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Rental car tour - Costa Rica

Costa Rica Round Trip: Wonders of Nature

Highlights

  • Explore Costa Rica's untouched landscapes flexibly with a rental car

  • Spectacular waterfalls, dense rainforests, and deserted beaches

  • Modern hotels & comfortable lodges in ideal locations: Get ready for exciting excursions

  • Birds, monkeys & sloths up close

  • Includes rental car, breakfast & transfer

Description

Immerse yourself in the spectacular landscapes of Costa Rica. Dense forests, unique waterfalls, and an impressive animal world await you. On our rental car tour, you will drive to remote places and get to know the untouched beauty of the country on exciting hikes. Listen to the sounds of the forest - you will experience a world in harmony with nature.

Destination

Central America

San Jose - San Gerado de Dota - Dominical - Jaco - Arenal - Bijagua - Carrillo Beach - San Jose

Costa Rica can be visited all year round. The dry season is from late December to April and the rainy season is from May to November. The ideal time for a trip to Costa Rica is between May and July, when the rainfall is still low.

Welcome to Costa Rica - the paradise for bird lovers and nature lovers. After arrival at the international airport of Costa Rica, a representative of our partner agency will welcome you.

The transfer vehicle will take you to your first accommodation, the Hotel Presidente. Situated in the heart of the city, it is the best starting point to get to know the area. Numerous churches, parks, and museums are in the immediate vicinity. Let the day end in peace and quiet. Tip: From the hotel's own green roof terrace, you can enjoy a unique view over the city.

Trip duration from San José airport to San José Hotel: approx. 40 minutes / approx. 20 km (around 12 miles)

1 night at Hotel Presidente**** with breakfast in the Standard Room, San José, Costa Rica

Today your great adventure begins! After breakfast at your hotel, you will pick up the rental car and drive to your first stop, San Gerado de Dota, about two hours away. Get ready to see a different facet of Costa Rica: untouched cloud forest and a diverse birdlife as far as the eye can see. Lichens, mosses, bromeliads, and orchids grow everywhere, and you might get the chance to spot the shy and magnificent Quetzal, king of the birds, during a tour. The male is particularly colorful.

Trogon Lodge is located in a valley basin at about 2200 m (around 7200 ft) above sea level. It is paradise for bird lovers and hikers. Due to the lush vegetation and the proximity to Los Quetzales National Park, you can admire countless interesting bird species. Hummingbirds visit the nectar dispenser in the hotel garden several times a day and, in the evening, you will find nocturnal butterflies in every imaginable color, shape, and size on the window panes that are lit from within.

From your lodge, you will have the opportunity to go on a hike through the species-rich cloud forest on your own. Observe your surroundings closely and see what is happening around you. Listen to the sounds of nature and take great pictures of the numerous birds. Of course, guided hikes, such as a Quetzal tour with a local guide or an eventful canopy tour are also available as an option.

Trip duration from San José to San Gerado de Dota: approx. 2 hours / approx. 85 km (almost 53 miles)

2 nights at Trogon Lodge with breakfast in Standard Room, San Gerado de Dota, Costa Rica

After two eventful days in the middle of the lush cloud forest, we will take you to the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The untouched area of Dominical has its own special charm: empty beaches, dense rainforests, and the perfect waves for surfing.

From your luxury hotel, which is located between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains covered by rainforest, you can take part in various excursions and outdoor activities. The Marino Ballena Marine National Park, founded to protect humpback whales, is only a short, minutes long drive away. Bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, and humpback whales can be experienced up close on exciting boat trips. While dolphins can be observed all year round in the area, the months between December and March and period of August to early October offer the best conditions to marvel at the "acrobats of the sea" in the Marino Ballena Marine National Park. Furthermore, there is always the possibility to swim and snorkel during these tours.

We also recommend the rainforest hike of about two kilometers (or about 1.2 miles), which leads through a private reserve behind your hotel. Howler monkeys, coatis, leaf-cutter ants, and more than 70 species of birds can be observed here in untouched nature.

But if you are looking for adrenaline, a canopy/ziplining tour is a great way to see the country. Swing from platform to platform and feel free as a bird as you float high above the treetops.

Trip duration from San Gerado de Dota to Dominical: approx. 2.5 hours / approx. 120 km (around 74 miles)

2 nights at Cristal Ballena Hotel & Resort**** with breakfast in a Junior suite, Uvita, Costa Rica

Your exciting journey through Costa Rica continues. After a fortifying breakfast, you will leave your hotel and set off for Jaco, where the eco-friendly Macaw Lodge is located. Hidden in the Costa Rica’s forests, in the transition zone between rainforest and dry forest, you can see animals that are not at home anywhere else. In total, you can find over 350 different species of migratory and resident birds here.

