Caribe self drive

Go Caribbean Style! This exquisite self drive brings you from the lush hills and tropical plantations inland all the way to the Caribbean Sea. Lodges are one of a kind gems, often only accessible by boat, 4x4 or raft and offer various options for wildlife spotting and fun activities. This is not just any tour but an eco-adventure not be missed.

Duration: 
12 nights/13 days
Country: 
Minimum age: 
15
Type: 

Highlights

  • Tropical plantations in Turrialba
  • 2 day Pacuare river rafting
  • Rainforest reserve at Barra del Pacuare
  • The lowland tropics
  • Wildlife spotting
  • Turtle nesting grounds (in season)
  • Unique ecolodges
  • Caribbean coast
  • Cahuita National Park
  • Chocolate tasting

Itinerary

This itinerary guides you through the complete Caribbean area, from the lush Turrialba valley, through rainforest and jungle to the beautiful beaches between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, where you can relax and enjoy the Caribbean vibes. A tour for the nature and animal lover who likes to explore while having fun!

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO COSTA RICA

San José

Our driver will be waiting for you at the airport to welcome you to Costa Rica and drive you to your hotel, located in the capital, very close to parks and museums.

PRIVATE TRANSFER AIRPORT - HOTEL
LODGING IN SAN JOSE AT LA ROSA DEL PASEO, STANDARD ROOM & BREAKFAST INCLUDED

Discover a true treasure. located in the heart of the Costa Rican capital, build in 1910. First, the home of the wealthy coffee farmers, now 80 years later, restored and remodeled, preserving its historical splendor, transformed into a modern-day family hotel.

Optional activities

Depending on your arrival time, you may want to add an optional activity. Here are our suggestions:

1/ San José city walking tour with a local: Local citizens of San José are called “Chepe”. They love their city and like to show you why they are proud to call it their home. They can tell you about buildings, hidden pieces of the Berlin Wall, corky parking lots, and take you to kitsch canteens nestled in the local markets. Our guides speak Spanish and English. Snack included.

2/ The local bar tour : Let our local guide take you to the cantina’s where the Chepe’s go themselves and enjoy some drinks with your new local friends. In every bar 1 drink or shot is included in the price. You can also enjoy a “Boca” or Gallo”, a typical tapa, at one of the bars.

DAY 2 - TO TURRIALBA VALLEY

Turrialba Valley

The representative from the car rental company will meet you at the hotel to deliver the car. Your first destination is Turrialba valley. Discover the rural country side in the lush and beautiful Central Highlands.

The region is noted for being verdant and green, rich in natural beauty and raging rivers, surrounded by ancient ruins.

Lodging at Turrialtico Lodge, built with rustic wood. The hotel balcony offers the best panoramic views of the Turrialba valley, the Turrialba Volcano and the Talamancan mountain range. The hotel is surrounded by gorgeous tropical gardens that nest a wide variety of birds, making Turrialtico an excellent spot for birdwatching.

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

LODGING AT TURRIALTICO LODGE, CARIBE ROOM & BREAKFAST INCLUDED

Distance San José - Turrialba : 75 km I Duration: 2,20 hours approx.

DAY 3 - TURRIALBA

Turrialba CATIE tropical plantations

During the plantation tour around CATIE, a guide will help familiarize you with the extensive plantations of this place and the significant contributions CATIE has made towards the research and education of tropical agriculture.  He/she will give you an informative tour, during which you will learn about a variety of tropical plants from distinct parts of the world. The plantations of major relevance are: coffee, cocoa, pejibayes, tropical fruit and forest species.

Together, you will go on a stroll through CATIE Botanical Garden where you will find a century old kapok tree, towering stalks of bamboo, dripping orchids and bromeliads form the trees, as well as many other colorful and fruiting plants.

*If you prefer, you can do the tour on a bike or walk.  

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

CATIE VISIT

LODGING AT TURRIALTICO LODGE, CARIBE ROOM & REAKFAST INCLUDED

DAY 4 - TO PACUARE

Pacuare

First you drive to Rios Tropicales’ operation center, located in Siquirres. There you can park the car. Then, they will take you to the starting point but before getting on the river, your knowledgeable bilingual guide will be sure to explain all safety instructions. Once everyone has been briefed on safety procedures the fun begins down this picturesque river. Before you know it, you'll arrive at the unique Rios Tropicales Lodge where you can spend the afternoon relaxing or hiking.

This unique ecolodge is located in the midst of primary forest near the river. Many hiking trails depart from the lodge. The open-air dining pavilion and lounge will be your favorite place to sit back, relax, observe and listen to the sounds of tropical paradise while you feel belly.

Free time to relax on the deck or take a walk around the gardens.

