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Exuberant Costa Rica (Self Drive)
15 Days


15 Days: San Jose, Arenal Volcano, Sarapiqui, South Caribbean, Valle Turrialba, San Gerardo de Dota, South Pacific, & Central Pacific

Tour Overview:
This unique program includes a detailed route around Costa Rica in a 4WD vehicle and accommodations at your choice of first class or deluxe hotels. You will travel from the Caribbean to the Pacific seeing some of the wonders of Costa Rica. Travel from San Jose to Arenal Volcano, Sarapiqui, Puerto Viejo de Limon, Turrialba Valley, San Gerardo de Dota, Ballena Bay, Manuel Antonio and back to San Jose.

Day 1 – Arrive San Jose

Arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport. Welcome & transfer to your selected hotel in San José.

Day 2 – San Jose – Arenal Volcano

This morning at the Hotel, you will be provided with a 4WD rental vehicle. From this moment, you will continue on your own driving to the different locations set in the program. Your journey will take you to Northern Costa Rica, specifically to the Arenal Volcano area. There are two main routes to access this region, via Naranjo-Ciudad Quesada or via San Ramon. This whole area represents the agricultural belt with cattle ranches and many consider the heart of the country. A striking characteristic of this area is the dramatic contrast in topography. Several small and medium-sized rivers that range throughout the plains make the region very fertile. The main attraction of this area is by far the Arenal Volcano, with its perfect conical shape rising 1,633 meters above sea level. There are several diverse activities and attractions to discover on your own. You will be staying the next two nights at selected Hotel in the area. (B)

Estimated driving time, non-stop: 3 ½ hour depending on route.
Estimated length time visiting places on route: 5 – 7 Hours
Possible Places to visit: Sarchi artisan town, Zarcero church and park or via San Ramon with Canopy San Luis. Poas volcano is currently closed but the surrounding mountains are gorgeous.

Day 3 – Arenal Volcano

The day is at leisure to pursue independent activities. Here are some ideas to consider: The Arenal Volcano National Park, hanging bridges, the sky Tram/sky trek, Arenal Vida Campesina, Boat tour, horseback riding and much more for you to discover on your own. (B)

Day 4 – Arenal Volcano – Sarapiqui

Today we recommend you to leave early, driving toward the Sarapiqui area, through the northern plains. The fertile lands are used to grow different crops including pineapple, yucca, papaya and bananas. The Sarapiqui area highlights the biological reserves and the tropical rain forests that are havens for eco-tourism, as well as family tourism projects and offer a large number of adventure activities. The optional activities include zip lining, horseback riding, hiking, river cruise, a chocolate tour and many others. You will be staying one night in Sarapiqui. (B)

Estimated driving time, non-stop: 2 ½ hour.
Estimated length time visiting places on route: 4 – 6 Hours
Places to possible visit: San Carlos River, Indigenous culture museum, Dave and Dave nature park, Sarapiqui River.

Day 5 – Sarapiqui – Puerto Viejo De Limon

The journey continues as you head on to the South Caribbean coast, to the area of Puerto Viejo of Limon. Check in for a two night stay at your selected Hotel in the area. Puerto Viejo located south from Limon City provides a unique combination of beaches, natural resources and Afro Caribbean culture. This area is the perfect place to visit if you are looking for relaxation. High quality beaches allow adventure and natural history activities that compliment the culture, gastronomy and music of the region. The local people are open and friendly and the town of Puerto Viejo is perfect to explore the Caribbean flavors in a rustic but charming environment. This area has been the birthplace of important Costa Rican poets, musicians, storytellers and painters who are known beyond the borders of the province of Limon, popularizing its culture. (B)

Estimated driving time, non-stop: 4 hour.
Estimated length time visiting places on route: 5 – 7 Hours
Places to possible visit: La Selva Biological Station (depending), Limon City

Day 6 – Puerto Viejo De Limon

Day at leisure to relax, enjoy the beaches and interact with the locals. There are other choices available, as well such as Cahuita National Park, Horseback riding, Indian Reserves for you to discover. (B)

Day 7 – Puerto Viejo De Limon – Turrialba Valley

Today you will drive to the Turrialba Valley, where you will be staying one night. The Turrialba Valley is a rural countryside zone, popular because of its good quality coffee plantations and sugar cane fields. Possible activities in this area are: Rafting, Visit CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), Horseback riding, Guayabo Archaeological Monument and others. (B)

Estimated driving time, non-stop: 3 ½ hour.
Estimated length time visiting places on route: 5 – 9 Hours
Places to possible visit: Pacuare River, Turrialba town, CATIE, Hydroelectric Angostura Power Plant.

Day 8 – Turrialba Valley –San Gerardo De Dota

Today’s drive will take you to different rural towns and through Cartago City, the past the capitol of Costa Rica. This city is home to the Lady of our Angels church, a place of Catholic pilgrimage for Costa Ricans. Later start your ascent in the Talamanca Mountain range to reach the cloud forest area of San Gerardo de Dota. This is one of the most important regions for coffee cultivation, but better known for its cloud forest, which is the perfect habitat for different species of flora and fauna. Check in for the next 2 nights at the selected hotel in the area.

Estimated driving time, non-stop: 3 hours.
Estimated length time visiting places on route: 5 – 7 Hours
Places to possible visit: Irazu Volcano, Cartago City and Orosi Valley and colonial church

Day 9 – San Gerardo De Dota

Day at leisure to enjoy the Cloud Forest and surroundings. The area is excellent for bird watchers since San Gerardo de Dota is located in a biological corridor that serves as a bird sanctuary for the over 170 species of birds that inhabit the region. (B)

Day 10 – San Gerardo De Dota – Ballena Bay

Today’s drive will take you to the to the South Pacific area near the outskirts of Ballena National Marine Park. You will experience along the route a variety of altitudes and changes in climate, passing through interesting towns such as San Isidro del General, reaching the Dominical Beach. Continue south along the coastal road reaching the fishing village of Uvita and head into the mountains, which surround the area. Two nights stay in the Ballena Bay area. (B)

Estimated driving time, non-stop: 3 hours.
Estimated length time visiting places on route: 5 – 7 Hours
Places to possible visit: San Isidro del General city, Nauyaca Waterfall, Dominical, Ballena National Park.

Day 11 – Ballena Bay

Day at leisure to discover the different attractions in the area. You can visit the Bahia Ballena Marine National Park which is a small area which protects the surrounding beaches, mangroves, islands, corals and the bay. The marine platform in front of the park connects in the middle of a sand bridge, which during low tide looks like a whale’s tail from the air or the mountain top. The warm waters form a perfect ecosystem to attract whales and dolphins, which are common near the coastal areas in the reproduction and birthing season. (B)

Day 12 – Ballena Bay – Manuel Antonio

Driving north up the coastal road (1 ½-hours) making your way into the Central Pacific region, specifically to the Manuel Antonio area. The region is known for its fine white-sand beaches ideal for swimming, tropical rainforest forest alive with wildlife and of course one of the area’s main attractions, the Manuel Antonio National Park(closed on Mondays). Here you can look for sloths, monkeys and iguanas. The immense variety of things to do and places to visit in the area will definitely add value to your experience in this blessed land in a lush tropical place. You will be staying the next three nights in the Manuel Antonio area. (B)

Estimated driving time, non-stop: 1 ½ hours.
Estimated length time visiting places on route: 3 Hours
Places to possible visit: Dominical, Matapalo.

