10 days / 9 nights

Essential Costa Rica - Self-drive

Essential Costa Rica - Self-drive






Uncover essential Costa Rica during this exotic 10-day self-drive adventure. Beginning and ending in the capital, San Jose, visit the most predominant natural areas of Costa Rica, including Arenal Volcano National Park and the cloud forest of Monteverde. Spend the last days of the tour enjoying Manuel Antonio National Par, as it is one of the most stunning conservation areas on the planet. During the trip, keep an eye out for a variety of animal life, bug life and plant life, and don’t forget to mingle with the friendly locals for an all-round experience. The tour is a combination of a guaranteed departure tour and the self-drive holidays that start on day four. San Jose: Costa Rica’s capital city was founded in the mid-18th century - visit its museums, the European-inspired National Theatre and stroll through its historic neighbourhoods Tortuguero: This park is home to the nesting grounds of green sea turtles and offers spectacular beaches and opportunities galore to spot wild animals and birds Arenal: Admire one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the country and it’s park, dotted with trails and rich in wildlife Monteverde: Settled by American Quakers in the 1950s, this primary cloud forest is made up of six unique ‘life zones’ and is home to endangered species and an enormous variety of plant life Manuel Antonio: This picturesque national park is Costa Rica’s smallest but packed full with wild animals, lush vegetation and beautiful beaches


Assistance on Arrival Daily Full Breakfast Hotel Accommodation on twin / double sharing basis. All tours / activities / shows as per the itinerary All entrance tickets as per itinerary All Pick up drops / transfers mentioned in the itinerary Transport in A/C car / Bus as mentioned Meals as per the itinerary / included in the itinerary


Air Tickets (International / Domestic) Visa and Insurance Hotel Taxes Suggested optional activities/ tours if any. Any meals / snacks other than mentioned in the itinerary Camera Fee and any other entertainment charges Tips of any kind – Guides, Driver, Cruise Crew, etc. Portages at airport Personal Expenses such as Laundry, Telephone etc Beverages of any kind


