Costa Rica,

A Self-drive Adventure In Costa Rica

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Tailor-Made Tour
13 Days
From £2398
GEOIP Not Available
Self Drive

Tour Introduction

13 Days from £2398
GEOIP Not Available
per adult.

This diverse itinerary starts with the Caribbean jungle-fringed waterways of Tortuguero to spot three species of monkey, three-toed sloth, caiman and many bird species. It is then a transfer by boat and road to Guapiles where a hire car awaits. From here a highly varied and stimulating self-drive journey begins in which we feature many popular Costa Rican destinations.  Enjoy beautiful views of the classic cone-shaped Arenal Volcano, experience the verdant cloud forest from above during an exhilarating zip-wire tour, search for the magnificent resplendent quetzal in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and relax on the fine Pacific beaches of Manuel Antonio.

Full Itinerary

Price from £2398
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in San Jose

Arrive San Jose, capital of Costa Rica in the late evening. Met and transfer to your hotel, not far from the airport

Staying at Bougainvillea Hotel. Includes No Meals.

Day 2
Tortuguero

Morning pickup at your hotel and transfer through Braulio Carillo National Park to a Caribbean lowlands river dock to embark on a boat transfer to Tortuguero. Arrive at your lodge and settle in. In the afternoon, go on a guided visit to little Tortuguero Town.

Staying at Evergreen Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Tortuguero

Morning and afternoon boat trips through the jungle-fringed waterways and rivers of the Tortuguero region. It is possible to see howler, spider and white-faced capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloth, river turtle, caiman, iguana, basilisk lizard, freshwater turtles and many bird species. Night- time turtle watching trips are arranged in season.

Staying at Evergreen Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Arenal

Transfer by boat and road to Guapiles for lunch, then pick up hire car and self-drive to Arenal.

Staying at Lost Iguana Resort & Spa. Includes Breakfast.

Day 5
Arenal

Enjoy a natural history walk in the 617 acre Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. The trail leading through the park is almost two miles long and includes 15 bridges, six of which are suspension bridges. The remainder of the day is at leisure for independent exploration.

Staying at Lost Iguana Resort & Spa. Includes Breakfast.

Day 6
Arenal

A full day at leisure for independent exploration.

Staying at Lost Iguana Resort & Spa. Includes Breakfast.

Day 7
Monteverde

Depart Arenal and self-drive up into the mountains to Monteverde.

Staying at Hotel Belmar. Includes Breakfast.

Day 8
Monteverde

Early morning transfer to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for a guided walk through the atmospheric forest. See many hummingbirds and trogons and, with luck, the beautiful resplendent quetzal and three-wattled bellbird. In the afternoon, perhaps opt for a canopy tour or zip lining adventure.

Staying at Hotel Belmar. Includes Breakfast.

Day 9
Monteverde

A full day at leisure for independent exploration.

Staying at Hotel Belmar. Includes Breakfast.

Day 10
Manuel Antonio

Self-drive from the mountains down to Manuel Antonio in the Pacific lowlands. Some of the finest beaches in the country can be found here, with lush rainforest coming down to the high tide mark and containing diverse wildlife. This includes mammals such as the three-toed sloth, black howler monkey, white capuchin monkey, endangered squirrel monkey and racoon, and 184 species of birds.

Staying at Tulemar Bungalows and Buena Vista Villas. Includes No Meals.

Day 11
Manuel Antonio

Enjoy a day at leisure to relax or explore the area on your own.

Staying at Tulemar Bungalows and Buena Vista Villas. Includes No Meals.

Day 12
Manuel Antonio

Enjoy a final full day in Costa Rica to relax on the beautiful beaches or perhaps visit Manuel Antonio National Park.

Staying at Tulemar Bungalows and Buena Vista Villas. Includes No Meals.

Day 13
Depart San Jose

Self drive to San Jose Airport to drop off your hire car and check in for your flight home.

Includes No Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Costa Rica Cordilleras Volcanoes

Hotel Belmar

Overview

Inspired by the Chilean owner’s Austrian wife and his year’s spent living in Austria, this 25 room property is located on a hillside with views over flower-filled grounds and cloud forest to the Nicoya Peninsula.

The main building houses the reception, the Peninsula rooms, and the Celajes Restaurant and Lounge with an outdoor terrace with wonderful views. A perfect spot to enjoy a Happy Hour drink with a complimentary snack!