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

PACUARE RIVER RAFTING

1 NIGHT AT RIOS TROPICALES LODGE, STANDARD ROOM (ALL MEALS, GUIDE, LODGING INCLUDED)

Distance Turrialba - Pacuare: 17 km by car I 25 minutes and 1,5 H rafting to the lodge, including 1 stop at the waterfalls to swim

DAY 5 - TO BARRA RIO PACUARE

To Barra Rio Pacuare

Today you will raft to Siquirres and then drive to the dock of the Lirio lodge, where a boat will transfer you to the lodge. Lirio Lodge is the ideal place for animal lovers, with the magnificent Laguna Madre de Dios just in front, and located at the famous Pacuare canals. The barra del Pacuare is one of the most important places for the arrival of leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles.

Lirio Lodge is located at 10 minutes by boat from where the Pacuare River meets with the Caribbean Sea. In front, there is a large and pristine rainforest reserve. Located between the town of Tortuguero and the city of Limón, this lodge lays in the most unspoilt part of the Tortuguero canals. The restaurant is set on the water, so you can enjoy fantastic views while savoring the hearty breakfasts, the delicious lunch and dinner.

At night, enjoy the Turtle Nesting tour. In season there are daily departures from 7:45 pm to 10:00 pm from the Lirio Lodge pier. It consists of a guided walk along the beach, where the guide will explain the importance of the protection and conservation of these magnificent species that are endangered.

Spawning Season Leatherback: March to July. 

CAR RENTAL, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

PACUARE RIVER RAFTING

2 NIGHTS AT LIRIO LODGE, STANDARD ROOM (BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER, GUIDE INCLUDED)

Distance: 2 hours rafting to Siquirres and 1 hour drive I 36 km to the dock of the Lirio lodge. Then boat transfer to the lodge.

DAY 6 - BARRA RIO PACUARE

​Barra Rio Pacuare

Enjoy the day at the lodge and explore the pristine surroundings by boat and on foot. Free kayaks available at the lodge.

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

2 NIGHTS AT LIRIO LODGE, STANDARD ROOM (BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER, GUIDE INCLUDED)

DAY 7 - TO BANANITO

Bananito

Drive south to Bananito at Limón. You will leave the car at Salon Delia. From there you will be transfered in a 4x4 to the lodge.

Selva Bananito Lodge offers elegantly tiled bathrooms with solar heated water. A spacious "Rancho" (main lodge) to enjoy meals and socialize with others. Ample decks with spectacular views and comfortable hammocks for your "siesta". Romantic, candle-lit evenings. And the privilege of exploring a pristine environment in the intimacy of a small group, while also learning about human land use in the lowland tropics.

Once in the lodge you can choose 1 tour per day: hiking, horseback riding, bird watching or tree climbing.

Other optional tours are a scenic flight above primary forest with a Gyrocopter or an overnight hike (sleep in a hammock) into the forest. On the way, you can help change the camera's, used for tracking wild cats.

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

TOUR TO CHOOSE AT SELVA BANANITO

LODGING AT SELVA BANANITO LODGE, STANDARD ROOM & BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER INCLUDED

Distance Barra del Pacuare - Selva Bananito: boat to the dock, then drive 77 km I driving time 2H

DAY 8 - BANANITO

Bananito

Enjoy the day at Selva Bananito Lodge.

Once in the lodge you can choose 1 tour per day: hiking, horseback riding, bird watching or tree climbing.

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

TOUR OF YOUR CHOICE AT SELVA BANANITO

LODGING AT SELVA BANANITO LODGE, STANDARD ROOM & BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER INCLUDED

DAY 9 - TO PUERTO VIEJO

Puerto Viejo

Today you will be brought back to Salon Delia, from where you can drive to Puerto Viejo.

Among the original laid-back Caribbean villages of Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, right in front of Cocles Beach, an enchanting and serene lodge, in complete harmony with the surrounding tropical rainforest, awaits you at Azania bungalow. There is a pool, jacuzzi and restaurant on site. The bungalows are spacious with private deck so you can enjoy the unique garden.

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

LODGING AT AZANIA, BUNGALOW ROOM & BREAKFAST

Driving distance: 1,4 H I 55 km

DAY 10 - PUERTO VIEJO & CAHUITA NP

Puerto Viejo & Cahuita NP

Today Fernando, one of the best local guides, will show you the secrets of Cahuita National Park! You will walk through this beautiful Park and then dive into the emerald waters of the Caribbean.  Learn about the importance of protecting the natural resources in this ecoconscious half-day adventure.

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

CAHUITA NATIONAL PARK

LODGING AT AZANIA, BUNGALOW ROOM & BREKFAST

DAY 11 - PUERTO VIEJO & CHOCOLATE

Puerto Viejo & Chocolate

In the afternoon, get your taste buds ready! If Bob Marley, Willy Wonka and Dom Pérignon had decided to start something together, this would be their tour. Learn about the amazing efforts of local entrepreneurs and taste some extremely delicious chocolate. Welcome to the Napa Valley of chocolate!

