Costa Rica

Tortuguero NP - Cahuita NP - Bocas del Toro - Drake Bay - Manuel Antonio NP - Playas del Coco

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Trip Overview

Highlights & Details

Hotel Nights


for 2 persons, 17 nights,
costs in October 2015

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

A beautiful hidden area on a seperate Island in the Tortuguero NP. Small Bungalows with only Mosquito Nets covering the sort of a window. Where you can enjoy a cozy day at the pool, meet some Iguanas next to the pool, hike through their own garden with Blue-Jeans or Strawberry Poison-Dart Frog and get wakened by Howler Monkeys.

> Explore this Hotel

Coral Hill Bungalows

In the small and layed back village of Cahuita the few Coral Hill Bungalows managed by an American/Canadian couple is a hidden secret. The lovely furnished Bungalows and especially the colorful Breakfast in their own tropical garden is amazing.

> Explore this Hotel

Al Natural Resort & Dive

On the island of Bastimentos in the archipelago of Bocas del Toro we spent our nights in a private and natural two-story hut with open sides and a magical view over the ocean. A perfect spot to feel part of a dive community in complete nature. All meals are served on a long table for the few guests in this remote area.

> Explore this Hotel

Las Cotingas Lodge

Find a paradise off the beaten path. This small hill Bungalows offer a spectacular view over Drake Bay. It’s so quiet you here animal sounds and the ocean waves all day and night. Some stairs lead you up to the top.

> Explore this Hotel

Gaia Boutique Hotel

Adults only is the credo of this boutique hotel. Modern and stylish rooms and the rooftop pool invite for a short luxury stay close to the famous Manuel Antonio NP. With their own Reserve and Conservatory Park for Macaws close animal encounters are garanteed. The offered tours through the NP are very well organized and worth it!

> Explore this Hotel

Rich Coast Diving

Coco Beach Hotel is a rustical and easy hotel, but perfect in a dive package of Rich Coast Diving. Spend 3 nights and 2 diving days and you get a perfect deal. The beef steak at the hotel restaurant is fabulous.

> Explore the packages



for 2 persons,
costs in October 2015

Zurich – San José

  • via Madrid
  • Airline: Iberia
  • 07.30 – 14.25
  • USD 1’800
  • 15h
  • San José – Tortuguero NP

  • by Rental Car & Boat
  • 3h 20min San José – La Pavona Restaurant
  • Parking @Boat Quai La Pavona
  • USD 10 per Day
  • Book Tours directly @La Pavona
  • 1h Boat Ride to Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

  • Rental Car: USD 520 for the trip
    Tipp: Check Boat Schedule prior to arrival.

    Tortuguero NP – Cahuita

    by Boat & Rental Car
    1h Boatride to La Pavona
    3h 30min La Pavona Restaurant – Cahuita

    Cahuita – Bocas del Toro

  • by Rental Car & Minivan & Boat
  • 45min Cahuita – Sixaola (Border)
  • Crossing Border by Foot
  • 1h 30min Sixaola – Almirante
  • 1h Boat Ride to Bastimentos

  • We planned to cross the border with our rental car to drive from Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro and then to Drake Bay. Unfortunately it’s not possible to cross the border with a rental car and it was not clearly declared – please check this in advance!

    Bocas del Toro – Drake Bay

  • by Boat & Minivan & Rental Car & Boat
  • 1h Boat Ride back to Almirante
  • 1h 30min Almirante – Sixaola
  • 7h 50min Sixaola – Uvita
  • 50min Uvita – Sierpe
  • 1h by Boat to Drake Bay

  • Tipp: Plan an overnight stop @Uvita to take the Boat to Drake Bay in the morning.

    Drake Bay – Manuel Antonio NP

  • by Boat & Rental Car
  • 1h by Boat to Sierpe
  • 3h 30min Sierpe – Manuel Antonio
  • Manuel Antonio – Playa del Cocos

  • by Rental Car
  • 4h 40min
  • Playa del Cocos – San José

  • by Rental Car
  • 4h 20min
  • San José – Zurich

  • via Madrid
  • Airline: Iberia
  • 17.30 – 18.10 (+1)
  • 17h 30min
  • Activities


    for 2 persons,
    costs in October 2015

    Tortuguero NP

  • Turtle Nesting & Hatching
  • Beach Walks with Tucans & Vultures
  • Jungle Walks with Blue-Jeans Frogs
  • River Tour with Caimans, Turtles, Monkeys
  • and a lot more Natural Wonders…
  • Cahuita NP

  • Jungle Walk with Sloths, Snakes & Monkeys
  • Snorkelling Trip
  • White sandy Beaches
  • Diving in Bocas del Toro

  • Al Natural Dive Resort
  • Cave Diving
  • Coral Gardens & Eagle Rays

  • > Explore our favourite Dive Sites

    Drake Bay

  • Calm & lonely Beaches
  • Wild horses & lots of monkeys
  • Diving @Caño Island
  • Humpback Whales breading
  • Boat & Jungle Tours
  • Manuel Antonio NP

  • Park Trail with lots of animal encounters
  • Playa Espadilla Sur
  • Playa Manuel Antonio
  • Sloths, Monkeys, Leguans, Racoons, Land Crabs and more
  • Diving in Playa del Cocos

  • Rich Coast Diving
  • Turtles, Bullsharks, Moray Eals, Harlequin Shrimps and more

  • > Explore our favourite Dive Sites

    Costa Rica Roadtrip – How to make it epic!

