Thomson and First Choice are pleased to announce the introduction of tropical paradise Costa Rica into their long haul winter programme from November 2015. The weekly flight from Gatwick will be the only direct flight from Europe on the Dreamliner and the only direct flight from the UK to the Central American paradise famous for its wildlife, rainforests and active volcanoes.
Costa Rica is an adventure lover’s paradise with a visit to its most popular volcano, Arenal, top of the ‘must see’ list for most visitors. The 5,375ft volcano, Arenal, is now in a resting phase following 50 years as the country’s most active volcano. Those with a head for heights love the chance to walk across six hanging bridges in the cloud forest in Monteverde, spying toucans, sleeping snakes and rare orchids in the rainforest below, before flying 1km across the canopy on Costa Rica’s longest zip line.
A fantastic range of hotels is available, with highlights including the Riu Palace, a 5T all-inclusive hotel right on the beachfront at Playa Matapalo. The hotel forms part of the newly launched Thomson Platinum Lifestyle range, with luxurious and modern rooms decked out in vibrant colours and spacious sun terraces. The hotel has four a la carte restaurants, a sleek spa with an indulgent treatment menu and four swimming pools. This hotel, together with a second 5T all-inclusive hotel, the Riu Guanacaste, will also be available through First Choice’s Premier range.
The 4T Tamarindo Diria has a number of board options and is perfectly placed on the beach for enjoying Costa Rica’s stunning sunsets. Tamarindo is a surfers’ paradise and the coastline provides a great place to learn to ride the waves. The town itself has a chilled-out vibe and the bars and restaurants are right on the doorstep of the hotel.
Volcano Arenal, La Fortuna, Costa Rica © Arturo Sotillo
For customers who want to explore their holiday paradise a little more, four and seven-night tour options are also available with stops at Arenal. The seven-night ‘grand tour’ also takes in everything from the Pacific coast over to the Caribbean coast as well as trekking in the national park in Rincon de la Vieja, visiting hot springs and enjoying horseback riding before spending the night in a local hacienda. An experience not to be missed is a night tour of the Sara Pique rainforest – home of Costa Rica’s eye-catching green frogs. A day’s city tour in the capital San Jose completes the tour. The four-night tour includes a visit to the cloud forest in Monteverde as well as a stop at a butterfly park and hummingbird sanctuary.
Mark Hall, Director of Product for Thomson and First Choice, said: “We’re thrilled to be launching Costa Rica as a new destination for holidaymakers and it is fantastic to be offering the only direct flight from the UK on our Dreamliner. It’s an amazing country, with some really experiential excursions as well as great hotels. It adds the further mix to our long haul flying programme, and most importantly offers something unique to our customers.”
For those who can’t wait until November 2015, or want a sneak preview of the delights the destination offers, Costa Rica is available to cruise lovers from January 2015, with a stop on the ‘Pride of Panama’ itinerary on Thomson Dream.
© Thomson / First Choice