Across the rough road from the Main Building The Chalet has a juice bar and tea room, small gift shop, complimentary yoga, and the Forest rooms. There is also another building further up the hill that houses the Suites.

All rooms are ensuite with private balconies. There are no TVs in the rooms. Room service is available from 1200 – 2100, there is WiFi throughout, and a trail from the main building leads to a microbrewery, large indoor Jacuzzi, and a natural spring for swimming. A variety of tours are available at additional cost.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
25
Facilities

Celajes Restaurant and Lounge with outdoor terrace in the Main Building, juice bar and tea room, gift shop and yoga deck in The Chalet, room service (not 24 hours), microbrewery, indoor Jacuzzi, natural spring for swimming, and WiFi throughout.

Optional Activities

A range of activities can be arranged at additional cost including a guided nature hike, guided birding, farm visit and horseback ride, and microbrewery tour.

Costa Rica Central Pacific Coast

Tulemar Bungalows and Buena Vista Villas

Overview

The Buena Vista Villas are a selection of one, two and three bedroom luxury villas located within the Tulemar resort complex. Tulemar is a 33 acre, gated and secure, residential resort located right in the heart of Manuel Antonio. Made up of over 50 individual villas (of different levels of luxury), the majority of which are individually owned and leased by separate landlords. Despite the size of the overall operation, Tulemar avoids feeling like a commercial holiday resort, and the individual villas are all well-spaced out to provide the feeling of peaceful seclusion.

The Buena Vista Villas comprise four of the 50 individual accommodations, with standard, one, two and three-bedroom options available. Due to the interior layouts, the villas can accommodate larger groups, with the three bedroom being able to sleep 11 people. Whilst they are the least extravagant of the categories available at Tulemar, they still offer a luxurious place to stay and provide all necessary facilities and amenities to make your stay comfortable.

A stay at the Buena Vista villas is sure to provide an adventure-filled time, as there is a wide variety of different kinds of activity on offer. Whether nature watching, adrenaline-fueled sport or more relaxed classes appeal to you, the impressive activities offered at Tulemar are sure to create an exciting and memorable experience.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
7
Facilities

The villas themselves boast king or queen sized beds, daybeds, open air showers, kitchens, terraces with dining areas and Jacuzzi, WiFi, concierge service, washing machine, tumble dryer and maid service. Additionally, due to the villas location within the Tulemar Resort complex, guests have access to the public facilities such as four pools, restaurant, beach bar and grill.

Local Wildlife

Two and three-toed sloth, howler monkeys, titi monkeys, capuchins, over 180 bird species, and a large variety of lizard species.

Optional Activities

Tulemar’s fantastic location in the heart of Manuel Antonio allows a whole host of activities to be offered. Tours include the sloth walk, night jungle walks, snorkeling or canopy tour, waterfall walking tours, Manuel Antonio national park tour, safari trucking, mangrove safari tour and a helicopter tour. Horse-back and quad biking tours are also an option. The proximity to the beach allows paddle boarding, white water rafting, surfing, jet skiing and sport fishing, too. Within the resort, yoga, tennis, Spanish, cooking and photography classes are also available.

Costa Rica Cordilleras Volcanoes

Lost Iguana Resort

Overview

Nestled in the Costa Rican jungle, Lost Iguana Resort and Spa is a stunning nature inspired hotel located in 120 acres of preserved rainforest, home to the most fascinating biodiversity. The hotel has 42 hillside rooms, each with a stunning private view of Arenal Volcano and doorstep access to the jungle from every area.

The standard deluxe category are entry level rooms, with high, lofty ceilings and local artwork and decoration creating an authentic, bright atmosphere. The luxury suite is larger, featuring a Jacuzzi bath and the Villas junior and superior suites have two bedrooms, kitchenettes and outdoor Jacuzzis on the patio. The two casitas are larger again, with more extensive outdoor spaces and larger Jacuzzis.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
42
Facilities

All rooms have minibars, safety deposit boxes, TVs, Wi-Fi connection, AC and ceiling fans, tea and coffee facilities. All except standard rooms have Jacuzzis too. There are two pools, a spa, restaurant and bar on site.

Local Wildlife

Nearly all of the 850 species of birds found in Costa Rica are present in the lodge area. These species include resplendent quetzal, one of the most beautiful birds in Mesoamerica. Also present are white-faced capuchin monkey, jaguar, deer, coati, toucan and many species of snake such as fer-de-lance.

