Family holiday Costa Rica with a rental car

15 days - from € 2,400 per person*

self-drive - active - jungle - wildlife - birds

* Please note: this price is based on a trip with 2 children under the age of 5 using family rooms. If you are travelling with older children, prices will have to be calculated on the basis of 2 double rooms

During this trip you will discover the relatively small but diverse country Costa Rica. You will travel to Tortuguero where turtles come ashore to breed. You will drive by rental car through coffee and sugar cane fields, you will explore the cloud forest and visit the Arenal volcano. Finally you drive to Nosara, where you can visit the beautiful secluded beaches, spot birds or go kayaking. A wonderful place to end your Unique Journey.

Day 1: Amsterdam – San José

Today your Unique Journey through Costa Rica starts! You will board your intercontinental flight in Amsterdam. In the evening you will arrive in San José where a local employee will take you to your hotel. San José is a city surrounded by the rough Talamanca Mountains, and the Poás volcano. Throughout the city you will find many parks, each with different statues of historical persons. The main sights of San José, such as the Teatro Nacional, are all located in the center. In the old Barrio Amón district you will find very beautiful colonial buildings.
Overnight stay: Hotel Presidente | bed & breakfast
 

 

Day 2: San José – Tortuguero

Early in the morning you will be picked up at your hotel and travel on shared basis (with other tourists) in the direction of Tortuguero. Tortuguero comes from the word tortuga which means turtle. This place owes its name to the sea turtles that come here to breed. Between July and October the females lay their eggs which hatch out between the end of September and the beginning of December. The last part to town you will travel by boat as Tortuguero can only be reached by water and air. In the afternoon you will visit the town of Tortuguero and the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, where you will learn more about the turtles. Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel. 
Overnight stay: Mawamba Lodge | full board

Day 3: Tortuguero

In the morning your guide will pick you up and you will visit the Mawamba Park, a private facility in the lodge’s gardens that features two butterfly farms, a frog garden, a bio-digester and river turtles area. The bio-digester is a very important effort in conservation, through which they treat the sewage waters of the lodge to convert them into a natural source of methane gas to heat up the stoves. Nowadays, approximately 30% of the gas that they use at the lodge comes from the bio digester. This visit is combined with a walk in the trails at the lodge. This way you can meet the inhabitants and learn about their lifestyle. In the afternoon a boat trip (approx. 2 hours) through the rivers of the Tortuguero national park is planned for you. Visit one of the park’s canals by boat and discover the wonderful biodiversity that resides in this area with your guide. We recommend to bring your windbreaker and poncho. A shower can always be expected in the rainforest! The canals are home to manatees, caimans and crocodiles. In the forest you can find among others jaguars, sloths and various species of monkeys. There are also Basilisk lizards and poisonous frogs, more than 375 species of birds, including kingfishers, toucans, grey herons and parrots. Of course, the national park also has a very rich fauna; about 400 species of trees and about 2,200 other plant species. For a reason this park is one of the three most visited parks in Costa Rica. 
Overnight stay: Mawamba Lodge | full board
 

 

Day 4: Tortuguero – Guápiles – Monteverde

(approx. 220 km | 4,5 hour drive)
With other hotel guests you will be brought from the lodge to Guápiles. Here you will pick up your rental car and drive further northwest to Monteverde where you will stay at Senda Monteverde. This accommodation is located in the cloud forest of Costa Rica. You will stay in a comfortable and modern mountain lodge with an open-air porch. You will have a view over the Pacific Ocean in the distance or over the cloud forest. Monteverde is situated on a height between 1400 and 1700 meters. In the national park you will find about 400 bird species, 490 butterfly species, more than 100 mammals, 2,500 types of plants and tens of thousands of insects. 
Overnight stay: Senda Monteverde | bed & breakfast

 

 

Day 5: Monteverde

Today you have time to explore the surroundings of Monteverde. The area is about 10,500 hectares and has miles of hiking trails, which is open to public. Walk through the area on one of the many hiking trails, which are surrounded by towering trees with colorful orchids, tropical bromeliads and velvet mosses. The mist that hangs here makes you feel as if you've landed in a fairytale environment. In the trees and shrubs you can spot birds, monkeys, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Maybe you will see sloths, tree frogs and colorful butterflies. Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel. You can also go horseback riding in the area.
Overnight stay: Senda Monteverde | bed & breakfast

Day 6: Monteverde – La Fortuna

(approx. 110 km | 3 hour drive)
From Monteverde you drive on to the town of La Fortuna, known for the Arenal volcano. During this drive you will drive through the highlands of Costa Rica. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings! From the town you have a good view at the Arenal volcano. The 1633 m high Arenal volcano with its almost perfect conical shape rises majestically above the meadows and forests on the east side of the Laguna de Arenal. Currently the volcano is in a resting phase. The peak is often hidden behind the clouds, but once it is visible it offers a nice view. 
Overnight stay: Hotel Arenal Manoa | bed & breakfast
 