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE

LODGING AT AZANIA, BUNGALOW ROOM & BREAKFAST

DAY 12 - BACK TO SAN JOSE

Back to San José

Drive back to San José, where you will spend the last night at La Rosa del Paseo hotel.

CAR RENT, LDW & GPS INCLUDED

CAR DELIVERY

LODGING AT LA ROSA DEL PASEO, STANDARD ROOM & BREAKFAST INCLUDED

Distance Puerto Viejo - San José: 225 km I approx. 4,3 H

DAY 13 - THE END or OPTIONAL EXTENSION

The end or optional extension

Private transfer at the time of your convenience to Juan Santamaria International Airport.

BREAKFAST

PRIVATE TRANSFER HOTEL - AIRPORT

Extra days at the beach or extensions in other parts of Costa Rica are possible. Contact hello@yugentours.com before booking and we will be more than happy to assist in putting together your perfect itinerary. 

Prices

  • Prices are per person based on double occupancy.
  • Prices are in USD and valid until November 30th, 2019 . Payments can be made in USD or in EUR. Prices in EUR are subject to changes in the exchange rate. Please contact YŪGEN tours for an up-to date quote in EUR.
  • Prices are not valid during Christmas, New Year, Easter Holy Week – please contact us for a quote if you would like to travel during this time of year.
  • All prices include tax, and are subject to changes in exchange fluctuations, government taxes or levies.  Prices on our website are no “as of” prices but changes may occur before we can adapt the website. Therefor we ask our providers to always confirm the price at the moment we check availability. Please fill out our contact form in order to inquire about availability and to verify if any price changes have occurred very recently.

 

Prices valid as of December 1st, 2018 until November 30th, 2019

Price per person on double occupancy: 2395.00 USD

Single supplement:  1050 USD

Triple discount: 250 USD

 

INCLUDED

  • Welcome letter.
  • Private transportation airport San José to your hotel in San José 
  • 11 days of car rental, LDW and GPS. Daihatsu Bego.
  • 12 nights of lodging
  • Daily breakfast
  • 5 dinners
  • 3 lunches
  • Activities as described in the itinerary 
  • Transportation hotel-airport
  • Taxes, except departure tax from Costa Rica

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights and airport taxes
  • Optional excursions in San José
  • Meals, other than indicated as inclusive in the itinerary
  • Insurances, other than the car insurance (please check the tab Important Information for more info on car rental and included coverage)
  • gasoline
  • Visas (if necessary)
  • tips
  • beverages
  • any increase in National Park fees, taxes or levies

Important information

Travel insurance

  • Considering the adventurous nature of most of our tours and destinations, we recommend to take out a travel insurance, covering for cancellation and curtailment, medical situations, baggage, emergency evacuation.
  • YŪGEN tours does not provide travel insurance

Medical Precautions

  • Check with your local immunization authority, travel clinic, public health facility or personal physician
  • Visit the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION website for up to date information www.who.int
  • You will need HEPATITIS A vaccination when traveling to Latin America. We recommend consulting your doctor well before departure. If he / she recommends certain vaccinations, you may have to receive more than one injection spread over a number of weeks or even months. Moreover, the current guidelines can always change without prior notice and depend on the country your are traveling from.
  • If you are traveling from Panama or certain risk countries regarding Yellow Fever to Costa Rica, you may be asked at the border control to provide proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever.
  • A good anti-mosquito spray (with minimum 25% DEET) is a must. A mosquito net and long sleeves and trousers can also offer extra protection. Malaria, Dengue and the Zika virus, although not very represented, are present in some parts of the country, and in certain seasons. Consequently, it is advisable to protect yourself against this en to consult your doctor well before you travel.

Travel documentation

If you do not have the Belgian nationality, you must inquire at the embassy in your country. The following is valid for people with Belgian nationality:

  • An international passport, valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
  • A visa is not required if you stay in Costa Rica for less than 90 days.

Flights

  • Flights are not included in the price of the tour. You are free to choose your flight dates, route, price and airline company.
  • If you opt for flights with a stopover or transfer in the United States of America, please note that you must complete a VISA WAIVER. You can do this up to a minimum of 72 hours before arrival, and this on the website of ESTA. The permission is valid for 2 years and costs approximately 14 USD per person.
  • Before booking your flights, please contact YŪGEN tours first to check whether our local partners are not fully booked on the desired dates.
  • All our tours start in San José. It is therefore recommended that you fly to San José, more specifically to the Juan Santamaría international airport, located near Alajuela. We will ask you to sent us your flight details so we can arrange your transfer to the hotel in San José from the airport Juan Santamaría.
  • When you leave Costa Rica you have to pay the so-called departure tax, which is about 29 $ per person and must be paid in dollars or colones at the counter in the airport.

Car Rental & Insurance

Download the car rental information.