Costa Rica self drive holiday, natural history
Excursions available at extra cost.
We can arrange flights from the UK
Description of Costa Rica self drive holiday, natural history
This two week Costa Rica holiday is a self drive, tailor made itinerary, which takes in some of the country’s cultural and natural highlights, as well as some of the most stunning off the beaten track secrets.
Our carefully crafted itinerary below can be tweaked to suit your time frame and interests but some of our guests’ regular favourites include not only famous sites such as Arenal Volcano but lesser known gems like San Gerardo de Dota cloud forest, Sarapiqui and La Selva rainforests. Or Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park which has hiking trails that lead to volcanic features of sulphurous mud pools and hot springs.
We organise off the beaten track accommodation for you that have Costa Rican conservation principles at the core of what they do, as well as being in wonderful locations. Driving from one to the next in a rented four wheel drive, taking as long as you like in each place, as we create an itinerary to suit you.
The best time to visit Costa Rica on a self drive holiday is between the months of December to April when the weather is hot and dry. The rainy season is between May and November, but this is also a beautiful time of year as everything is so green. Indeed, it is sometimes called the ‘green season’ locally. Rain is usually limited to afternoons with short bursts. It is also worth noting that this is also the time of year when turtles lay their eggs on local beaches which is a wonderful sight. The worst months in terms of rain are September and October.
5 Reviews of Costa Rica self drive holiday, natural history
Reviewed on 03 Apr 2019 by Gordon SmithWe found everyone we met very friendly, accommodating and eager to talk. This is a country totally geared to tourism and ensuring that everything runs like clockwork - unique in this part of the world. The food was much better than we had anticipated. Overall it was a fascinating and enjoyable holiday Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Dec 2018 by Lindsay PaveyMost memorable was the morning bird trip at Sarapiqui which was excellent. Read full review
Reviewed on 11 Feb 2018 by Heather ReidOur favourite part of the holiday was the three days we spent in the Tortuguero area, a fabulous experience. Going out on the boats early in the morning to watch wildlife was amazing. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Jan 2015 by Clare SparksFantastic, absolutely loved it! Read full review
Reviewed on 24 Feb 2014 by Simon AndrewesThe very best moment was kayaking in Tortuguero: just four of us and a guide exploring the rainforest by river at dawn. The cries of the howler monkeys echoed across the morning mist, and we got up close to crocodiles, turtles and incredible water birds. Priceless! Read full review
Planet and peopleAs an in depth specialist tour operator to Costa Rica responsible tourism is at the very heart of what we do. To us, this means much more than a simple donation to a charity for each client. We try to build long and constructive involvements with local guides, guest houses, wildlife lodges, and hotels, in the course of which we, and our clients, can make lasting wide-ranging contributions to the wonderful places and people we engage with. In this itinerary we use several lodges that fit with this philosophy perfectly, employing local guides and bringing long-term benefits to the local community. We are the first tour operator in the UK to form a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance to work towards the implementation of best management practices in sustainable tourism. In real terms this means that we are working with hotels who are making a positive impact on their local community – socially, environmentally and economically.
Outlined below are hotels we use that employ sustainable tourism methods.
Trogon Lodge employs energy saving tactics and contributes the local economy, helping to demonstrate that ecotourism is a more sustainable long term way to earn income than destroying or altering habitats for short term gains. The Lodge employs interpretive nature guides who are either trained in biology or have significant local knowledge of the habitat and provides books, posters, maps, photographs and other ways to inform guests and visitors about the biology of the area. It helps train and employ local people at fair wages and informs guests, staff and visitors on the importance and value of a healthy ecosystem and describes how to best enjoy the area without impacting it.
La Quinta de Sarapiqui Country Inn provides jobs for people in the local community (95% of their positions go to local workers). They have developed collaboration programs with local schools, consisting of cultural exchanges with their guests and including donations for improvements to installations and the acquisition of educational materials. They sponsor local cultural and sports activities. They grant four scholarships to students from the local high school. They are involved in community development and local environmental associations and in all the activities meant to improve quality of life in the community of Sarapiquí. They have adopted environmental protection measures through programmes for recycling, saving resources, and the use of non-contaminating products, and they educate tourists about these programmes.
Hacienda Guachipelin is focused on being a self-sufficient community, using energy production methods that are ecologically correct. For example, the water heaters use solar energy and electricity is produced by a water wheel. The property comprises 1600 hectares of land, of which 700 hectares are set aside for the conservation of the tropical dry forest; 575 hectares are used as pastureland; and 325 hectares are being reforested with species in danger of extinction. They are currently working on a methane gas biodigestor. It's a system to process sewage water, grease from the kitchen and other organic residues. Out of the process methane and liquid fertilizer is obtained. The gas is being used on the workers kitchen on the first stage. On the second stage, gas will be used in the hotel's kitchen. This way they are reducing the need for petroleum bi-products. From the effluent they obtain liquid fertilizer. This is used to fertilize the pastures of the Hacienda.
On this trip you will visit National Parks at Sarapiqui and Carara. The entrance fee goes toward the conservation of these protected areas.