Audley Travel was recommended to us by friends. We dealt with Amelia Henderson in booking a trip to...
Costa Rica self-drive family adventure
16 days from €4,075pp
Explore Tortuguero National Park, an ecological treasure trove consisting of a maze of canals and rivers teaming with all sorts of wildlife.
Drive through some of Costa Rica’s most spectacular landscapes.
Explore Arenal Volcano, an activity hub that's home to hanging bridges, rainforest walks and lake kayaking.
Spend a couple of days in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui for great white-water rafting.
Relax in the thermal river of Rio Perdido.
Enjoy time on the beach, or take a surf lesson instead.
- San José & Central Valley
- Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast
- Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
- Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves
- Rio Perdido
- Playa Potrero
Itinerary idea in detailOpen all Close all
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. On arrival in Costa Rica's capital city, San José, you're met at the airport and driven to your hotel by private transfer with an English-speaking guide accompanying you. Relax after your flight in preparation for your early start tomorrow.
Day 2 Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast
Your shared coach transfer will pick you up between 6am and 7am for the journey to Tortuguero National Park, stopping for a hearty breakfast on the way. The journey takes all morning but the route is a scenic one, passing through primary forest. The roads eventually peter out: you'll take a shared motor-driven canoe transfer to your lodge in time for lunch. In the afternoon you might go on a guided jungle hike as part of a small group, or take a guided visit to tiny Tortuguero Village.
Day 3 Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast
Enjoy a second day of guided small-group trips, exploring the landscape of Tortuguero. Today you might take a boat trip through the flooded forest connected by a series of waterways. Your guide will help you spot wildlife, such as caimans, tropical water birds, and howler and capuchin monkeys. Look out for iguanas sitting on tree branches and macaws winging their way over your head.
Day 4 Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast
Day 5 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Today you'll travel to Guapiles with your group. After a spot of lunch your guide will assist you with your rental car collection in Guapiles. After completing formalities you can hit the road and drive to Sarapiqui, a drive of around one hour.
Day 6 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Enjoy an adrenaline-filled morning of rafting along the Rio Sarapiqui. In the afternoon you'll have some free time to perhaps undertake a chocolate or coffee tour or hike some of the nearby nature trails.
Day 7 Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves
Day 8 Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves
Day 9 Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves
A day at leisure to relax or spend as you wish. Relax by the hotel pool and (if it's a clear day), take in the views of Arenal's volcanic cone. If you're looking for something more energetic, we suggest going kayaking on Lake Arenal, zip-lining or white-water rafting. Alternatively, visit Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, take a trip to the Rio Celeste waterfalls, or hike one of the national park's trails.
Day 10 Rio Perdido
Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves , Rio Perdido
Leaving Arenal today you'll head to the secluded dry forest area around Rio Perdido in Guanacaste province. You have the option of taking the scenic route around Lake Arenal or driving via Tenorio National Park and visiting the Río Celeste waterfall.
Day 11 Rio Perdido
Free time in Rio Perdido to relax in Costa Rica's only thermal river. Alternatively, zip-line through the Rio Blanco canyon, try river tubing or mountain bike around the extensive trail network.
Day 12 Playa Potrero
Day 13 Playa Potrero
Day 14 Playa Potrero
Day 15 International return flight
Playa Potrero , International return flight
Today you'll drive back to San José in time for you international flight home. The drive will take around four and a half hours.
Day 16 International return flight
International return flight
Arrive home today to complete your journey.
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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
Drag the slider to see monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary
|Place||Daily Max Temperature||Monthly Rainfall|
|San José & Central Valley||
|Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast||
|Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui||
|Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves||