Self-drive in Costa Rica - Coast to Coast

Self-drive in Costa Rica - Coast to Coast
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Costa Rica is an amazing country. Stretching from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast, and squeezed right in between North and South America, with a territory of only 51 000 square kilometers, it offers unique experiences especially for the nature lover. The country is also famous for being the most peaceful country in the Americas with very low crime level. Costa Rica has many different microclimates and therefore a wide range of wildlife. In addition to the interesting flora and fauna when the traveler stops for a short break, or an overnight stay in a town or a city, one is met by friendly Ticos (as Costa Ricans are also called) who are always ready for a chat or anxious to show you the way. Thus one of the best ways to experience Costa Rica is a self drive across the country.

Tour Highlights:

San Jose (1161m) - Costa Ricas cheerful capital; 
Tortuguero National Park on the Carribean coast offers an exceptional variety of flora and fauna; 
Arenal Volcano (1657m) - one of the youngest and most active volcanos in the world; 
Samara Beach - a popular sea resort on the Pacific.


Day 1: San Jose
After arrival to San Jose a guide with a sign with your name on will take you from the airport to your hotel and present you with you your welcome kit with practical information. Overnight stay at a hotel in San Jose City.

Day 2:
 San Jose - Tortuguero
Facing the Caribbean Sea and the Tortuguero River is one of Costa Rica’s main treasures. Its name, Tortuguero, meaning “place of turtles” is renowned for its yearly arrival of 4 different turtle species that nest on its beaches. To get to your destination hotel we will provide a bus transfer from San Jose to one of the important ports of the canals. Once at the canals you may board a small motor boat that will traverse the canals to your chosen hotel. The approximate time of travel from San Jose to your hotel will be 5 hours, including the land and boat transfers. (Meals: B, L, D)

Day 3: Tortuguero National Park
Opportunity to explore the Tortuguero National Park area. Hiking and boat trips are included. On turtle nesting season (July to October), there is an optional tour at night available upon request at the hotel (Not included). Overtnight stay in Tortuguero. (B)

Day 4:
 Tortuguero - Arenal
Arenal Volcano located in La Fortuna is the most iconic volcano in Costa Rica. It is a perfectly coned shaped volcano that was the most active volcano up until 2010. Since July 29, 1968 when Arenal Volcano first erupted and destroyed the town of Tabacón, visitors came to witness the earth rumble and the lava flow from afar. Tourism and attractions in the area flourished. One of the most popular reasons to visit Arenal Volcano (besides all of the adventure activities in the area) are the wonderful volcano heated hot springs that come from the geothermal activity beneath Arenal. (B)

Day 5:
Free day in Arenal. There are many optional activities on spot. (B)

Day 6:
 Arenal - Monteverde
Monteverde is Costa Rica’s green jewel, an environmental amusement park where nature rules and conservation is part of everyday life. Monteverde is a bird and orchid lover’s paradise. 91 species of migratory birds are known to stop in Monteverde and it is also the site with the largest number of orchids in the world with 34 of 500 species newly discovered. The famous Quetzal resides in the cloud forests of Monteverde which means ¨Green Mountain¨ in Spanish, a name that couldn’t be more appropriate.(B) (+/- 150 km; 3hrs drive)

Day 7: Monteverde
Free day in Monteverde. (B) 

Day 8: Monteverde - Samara
The 5-km coastline of Sámara is located at the Nicoya Península on the Pacific Ocean. It is characterized by a calm white-sanded and half-moon shaped beach, which is popular for locals as well as for tourists because of its relaxed atmosphere. The ocean is ideal for swimming as well as for surfing, especially for beginners, although you will encounter higher waves at the beaches around Sámara. The town’s charm is complemented by several restaurants, bars and small shops. (B) (+/- 140 km; 2.5hrs drive)

Day 09 & 10: Samara

Free days at Samara Beach or choose any of the optional activities. (B)

Day 11: Samara - San Jose

Self drive to San Jose. Rental car will be picked up at your hotel. Overnight stay in San Jose. (B)

Day 12: Departure

Transfer to International Airport Juan Santamaria. 

