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Classic Costa Rica self-drive

15 days from €4,190pp

What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

Itinerary 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
/svg> All accommodation
  • San José & Central Valley
  • Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Manuel Antonio
  • Puerto Jiménez
  • El Remanso
  • Puerto Jiménez
  • Chayote Lodge
  • San José & Central Valley

Itinerary idea in detail

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Including international flights from Ireland.

Day 1 San José & Central Valley

International outbound flight , San José & Central Valley

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

Day 2 Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves

San José & Central Valley , Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves

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

Day 3 Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves

Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves

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.

Day 4 Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves

Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves

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.

Day 5 Monteverde Cloud Forest

Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves , Monteverde Cloud Forest

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

Day 6 Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Located on the Caribbean side of the Costa Rican Continental Divide, the Santa Elena Cloudforest 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.

Day 7 Manuel Antonio

Monteverde Cloud Forest , Manuel Antonio

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.

Day 8 Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio

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

Day 10 El Remanso

Manuel Antonio , Puerto Jiménez , El Remanso

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.

Day 11 El Remanso

El Remanso

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.

Day 12 El Remanso

El Remanso

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

Day 13 Chayote Lodge

El Remanso , Puerto Jiménez , Chayote Lodge

Drive back up the coast past Uvita and Manuel Antonio towards 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.

Accommodation

Day 14 International return flight

Chayote Lodge , San José & Central Valley , International return flight

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

Day 15 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.


Audley Travel specialist Nik
Audley Travel specialist Chris

Contact a 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. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

Watch our tailor-made process ›

When to go

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Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily Max Temperature Monthly Rainfall
San José & Central Valley
 
 
 
Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves
 
 
 
Monteverde Cloud Forest
 
 
 
Manuel Antonio