 

Day 7 and 8: La Fortuna

These days you can explore the various surroundings of the Arenal on your own. Think of a visit to the Arenal National Park or a hike through the jungle via hanging bridges, so you have a magnificent view at the Arenal volcano. Via a cable car with open gondolas, the rainforest can also be seen from above with a view over the lake and the volcano. A must is also the hot springs of Baldi, enjoy the natural hot water at a pleasant temperature. Or maybe you would like to visit the Rio Celeste, also known as 'the light blue river', located in the Tenorio Volcano National Park.
Overnight stay: Hotel Arenal Manoa | bed & breakfast

Day 9: La Fortuna – Rincón de la Vieja

(approx. 165 km | 4 hour drive)
From La Fortuna you will continue today to Rincón de la Vieja. You will stay in an area of ultimate peace with a beautiful panoramic view. The lodges are spacious, tasteful and furnished in colonial style. The eggs, dairy products and vegetables used in the accommodation all come from a nearby farm, so they are local products. This place is not fully discovered yet, which makes it possible to enjoy the unique and natural surroundings.
Overnight stay: La Casona lodge Rincón de la Vieja | bed & breakfast
 

 

Day 10: Rincón de la Vieja

Today you will discover the surroundings of Rincón de la Vieja and its national park.This national park is often, wrongly, skipped by tourists. The area, which is covered with tropical forest, has more than 250 species of birds. You will also have the chance to see monkeys, anteaters, sloths, kinkajou bears and more than 300 bird species. Volcanic activities, natural hot springs, pristine forests, jungle waterfalls and volcanic mud pools are some of the many attractions you can enjoy during this day.The park offers great walks that lead past boiling hot mud pools, hot sulphur springs and waterfalls. Lunch will be taken care of and afterwards you will return to your accommodation.
Overnight stay: La Casona lodge Rincón de la Vieja | bed & breakfast

Day 11: Rincón de la Vieja – Nosara

(approx. 190 km | 4,5 hour drive)
In the morning you drive on to Nosara where you will stay in a small charming boutique hotel, hidden in this village just off the shoreline of Playa Guiones in Nosara and yet only 200 meters from the beach.
Overnight stay: Olas Verdes | bed & breakfast
 

 

Day 12 and 13: Nosara

Start your day with yoga, take a swim in the saltwater pool or make a bike trip through the surroundings. Afterwards you can visit the biggest peninsula of this country, the Nicoya peninsula. Southwards from the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. With one of its most isolated and beautiful beaches this rugged peninsula is a unique experience if you are looking for the hidden and less familiar spots. The mangrove area is maintained well, which makes it possible to go kayaking or birdwatching. If you like to explore the beaches, you might want to visit the small beach villages, Montezuma and Mal País that developed into modern villages. 
Overnight stay: Olas Verdes | bed & breakfast

Day 14: Nosara – San José – Amsterdam

You drive to the airport of San José (approx. 255 km | 4,5 hour drive) by yourself where you will return the rental car. Unfortunately, your journey is over. In the evening you will board an intercontinental flight to Amsterdam where you will arrive the next day.
 

Day 15: Amsterdam 

You will arrive in Amsterdam today.

Price: from € 2,400 per person

  • On the basis of 4 persons travelling together
  • Depending on the time of booking, availability of accommodations and period of travel
  • Please note: this price is based on a tour with 2 children under the age of 5 using family rooms. If you are travelling with older children, prices will have to be calculated on the basis of 2 double rooms

Included:

  •  13 overnight stays, meals as mentioned
  •  10 days rental car (Cat. SUV 4x4 Suzuki Grand Vitara or similar alternative) incl. allrisk insurance and 2 child seats. Pick-up in Guápiles and drop-off in San José
  •  all transfers and excursions (with English-speaking guides) as mentioned 
  •  our 24/7 backup; locally and in The Netherlands
  •  extensive travel document package with small attention
     

Not included:

  • international flights, if desired we can book these for you
  • early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability, sometimes given by hotel. If you want to be sure that you have this, please enquire about the surcharge
  • (Dutch) public tax Travel disaster fund; € 2.50 per booking 
  • travel and cancellation insurance

Make an enquiry for Costa Rica

Do you want to make this trip too? We can of course arrange the above journey for you, but we are also happy to put together a programme based on your wishes and ideas. Feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04, send an E-mail to info@sapapanatravel.nl or request a customized quote below. We will be happy to help you.  

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