Days 13 & 14 – Manuel Antonio

On your own you to rest, enjoy the sun, beaches and activities in the area, such as hiking, boat tours, horseback riding, canopy walk, kayaking, surfing and many others for you to discover. (B)

Day 15 – Manuel Antonio – SJO International Airport

This is your last day in Costa Rica and after some unforgettable days, enjoying the Pacific Coast drive to San Jose (approximate 3 ½-hour drive) Juan Santamaria International Airport to return the vehicle and board your flight back home. (B)

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DatesDbl OccSgl OccDbl OccSgl Occ
Jan 03 - Jan 17$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Jan 10 - Jan 24$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Jan 17 - Jan 31$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Jan 24 - Feb 07$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Jan 31 - Feb 14$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Feb 07 - Feb 21$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Feb 14 - Feb 28$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Feb 21 - Mar 07$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Feb 28 - Mar 14$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Mar 07 - Mar 21$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Mar 14 - Mar 28$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Mar 21 - Apr 04$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Mar 28 - Apr 11$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Apr 04 - Apr 18$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Apr 11 - Apr 25$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Apr 18 - May 02$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
Apr 25 - May 09$2,120$3,520$2,795$5,130
May 02 - May 16$2,120$3,520$2,095$3,785
May 09 - May 23$2,120$3,520$2,095$3,785
May 16 - May 30$2,015$3,370$2,095$3,785
May 23 - Jun 06$2,015$3,370$2,095$3,785
May 30 - Jun 13$2,015$3,370$2,095$3,785
Jun 06 - Jun 20$2,015$3,370$2,095$3,785
Jun 13 - Jun 27$2,015$3,370$2,095$3,785
Jun 20 - Jul 04$2,015$3,370$2,495$4,580
Jun 27 - Jul 11$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Jul 04 - Jul 18$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Jul 11 - Jul 25$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Jul 18 - Aug 01$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Jul 25 - Aug 08$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Aug 01 - Aug 15$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Aug 08 - Aug 22$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Aug 15 - Aug 29$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Aug 22 - Sep 05$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Aug 29 - Sep 12$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Sep 05 - Sep 19$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Sep 12 - Sep 26$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Sep 19 - Oct 03$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Sep 26 - Oct 10$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Oct 03 - Oct 17$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Oct 10 - Oct 24$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Oct 17 - Oct 31$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Oct 24 - Nov 07$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Oct 31 - Nov 14$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Nov 07 - Nov 21$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Nov 14 - Nov 28$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Nov 21 - Dec 05$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
Nov 28 - Dec 12$2,040$3,410$2,495$4,580
* Minimum 2 passengers
* It is possible to depart on this program on any day.
* Single travelling alone price is available upon request
* Rates not valid for travel during Holly weeks of Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving and Easter.
DestinationPropertyRoom type
San JoséCountry Inn & SuitesStandard
Arenal VolcanoLomas del VolcanBungalow Standard
SarapiquíLa Quinta de SarapiquiSuperior
South CaribbeanCariblue HotelSuperior
Valle TurrialbaVilla FlorenciaStandard
San Gerardo de DotaTrogon LodgeStandard
South PacificLa Cusinga LodgeOcean View Superior
Central PacificVillas LirioGarden Sencilla
DestinationPropertyRoom type
San JoséCrown Plaza CorobicíDeluxe
Arenal VolcanoArenal SpringsJunior Suite
SarapiquíLa Quinta Sarapiqui LodgeSuperior
South CaribbeanShawandhaBungalow
Valle TurrialbaCasa TurireStandard
San Gerardo de DotaSavegre HotelJunior Suite
South PacificCristal BallenaJunior Suite
Central PacificSi Como NoSuperior

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Inclusions & Highlights

  • Regular arrival transfers from Juan Santamaria International Airport to San Jose.
  • 14 nights’ accommodation at the selected hotel.
  • Meals – 14 Breakfasts.
  • Fourteen (14) days rental of a SUV Compact 4WD MT category – Sang Yong Korando or Similar.
    1. Includes: Unlimited mileage, and daily rent (manual transmission).
    2. Does not include: Guarantee deposits, daily insurances, GPS, Wi-Fi, additional driver, children seats, nor optional  services offered by car rental. Fuel, Toll rates, ferry tickets nor expenditures as per the driving experience are also not included.
    3. Car will be delivered at San Jose area hotel on Day # 2
    4. Car should be returned at: (SJO) San Jose International Airport on day #15.

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We welcome hearing from you! Feel free to call or simply Email us with any questions you may have.