What makes this trip special?
Ranching and adventure
Rincon de la Vieja
Electric blue waters and lush volcanic forests
Costa Rica's most active volcano
A taste of the cloud forest
Laid-back, off-beat beaches
Southern Nicoya Peninsula
Rural ranch and nearby wetlands
Guanacaste (La Ensenada)
- Day Overnight
Los Angeles Cloud Forest
Los Angeles Cloud Forest
- For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.
Day-by-day itinerary for 'Route 4: Off the Beaten Track'
Guide prices for 'Route 4: Off the Beaten Track'
||2 people sharing
Prices are per person and include:
- all other travel in Costa Rica
- all accommodation
- meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
- rental car with unlimited mileage and fully comprehensive insurance (details on request)
Prices do not include:
- international flights
- travel insurance
- airport and departure taxes
- items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
- car-hire: refundable deposit
- car-hire: additional driver insurance
- car-hire: petrol
Customer reviews for
'Route 4: Off the Beaten Track'
Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified
(a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.
Seasonal information for 'Route 4: Off the Beaten Track'
Hotels for 'Route 4: Off the Beaten Track'
Days 1 - 2
Hilton Garden Inn, Liberia
Situated beside Liberia's international airport this modern hotel (opened 2009) makes a sensible positioning night location for those with early departure/late arrival flights. Rooms are spacious with fridge, flat screen TV, coffee maker, micro-wave. There is a restaurant open 06.30 - 22.30h daily, outdoor swimming pool and fitness room, whilst there is also on on site convenience store if you need anything after a late arrival or before an early departure.
Days 3 - 4
Celeste Mountain Lodge
This is a genuine eco-lodge of high quality but with an unusual rather startling brutal modernist industrial construction made from re-cycled materials, think " Grand Designs eco-build".
Guests stay on a full board basis. The delicious meals are made using high quality local ingredients (its a set menu served family style using "New Costa Rican" cuisine). There is a communal hot tub in the interior patio garden. One whole wall is louvred vents (no glass) therefore no fans are required.
It is located in an interesting area from a natural history point of view. In a transitional area between cloudforest and rainforest yet is only a 12km drive from tropical dry forest. It has 4 hectares of super protected primary forest on its estate and well maintained trails. Because neighboring properties also consist of protected areas, deep jungles surround the lodge on 3 sides.
Makes a good base for birding.
The French Canadian owner has also designed a modern version of the sedan chair so guests with disabilities can still visit the forest trails.
Days 5 - 6
Arenal Observatory Lodge
The reward for a little bone-shaking along a stony track which winds up through pine forest to reach this hotel is its proximity to Arenal volcano and its beautiful views down upon Arenal Lake. Originally a Smithsonian Institute research station its location was chosen by scientists who needed a close but safe vantage point from which to study the volcano. Although you are close enough to hear the near constant rumbles inside the volcano you are separated from it by a deep gorge. The gardens are planted with native species to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. A seismograph records the volcano's activity from the lodge.
Days 7 - 8
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel is a unique hotel settled in a Costa Rican Farm Village overlooking 3,000 acres of dairy pastures and pristine cloud forests. The cloud forest surrounding the property hosts a similar inventory of flora and fauna found in habitats such as Monteverde, yet with only a fraction of the driving time from San Jose International. Airport, so it is possible to stay here on your first night. It is conveniently located just 60 Km from San Jose. The hotel has 34 secluded and well-appointed casita rooms with fire places, so they are very cosy. On the main hilltop, the Hacienda house, serves fresh baked breads and you can sample the best campesino style cuisine in the region with the buffet menus.
Days 9 - 12
Set in extensive grounds on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Tango Mar has an enviable beachfront setting, with all of its 18 ocean view rooms set within metres of the sand. The hotel also offers 12 individual Tropical Suites positioned up on the hillside away from the main buildings, which can be reached by self-drive golf buggies. The view from the cliff near these suites, looking down the palm-fringed coast and out to sea is quite breath-taking. A further five suites modelled on Polynesian-style wooden cabanas are situated just a 20 metre walk across a service path from the sands. Overlooking the beach there are two swimming pools and a wet bar, and two restaurants facing the sea. Golf, spa facilities, billiards, cycling, tennis and horse riding are also available on site.
Swimming pool overlooking the beach
Days 13 - 14
La Ensenada Lodge
Gulf of Nicoya
La Ensenada is a family run 1000 acre farm set beside the Gulf of Nicoya near Palo Verde, sharing a similar wetland habitat.
Accommodation is in simple, functional, clean wooden cabins, each with a private bathroom and veranda. There is a swimming pool and lawns down to the Gulf which create a beautiful, tranquil location in which to relax.
Guests can join in with the daily activities of the working farm, which raises cattle and horses as well as producing salt and fruit. They offer horse back riding, mangrove tours and trails through the jungle. There are great bird watching opportunities here (Dec - Apr) particularly when the migrant species are passing through.
On your way over to dinner you will need a torch - watch out for the huge toads!