Guanacaste, Costa Rica (Greg Mortimer)

Guanacaste, Costa Rica (Greg Mortimer)

From USD $3,195


Costa Rica is blessed with abundant nature, pristine beaches and immense biodiversity. In Guanacaste, explore a slice of Costa Rica rarely visited by expedition vessels. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Guanacaste Conservation Area and take to the warm waters by kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or snorkel among pristine coral. Hike in wildlife-rich rainforests and venture to volcanic peaks in Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where archaeological sites offer a glimpse into Costa Rica’s ancient past.

Trip Name
Guanacaste, Costa Rica (Greg Mortimer)
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 104 metres Passenger Capacity: 120 Built: 2018 Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards – designed in close consultation with our expedition specialists, taking advantage of our more than 25 years of experience. The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future, with just 120 passengers on board in the polar regions. Not only is the ship bigger to contend with adverse weather conditions, its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean. The Greg Mortimer remains true to our ethos and focus on multiple landings, flexible itineraries and family atmosphere – just with an improved home base! As a modern and custom-designed ship, the Greg Mortimer is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. Robust, powerful and built with our guests in mind, this ship marks a significant investment in our fleet's capabilities. From the European Arctic to the depths of Antarctica, and other far-flung destinations in-between, the Greg Mortimer will make your journey a breeze! Greg Mortimer X-BOWX-BOW™ Our expeditions face some of the worst Mother Nature can throw at us. However, this won't be problem on the Greg Mortimer with the introduction of the patented X-BOW™, created by Norwegian ship designer ULSTEIN. As one of the leaders in marine engineering, ULSTEIN's X-BOW™ is an inverted bow concept that's been built on over 100 vessels in the shipping industry. Excitingly, we are the first expedition cruise operator to utilise this technology for the challenging open ocean waves!  Hydraulic viewing platforms  Although there is no doubt that you'll love the aesthetics of the Greg Mortimer, we are all here to admire the spectacular landscape and spot the elusive wildlife in their natural habitat. To ensure you get the best views possible, the new ship features unique viewing platforms, custom-built for the Greg Mortimer. Accessed from Deck 5, the two platforms fold out hydraulically for unobstructed views of passing marine life and seabirds – make sure your camera is locked and loaded! Zodiac launching platform Zodiacs are a vital part of getting up close and personal on your adventure – sneaking into areas that the Greg Mortimer can't reach. On this new ship, there are specially designed launching platforms that enables us to load Zodiacs easily and quickly, allowing you to spend more time exploring on the two to three daily landings. There are 15 Zodiacs that are boarded from either side of Deck 3 (sea level), perfect for when there is a group of fluffy cute penguin chicks that we need a photo of!  Activity Platform Regardless of your destination, we offer a number of additional activities to allow you to see more of the environment. From kayaking and diving to climbing and ski touring, it's these optional activities that often leave the biggest impression on your trip as a whole. Onboard the Greg Mortimer, there is a spacious prep and loading platform for these activities and more – designed in consultation with our expert activity guides. Environmentally friendly Climate change and carbon emissions continue to be major issues that everyone needs to be aware of and actively managing. This includes reduced emissions into the air and sea, lower energy consumption, high fuel efficiency, reduced light pollution for minimal wildlife disruption and lower on-board plastic use. It's vital to also mention the state-of-the-art virtual anchoring technology of the X-BOW™, which means the ship can float anchorless while launching Zodiacs, kayaks etc, without disturbing delicate sea floor areas.  Safety features This starts with the return-to-port equipment – not compulsory on a ship of this size – which duplicates the propulsion system. This enables the ship to maintain operating systems and comfort in the event of engine failure. Furthermore, the Greg Mortimer is Polar Code 6 compliant, holds BV class and is fully compliant with the latest SOLAS requirements. It's also built with a Rolls Royce stabiliser system.  If there's an incident or accident during your adventure, the ship has an on-board, fully-stocked medical centre – where our trained medical team can provide necessary treatment in a timely fashion. Safety continues to be an issue that our team takes very serious and the Greg Mortimer allows us to create an environment where you can concentrate on the brilliant landscape and wildlife, without worrying about your wellbeing. Ship Life Greg Mortimer is designed to serve your every need. It's your bedroom, bathroom, lounge, dining room and even your observatory. Make yourself at home, the Greg Mortimer is yours to enjoy! Observation Points Let's face it – you don't want windowless rooms when travelling around some of the most beautiful locations around the world. This is why the Greg Mortimer is designed with plenty of dedicated observation spaces – ideal for keen bird spotters, wildlife watchers and those wanting to watch the scenery go past. From the indoor 180-degree lounge and outdoor 360-degree open deck, both on deck 8, to the 270-degree open sundeck on level 7, there are plenty of observation points to share around the ship! If these are full, then you can take up a spot on one of the two hydraulic viewing platforms on deck 5. Aurora Expeditions also has an open bridge policy, which means at any point you can come up to the bridge and check out what the captain and officers are up to. From watching navigational practices to observing mapping techniques, you can get a firsthand look at the inner workings of the Greg Mortimer.  Shore excursions Although the ship is fun, the real enjoyment comes from the many shore excursions that are available. Depending on the weather and itinerary, it's possible to take two to three landings daily, taking a look at everything from rock formations and ancient ruins to cute groups of penguins. We know time is of the essence in these wild locations, so the Greg Mortimer has been designed with 15 Zodiacs, which means you can maximise your time on shore. From four dedicated sea level launching platforms, transfers are quicker, safer and enable you to get closer to the action for a longer period of time. Just remember to charge your camera before you step onto the Zodiac! Activity options From kayaking and skiing to diving and climbing, these are one-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you need to take advantage of.  Aboard the Greg Mortimer there is a specially designed launching platform for all activities, a concept overseen by our activity experts. This area also includes individual lockers in the expansive mudroom and rapid drying areas for wetsuits so you can quickly get warm after exploring in the elements!   Dining From the moment you step onto the Greg Mortimer, we aim to give you the best hospitality service possible. Starting with the official Captain's welcome, as our guests, you're welcome to 24 hours complimentary coffee, tea and snack facilities in addition to the range of different menu options and courses for each meal. Meals are served in large dining room/restaurant with family style dining, perfect to swap stories with your new expedition family. Enjoy the range of house wine, beers and soft drinks included with dinner after a long day in the wild, preparing yourself for another exciting day to follow. On the last day of your trip, the team on the Greg Mortimer put on a special farewell four-course dinner and cocktails – a perfect way to reflect on your time on the ship and consolidate lifelong friendships with the people you've met on-board. On-board entertainment When you’re relaxing during a sea day or you have a little downtime on the ship between excursions, what is there to do onboard the Greg Mortimer? Plenty! On all our expeditions, there are experts who lead presentations in the spacious lecture room so you can understand the region a little better. These often include topics as broad as history and culture to biology and climate change, these presentations aim to educate and entertain. If you're keen to just watch the surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, you have access to two bars/lounges where the stunning floor to ceiling windows offer a special perspective on the landscape. The Greg Mortimer is also decked out with other facilities for your enjoyment. There is a library on Deck 5 with books and maps and a Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa. Feeling a little sore after walking around all day? Treat yourself to a massage at the Wellness Centre and feels the aches disappear! Keen photographers and artists will revel in the multimedia room on Deck 5.