    Costa Rica

    San José – Arrival

    Day 1: Boutique Hotel Jade

    For sure you’ve already heard the phrase that there is nothing to see in a certain city. San Jose is one of those places. But there is not only nothing to see but also nothing to find. This evolves from the fact, that there are no street numbers, without which it is pretty hard to find your hotel.

    Costa Rica

    Tortuguero NP

    Day 2-3: Tortuga Lodge

    When leaving San Jose the true beauty of Costa Rica starts to unfold. By boat you can easily reach Tortuguero and to bridge the waiting time you can already book some tours for your time in the park.

    Maybe the first night you wonder why people go to bed that early, but at latest the next morning at 5am when you’re getting softly awaken by the howler monkeys you understand that there is a different rhythm in Costa Rica.

    You can go on walks by yourself where you may see some poisonous red frogs, go on guided walks or guided boat tours. The guided tours are worth their money as you learn a lot about the jungle and its inhabitants and you see way more animals then when going alone. You can see huge colorful iguanas, spider monkeys, crocodiles, turtles, different kind of water birds, toucans, vultures and Jesus Crist lizards. This last one grants its name to the fact that it can actually walk on water.

    At night you can try to see seaturles nesting and when you are really lucky you can see the little ones hatching the next day and trying to make their way to the sea. One of the most inspiring moments of your life.

    Costa Rica

    Cahuita NP

    Day 4-5: Coral Hill Bungalows

    There are a few nice places at the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Cahuita is one of these beautiful pearls. There you can find hotels where sloths sleep in the trees and howler monkeys not only wake you with their characteristic roaring sound but also by throwing branches and nutshells on your roof; at 5am of course.

    You can go snorkeling or take a walk through the forest. While snorkeling you have the chance to see moray eels, spider crabs, devil fishes or even sting rays. And when walking the variety gets even bigger. You can spot hawks and squirrel monkeys, patriot crabs and various snakes and of course the famous sloths chilling in the trees.

    Costa Rica

    Bocas del Toro

    Day 6-9: Al Natural Resort

    If you thought you could cross the border to Panama with your rental car you were wrong. They only let you pass if the car you’re driving is yours. Otherwise you have to park it at the border and take the shuttle to the harbor to reach Boccas del Toro by boat. From there another boat can bring you to one of the most unique resorts you can imagine – the Al Natural. A place with no internet, doors or even windows. You basically stay in an open bungalow in the middle of the jungle with nothing in front of your two-story veranda than the majestic ocean.

    After dinner you get the chance to observe the feeding of some of the cutest animals you can imagine – night monkeys. And during the day you can either relax at the water or go diving with the Italian resort manager/dive guide. There you have the chance to explore remote islands, underwater caves and sunken wrecks. Even though the variety of marine life isn’t huge you may still be lucky and see a nurse shark or even an eagle ray.

    Costa Rica

    Drake Bay

    Day 10-12: Las Contingas Lodge

    As you don’t have your car anymore crossing to the west coast on the panama side isn’t an option and you therefore have to go back to Costa Rica and cross the mountains. One of the good parts of this detour is, that you get to see the mysterious cloud forest.

    Talking about driving, it is also not recommended to overtake other cars by crossing a solid line. Because it is possible that the police are waiting exactly at this spot and only let you pass after you supported their retirement.

    There is a possibility to drive to Drake Bay but when you’re not on the lucky side when it comes to cars you better take a boat that brings you to a village which accommodates less than 10 tourists a time in off-season.

    At this beautiful place you can experience some of the best diving and bush walks of Costa Rica. The water is so clear that you can see entire mountains and as the waves are so high it pushes you up and down while you are trying to observe the sharks and turtles.

    On your way to the bush walk you might be lucky and see a humpback wale with her baby. And on the walk, some of the most beautiful macaws you’ve ever seen. There are some cat like animals called coatis and there is an ant eater walking from treetop to treetop on his search for food.

    Costa Rica

    Manuel Antonio NP

    Day 13-14: GAIA Hotel

    There is a beautiful hotel in Manuel Antonio called Gaia hotel that accommodates adults only. This is rather perfect when you are not eager to share your pool with a bunch of crying or fighting kids. Besides that, the park is absolutely beautiful. You can see bats and basilisk lizards, green iguanas and sloths, white faced monkeys, agouti and squirrel monkeys. And also, local guides who cannot understand why Europeans are so fascinated by racoons.

    Besides all those animals and plants, the park is also right at the water and incorporates some of the most beautiful beaches of middle America.

    Costa Rica

    Playa del Coco

    Day 15-17: Cocos Beach Hotel

    Playa del Coco is another beach and dive spot in Costa Rica and for sure not the worst one. You can probably experience some of the closest encounters with white tip sharks you ever had. Further on you can also see scorpion fishes, turtles, moray eels, schools of jacks, day octopus and one of the most beautiful crabs there is – the harlequin shrimp.

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