The lodge is surrounded by a huge tropical botanical garden, where you will see cocoa trees and medicinal plants, but also many different frog species and birds enjoying the peace and quiet. There’s also a waterfall that you can easily reach from your hotel. Relax afterwards on one of the two yoga platforms and let the spectacular view work its magic on you - truly a magical place.

Trip duration from Dominical to Jaco: approx. 3 hours / approx. 162 km (100 miles)

1 night at Macaw Lodge with breakfast in Deluxe Room, Jaco, Costa Rica

Today your itinerary will take you further north, to Arenal. The Arenal volcano is the youngest and most active of Costa Rica's volcanoes. Your accommodation for the next two days is located directly at the foot of this volcano, offering optimal opportunities to explore the picturesque surroundings.

A hike through Arenal National Park is an essential experience. Equipped with your camera and binoculars, you will hike along lush nature and cooled lava fields. Enjoy the fairytale scenery and listen to the sounds of nature. A suspension bridge tour will allow you to experience Costa Rica's rich flora and fauna from a whole new perspective. Observe curious monkeys, colorful birds, and cuddly sloths cavorting among the trees. With a little luck, you can even take great photos of beautiful toucans.

Trip duration from Jaco to Arenal: about 4 hours / about 156 km (almost 97 miles)

2 nights at Volcano Lodge & Springs**** with breakfast in Superior Room, Arenal, Costa Rica

Your new accommodation is located about 3 km (almost 2 miles) from the small town of Bijagua and is the ideal starting point for interesting excursions in the Tenorio National Park.

Secluded, quiet, and teeming with life - this is how Tenorio National Park, located in the north of the country, presents itself. The turquoise Rio Celeste, which meanders through the jungle, is one of the highlights here. The color of the water is the result of a chemical reaction that takes place when the two rivers meet - a spectacle in itself. Hike through the tropical rainforest, visit one of the numerous viewpoints, and enjoy the spectacular view of the waterfall. Apart from howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and tapirs, jaguars, pumas and many bird species are call this place home.

Trip duration from Arenal to Bijagua: about 2 hours / about 90 km (almost 56 miles)

2 nights at Celeste Mountain Lodge with breakfast in Standard Room, Bijagua, Costa Rica

Today you will experience pure relaxation. After breakfast at your hotel, you will leave the Tenorio National Park and drive to Carrillo Beach.

The following days can be organized according to your preferences. Relax and visit the fine sand beach lined with palm trees. Here you can relax and enjoy the Costa Rica way of life. And if you want more adventure, go kayaking, take a surfing course, and explore the beautiful underwater world on a snorkeling tour. The sunset over the sea is simply fantastic.

Trip duration from Bijagua to Carrillo Beach: 153 km (around 95 miles) / about 2,5 hours

3 nights at Nammbú Beach Front Bugalows**** with breakfast in Deluxe Standard, Carrillo Beach, Costa Rica

You will drive back to San José today and return the rental car at your hotel around 3 PM. Is there anything from your first day in Costa Rica that you really wanted to take a closer look at? The afternoon is at your free disposal. Take advantage of your second to last day in Costa Rica and arrange it the way you like it. For example, browse through the small souvenir stores and enjoy the magnificent view over the city with a delicious cocktail in your hand from the green hotel roof terrace.

Trip duration from Carrillo Beach to San José: about 4 hours / about 235 km (146 miles)

1 night at Hotel Presidente**** with breakfast in the Standard Room, San José, Costa Rica

Today your adventure through Costa Rica comes to an end. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the international airport of San José, where you will board your flight back home.

If you would like to extend your stay on site or in another region, we will be happy to arrange everything for you.

itravel - for that moment.

Hotel Presidente****, San José, Costa Rica (2 nights)

The hotel is located in the heart of the city and is the ideal starting point to explore the city's sights. All 80 rooms are classic but comfortably furnished and have private bathrooms, a desk, telephone, and television. Internet access is, of course, free of charge. You can start the day with a rich breakfast in the Las Americas restaurant. You can always stay active here. Visit the professionally equipped gym and rent one of our free bikes. Enjoy amazing views of your surroundings from the green roof terrace.