 Practical information: Please, note that on departure from Costa Rica you have to be at the airport 3 hours prior to your flight departure. 
Standard car hiring: Thrifty Car Rental Terms and Conditions

Guarantee deposits and minimum requirements:
• A Credit Card will be solicited for insurance purposes. Thrifty Car Rental accepts all Credit Card brands (Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discovery). The credit card itself must have raised numbers. Electronic Cards are not accepted.
• It is required that customers take the basic coverage (CDW). If the customer declines coverage he will lose the privilege of taking advantage of all benefits mentioned in Thrifty’s Terms and Conditions.
• License Plate Fee (LPF): $0.95 per day. This fee applies for any vehicle category. The customer has to pay this amount directly to Thifty Car Rental upon receiving the car.
• Thrifty Car Rental offers the service of two drivers free of charge. If the customer wants to include a third driver, an extra driver charge of US$ 4.99 per day needs to be paid. All drivers must meet the following requirements:
• Present valid Driver’s license and passport.
• Age to drive in the country: 21 years old is minimum age and 75 years old, the maximum driving age.*
*Drivers with the age 18 through 20 years old are obligated to take an additional coverage of US$10 per day aside from the mandatory basic coverage (CDW) and the additional coverage (AER).
• The minimum rental period is 3 days.
Coverage Information:
• COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER (CDW): this coverage is mandatory. The deductible depends on the vehicle category and it goes from $750.00 to $950.00. This amount will be blocked on the credit card presented by the customer. This waiver covers any vehicle damage and third party claims. It does not cover tires, glasses, total theft or partial theft and rescue. The cost for CDW coverage will be from US$18.00 to US$20.00 per day, depending on the vehicle category.
• ACCIDENT EXCESS REDUCTION (AER) (Zero deductible and Total Protection Package): this is an optional coverage which complements the CDW. If the customer takes this option he will not have to cover any other type of deductible; it covers tires, total or partial theft and rescue. This coverage has an additional cost of US$18.00 per day in any vehicle category. An additional $300.00 security deposit will be required at the time of rental, this amount will be blocked on the credit card presented by the customer.
Other services:
• Thrifty Car Rental offers an additional Navigation System service. The GPS service will cost US$10.00 per day. Free GPS will be provided for a rental period of at least 14 days or longer. A charge of US$250 might apply in case of loss or replacement.
• Thrifty Car Rental offers a portable Wi-Fi Hotspot service. The WIFI service will cost US$10.00 per day. A charge of US$110 might apply in case of loss or replacement.
• Emergency Road Assistance (ERA): this service is optional and it will cost US$1.99 per day for any vehicle category. This is a 24 hours road assistance service without additional charges (lost keys or locked in car), tire change, jump starts and gas service in case you run out gas, will be provided).
• Baby seats and boosters: Customers have the option of one free baby seat / booster.
Boosters are mandatory for children with a height less than 1.30 cm. An additional cost of US$10.00 may apply for the entire rental period in case the customer needs a second or third set or booster.

Recommended travel period of the year: November - April

Recommended equipment: Rain gear, light clothes, preferably with long sleeves, to protect you from occasional insect assaults, light sports shoes, mosquito repellent, sun tan oil, personal medicines... and a pocket size Spanish dictionary. 

Price Includes:
All services indicated in the above itinerary
Personalized information,map of Costa Rica and vouchers list
Local Travel Program Support,24 hours emergency service
Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
11 Nights lodging at hotels indicated in the above itinerary. Breakfast and local taxes
Tortuguero Package: ground and boat transportation from San José / to Guápiles,all meals (breakfast,lunch,dinner) included,tour to the Tortuguero canals by boat through the National Park and Visit to Tortuguero Village
8 days Car Rental Daihatsu Bego 4x4 (Manual transmission) or similar. Free mileage 1st additional driver free of charges. CDW car insurance included. Wifi free of charge

Not Included:
Other meals than indicated as includedр National Park Entrance fees not mentioned above
Other excursions tours and activities indicated as optional or not included
Airport taxes (US$ 29.00 per person not included)
International flights
Personal expenses. Tips and extras at hotels
Travel insurance
National Park (entrance fee not included US$ 15.00 per person)

Additional Services:
Additional fee applies for Christmas and New Year's Eve ( December 21 and 05 January) and Easter


Self-drive in Costa Rica - Coast to Coast (Rated 4.77 / 5 Based on 356 Reviews.)

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