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Classic Costa Rica self-drive tour

15 days from £6,995pp

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Tour highlights

  • Explore Costa Rica’s magical landscapes in your own 4x4, with the freedom to stop whenever you like.

  • Enjoy a river safari in the remote Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve.

  • Explore Arenal Volcano, an activity hub home to hanging bridges, lake kayaking and hot springs.

  • Discover the trails of Manuel Antonio, where rainforest meets beach.

  • Explore the Osa Peninsula, one of the most bio-diverse areas of Costa Rica.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • Fully insured vehicle hire
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

With international flights from a choice of airports including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to San José & Central Valley. Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to San José.

  • This morning your hire car will be delivered to you at your hotel before you drive for around three hours to Arenal Volcano.

  • The hanging bridges tour today offers a detailed and unique perspective on the flora and fauna of the tropical primary forest through a series of trails and bridges with a specialist local guide. This will be followed with a soak in the Eco Termales hot springs.

  • The Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve is located in a region widely considered to be one of the richest in biological diversity in Costa Rica. Once aboard the boat you will enjoy a river safari through the rainforest.

  • Today you will drive to the cooler climate of Monteverde, which will take approximately three and a half hours.

  • Located on the Caribbean side of the Costa Rican Continental Divide, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the first community owned projects in Costa Rica. Today you'll have a chance to explore the area with a local guide.

  • Today you will drive south to the warmer Pacific coast to the town of Manuel Antonio, where rainforest meets beach. This journey will take approximately three and a half hours.

  • At leisure in Manuel Antonio. Feel free to explore some of the coastline walking trails.

  • A further day at leisure.

  • Continue driving south to Puerto Jimenez, the gateway to Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, which will take just over two hours. From Puerto Jimenez it will take at least 45 minutes and can take over an hour depending on road conditions and wildlife spotting opportunities along the way. During your time in the Osa Peninsula you will have your hire car with you. On arrival, you will meet the guides at the hotel and they will talk you through the options for activities during your stay and when might be best to do certain things, dependent on the weather.

  • A day at leisure. To make the most of your time in the wildlife-rich Osa Peninsula, we recommend spending as much time as possible on the forest trails with your lodge's specialist naturalist guides. They will help you to spot toucans, macaws, squirrel monkeys and the many local species of butterfly.

  • A further day at leisure. You could explore your surroundings or ask the lodge for some recommendations of where to go in the area.

  • Drive back up the coast past Uvita and Manuel Antonio toward the Central Highlands. This journey will take approximately six hours. You will spend the night in a beautiful coffee-themed boutique hotel surrounded by coffee fields, green pastures, and a rich agricultural environment.

  • You will drive back to San José Airport, where you will drop your car off, before taking your international flight home.

  • Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

What our clients say about us

Audley Travel specialist Nik
Contact a Costa Rica specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to Costa Rica will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
San José & Central Valley
Arenal Volcano
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Manuel Antonio

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