Hi Matt and Jenn, We bought your itinerary ebook which was very useful and which we recommend. We’ve come up with the itinerary below and would appreciate any advice.
We are a family of four with two boys aged 11 and 12. We want to see lots of wildlife and spend time on the beach. We’re travelling in August. We don’t want to be in very touristy places, but do want to have a choice of places to eat ideally.
We wouldn’t normally choose to hire a car but it sounds like it may be more cost effective if we’re not going to spend a lot of time on buses?
Day 1 – arrive, night in Alajuela
Day 2 – drive to La Fortuna/nearby?
Day 3-5 La Fortuna
Day 6 Drive to Monteverde
Day 7 Monteverde
Day 8 Drive to Samara
Day 9-12 Samara
Day 13 Drive to Sarapiqui
Day 14 Sarapiqui
Day 15 Drive to Cahuita
Day 16-18 Cahuita
Day 19-21 Tortuguero – trip booked already and transport included
Day 22 Alajuela
Does that sound doable/sensible?
Do we need a 4×4?
Do we need a car in Cahuita or could we drop off the car there or Puerto Viejo?
The only real problem might be that you are making your way all the way west to Samara and then backtracking to Sarapiqui. That’s really far. A better order might be to start on the Caribbean side in Cahuita, then go to Tortuguero, Sarapiqui, La Fortuna, Monteverde, then Samara and back to Alajuela. This would be more of a loop so would cut down on your travel time. We would probably recommend a 4×4 for the drive to Monteverde in August. A car isn’t essential in Cahuita unless you want to explore the areas nearby. But you could take the bus to someplace like Puerto Viejo easy enough. If you did that you could go without a car in Cahuita and Tortuguero and then pick it up on the other side of Tortuguero at the docks in La Pavona (Adobe’s location here is Guapiles if you are using our Rental Car Discount). Not sure if your accommodations in Tortuguero would let you change dates, usually they are pretty flexible this far in advance. Let us know if you need help with shuttles to the Caribbean.