Family holiday Costa Rica with a rental car

15 days - from € 1,959 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 versatile 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 Manuel Antonio, one of the most beautiful national parks of Costa Rica. Here you will find a lot of flora and fauna, and due to it's location by the sea you can also enjoy snorkeling. 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 the 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 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 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. 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 with your guide the wonderful biodiversity that resides in this area. We recommend you 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. A reason why this park is one of the three most visited parks in Costa Rica. 
Overnight stay: Mawamba Lodge | full board

Day 4: Tortuguero – San Ramon

With other hotel guest you will be brought from the lodge to La Pavona. Here you will pick up your rental car and drive further northwest to San Ramon (approx. 210 km / 4.5 hour drive). San Ramon is a small, pleasant town, surrounded by coffee and sugar cane fields. There is a relaxed atmosphere, certainly a contrast with San José. The accommodation where you will stay is located in the natural beauty of the cloud forest.  
Overnight stay: Villa Blanca Cloud Forest hotel | bed & breakfast

Day 5: San Ramon

Today you have the time to explore the surroundings of San Ramon. It is an active destination where you can go bird watching, horseback riding, bungee jumping and do canopy tours. Explore the beauty of the nearby Los Angeles cloud forest, where you are likely to see more animals than people.
Overnight stay: Villa Blanca Cloud Forest hotel | logies & breakfast

Day 6: San Ramon – La Fortuna (approx. 80 km | 2 hour drive)

From San Ramon 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 of 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 picture. 
Overnight stay: Hotel Arenal Manoa | bed & breakfast

Day 7 and 8: La Fortuna

These days you can explore the various surroundings of Arenal on your own. Think of a visit to the Arenal National Park or a hike through the jungle via a suspension bridges, so you have a magnificent view of 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 are also the hot springs of Baldi, enjoy the natural hot water at a temperature you like. Or maybe you would like to visit the Rio Celeste, also known as 'the light blue river', located in the Tenorio Volcano Nationak Park.
Overnight stay: Hotel Arenal Manoa | bed & breakfast

Day 9: La Fortuna – Rincon de la Vieja (approx. 150 km | 3 hour drive)

From La Fortuna you will continue today to Rincon de la Vieja. You will stay in a beautiful hacienda, beautifully surrounded by nature. The cosy hacienda is located at the foot of the still active 1900 meter high Rincon de la Vieja volcano. 
Overnight stay: Hacienda Guachipelín | bed & breakfast

Day 10: Rincon de la Vieja

Today you have the opportunity to visit the surroundings of Rincon de la Vieja and its national park with the same name. 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 your stay in the hacienda. The park offers great walks that lead past boiling hot mud pools, hot sulphur springs and waterfalls. 
Overnight stay: Hacienda Guachipelín | bed & breakfast

Day 11: Rincon de la Vieja – Manuel Antonio (approx. 300 km | 5 hour drive)

In the morning you drive on to Quepos where the famous national park Manuel Antonio is located. Manuel Antonio is often referred to as one of the most beautiful national parks of Costa Rica. This 683 ha large park consists of white sandy beaches bordered by rainforests, where various species of monkeys and sloths occur and the poisonous manchineel tree grows. 
Overnight stay: Hotel Costa Verde | bed & breakfast

Day 12 and 13: Manuel Antonio

These days are off to explore the area. You can make beautiful walks along the paths and discover the rich wild life. At the beach of Manuel Antonio you can also go snorkeling at the small coral reef. At Playa Espadilla there are several good restaurants for fish lovers and here you can enjoy 'La Pura Vida' for which Costa Rica is so famous.
Overnight stay: Hotel Costa Verde | bed & breakfast

Day 14: Manuel Antonio – San José – Amsterdam

You drive to the airport of San Jose (approx. 160 km / 3 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 € 1,959 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


  • 13 overnight stays, meals as mentioned
  • 12 days rental car (Cat. SUV or similar alternative) incl. basic insurance, pick-up in Liberia and drop-off in San Jose
  • 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 aboven journey for you, but we are also happy to put thogheter a program based on your wished and ideas. Feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04, send an e-mail to or request a customized quote below. We will be happy to help you.  

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