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Costa Rica: The ultimate luxury family holiday for 2016

costa rica volcano

Small but beautiful, Costa Rica boasts a dramatic landscape rich in natural wonders and bio-diversity. With rugged mountain ranges, wild rainforests, steep river valleys and miles of pristine Caribbean and Pacific coastline.

Diverse ecosystems are home to a vast amount of wildlife from red eyed tree frogs to scarlet macaws to howler monkeys. Costa Rica has now also become a much more viable family destination as British Airways begin flying there direct from May 2016.

Luxury tour operator Pope&Sons are offering a nine-night luxury family adventure with a varied and exciting itinerary.

We spoke to the brand’s director, Matt Clapson, about what to expect on this intriguing trip.

You begin at Costa Rica’s second largest city, Alajuela, and gateway to one of the country’s most incredible volcanoes, Poás. City attractions include the Juan Santamaría Museum, the Alajuela Cultural Centre and the neo-classical cathedral with stunning paintings.

costa rica luxury holiday
Costa Rica boasts a dramatic landscape rich in natural wonders and bio-diversity

Then continue to Tortuguero National Park, established in the seventies to protect green, hawksbill, loggerhead and leatherback turtles, which nest in the area at different times from March through October. Accessible by boat or air only, the remote park boasts myriad habitats, from rainforests and mangrove swamps to beaches and lagoons. Rivers are home to manatees, caimans, and crocodiles and the forests hide jaguars, sloths, lizards and monkeys. A boat tour is included for close-up exploration!

The tour also includes the Poás Volcano National Park and La Paz waterfall gardens. Rural towns, cattle, coffee fields and strawberry greenhouses are part of what you will observe along the way. The volcano’s main crater emits steam rising from the various vents. There are two lakes near the main crater, Laguna Caliente (hot lagoon) and Lake Botos. La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a rescue wildlife preserve with over 100 species of animals and an environmental education program.

Arenal Thrilling Canopy is located within the Arenal Conservation Area and is a healthy release of adrenaline and an incredible immersion in nature with a moving panoramic view. Enjoy this thrilling aerial adventure of approximately 3 km starting from a tower 13 metres high and glide your way down 10 cables with an average height of 38 metres. Speeds will top 60km per hour! Each of the 14 platforms is strategically designed at varying heights to allow clients to observe the rainforest from different angles.

costa rica
Roughly a quarter of Costa Rica is made up of protected jungle, rich with wildlife including spider monkeys and quetzal birds.

The Costa Rica adventure concludes with three nights to relax at Hotel Punta Islita, set on a hilltop overlooking a secluded beach cove. Around the 300-acre grounds, guests will find an infinity-edge pool with a swim-up bar, two restaurants (classic Costa Rican fare, plenty of fresh seafood and tropical cocktails), a spa, a golf course, tennis courts and an family beach club with a pool.

Accommodation throughout is a mixture of hotels and villas, all of which suit their surroundings perfectly and provide everything that the travelling family would expect.