We explored the beautiful Costa Rica in the summer of 2022. Our itinerary? A round trip San Jose – San Jose with stops at the Caribbean and Pacific coast up to Tortuguero, Cahuita and Corcovado National park in about 20 days. In this blog, you find our itinerary.
Brussels – Madrid – San Jose
We flew with Iberia Airlines over Madrid, so Brussels – Madrid – San Jose.
An alternative routs is with a stop-over in the United States but we didn’t want to risk that because of corona requirements.
We rented a Hyundai minivan with Adobe Rent a Car. The service and rates were excellent. Adobe offers reasonable prices, no hidden fees, total protection and zero deductible possible.
Most of the cars are 4 WD. We couldn’t find any type of 4WD car enabling us to fit in with 6 adults and the luggage. And apparently, there are no roof top bars available to store luggage on the roof. So we settled with a 2 WD van, which was perfect. If you stick to the normal paved roads you don’t need a 4WD. Just check upfront whether your accommodation is easily accessible. At some places, the roads are a bit rough, in particular when the lodgings are in the middle of the rain forest.
We rented the car after our visit to San Jose and Tortuguero. We didn’t need the car in San Jose itself. Also, we didn’t want to leave the car behind at a non guarded car park in La Pavona (boats for Tortuguero). As such, we took a private taxi from San Jose to La Pavona, picking us up after our trip to La Pavona and driving us to Guapiles. For us, a family of 6, the cost of 200 USD was similar to the extra days rental and much less hassle.
Round trip San Jose
We made a round trip San Jose exploring the Carribbean and Pacific coast up to Tortuguero, Cahuita and Corcovado National park This route enabled us to vist the most important national parks, beaches and enjoy some adventures such as rafting and ziplining. It also allowed us to taste the Carribean and Pacific atmosphere of the country. 20 days were sufficient to cover it all in a moderate pace with some rest days in between.
We combined several types of accommodation: hotels (San Jose, Tortuguero), an ecolodge in the middle of the rainforest (La Shamana Ecolodge in Cahuita), small houses (Drake Bay, Monteverde), an apartment (Quepos), a bungalow (La Fortuna) and a splendid stand alone villa with a private swimming pool near the beach in Uvita.
|1.||San Jose||Flight Brussels – Madrid – San Jose||La Sabana Hotel Suites Apartments|
60111 San José
+506 2220 2422orgarnes
|2.||San Jose||San Jose – city hike||La Sabana Hotel Suites Apartments|
|3.||Tortuguero||San Jose – La Pavona – Tortuguero|
Night turtle tour
in front of the Catholic church
+506 2709 8011
|4.||Tortuguero||Tortuguero National Park |
Quiet morning tour on the canals
Afternoon hike (park & beach)
|5.||Cahuita||Tortuguero – La Pavona – Cahuita||La Shamana Ecolodge|
Carretera a Carbon 2
70403 Cahuita, Costa Rica
+506 8518 1461 or + 58 414 3788059
|6.||Cahuita||Cahuita National Park||La Shamana Ecolodge|
|7.||Cahuita||Cahuita National Park – beach||La Shamana Ecolodge|
|8.||Fortuna||Cahuita – la Fortuna |
702, Alajuela Province, San Ramon, Costa Rica
+506 2479- 9555
WhatsApp: +506 8608 5858
|9.||Fortuna||Sarapiqui river: rafting||Villas Josipek|
|10||Monteverde||La Fortuna – Monteverde||Green Forest Rustic Houses|
Cerro Plano, Sapo Dorado, 60109
Monteverde Costa Rica
|11||Monteverde||Selvatura park: ziplining and hanging bridges hike||Green Forest Rustic House|
|12||Monteverde||Monteverde Cloud Forest National Park – Colibri Café||Green Forest Rustic House|
|13||Quepos||Monteverde – Quepos – Crocodile bridge||Villas Jacquelina|
800 metros de Finca los Alfaro
Puntarenas Quepos, Costa Rica
+ 506 8345 1516
|14||Quepos||Manuel San Antonio National Park||Villas Jacquelina|
|16||Drake Bay||Quepos – Sierpe – Drake Bay||Sunset Lodge |
Agujitas, 11000 Drake, Costa Rica
+506 6131 5738
|17||Drake Bay||Corcovado National Park|
|18||Drake Bay||Drake Bay Trail (hiking)|
|19||Uvita||Drake Bay – Sierpe – Uvita|
Marino Balleno National Park
|Casa Mediterránea with Pool and 2100 m2 Garden near Beach and Rain Forest |
60504 Uvita, Costa Rica
+506 8855 0141
|20||Uvita||Whale tour Uvita||Casa Mediterránea with Pool and 2100 m2 Garden near Beach and Rain Forest|
|21||Brussels||Uvita – San Jose – Madrid – Brussels|
Why visit Costa Rica?
- Costa Rica = rainforest, all over and equally protected.
- small wildlife is fantastic: slots, beautiful birds, butterflies, reptiles, monkeys, but also whales and dolphins, … in particular on a night tour to spot some animals is a real treat.
- you can enjoy the wildlife at every location, even in the backyard of your lodgings.
- there are several adventurous activities: go ziplining over the rainforest, walk on suspension bridges or take a thrilling rafting trip.
- the beaches are splendid. Warm water and lots of sun. Just don’t forget your sunscreen.
- even in the rainy season, it’s warm with a lot of dry periods. The rain itself is also spectacular. It’s not just a bit of rain, it’s pooring rain in a short period. And never seen and heard a thunderstorm with lightning such as in Tortuguero.
- it’s an easy country to travel. As soon as you rent a car, you can drive along at your own pace. There are plenty of restaurants and you find supermarkets and small shops within driving distance.