Map of your 4x4 road trip :
Arrival in San José
Arrive at Juan Santamaria Airport, outside San Jose and sitting at 1,150 meters in the heart of the Central Valley. You are welcomed by an English-speaking guide as you familiarize yourself with Costa Rica travel. Take a private transfer to the hotel; meals are not included.
San José – Région de Poás – Boca Tapada
After breakfast, we make the arrangements for rental vehicles. We depart towards Poas Volcano National Park, home to a 1,320-meter active volcano crater which is the largest in the world. We enjoy lunch with a magnificent view of this lagoon we will have lunch. We continue our journey to the isolated region of Boca Tapada in the plains of the Caribbean near the northern border. It’s a great place for birdwatchers watching as the area serves as a habitat of the green Ara Ambigua macaws. That night, we camp near the San Carlos River. Meals and entrance to Poas Volcano National Park included.
Boca Tapada – Caño Negro
After breakfast, we continue Costa Rica excursions in the northern region of the country. Along the way, we stop in a small village to visit a pineapple plantation and learn about other agriculture products. We have lunch and continue on the road towards Cano Negro, one of the most important biological areas in the country and most important lowlands of the world. In 1991, the Wild Life Refuge of Cano Negro was designated to be one of three “Ramsar” area within Costa Rica. This ecological treasure is a natural habitat for more than 350 species of birds such as the American Jabiru. Other animals make their home there including the Emeraul Basilic, green iguana, river turtle, caiman, and jaguar. That night, we set up camp near the village of Cano Negro. Lunch not included; dinner and visit to San Marcos de Cutris included.
Caño Negro – Fortuna
Next morning, we take a boat trip to experience the richness and biodiversity of the Cano Negro Wild Life Refuge. The visit includes the famous Jabiru of America, caimans, monkeys, and many much more. After lunch, we depart for the Arenal Volcano, known for the almost perfectly coned crater and a must-see destination in Costa Rica. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore the likes of Arenal Volcano national park or the hot springs. Meet at a camp near the Arenal Volcano. Lunch, dinner, boat tour, and entrance to Cano Negro Wild Life Refuge included.
Day in La Fortuna
We take our time to enjoy the area on the next day of our Costa Rica adventures. We leave after breakfast to take a 3.4-kilometer trail to observe nature from a very different perspective. We cross hanging bridges for the opportunity to experience the famous canopy. Take advantage of another free afternoon to enjoy all the activities in the region. Hiking, zip lining, kayaking, and a visit of old lava flows in the Arenal Volcano National Park are available. You are also able to simply to relax in one of the volcano’s hot springs before camping overnight. Lunch and dinner not included; entrance to Arenal Hanging Bridges included.
Fortuna – Costa de Pájaros
Transfer to an area between the Caribbean slope and the Pacific coast range as we leave la Fortuna. Follow a dirt road along Lake Arenal through the Tilaran range, sitting over 2,000-meters and known for its cloud forest. Along the way, we make a stop for lunch in a bivouac settlement before continuing on the small town of Abangares, known for its old gold mines. Settle into the lodge located in the middle of a Hacienda operated by cattle breeders and a large salt producer. Depending on time, we can enjoy the several nature trails at the lodge. Overnight stay at La Ensenada Lodge where rooms have a great view of the Gulf of Nicoya. Lunch not included; dinner and access to nature trails included.
Costa de Pájaros – Pacifico central
After breakfast, we take the North Pan-American Highway and towards the Central Pacific coast to the small village of Tarcoles. We make a stop on the side of the Tarcoles Bridge to see up to five-meter crocodiles, some of the biggest in the country. You have the option hike through the Carara National Park or take a boat trip for a closer look at the crocodiles. We continue our journey through the mountains until we come to the Tulin River. Dependent on the time of the year, we will set up camp near the river or further along the Playa Bejuco to camp. Lunch and boat ticket not included; dinner included.
