Costa Rica’s wildlife is very accessible and remarkably varied. Nor does it lack depth: the Osa Peninsula is considered one of the top three most bio-diverse places on earth.
On this self-drive holiday you have the opportunity to take the road less travelled, taking in all of Costa Rica’s main ecosystems. While exploring a network of peaceful cloud forest trails at San Gerardo, you can later enjoy unparalleled wildlife viewing in the lush tropical rainforest of Corcovado.
An eco-adventure haven, the Rincon de la Vieja is an active volcano that is more than a million years old. Sitting inside a national park sharing the same name, this area boasts dramatic sceneries, roaring waterfalls, relaxing hot springs, bubbling mud pits and wonderful picnic areas to enjoy.
Located in the gorgeous highlands of San Jose, the picturesque towns of Grecia, Sarchi and San Ramon provide a wonderful escape from city life. Great communities to get an up close view of Tico culture, places like Sarchi are known for its intricate and artistic wooden handicrafts.
A key turtle breeding ground in the Caribbean, the Tortuguero National Park is the habitat and nesting ground of four of the eight species of marine turtles in the world. Known for its meandering rivers and lovely lagoons, this area is also home to the endangered West Indian manatee.
Fly to San Jose. You are met on arrival and driven to your comfortable hotel. Rest of the evening free to relax.
Travel to the cloud forest. Your hire car is delivered to your hotel this morning before you set off driving to the cloudforest region of San Gerardo. Cross over the highest point in Costa Rica, Cerro de la Muerte, en route. (B)
Explore San Gerardo’s cloud forest. Spend today exploring the quiet, self-guided trails of the cloudforest, home to an incredible variety of plant and bird life. This is one of the best spots to see the Resplendent Quetzal, one of the most colourful bird sin the region. (B)
Travel to the Pacific Coast. Drive southwest today to the Pacific beach at Dominical. The drive takes you down through the cool mists of the cloudforest into the hot and humid tropical jungle. (B)
Corovado National Park. Visit the pristine jungle at Corcovado National Park today for a chance of seeing monkeys, sloth, parrots, macaws and toucans. You may even be lucky and spot a jaguar! (B,L)
Cano Island National Park. Take a boat to Cano Island today, with a good chance of seeing pods of dolphins en route. Relax on the beach, from which there is also good snorkelling. (B)
To the Central Pacific. Perhaps take a jungle trail to Playa Tortuga this morning, before driving the short distance along the coastal road to Manuel Antonio. (B)
Manuel Antonio’s wildlife and beaches. Explore the Manuel Antonio National Park with your guide this morning, one of the most scenically beautiful areas in the country, where jungle meets pristine white sand beach. (B)
To Arenal. Drive north and inland to the towering Arenal Volcano, where you stay at the only hotel located on the southern side of the crater. On a clear night you may see molten lava trickling down the volcano’s slopes. (B)
Forest bird walk. Take advantage of an included guided walk through the forest to spot some of the 400 or so bird species which live in the vicinity of the volcano. Relax in the afternoon, perhaps with a visit to the nearby hot springs. (B)
Watch the volcano. As one of the area’s most active volcanoes, you have a good chance of witnessing some spectacular activity. Arenal is also great for activities though, with Hanging Bridges, zip wires and rafting amongst the available choices. (B)
To tropical dry forest in Rincon. Drive north to the tropical dry forest of Rincon de la Vieja today, home of cowboys and cattle-ranching. (B)
Mud pots and fumaroles. Walk or ride in the national park today to see bubbling mud pools, sulphurous vents and fume roles. (B)
Travel to Pacific beach: See the cows being milked at the ranch this morning before driving west to your hotel set on the sands of the Pacific coast. (B)
Nosara – coastal walk. Free day to take a walk in the attractive coastal forest, or alternatively just relax. (B)
Nosara – Relax on the beach. Free days to relax on one of the three pretty beaches in the area. Between July and November Olive Ridley turtles come to nest on the beach at the nearby Ostional Wildlife Refuge. (B)
Drive to the airport and drop off your hire car before your flight home. Ideally you will fly into San Jose but leave from Liberia: otherwise you may require a final night in the capital. (B)
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