Take the opportunities where you can
A road trip around Costa Rica for us was a no brainer, Gary was in San Jose on business, so there was our opportunity to add 2 weeks on the end of his trip and go exploring.
Costa Rica has so much to offer from its lush rain and cloud forests to its sunkissed beaches.
As we love driving the open road, there was no other option for us than a self-drive road trip. We organised it within 2 weeks prior to us going, with the help of a local Costa Rican travel company Latitudes.
To give you a taster of this lovely country Gary and I have chosen our outstanding memories and highlights of this unforgettable trip.
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero National Park was amazing, you are only able to access the park by boat & once you are there, you are immediately immersed in the lush vegetation and meandering waterways.
The channels around Tortuguero
We lodged within the park and took up every opportunity to hop in a boat with a guide and explore the incredible scenery and weaving canals.
The wildlife in Costa Rica is remarkable, we were so lucky to witness so many species of reptiles, monkey, birds, bats to name just a few.
The Black Iguana ,up close
My favourite animal from Costa Rica has to be the sloth and I don’t even mind if it has two or three toes.
Our first Sloth in Costa Rica
This loveable looking creature was on my must see list, so I couldn’t believe it when we wondered through the grounds of our hotel in Manuel Antonio & spotted one high amongst the trees. I had only been in the country 2 days.
Another abiding memory was the secluded bay named Playa Biesanz at Manuel Antonio. The bay was just a short stroll from the hotel down through some woodland.
The secret Beach, Playa Biesanz, Manuel Antonio
The amazing environment
The rainforests and cloud forests in Costa Rica are a must to visit.
The Cloud Forest Reserve, Monteverde
They are alive everywhere you look, not only up above amongst the bows of the trees, but around your feet below. We witnessed an army of ants marching along carrying pieces of leaf that were easy three times their size. It was just like something you would see in a David Attenborough documentary.
Watching hummingbirds flocking to nourish themselves at a feeding station was a wonderful sight.
A hummingbird in flight, Cloud Forest Reserve, Monteverde
These amazingly agile little creatures appear to disobey the laws of physics.
Then there are the hanging bridges suspended amidst the forest canopy within Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park.
Strolling along these enables you to get even closer to the wildlife.
Bridges at the Cloud Forest Reserve, Monteverde
Whilst in Monteverde we took the opportunity to visit one of Costa Rica’s Arabica coffee plantations.
We headed off with Don Juan coffee tours to visit their family run coffee farm.
It was really enjoyable and surprising how much time and effort it takes to turn the fruit from the coffee trees into the roasted beans we grind for our daily coffee.
Coffee bean bush at the Don Juan coffee plantation
Strolling on the beach in a bay in Manuel Antonio
Although I keep mentioning the wildlife, the scenery in Costa Rica is equally stunning.
If you are in Tortuguero National Park try and take the opportunity to have a wander through Tortuguero town.
The town is made up of some colourful single storey buildings and huts.
Once again it is only accessible by boat and the mode of transport in the town is either on foot or by push bike.
Gifts available, as the sign says, , Tortuguero
Now a guilty pleasure has to be an ice-cold Mojito, and where better to have one than sitting in the late evening sunshine watching the sun go down across the Pacific Ocean.
Embark on your own Costa Rican road trip you'll be amazed how easy it is to tour around by car with. Like us you can create your own road trip and visit Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Arenal and Tortuguero.
Take a peek at the offers at Rental Cars, they cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.
The cable line back to the Sky Tram base, Arenal
Arenal volcano shrouded in cloud
Wadding in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is meant to be warmer than this, Tortuguero
Don't just take our word for it!
Our Things to do Differently
Our Funny Moment
If your heading off on your own Costa Rican adventure, than grab a copy of this DK Eyewitness book.
I love planning trips and these guides are so helpful.
I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
Our Slight Disappointment
Points of Note
If you are in two minds whether to venture to Costa Rica, I urge to take the plunge. The wildlife hidden within the magnificent forests are truly amazing.
The Ticos are very fine people too.
Have any resounding memories from Costa Rica let us know, we would love to hear about them.
Inspired to visit Costa Rica?
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