Self-drive in Costa Rica
This 15 day Self Drive Costa Rica vacation is an ideal road trip to explore a truly natural wonderland. It is a vibrant destination full of opportunities for adventure. Enjoy the freedom to take spontaneous detours and side trips throughout this tour. Marvel at the tremendous biological and geographic diversity of Tortuguero National Park. Spend time at the impressive crater of Poas Volcano with its eruptions.
Live the matchless cultural diversity of the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica while visiting Sarapiquí area, which is famous for its extraordinary biodiversity. Let yourself be immersed in the beauty of Arenal Volcano’s surroundings. Drive into Monteverde wildlife sanctuary and relax at the amazing white beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park.
Spend an amazing time behind the wheel to explore this small but very surpassing country. With coasts on two oceans, peaks higher than 12,000 feet, pristine rain forests, wetlands and one of the world’s densest populations of flora and fauna, you do not want to miss this trip!
❂ Self-drive Costa Rica highlights
- South Caribbean
- Volcano Arenal
- Cloud Forest of Monteverde
- Manuel Antonio Beach
Self-drive in Costa Rica
Day 1: Arrival
At your arrival, a representative will be waiting for you, holding a visible placard with your last name. They will drive you to the hotel in San Jose. Throughout this trip, you will have your vehicle available for a delightful stroll through the country.
Day 2 – 3. Area of Tortuguero
Your first destination in your Self Drive Costa Rica vacation package is perfect for wildlife lovers with 400 species of birds. One can find animals such as monkeys, sloths and many others roaming. You will also find 400 types of trees and at least 2,200 of other plants.
With all of this fabulous wildlife, you will find many optional activities such as boat trips, hiking, turtle watching, bird watching, canoeing, kayaking and others.
National Park Tortuguero is an important breeding site for the green sea turtle. In fact, it is the only place in the world where turtles arrive in large quantities and return regularly throughout the year.
‘Tortuguero’ means “land of many turtles,” and as its name suggests, you will have the opportunity to see these wonderful creatures. From the eight species of sea turtles there are in the whole world, six nest in Costa Rica and four of them are found here in this National Park.
Day 4 – 5. South Caribbean
In the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, you will experience an incomparable cultural diversity, where black, indigenous and European people enjoy a relaxed lifestyle together.
Here, in the middle of lush vegetation and a wide variety of wildlife, find the most diverse and attractive activities such as diving, surfing, hiking, sport fishing, dolphin tours, visits to a Native Reserve, horseback riding and bird-watching among others.
Enjoy these two days in the middle of the lush rainforest with the opportunity to see sloths, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, raccoons, sea turtles, crabs, iguanas, birds, toucans and frogs.
Day 4: Area of Sarapiqui
It is known for its amazing and rich biodiversity and it is becoming a popular tourism destination for both families and natural adventure seekers.
Located at the junction of the ‘Old Port” and a beautiful river, it draws adventure and nature lovers for exciting whitewater rafting or nature-viewing float trips. If you are an avid bird watcher, this is the place to see many of Costa Rica’s bird species, such as hummingbirds, Quetzals, toucans, Aracaris, guans and Great Green Macaws. The harmonious surroundings will allow you to relax and concentrate on the scenery.
Day 7 – 8. Volcano Arenal
Today you will go directly to the Arenal Volcano area in San Carlos. This area is surrounded by a natural beauty that will leave you breathless.
Enjoy two days of adventure with the most varied activities: canopy excursions, fishing in the beautiful Arenal Volcano Lagoon, suspension bridges, sky tram, hiking the almost perfect conical form of its volcano and relaxing in the hot springs.
Day 9 – 10. National Park of Monteverde
Now you will travel to the Monteverde Reserve, an established wildlife sanctuary in 1972 and one of the major tourist destinations in Costa Rica. It draws many tourists as it has a great wealth of tropical jungles, bright Quetzals and a great variety of hummingbirds.
You can also visit the nearby and beautiful Santa Elena Cloud Forest Community Reserve with more than 2000 species of plants, 400 birds and 100 different mammals. Tuds settle in the forest providing moisture to the plants and animals that live there. It is a beautiful serene environment for those walking along the trails of this reserve.
Day 11 - 13: Manuel Antonio and Quepos area
Today you will go to the Manuel Antonio National Park named by Forbes as one of the world’s most beautiful parks in 2011. With three uniquely beautiful beaches, casual trails and a dense rainforest that combines with animal life, this destination offers the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful beaches and sun, while surrounded by lush vegetation and vibrant wildlife forests.
If you’re looking for some adventure, get a canopy tour or rafting. When looking for a relaxing time, enjoy the light sand beaches in the coastal park, which are popular for swimming, snorkeling, and surf lessons.
Nearby you will find the town of Quepos. They describe it as the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park. It’s just a 15-minute drive, and it has a great selection of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops.
The streets of Quepos are easy to walk. With a mix of local shops, markets, and cafes, this town has all the amenities of a tourism-hub, yet maintains the charm of Costa Rica with an authentic laid-back feel.
*The park is closed every Monday
Day 14: Free day
Time to enjoy the beach of Manuel Antonio. Today you will make your drive back to San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, while you enjoy the road surrounded by spectacular vegetation.
Day 15: Departure
Today ends your journey through Costa Rica, you will drive to the international airport for your flight back home. You will be able to drop off the auto at the airport. Please, don't forget to contact us if you would like to customize your itinerary.
Manuel Antonio Park Escorted tour
Discover one of the most diversified environments of the world on an escorted hike over this nature park. An experienced naturalist eye and closeness with the park permits your guide to identify and show you animals you would expect to omit on your own. Moreover, the guide carries along a spotting scope so you are able to get up-close views of a broad diversification of wildlife from monkeys and sloths to toucans and hummingbirds.
Duration: half day. Price per guest from: $60