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SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

With over 40 years in travel and hundreds of experts ready to help you realise your dream holiday.

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SELF-DRIVE? THAT’S EASY.

Costa Rica self-drive holidays are safe, simple, and give you the freedom to explore at your pace. You can take control of your time and enjoy complete flexibility as you go. Working with our Travel Specialists, you can plan your perfect route – and, once you’re in Costa Rica, you’ll have support from our local contacts every step of the way. With tropical rainforests, volcanic landscapes and hidden beaches, Costa Rica and its open roads are waiting for you.

With a modern and reliable 4x4, you’ll have all the comfort and convenience you need as you travel from the city of San José to the waterfalls of La Paz. Stop a while to soak in natural hot springs, or trek up a volcano to admire stunning views across the surrounding rainforest. Enjoy a zip-line adventure, a horseback ride, or take on white-water rapids. And when each day's adventures are over, you can drive to your eco-lodge or luxury hotel, and relax.

We have a number of suggested itineraries for your Costa Rica self-drive holiday. You can go on a road trip through the lush parks of Guanacaste, then drive along the west coast to discover the Gulf of Papagayo, the vibrant nightlife of Tamarindo, and the quiet beaches of Ocotal. In the heart of the country, you can explore Monteverde Cloud Forest and rumbling Arenal Volcano. Or head east towards Tortuguero, where a maze of canals, waterways and beaches are home to crocodiles, monkeys and loggerhead turtles.

Whatever you’re looking for, our Costa Rica self-drive holidays tick all the boxes. Check out some of our most popular itineraries, or speak to our Travel Specialists to tailor-make your route.

Your self-drive

Seven Classic Days

Off the beaten track

Best time to go

Your Costa Rica self-drive

Our Costa Rica self-drives are curated and arranged by Travel Excellence, who’ll provide everything you need to enjoy a safe and easy road trip. You can take your pick from compact cars ideal for couples, to SUVs and minivans carrying up to nine people. We’d suggest using a 4x4 for maximum comfort on the roads, and we always recommend choosing a vehicle with plenty of luggage space. Satnavs are also available, to help you find your way around.

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Driving and parking is easy throughout Costa Rica, and fuel can be conveniently purchased in every town. We can help you plan your route to include lots of top attractions – and all distances designed to suit your time frame. And we’ll book you a fantastic hotel in each location. Whether you’re looking for a lodge in the rainforest or a luxury beach resort, we’ve got you covered.

Show More
Show Less

Classic itinerary

While Costa Rica has enough to keep you exploring for weeks, we know that time can be precious. That’s why we’ve created a seven-day itinerary, which includes loads of Costa Rica’s best bits.

You’ll fly into the capital of San José, where you can embrace city life for 24 hours. Browse the shops and food stalls of Mercado Central, see the stained-glass of Catedral Metropolitana, and the glittering history of Museo del Oro Precolombino. Next, you’ll drive towards Arenal Volcano and take in the beauty of La Paz Waterfall Gardens, before exploring jungle trails, hanging bridges, and relaxing hot springs.

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Then you’ll drive to Monteverde and its 26,000-acre Cloud Forest Reserve, where you can walk along treetop bridges among the birds, and zip-line through the jungle canopy. Finish your trip in beautiful Tamarindo. Relax on soft-sand beaches where turtles nest in the moonlight, just a short distance away from the inviting sounds of Costa Rica’s vibrant nightlife.

Show More
Show Less

Off the beaten track adventures

Have the very best Costa Rican experience with 4x4 self-drive adventure, which lets you immerse yourself in tropical thrills. We’d recommend taking at least 12 days to enjoy this exciting itinerary.

After your flight to San José, you’ll take a private transfer to your hotel, where you can rest and acclimatise, before exploring Costa Rica’s capital. The next day, you’ll collect your 4x4 and drive west for white-water rafting along the Pacuare River. Stay in Sarapiqui and explore on horseback, before driving towards the dramatic slopes of Arenal Volcano.

Show More
Show Less

Your trip continues in Rincon de la Vieja, where the land is peppered with hot springs, boiling mud pits, and cascading waterfalls. Finally, you can spend a few days immersed in the beaches and nightlife of the Guanacaste province. You might even see turtles coming ashore to nest in captivating night-time gatherings. At the end of your holiday, you’ll drive back to San José to catch your flight home.

Show More
Show Less

Best time for your self-drive

Costa Rica has consistent temperatures between 26°C to 33°C all year round. But its seasons are roughly divided roughly into “dry” from February to July, and “green” from August to January. The turtle gatherings – known as arribada – occur all year, but peak between September and April.

