In this relaxed Central America country, national parks and private reserves protect an incredible array of flora and fauna in wetland ecosystems, cloud forests, volcanic landscapes and golden beaches. After exploring the markets and historical centre of the capital of San Jose, we cruise the jungle waterways of Tortuguero National Park. Located in the north east of the country, this Ramsar-listed wetland protects marine and land turtles, manatee, tapir, jaguar, sloth and a myriad of birdlife species. Nearby La Selva, an important rainforest research centre, we walk some of the extensive trails in search of unique wildlife and birds. We visit Monteverde and St Elena Cloud Forest Reserves, on the spine of Costa Rica’s continental divide. The biodiversity in this virgin tropical rainforest includes exotic orchid species and an incredible variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. We enjoy natural history walks and explore the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. Leaving behind the mist shrouded mountains we travel westwards to the Central Pacific Coast and stay two nights near the Carara National Park. We spend time in a rainforest eco-lodge and enjoy walks along trails within the last noteworthy portion of primary rain forest in the country. The wildlife which runs rampant through the park will impress any nature enthusiast. We continue to one of the country’s smallest but most scenic national parks, Manuel Antonio. This is renowned for its biodiversity of tropical plants and wildlife, from three-toed sloths and endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys to hundreds of bird species. On our return to San Jose we visit the charming town of Heredia for an immersion into coffee culture, and explore Poas Volcano National Park.