Discover the essence of “Pura Vida” as you adventure on an unforgettable journey through Costa Rica with our exclusive self-drive tour!

Get ready to buckle up and ignite your passion for exploration because you’re about to embark on an extraordinary journey through Costa Rica! We’ve meticulously crafted this itinerary to exceed all your expectations of this captivating destination. But here’s the kicker – we’ve carefully curated it to unveil the hidden treasures, taking you beyond the ordinary while ensuring you stay in beautiful, lush locations.

Day 1: Arrival and Transfer to Chachagua Rainforest Hotel

Step into the enchanting realm of Pura Vida Land! Upon your arrival, you’ll begin your adventure by picking up your rental car from the conveniently located offices at the airport. Once behind the wheel, prepare to set off on an unforgettable adventure to a strategic starting point (approximately 2 and a half hours away).

Nestled amidst the awe-inspiring Children’s Eternal Rainforest and the majestic Arenal Volcano National Park, the Chachagua Rainforest Hotel awaits to offer you an unparalleled experience in nature. From the moment you step out of your room, you’ll find yourself immersed in the wonders of the rainforest. Indulge in the rejuvenating hot springs, take a dip in the chlorine-free pool, and savor the delectable, rainforest-inspired cuisine at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant.

Accommodation: Chachagua Rainforest Hotel

Day 2: Arenal Hanging Bridges Adventure

Rise and shine to a delightful breakfast before setting off on your next adventure! Today, your journey takes you to the renowned Sky Adventures Park, just an hour’s scenic drive from your hotel.

Upon arrival, prepare to be amazed as you embark on the Sky Hike excursion, taking you deep into the lush forest surrounding the majestic Arenal Volcano. Traverse suspended metal bridges, hanging high above the forest floor, offering exhilarating views of the canopy below. As you stroll along these bridges, adorned with nature’s own decorations of winding lianas, keep your eyes peeled for the vibrant birdlife and playful howler monkeys that call this canopy home.

Accompanied by a knowledgeable bilingual nature guide, you’ll gain insights into the rich diversity of native plants and animal species that thrive in this biodiverse paradise. The Sky Walk promises an unforgettable experience, as you find yourself walking amidst the clouds, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Costa Rica’s rainforests.

Immerse yourself in a different perspective of tropical forests, as you embrace this alternative form of tourism tailored for nature enthusiasts.

Accommodation: Chachagua Rainforest Hotel

Day 3: ASIS Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue Centre

Prepare for a day of making a meaningful difference at the Proyecto Asis! This esteemed project is dedicated to transforming the lives of rescued animals and leaving a lasting impact on those who visit and volunteer alongside them. Please note that the activity commences at 8:30 AM, and it’s just a short 20-minute drive from your accommodation to the project.

During this exclusive experience, you’ll embark on the Wildlife Regular Tour coupled with a hands-on volunteering opportunity. Dive into an educational tour led by one of our expert naturalist guides, delving into the crucial topics of conservation and the profound impact of wildlife on the environment. Explore the reserve as you uncover the unique stories of each animal resident and gain insight into why conservation efforts are vital for their survival.

Following the tour, you’ll roll up your sleeves and step into the role of a volunteer! Learn the art of preparing nutritious diets for the animals, gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of proper nutrition in ensuring their well-being. Engage in enriching activities that allow the animals to express their species-specific behaviors and enhance their overall welfare. Under the guidance of our dedicated staff, you’ll assist in crafting enrichment toys tailored to provide stimulating daily routines for the animals.

While only our trained staff is permitted to directly feed the animals in accordance with the regulations from the Ministry of Environment, you’ll have the opportunity to observe this process from a safe distance, gaining invaluable insights into the care of these incredible creatures.

Suitable for all ages, this experience is particularly ideal for families with young children looking to foster a deeper connection with nature.

Accommodation: Chachagua Rainforest Hotel

4: Transfer to Finca la Amistad Cacao Lodge & Chocolate Discovery Tour

Continuing your extraordinary journey, today promises to be an immersive experience that will leave an everlasting impression.

Located approximately 2 hours away from Chachagua, Finca la Amistad Cacao Lodge awaits you at the base of the awe-inspiring Tenorio Volcano National Park, near the breathtaking Rio Celeste River. you’ll delve into the intricacies of life on a Costa Rican cacao farm, encounter indigenous wildlife, and uncover the secrets behind the art of cocoa and chocolate production.