Day 1 - Day 1 Arrive San Jose
Upon your arrival at San José international airport, and use the complimentary airport transfer service provided by Double Tree Cariari by Hilton and transfer to the hotel. The hotel offers a free airport shuttle service departing every hour starting at 4.30 am until 10.30 pm. As you exit the international terminal, the pick-up point for the transfer is located in front of El Malinche restaurant. Upon check-in, please remind reception staff to provide you with your Aurora Expeditions cabin tags. Please fill out the luggage tags clearly, showing your name and cabin number so that we can deliver your luggage to your cabin ahead of your arrival. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.Accommodation: Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Cariari (or similar)
Day 2 - Day 2 Puerto Caldera, embark Greg Mortimer
After a leisurely buffet breakfast, transfer to Puerto Caldera (2-hours) where your vessel awaits. After boarding, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before participating in important safety briefings. Afterwards, enjoy lunch on board as you sail to nearby Isla Tortuga (Turtle Island), where can snorkel, swim, paddle or relax. The water is teeming with a dizzying array of tropical fish, big pufferfish, turtles, sting rays, white tip reef sharks, and occasionally dolphins. Isla Tortuga we will do our kayak orientation and have our first introductory paddle.This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.
Day 3 - Day 3 Bahía Junquillal (Junquillal Bay)
Bahía Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge was established in early 1995, with its primary purpose to protect the famous red and black mangroves and dry forest along the coast. The refuge is part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning 505-hectares along the north-western coast of Costa Rica, the refuge attracts visitors keen to explore the native wildlife as well as enjoying activities such as snorkelling, and hiking. The clear turquoise waters and 2-km/1.2-mi powdery sand beaches are ideal for a swimming and relaxing.With an average year-round temperature of 30˚C (85˚F), spend a carefree morning snorkelling, swimming, padding or walking along the stunning beach. After lunch, embark on a shore excursion to Santa Rosa National Park, home to some of the last remaining tropical dry forest in the world. Guanacaste National Park was created in 1989 to connect Santa Rosa National Park with the high elevation cloud forest of Orosi and Cacao volcanoes, to the rainforests on the Caribbean coast. The overarching strategy being to conserve enough land to create sufficiently large habitats for wide-ranging species such as jaguars and mountain lions while simultaneously a corridor to make allow wildlife to migrate between the dry forest and the evergreen cloud and rainforest.Santa Rosa may owe its early designation as a National Park to an attempted invasion by U.S. troops. The battle that occurred here and the historical significance of the park helped win its protection by executive decrees in 1970 and 1977. Visit La Casona Hacienda, the site of the epic battle of Santa Rosa in 1856, now converted to a museum. The building includes exhibits of military paraphernalia and objects from everyday life at a typical Costa Rican hacienda in the mid-1800s.After visiting the hacienda, hike a short way to the ‘Tierras Emergidas’ lookout, followed by a walk on the “Naked Indian Trail” that forms a loop through the dry forest, along streams and waterfalls where we hope to encounter local wildlife. Return to the ship, which has repositioned to Cuajiniquil Bay, located in the Gulf of Santa Elena, around the headland south of Junquillal Bay. It’s a beautiful beach that’s perfect for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking – a great way to unwind after your excursion.NOTE: We will sail to Nicaragua overnight where necessary immigration requirements will be completed prior to re-entering Costa Rica.
Day 4 - Day 4 Rincon de la Vieja National Park