Trogon Lodge, San Gerado de Dota, Costa Rica (2 nights)

Pure nature! Amid a lush valley and surrounded by a dense cloud forest, little Trogon Lodge welcomes you. The 22 rooms are accommodated in 11 bungalows distributed across the green garden. Amenities include a private bathroom, heating, and a hairdryer. If you look for a television or a telephone in your room, you will find neither - the word of order here is “relaxation”. Use your free time to relax and connect with nature. There is internet in all public areas. The El Quetzal restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and spoils you with fresh local products and homemade bread. The bar is the ideal meeting point to get in touch with other travelers. Here you can end the eventful day with a delicious cocktail or a cool beer.

Cristal Ballena Hotel & Resort****, Dominical, Costa Rica (2 nights)

Here you will experience the epitome of an unforgettable beach, adventure, and nature vacation in Costa Rica. The Cristal Ballena Hotel & Resort is located on a hill near Uvita and offers a magnificent view over the Marino Ballena Marine National Park. In total, the hotel has 19 suites, all of which are equipped with a private bathroom, free toiletries, a safe, a minibar, and a coffee machine. From your private balcony, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the sea. The two lodges are located in the hotel garden. International and national delicacies are served in the hotel's own restaurant and breakfast is served with fresh fruits, eggs with bacon, and the typical Gallo Pinto. Relaxation is also very important here. Lean back at the outdoor pool and let yourself be pampered with a wellness treatment.

Macaw Lodge, Jaco, Costa Rica (1 night)

The wonderful Macaw Lodge is a treat for nature lovers. Set in the middle of Carara National Park, not far from Jaco, this lodge offers an unforgettable experience. The lodge is built from local materials and is powered by sustainable energy. The in-house restaurant offers fresh produce, mainly from the lodge's very own garden. You will stay in one of the eight rooms, which have two beds, a ceiling fan, and a private bathroom.

Volcano Lodge & Springs****, Arenal, Costa Rica (2 nights)

At the foot of the active Arenal volcano, the cozy Volcano Lodge & Springs awaits you. All 62 rooms are spaciously furnished and equipped with all luxury amenities. The superior rooms offer two double beds or one king-size bed, a TV, air conditioning, coffee maker, hair dryer, and a private terrace with a fantastic view of the volcano. From here you can also comfortably view Costa Rica's rich birdlife. The in-house restaurant, Sura Bar & Bistro, offers international dishes and local specialties. The Lobby Bar spoils you with delicious cocktails and first-class spirits. If total relaxation is what you crave, the in-house spa area will regenerate your body and mind with various oils and aromatherapies.

Celeste Mountain Lodge***, Bijagua, Costa Rica (2 nights)

Celeste Mountain Lodge is located at the foot of the Tenorio Volcano and is surrounded by a beautiful large garden. Countless birds and even the odd sloth can be seen here. The 18 rooms are furnished in a minimalist style and promise magnificent views of the volcano and the valley. Amenities include a king-size or queen-size bed and a private bathroom with hairdryer and shower. The in-house restaurant offers freshly prepared dishes from an innovative Tica fusion cuisine. The entrance to the Tenorio National Park is about 5 km (or 3 miles) away.

Nammbú Beachfront Bugalows****, Carrillo Beach, Costa Rica (3 nights)

The newly opened hotel is located only a few steps away from the beach and offers both an outdoor pool and a wellness area. 63 comfortably furnished rooms await you here, all of which are equipped with a telephone, air conditioning, hairdryer, and a small refrigerator. In addition, each room has a balcony or terrace. Lean back in the in-house spa area and relax with soothing wellness treatments. Further hotel facilities include a restaurant and a bar.

Duration of the trip: 15 days / 14 nights

Including

  • 14 nights in the advertised hotels and lodges
  • 14x breakfast
  • Private transfer from/to San José airport (day 1 with guide / day 15 without guide)
  • Rental car for 12 days (SUV Compact, Ssang Yong Korando or similar) with full insurance, unlimited mileage, GPS. Pickup on day 2 / delivery on day 14 at Hotel Presidente
  • SIM card with 60 national free minutes

Excluding

  • International flights
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the scope of services
  • Personal expenses, such as minibar and tips
  • Gasoline
  • Parking and toll fees, parking tickets
  • Insurance
  • Visa, if required

Services & Notes

  • Prices apply to the booking of a double room
  • Hotels and itinerary subject to availability

Additional experiences

Canopy Tour

  1. Price per person from 47 € excl. Flight
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Arenal Volcano: Waterfall, hike, & Tabacon Hot Springs

  1. Per person from 166 € excl. Flight
Add Remove

San José City Tour

  1. Price per person from 60 € excl. Flight
Add Remove

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