Upon arrival and settling into your accommodation, prepare to roll up your sleeves and indulge your curiosity with the “From Seedling to Chocolate Bar” tour. Immerse yourself in the world of cacao on one of Costa Rica’s most sustainable cacao farms, where you’ll trace the journey of a cacao seedling to dried cocoa beans. As you navigate through the production process, you’ll have the unique opportunity to craft your own delectable chocolate right here on the farm.

Accommodation: Finca la Amistad Cacao Lodge

Day 5: Exploring Rio Celeste National Park

Prepare yourself for an early start as you fuel up with a delicious breakfast, gearing up for a day of adventure amidst the breathtaking scenery of Rio Celeste National Park. At 8:00 am, gather at the entrance of Volcan Tenorio National Park, conveniently located just 10 minutes away from your lodge.

Legend has it that Rio Celeste, aptly named the “Light Blue River,” was formed when God washed his paintbrushes in its pristine waters after creating the sky. Today, you’ll have the privilege of visiting this magical river. Accompanied by a knowledgeable naturalist guide, you’ll embark on a hike through the lush Humid Forest ecosystem, brimming with diverse animal species and vibrant flora.

Along the way, you’ll be treated to the awe-inspiring sight of the Rio Celeste waterfall, where the rushing waters cascade down a verdant hill before revealing their mesmerizing sky-blue hue. As you continue your journey upstream, you’ll reach “Los Teñidores,” a spot where two crystal-clear streams merge, giving rise to the river’s captivating coloration.

Your adventure will lead you through jungle trails to a volcanic field, where billows of hot volcanic smoke punctuate the air, adding a unique element to your hike. This immersive experience promises to showcase the beauty of nature while providing ample opportunities to observe the remarkable flora and fauna of the region.

Please note that while Rio Celeste is a sight to behold throughout the year, extreme weather conditions, such as prolonged heavy rains, may temporarily affect its coloration. However, a few hours of calm weather can swiftly restore its renowned blue hue.

Accommodation: Finca la Amistad Cacao Lodge

Day 6: Journey to Monteverde & Twilight Adventure

Today, your journey takes you to the picturesque town of Monteverde, nestled within the Pacific highlands, a scenic 2-and-a-half-hour drive away. Situated as the gateway to the stunning Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, the quaint town of Santa Elena welcomes you with its charming wooden houses and refreshing alpine climate. Reminiscent of a tropical Switzerland, this environment sets the stage for an extraordinary adventure.

Monteverde is renowned as one of the most exceptional wildlife refuges in the New World Tropics, boasting the title of the most famous cloud forest globally. Unlike rainforests, Monteverde earns its name as a cloud forest due to its altitude, piercing through the clouds to create a mystical atmosphere.

For your stay, we’ve selected the incomparable Valle Escondido Nature Reserve Hotel & Farm, ensuring your Monteverde experience is nothing short of extraordinary. With its private natural reserve, farm-to-table restaurant, and permaculture farm, Valle Escondido offers a complete and sustainable retreat.

As the sun dips below the horizon, prepare for an enchanting twilight adventure that unveils the mystical beauty of the cloud forest after dark. Led by an expert naturalist guide, you’ll venture into the forest as night falls, guided by the flicker of your flashlight illuminating the secrets of the nocturnal world. Listen closely as the forest awakens with a symphony of nocturnal sounds, from the melodic chorus of tree frogs to the haunting calls of night birds.

This immersive tour offers glimpses of elusive creatures such as sloths, armadillos, and kinkajous, as well as the chance to marvel at the intricate world of insects, reptiles, and butterflies.

Accommodation: Valle Escondido Nature Reserve Hotel & Farm

Day 7: Monteverde Cloud Forest Exploration & Permaculture Insight

Today unveils a journey of discovery as you delve into the wonders of the Monteverde Cloud Forest with a personalized, custom-guided nature hike. Your expert nature guide will pick you up from your hotel, whisking you away to one of the renowned reserves in the area, including the Monteverde Reserve, Santa Elena Reserve, or Curicancha Reserve. Along the scenic route, your guide will regale you with intriguing facts about the natural environment, as well as share the rich history and culture of Monteverde, founded in 1950 by 12 American Quaker families dedicated to dairy farming and environmental conservation.

