7 Day Costa Rica Fly & Drive
7 days with
Gate 1 Travel
DAY 1, Sunday - Depart for Costa Rica
Depart for Costa Rica. Arrive in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, which is surrounded by lush green mountains and valleys. After clearing customs, a representative will direct you to the car rental center. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
DAY 2, Monday - Drive to Arenal
Today, depart San Jose driving north. Stop for a photo opportunity in the charming village of Zarcero where you can see the Parque Francisco Alvarado and the Iglesia de San Rafael. The park sits in front of the pink and blue Church at the town center, which is noted for its topiary garden and shrubs that have been trimmed into the shapes of various animals. Continue to the Arenal area, famous for its volcano, lake and hot springs. You may choose to visit one of the many hot springs facilities that offer visitors an ideal way to relax. Stay for dinner as well, as many of these facilities offer several restaurants. (Breakfast)
Drive Time: 3-4 hours*
Distance: 80 miles*.
DAY 3, Tuesday - Full Day in Arenal
Spend a full day at leisure in Arenal in the midst of an unspoiled setting. You may choose to spend half the day hiking to Arenal National Park, enjoying the natural hot springs throughout the area, or spend the morning or afternoon enjoying a horseback ride through both pastures and rainforest to La Fortuna Waterfall. For extraordinary views of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal, the Sky Tram gondolas soar smoothly through the rainforest to an observation deck. You can ride the tram down the same route that you ascended or take a fast-paced Sky Trek zip line tour to the bottom. (Breakfast)
DAY 4, Wednesday - Drive to Monteverde
Depart for Monteverde Cloud Forest area. The road system in Costa Rica has improved over recent years, but be aware that those in and out of Monteverde can be bumpy and unpaved. Visit the charming small town of St. Elena, founded by Quaker settlers in the fifties and filled with tasty restaurants and folksy artisan shops. Then, explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which is dedicated to the conservation of many species of flora and fauna, and has over 8 miles of trails available to explore on your own or with a guide. Set atop the spine of Costa Rica's continental divide, Monteverde is a world above the coastal towns that dot the country's famous shoreline. You can explore the internationally recognized environment along trails, trams, canopy tours or inside museums. (Breakfast)
Drive Time: 3-4 hours*
Distance: 70 miles*.
DAY 5, Thursday - Full Day in Monteverde
Enjoy a full day to explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Boasting 120 reptile and amphibian species, 130 mammal species, and 500 bird species, the Reserve represents an outstanding example of biodiversity. You may choose to visit the Selvatura Adventure Park, where you can experience a canopy or treetop walkway tour. The canopy (zip line) tour allows you to feel truly immersed within the forested environment. There are 15 cables and 18 viewing platforms that stretch over 2 miles – the longest cable length of any canopy tour in Costa Rica. The Treetop Walkway guides visitors both through and above the rainforest with a birds-eye view of the rainforest canopy on a series of suspension bridges connected by trails. Alternatively, you may choose to trot out onto the trails around Monteverde on horseback or learn about coffee production and Costa Rican folklore at the Don Juan coffee plantation. (Breakfast)
Optional: Selvatura Canopy Tour (AM).
Optional: Selvatura Canopy & Hanging Bridges Tour (AM).
Optional: Selvatura Hanging Bridges Tour (AM).
DAY 6, Friday - Drive back to San Jose
Drive back to San Jose. Consider a stop at Poas Volcano National Park, one of the most visited sites in Costa Rica, which features short easy trails for hiking. A short trip from San Jose, the Poas Volcano contains one of the world's largest volcanic lakes, Lake Botos, which fills an inactive crater and is surrounded by a cloud forest. Or, head to Costa Rica's highest active volcano, Irazu, and on the way back visit the colonial Orosi Valley which is famous for having the oldest church in Costa Rica. If you are not interested in visiting volcanoes, there is plenty to do in San Jose. Visit one of the museums or head to Mercado Central, a very old and unique bustling food market. (Breakfast)
Drive Time: 5 hours*
Distance: 90 miles*.
DAY 7, Saturday - Depart Costa Rica
Return your vehicle at the car rental facility at the San Jose International Airport prior to your departure flight (Breakfast)
All This Included
6 nights accommodations in your choice of hotels
7 day car rental: SUV Mini (Suzuki Jimny or Similar). Upgrade to other categories available
San Jose: Country Inn & Suites or Park Inn by Radisson San Jose
Arenal: Arenal Paraiso or Tilajari Resort
Monteverde: Heliconia Hotel
Hotel upgrades are available.
Drivers must be between 21 and 74 years old to rent a vehicle. A valid drivers license issued a minimum of 24 months prior to rental is required. The lead passenger will be the listed as the driver of the vehicle. Additional drivers may be added for an additional cost at the time of vehicle pick-up. Please plan your departure flight out of San Jose on Day 7 for no earlier than 8:00 am to allow time to drop off your rental car in the morning. A GPS system for your vehicle is highly recommended. Reserve in advance for an additional cost of $9 per day. Reservations may be made via Vacation Builder.
This independent program allows the flexibility to explore on your own. Affordable optional sightseeing excursions are available to enhance your holiday. Please note that this tour is not escorted and therefore you will not have the services of a tour manager to assist with hotel check-in formalities and luggage handling. Your travel route will include long distance driving via unpaved roads through underdeveloped areas. This program's unconstrained nature excludes group advantages associated with escorted tours.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
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The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.