Colorful Costa Rica (2023)

tour only from
9 days
with flights from
9 days
average review


On this exotic adventure with airfare included, be dazzled by Costa Rica’s vibrant beauty and culture. Begin with an eco-farm experience at Sarapiqui’s tropical forest. Then head out on a captivating boat ride through the rainforest and arrive at Tortuguero National Park where you’ll discover beautiful flora and fauna, and pristine beaches. On your way to Arenal, admire the agricultural landscapes and pineapple plantations. The following day, visit the Arenal Volcano area to admire breathtaking views and spectacular scenery and partake in fun activities like traversing suspension bridges, soaking in the hot springs, spotting colorful dart frogs, and other fun options. On our way to the beautiful Pacific beaches of Tamarindo, we’ll have a cultural experience and visit a traditional Guanacaste home and kitchen where we learn how to make tortillas and enjoy some Costa Rican delicacies. Finally, enjoy the Pura Vida at Tamarindo’s beaches with its great sunsets. 4/5 stars on Tripadvisor!

For 2024 departures, see our 8-day Colorful Costa Rica tour or our 11-day Colorful Costa Rica with Tamarindo tour.

Did you know you can make this tour private? Find out about pricing and options for groups of 15 or more travelers.

Itinerary at
a Glance

2023 Tour Itinerary:

  • 1 night in San José (Central Valley)
  • 1 night in Sarapiqui
  • 2 nights in Tortuguero
  • 2 nights in Arenal
  • 2 nights in Tamarindo

Tour Highlights

  • Visit to Finca Ecoorganica – a family operated organic farm (Sarapiqui)
  • Tortuguero Village
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Tamarindo Beach
  • Central Valley art experience (outskirts of San José)
  • Pumas Rescue Center and Animal Sanctuary (Arenal)

Your Tour Includes

  • Optional round-trip airfare from Miami (MIA) including taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Ground transportation
  • Accommodations in First Class hotels
  • 19 Meals: 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 6 dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours as per itinerary
  • English-speaking Tour Director throughout

What to Expect

Max Group Size: 30 travelers

Activity Level: Level 2

Expect most included touring to require walking and standing periods up to 4 hours at a time (up to 2 times per day). Included touring may feature light hiking, and/or stairs on some hilly and/or uneven terrain. Learn More

Pacing Level: Balanced

Expect either half-day or full-day tours most days with a free day or free half-day to explore independently in most cities. There may be a few early mornings or long travel days by bus (don’t worry—there are always comfort stops!), and you may expect to stay in most accommodations for 3+ nights. Learn More

No Additional Entry Requirements for U.S. Passport Holders

A valid passport is required for international tours. Currently, there are no additional entry requirements for U.S. passport holders, but this can change at any time. Before travel, both U.S. and non-U.S. passport holders should visit our Passports & Visas page to reconfirm entry requirements.

The Hanging Bridges and the Night Walk are more advanced. Also important to note that two of the eco-lodges do not have air conditioning (none of the eco-lodges in this area do), although there are fans provided.

For more detailed information about this tour and destination, visit our Before You Depart section.

2023 Tour Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive in San José

Day 2: San José/Sarapiqui

Day 3: Sarapiqui/Tortuguero

Day 4: Tortuguero

Day 5: Arenal

Day 6: Arenal

Day 7: Arenal/Tamarindo

Day 8: Tamarindo

Day 9: Depart Tamarindo

Guided Tour Pricing

Instant Savings of up to $400 per person for a handful of spots on select dates. While supplies lasts, ends Sep 29.

Prices listed as “with flights” below include round-trip airfare from one or more airports in the USA. Travelers may choose to purchase the tour only, and arrange their own arrival in destination. Please note this may change your tour start date.

2023 Tours With Flights Tour Only  
Dec 9–17
 Book Now
Dec 9–17
 Book Now

* Departures designated as "Guaranteed" may be canceled or rescheduled only under Extraordinary Circumstances, for example in situations deemed to be unsafe or nonviable due to local conditions. See Terms & Conditions for full details.

Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single supplement applies when not sharing a room. Select a date above to see the rates for that specific departure.

For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Monday-Friday from 9:00 am - 5:30 pm Eastern) at 1.800.337.7773.

Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made online or by phone (1.800.337.7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of your non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, which must be received at the time of reservation. Deposits are $300 per person. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Space and prices subject to availability. Please see the smarTours Terms and Conditions for complete booking information.

Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.

Enhance your trip with our recommended optional tours. Indicated optional tours are available to pre-book when you reserve your trip and can be added to your reservation up to final payment. This is the best option to guarantee your spot on your preferred optional tour! Optional tours require a minimum number of participants. Optional tours are non-refundable unless they do not operate.

Some optional tours can be purchased in-destination and may cost extra. The payment methods and currency information to purchase tours in-destination will be provided on final documentation.

