over the azure Golfo Dulce.

    From the terrace of your bungalow, watch monkeys crash through the trees, spot macaws or luminescent morpho butterfly flit in the forest. Guided tours take you deeper into this extraordinary natural environment including hikes to spot sloths, poison-dart frogs or maybe even a puma.


    Coastal treks reveal marine life from tiny starfish to mammoth whales and you can get active on the water with paddleboarding, kayaking and surfing on offer.

    Leaving the rainforest behind, retrace your steps to San José before a few nights in colonial Quito in Ecuador at the elegant Casa Gangotena where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour around the UNESCO protected cobbled streets, historic churches and impressive plazas.

    DAY 11 – 18 GALAPAGOS

    Galapagos – The holy grail for any nature-lover, adventurer or evolutionist, a cruise around one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet makes a big impact.

    Bringing families, couples and groups together to explore the place which inspired Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, the Galapagos’ endemic wildlife remains spectacular. Step aboard your vessel for the week to explore on and around the islands of San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz on either Origin, Theory or Evolve – known for their small boat sizes with just ten spacious cabins, high levels of comfort and expert guides.


    Over eight days cruising the volcanic islands, enjoy a range of outstanding excursions – take a dinghy to hike volcanic lava ridges, observe marine life in a glass-bottom boat, snorkel, swim or paddle board the striking seascapes. With a lack of natural predators on the island and many species found only here, the Galapagos are a biodiversity hotspot. Prepare for close encounters with the large and small: snoozing iguanas, frolicking sea lions, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, breeching whales, red-throated frigate birds, penguins and flamingos to name just a few.

    With this unique roll call of the natural world colouring your thoughts, start your return journey home.

Origin, Theory or Evolve The Galapagos
Howler monkey, Costa Rica

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