Day 1
Upon arrival to San Jose, meet and greet services at Juan Santamaria International Airport will direct you to your transport, which will drop you off at your hotel in San Jose for your first night in Costa Rica. Arrival transfer will be offered at any time for your convenience. Overnight in San Jose hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 2
SAN JOSE – TORTUGUERO (135km – 4 hrs by road / 2 hrs by boat)
Your day begins early with a morning departure at around 06:00 hrs, travelling by bus through the Braulio Carrillo National Park to the Caribbean plains to enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery and quaint villages. Breakfast on route. After, continue through the jungle by boat and cruise the rivers and canals of Tortuguero National Park. Arrive and check in at your eco-lodge, followed by lunch at the lodge. Board the boat again for a visit to Tortuguero village, where you will get to walk around town and experience the locals’ way of life and stroll along the beach. During turtle hatching season, we will look for the baby turtles trying to find their way down to the ocean. Nesting is from July to September, hatching from September to December. Enjoy the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel, surrounded by the beautiful tropical forest and wildlife. Accommodation: Lodge for all categories. Overnight in Tortuguero hotel on a full-board basis.
Day 3
Today you will have some free time to relax by the pool and also experience the Tortuguero National Park (Admission not included) on a three-hour trip, where you can observe over 350 protected species of birds, monkeys, crocodiles and sloths and its lush vegetation. During the July to September season you can join an optional late night turtle nesting tour, purchasable directly at the lodge. Accommodation: Lodge for all categories. Overnight in Tortuguero hotel on a full-board basis.
Day 4
TORTUGUERO – ARENAL (210km – 5 hrs by road / 2 hrs by boat)
Around 09:00 hrs, depart by boat back to Guapiles. From there, take ground transportation to the restaurant for lunch. After a nice meal, a representative of the car rental company will meet you at the restaurant to give you the rental car you will be using for the rest of the trip. Then you can drive yourself to the Arenal area with the remainder of the day to enjoy at leisure. Overnight in Arenal hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Lunch included.
Day 5
After breakfast, take the opportunity to visit the Arenal Volcano National Park on your own (entrance fee not included). During the hike, enjoy the verdant landscapes and the backdrop of the now-dormant volcano as you keep a lookout for animals that live in this national park, such as sloths, howler monkeys and even anteaters, to name a few. In case you are feeling adventurous, this area also offers activities such as zip lines, hanging bridges and kayaking, among others. Also, a visit to one of the numerous hot springs available in the area is a must. Overnight in Arenal hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 6
ARENAL – MONTEVERDE (60km – 2.5 hrs by road / 45 min by boat)
Begin the day with an early breakfast. You can have the morning at leisure or depart immediately after breakfast to the Monteverde Cloud forest area. Admire the transition of the rainforest to the cloud forest where you reach an altitude of 1,200 m (3,600 ft) above sea level. Monteverde, located in the Puntarenas province, is a place of cloud forests and mist, coffee plantations, monkeys and friendly locals. The town of Santa Elena is small and quaint, filled with tasty restaurants and folksy artisan shops, while the nearby rainforest hosts a remarkable amount of biodiversity. Enjoy the day at leisure to explore on your own. Overnight in Monteverde hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 7
After a nourishing breakfast at the hotel, perhaps take a hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (entrance fee not included). Founded in 1972, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is world-renowned for its incredible biodiversity, conservation actions and contributions, and scientific research. The reserve’s 3,500 hectare of land is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, and it is one of the most important private reserves, not just in Costa Rica but the world. In the reserve, we can find four ecological ‘life zones’ with different ecosystems and home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, insects and arachnids, as well as a large variety of flora, such as mosses, vines and the autochthonous trees of the cloud forest. Overnight in Monteverde hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Breakfast included.
Day 8
This morning after breakfast, you can start your descend towards Manuel Antonio National Park. On arrival, take the rest of the day to enjoy the surrounding areas, hotel facilities or the beach. Overnight in a Manuel Antonio on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 9
After breakfast, have the opportunity to visit the Manuel Antonio National Park on your own (entrance fee not included). The trail is flat and picturesque and loops through the park, making your course about two miles long. The park is a great place to take pictures or just to admire the impressive views. One of the highlights of this tour is that Manuel Antonio is home to three of the four existing tropical primates living in Costa Rica. Half way through the hike, enjoy a leisurely stop at the world-famous ‘Third Beach’. Take a rest on the soft sand or play in the waves. Throughout the hike, it is common to see sloths, birds and reptiles as well as admire wild orchids, butterflies and tropical vegetation. (Note: Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays). Overnight in Manuel Antonio on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 10
At the appropriate time, drive from Manuel Antonio to Juan Santamaria International Airport to catch your onward flight. The main office of the car rental company is located very close to the Juan Santamaria airport. Drop off your car here and then take a shuttle transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Recommended departure time from 15:00 hrs on. Breakfast included.


Evergreen Lodge or similar, Holiday Inn Escazu or similar, Holiday Inn Express Forum or similar, Hotel Arenal Montechiari or similar, Hotel El Establo Hotel or similar, Hotel Monteverde Country Lodge or similar, Pachira Lodge or similar, Real Intercontinental or similar or similar
Aninga Lodge or similar, Hotel Poco a Poco or similar, Hotel San Bada Hotel or similar, Parador Resort & Spa or similar or similar
Hotel Arenal Kioro or similar, Hotel Arenal Springs or similar or similar


  • Above rates are subject to availability.
  • Cancellation charges as per company policy.
  • The above rates are subject to change in case of travel during the festive season
  • In case we are not able to provide the same hotels as mentioned, then we shall provide similar alternate properties, change in the cost if any will be advised.
  • In case of Political Unrest, bad weather or sudden breakdown of the vessel we may shift guest to alternative govt ferry and no refund will be entertained during that situation.
  • Our Executive may change your itinerary depending on the weather condition and ferry availability same will be update to you daily basis.
Vehicle Options Category A: Daihatsu Bego or similar (4 seats/ 5 doors) Category B: Suzuki Grand Vitara or similar (5 seats/ 5 doors) Category C: Toyota Fortuner or similar (7 seats/ 5 doors)


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