From Cuajiniquil, venture to Rincón de la Vieja National Park for a full day’s exploration. Rincón de la Vieja National Park one of the parks in the UNESCO-listed Guanacaste Conservation Area, and where ecological diversity abounds. The national park spans more than 34,000 acres, is home to two volcanoes, 32 rivers and streams, and hosts an incredible variety of wildlife including rare emerald toucanets, blue-crowned motmots, pumas, various species of monkeys, sloths, tapirs, and jaguars. Vibrant fuschia, the purple guaria morada orchid, Costa Rica’s national flower, laurel and Guanacaste trees are some of the unique plants found in the park.The park has an active volcano with nine eruption points, scattered array of boiling mud pits and steam vents, and waterfalls. Discover all these natural wonders as you hike though a unique ecosystem of both tropical cloud forest and tropical dry forest.
Day 5 - Days 5 Carillo Beach - Monte Alto Reserve / Diria Coffee Tour
Anchored off Carillo Beach, you have the choice of one of the following two shore excursions offered today.Monte Alto Nature ReserveMonte Alto, located around 60-minutes’ drive Carillo is a nature reserve located 480 - 880 metres (1,575 – 2,887 feet) above sea level. A major attraction of Monte Alto is the orchid path which winds through the forest with tall trees festooned with a vast array of orchids. Around 80 species of native orchids and bromeliads thrive in the reserve, each displaying their own unique shapes and colours.The reserve covers 924 hectares of low mountain forest and humid forest ecosystems that are home to small wildcats and other wildlife and insects including large blue Morpho butterflies, leaf-cutting ants, howler monkeys, agoutis and coatis, as well as over 200 species of birds. In addition to the orchid trail, five other trails can be explored at Monte Alto reserve. One trail leads to a waterfall, another to the Cerro Romo lookout - the highest point in the entire region, from which you can enjoy splendid panoramic views across to the Gulf of Nicoya in the east, the beaches of Samara in the west, and the plains of Guanacaste in the north.Diria Coffee TourCosta Rican coffee is world-renowned. On this excursion, you will be guided through the full process of coffee production from growing, harvesting, drying, roasting, and packaging. Matambú is the name of the last indigenous community of Guanacaste and this tour offers you the opportunity to meet member of the Matambú community, learn about their lifestyle and traditions. At the end of the tour, you will enjoy some snacks accompanied by fresh Diriá coffee.
Day 6 - Days 6 Curú Wildlife Refuge
Curú National Wildlife Refuge is the first privately-owned refuge in Costa Rica offering over 3,700 acres of tropical forests, mangrove swamps, and grassy fields sitting right along the coastline. The area is teeming wildlife and hosts one of the most beautiful and protected bays on the Nicoya Peninsula, where we plan to paddle, snorkel and Zodiac cruise. 17 hiking trails wind through the varied terrain of the refuge, where you’re very likely to encounter white tail deer, or catch a glimpse of brilliant red from the plumes of scarlet macaws as they swoop between trees. Arboreal creatures such as coati and monkeys are prolific including the native spider, and howler monkeys.
Day 7 - Day 7 Puerto Caldera, disembark
Disembark in Puerto Caldera, farewell your expedition team, and transfer to downtown San Jose or to the airport.NOTE: At the conclusion of the voyage, we recommend spending a night in San Jose or if booking an onward flight on the day of disembarkation, we suggest a flight departing San Jose not earlier than 2.00 pm in case there are delays.
Day 8 - Please Note:
In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to weather conditions.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
15-04-202121-04-2021USD $3,195Aurora Stateroom Triple
15-04-202121-04-2021USD $3,495Aurora Stateroom Twin
15-04-202121-04-2021USD $4,495Balcony Stateroom - C
15-04-202121-04-2021USD $4,595Balcony Stateroom - B
15-04-202121-04-2021USD $4,695Balcony Stateroom - A
15-04-202121-04-2021USD $6,195Balcony Stateroom Superior
15-04-202121-04-2021USD $7,295Junior Suite
15-04-202121-04-2021USD $8,295Captain's Suite


    • Immerse yourself on an in-depth exploration of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region
    • Visit Rincón de la Vieja National Park, home to the wild purple orchid, Costa Rica’s national flower
    • Snorkel, kayak or SUP in pristine turquoise waters
    • Discover Costa Rica’s world famous biodiversity, unique forest ecosystems and remarkable wildlife