Optional Activities

There are many trips and excursions to be done in the La Fortuna/ Arenal area, and the hotel is very good at arranging activities for guests. Those on offer include white water rafting, hanging bridge canopy tours, La Fortuna waterfall visits, the Tabacon mineral baths, sky tram canopy tours, kayaking, Cano Negro wildlife refuge, birding and nature trails, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Costa Rica Caribbean Coast

Evergreen Lodge

Overview

Evergreen Lodge is one of the newer properties in the Tortuguero area and just five minutes by boat from the entrance to Tortuguero National Park. The resort was built to blend in with the natural environment: it has neutral rustic furnishings and a friendly ambience.

The lodge has 55 attractive but quite basic rooms which include comfortable double or twin beds, private bathrooms and ceiling fans. The rooms are connected by a series of walkways through the forest where wildlife is often spotted. There is a large communal building which houses a restaurant serving tasty buffet meals – a bar and lounge is also available for relaxation. Other facilities include a turtle-shaped swimming pool plus a short canopy walkway through the lodge’s two hectares of gardens and forest.

Evergreen Lodge offers a range of spa treatments taken in the treatment room looking out on to the lush forest.

Kayaks are free for guest use plus the lodge offers guided river cruises through the rainforest canals.

The lodge runs its own eleven- platform, seven-cable zip-line tour through the rainforest canopy, including four suspension bridges, one Tarzan swing and a climbing wall.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
55
Facilities

Private bathrooms, ceiling fan, restaurant, bar, lounge, swimming pool, spa,

Local Wildlife

Over 300 bird species, abundant three-toed and two- toed sloths, mantled howler and white faced capuchin monkeys, central American agouti and white-nosed coati. Colourful frogs and reptiles such as basilisk lizard, iguanas, spectacled caiman, American crocodile and exciting snakes are all frequently encountered. Between mid-July and October green and hawksbill turtles nest on the beaches.

Optional Activities

Guided boat trips, kayaking, hiking and canopy walkway tours. Turtle watching occurs between mid-July and October.

Costa Rica Turrialba Region

Bougainvillea Hotel

Overview

The Bougainvillea Hotel is situated in a quiet location in Santo Domingo de Heredia, about 20 minutes from central San Jose. The hotel has elegant and spacious rooms with private hot water bathrooms, two double beds, flat-screen cable TV, ceiling fan, tea and coffee facilities and a safety deposit box. The rooms have been well designed with wide windows affording pleasant garden views.

There is a good restaurant and bar that serves a la carte international cuisine and caters well for special dietary requirements.

Other facilities include a gift shop, business centre, swimming pool, gym, sauna, tennis court and large, attractive tropical gardens.

The hotel’s location makes it ideal for a stopover before and after your international flights but it is far enough from the city centre to provide a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
81
Facilities

Private bathrooms, hot water, restaurant, bar, lounge, sauna, tennis court, safety deposit box, ceiling fan, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities, room service, massage service, laundry service, luggage storage and currency exchange.

Local Wildlife

An array of tropical birds and insects

Optional Activities

Tennis, gym and sauna on site and bird watching excursions can be arranged.

Route Map

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Evergreen Lodge: 10.542707, -83.511758
Bougainvillea Hotel: 9.999105, -84.109250
Lost Iguana Resort: 10.484843, -84.756069
Buena Vista Villas: 9.407636, -84.158256
Hotel Belmar: 10.313090, -84.811432

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Best Visited:

December to May

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

John Melton

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

A leatherback turtle laying her eggs on Playa Grande. Scarlet macaws feeding and flying in early morning sunlight. The sight of a male resplendent quetzal in beautiful cloudforest. The song of the black-faced solitaire reverberating through the cloudforest. Seeing green poison-arrow and strawberry poison-dart frogs. First sights of some of the vibrant tanagers and honeycreepers. Sight of great potoo from boat on way to Corcovado. Seeing three-toed sloth and baby at Corcovado.[Some wildlife highlights]

Thoroughly enjoyed whitewater rafting on Sarapiqui despite initial trepidation! Many thanks for suggesting it. Crew were patient, encouraging and great fun. Amazed by the proximity and diversity of the birdlife. We had a thoroughly wonderful and memorable trip – thanks a million!

Ms S - Bristol