Half-Day Paradise Hot Springs

Half-Day Catamaran Sailing & Snorkeling Tour


Diana J

Colorful Costa Rica was an adventurous way to see the real Costa Rica. Hanging bridges, river boat rides through the rainforests, animal sightings, delicious food, and wonderful locals made this a truly one of a kind trip. Our guide Vinicio Viquez was informative and very kind. It was a fabulous trip!!

Vauri H

Great tour!


I loved the all the different places we got to see and learn about on the trip. Our guide, Vinny, was excellent in explaining the history and geography of beautiful Costa Rica. The family organic farm near Sarapiqui was one highlight where our group got to participate in sugar cane production, coffee farming, pepper, and pineapples. Lots of sampling and a delicious lunch! The river ride to Tortuguero was so cool. We saw monkeys, alligators and lots of birds. The resort there was beautiful! The hanging bridges tour was fantastically beautiful. Our guide helped us arrange a zip-line tour over the treetops up the side of the volcano. So fun! The last 2 days in Tamarindo was a perfect end to a great trip. This was the first time my friend and I had been on a tour and weren’t sure if we would like it, but we met so many lifelong friends on this tour! I will be traveling this way more often!

Mary K

Smartours provide great value for the price. I like the way local entrepreneurs are showcased in addition to just sightseeing and enjoying the natural surroundings. I’ve gained a great appreciation for Costa Rica’s history, culture, and contributions to the world. The tour took us to places which show how Costa Rica has protected and respected its natural environment when it could have been exploited in the name of progress. The wealth is shared with all citizens.

Robert F

Travel to locations ate up a lot of time, but locations were interesting.

cindy m

This was my second trip with Smart Tours. You can't beat their prices and location choices. The guides are top notch, drivers are safe and transportation vehicles are good and their small groups make this my travel company of choice. I have already booked my next tour with them!

Marcia M

Costa Rica was a great smarTour. Our Tour Director Vinicio Viequez was absolutely outstanding with a sense of humor in addition to being caring, professional, informative. Our driver Willie was also terrific!

Becky M

Incredible trip, enjoyed all the nature activities. Stress free traveling, do not even have to carry your own luggage. Feel we were the ONLY tour that had all our luggage delivered to our doors. Our tour guide also went out of the way for special request when needed. Felt more like a trip with old friends than strangers, which we loved.

Gypsy D

The tour to Costa Rica was very well planned out and executed. Our guide, Vinicio was knowledgeable, humorous and kept everything running smoothly and our driver, Wilmer, got us places some smaller vehicles would have had trouble going. Vinicio shared information regarding the country which provided us greater insight to the people and customs that we experienced. We met some delightful individuals and made some new friends we will keep in touch with. We are looking forward to our next smarTour trip.

Ray T

Our fifth trip with Smartours was great. Costa Rica was beautiful. Vinny was a terrific guide and Wilmer was a great driver. We did far more than you would be able to do on your own. We met wonderful people who gave great lessons on nature, farming, history, etc. The lodges and hotels were great. Food was very good with most meals provided. As with all our Smartours adventures you get an incredible deal for your money.


Amazing trip! Our tour guide, Vinnie was friendly, informative, professional, and had a great sense of humor. The hotels were very comfortable and the food delicious. The activities were well organized and allowed us to get a taste of the beautiful Costa Rican outdoors and interesting wildlife. The Costa Rican people were very friendly and we made lots of new friends within our tour group. The group size was 22 which was just right. Looking forward to our next Smartours trip soon!


Wonderful tour. Saw tons of beautiful birds, flowers, wildlife in their habitat. Our tour Guide and Bus driver where the best!!! Our group was a delight! Everyone was friendly and respectful.


Excellent tour which was attributable to a very large part to our guide, Cesar Flores. Cesar was knowledgeable, intelligent, patient, willing to go beyond the expected and personable. Our driver, Gerardo, was also excellent given the bumpy roads we sometimes encountered. We saw a lot of wildlife and some amazing scenery. The accomodations were very good with the exception of that in the rain forest, where the room was cooled with one lonely and pretty ineffective fan. However we tour, not to spend time in our room but to see things and we saw wonderful things. I highly recommend this tour to those who love scenery and wildlife and don't mind if things do not live up to North American standards.

Barry T

Excellent tour which to a very large part was attributable to the tour leader, Cesar Flores. Cesar was knowledgeable, intelligent, patient, willing to go beyond expectations and personable. The tour itself was great. Lots of wildlife and amazing scenery. The accommodations were good although is some cases (in the rain forest), they were a bit rustic with no A/C but one small and pretty ineffective fan. Other than that, we had a great time.


Wonderful tour. I rate our tour guide, Cesar Flores, exceptional. He was personable, knowledgeable, intelligent, hard working and kind. He often went out of his way to show us things that were often not on the regular itinerary. The tour itself was great. Lots of wildlife, great locations, lots of things to do and see. We visited in May so as advertised we had high heat, humidity and some rain but that was balanced by the smaller crowds of tourists. Some of the accomodations were on the rustic side, especially in Tortuguero but you do not take a tour like this to spend time in your hotel room. Costa Rica is a wonderful country and the Smartours trip made our visit a great experience
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