Pacifico Central – Parc national Marino Ballena
The Central Pacific coast is one of the most popular places to see in the country. This Costa Rica travel day is free day to enjoy a region full of fun activities. Visit Manuel Antonio National Park, considered the jewel of Costa Rica. Squirrel monkeys, white face monkeys, and even sloths have taken up residence in the park; tourists are often able to photograph these special animals. The national park contains several beaches, all of which have perfect white sand. Choose to white river raft, hike trails, visit the rural tourism project “Los Campesinos”, or take some 4×4 trails into the mountains alongside your guide. We’ll meet later to set up camp on the ocean near Playa Ventanas. Lunch not included; dinner included.
Parc National Marino Ballena (Playa Ventanas) – Drake
After breakfast, we continue our path to the Sothern Pacific coast. We take the “Costanera” road to see palm plantations before arriving in the village of Sierpe, the entrance to the Osa Peninsula. Numerous beautiful trails access outstanding landscapes. Crossing the river crossings puts us in Drake Bay, the last village before Corcovado National park. You have a free afternoon before we setting up camp near Drake Bay. Wonderful tracks and stunning scenery await. After a few rivers crossing, we get to Drake Bay, last village before arriving at the Corcovado National Park. Lunch not included; dinner included.
Day at Drake
The main optional activity of the day is exploring Corcovado national park, entrance not included. The area is considered the jewel of the Costa Rica national parks system and internationally known for its incredible biodiversity. The first pioneers there were gold miners; braving the inhospitable conditions they exploited resources that seemed inexhaustible. Thanks to the creation of the park, the damage has been brought to a halt. With an area of only forty thousand hectares, the Corcovado has more than 5% of the planet’s biodiversity and more than 10% of the species of mammals on the American continent. As you Jeep Costa Rica, you can discover the park in the “Sirena”, or “San Pedrillo”, region with a guide. Return to camp in the middle of afternoon to camp overnight; lunch and dinner included.
Drake - Providencia
After breakfast, begin the ascent to the high mountains of the Cordillera de Talamanca. We visit the small village of San Gerardo de Dota where to see the famous Quetzal. Considered a mythical bird by the Mayans and Aztecs, Quetzal perches in wild avocado tree no less than 2,000 meters in the mountains. This mountainous region is ideal for bird watchers, hikers, and nature lovers alike. Enjoy a relaxing night in the Valley of Dota in our campsite. Lunch not included; dinner included.
Providencia - Turrialba
Before breakfast, you can take a morning walk to see the quetzal. We travel to the region of Turrialba via Cartago, the old capital of the country. If weather permits, we can take a gravel road crossing the Tapanti National Park and continuing through the agricultural landscape. Sugar cane and coffee plantations are found throughout the valley. That night of our Costa Rica excursions, we sleep in a guest house run by a Costa Rican family with a stunning view of the Turrialba Volcano. Guesthouse, lunch, dinner and Quetzal morning tour included.
Turrialba – San José
After breakfast, we visit one of the most active volcanos in the country. Unfortunately, because of the recent strong volcanic activity, the Volcano Turrialba National Park is closed to public. However, with an all-terrain vehicle we can approach as close as possible to observe the magnificence of the volcano. Fumaroles and small eruptions of ash have completely changed the landscape at the foot of the volcano. Some years ago, rich pastures and green forests were abundant but today it is a gray landscape beautiful in its own unique way. The small road that runs along the Turrialba volcano ultimately lead us to the foot of the Irazu volcano. At 3,432-meters, the volcano is the highest in the country. We will visit the Irazu before continuing to Cartago. The famous “Basilica” and a large fruit and vegetable market awaits. We arrive in San José in the middle of afternoon where we drop off the rental vehicles and check in to a hotel near the city center. Overnight at Don Carlos hotel; lunch and entrance to Irazu Volcano National park; dinner not included.
San José - Airport
Breakfast before transferring to the airport for your international flight; lunch not included.