The dry season is more popular, so the roads will be busier at this time of year. The green season is, naturally, the wettest time of the year – but short, sharp showers are much more common than lingering rains. A self-drive holiday is a great option in these circumstances, as you’ll have the flexibility to build your days around the weather, as you go. And you can take shelter if you’re ever caught out by an unexpected downpour!

Show More
Show Less

Costa Rica’s roads are generally well-maintained, parking is easily available, and all the major attractions and hotels are easily accessible. That said, we’d always recommend a 4x4 vehicle for maximum comfort, as some private access roads are unsurfaced but parking is easily available throughout the country.

Show More
Show Less

Your self-drive

Your Costa Rica self-drive

Our Costa Rica self-drives are curated and arranged by Travel Excellence, who’ll provide everything you need to enjoy a safe and easy road trip. You can take your pick from compact cars ideal for couples, to SUVs and minivans carrying up to nine people. We’d suggest using a 4x4 for maximum comfort on the roads, and we always recommend choosing a vehicle with plenty of luggage space. Satnavs are also available, to help you find your way around.

Show More
Show Less

Driving and parking is easy throughout Costa Rica, and fuel can be conveniently purchased in every town. We can help you plan your route to include lots of top attractions – and all distances designed to suit your time frame. And we’ll book you a fantastic hotel in each location. Whether you’re looking for a lodge in the rainforest or a luxury beach resort, we’ve got you covered.

Show More
Show Less

Seven Classic Days

Classic itinerary

While Costa Rica has enough to keep you exploring for weeks, we know that time can be precious. That’s why we’ve created a seven-day itinerary, which includes loads of Costa Rica’s best bits.

You’ll fly into the capital of San José, where you can embrace city life for 24 hours. Browse the shops and food stalls of Mercado Central, see the stained-glass of Catedral Metropolitana, and the glittering history of Museo del Oro Precolombino. Next, you’ll drive towards Arenal Volcano and take in the beauty of La Paz Waterfall Gardens, before exploring jungle trails, hanging bridges, and relaxing hot springs.

Show More
Show Less

Then you’ll drive to Monteverde and its 26,000-acre Cloud Forest Reserve, where you can walk along treetop bridges among the birds, and zip-line through the jungle canopy. Finish your trip in beautiful Tamarindo. Relax on soft-sand beaches where turtles nest in the moonlight, just a short distance away from the inviting sounds of Costa Rica’s vibrant nightlife.

Show More
Show Less

Off the beaten track

Off the beaten track adventures

Have the very best Costa Rican experience with 4x4 self-drive adventure, which lets you immerse yourself in tropical thrills. We’d recommend taking at least 12 days to enjoy this exciting itinerary.

After your flight to San José, you’ll take a private transfer to your hotel, where you can rest and acclimatise, before exploring Costa Rica’s capital. The next day, you’ll collect your 4x4 and drive west for white-water rafting along the Pacuare River. Stay in Sarapiqui and explore on horseback, before driving towards the dramatic slopes of Arenal Volcano.

Show More
Show Less

Your trip continues in Rincon de la Vieja, where the land is peppered with hot springs, boiling mud pits, and cascading waterfalls. Finally, you can spend a few days immersed in the beaches and nightlife of the Guanacaste province. You might even see turtles coming ashore to nest in captivating night-time gatherings. At the end of your holiday, you’ll drive back to San José to catch your flight home.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time for your self-drive

Costa Rica has consistent temperatures between 26°C to 33°C all year round. But its seasons are roughly divided roughly into “dry” from February to July, and “green” from August to January. The turtle gatherings – known as arribada – occur all year, but peak between September and April.

The dry season is more popular, so the roads will be busier at this time of year. The green season is, naturally, the wettest time of the year – but short, sharp showers are much more common than lingering rains. A self-drive holiday is a great option in these circumstances, as you’ll have the flexibility to build your days around the weather, as you go. And you can take shelter if you’re ever caught out by an unexpected downpour!

Show More
Show Less

Costa Rica’s roads are generally well-maintained, parking is easily available, and all the major attractions and hotels are easily accessible. That said, we’d always recommend a 4x4 vehicle for maximum comfort, as some private access roads are unsurfaced but parking is easily available throughout the country.

Show More
Show Less

Costa Rica self-drive holidays

Let our experts tailor make a Costa Rica self-drive holiday to suit you

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