Prepare for a captivating 3-hour hike through the enchanting Cloud Forest, led by your private naturalist guide. Tailored to your preferences and interests, the tour promises a deep dive into the intricate web of interactions between the diverse flora and fauna inhabiting this unique ecosystem. Equipped with a special magnifying scope, your guide will unveil the hidden secrets of the forest, bringing you closer to nature’s wonders than ever before. With over 2,500 species of plants, including moss, bromeliads, and ferns, alongside an array of wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, and over 400 bird species, including the elusive three-wattled bellbird and the iconic resplendent quetzal, this immersive experience is sure to leave an indelible mark on your memory.

Following your exploration, return to your hotel for a well-deserved break before embarking on the enlightening Permaculture Tour. Wander through the grounds of Valle Escondido Nature Reserve Hotel & Farm, gaining insight into various working systems from a design perspective. An introduction to the ethics and principles of permaculture sets the stage for an in-depth look at these principles in action, offering tangible examples of sustainable living practices.

Accommodation: Valle Escondido Nature Reserve Hotel & Farm

Day 8: Zip-Line Adventure in Monteverde Cloud Forest

Prepare for an exhilarating day amidst the splendour of the Monteverde Cloud Forest and its surrounding beauty as you embark on one of Costa Rica’s most iconic activities – the Canopy Zip-Line or Sky Trek.

Your adventure begins with a pickup from your hotel, followed by a scenic journey halfway between Santa Elena and the Santa Elena Reserve. Accompanied by a bilingual nature guide, you’ll receive fascinating insights into the local flora and fauna as you make your way to the starting point.

The first leg of your journey takes you on an unforgettable ride aboard the Sky Tram, an open-air gondola ascending into the heart of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Reach the highest observation point in the area, known as the Continental Divide, where panoramic views of the Nicoya Gulf, mountain ranges, and the lush Cloud Forest await.

After soaking in the breathtaking scenery, it’s time for the adrenaline-pumping part of your adventure. Embark on a heart-racing zip-line experience, spanning 1.7 miles of cable suspended between towering trees, traversing canyons and soaring through the treetops. With each zip, you’ll whizz from lofty platform to platform, descending back to ground level.

The Sky Trek offers a unique canopy tour experience, boasting a larger scale with more zip lines and platforms to explore. Built with top-quality materials, including metal platforms and secure steel rails, safety is paramount, allowing you to focus on the exhilarating ride. While the speed may hinder wildlife sightings, the thrill of the zip-line is an experience like no other, making it one of the most exciting in the country. Prepare to soar to new heights and create unforgettable memories on this thrilling zip-line adventure through the Monteverde Cloud Forest!

Accommodation: Valle Escondido Nature Reserve Hotel & Farm

Day 9: Transfer to San Francisco Coyote

After a delightful breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to Monteverde as you return your rental car to the designated offices in the area. Following this, a private transfer awaits to whisk you away to San Francisco Coyote, where the next chapter of your journey with turtles begins! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic drive, approximately 3 hours in duration, as you anticipate the rewarding volunteering experience that awaits you.

What’s Included 


  • Standard rooms included with options for upgrades available upon request. Contact us for more details.

Activities and Transfers:

  • Car Rental: Enjoy a Mitsubishi Outlander or similar for convenient travel. Pick up at San Jose Airport offices on day 1 and drop off at Monteverde offices on day 9.
  • Arenal Hanging Bridges tour
  • ASIS Volunteer Activities
  • From Seeding to Bar Cacao Tour
  • Rio Celeste National Park Tour
  • Monteverde Night Tour.
  • Monteverde Clouded Forest Private Tour
  • Permaculture Tour
  • Zipline in Monteverde
  • Transfer from Monteverde to San Francisco Coyote

Meals Included in Your Package:


  • Day 2: Breakfast
  • Day 3: Breakfast


  • Day 4: Breakfast
  • Day 5: Breakfast


  • Day 6: Breakfast
  • Day 7: Breakfast
  • Day 8: Breakfast

Arrive on a MONDAY prior to the week volunteering which starts on Tuesdays

PRICE 2024: £1999 per person, £1499 children under 11

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