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A message to our customers:

In these extraordinary times, I would like to reassure all 2by2 customers who are due to travel shortly that we are in the process of contacting you individually, once you are within 30 days of travel. Depending on Foreign Office advice at the time and your insurance arrangements, we will assist you in either postponing or cancelling your trip. We are also looking after customers who are still abroad and ensuring they return home safely. If you are concerned about a family member currently travelling do get in touch. I would like to thank each of our customers who have already been contacted for your kindness and understanding in these difficult times. Our brilliant team will continue to support you throughout this crisis, as we are set up to work remotely. May I take this opportunity to send our best wishes to you and your loved ones during these unprecedented circumstances.

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director

Osa Peninsula Costa Rica: Self Drive Holiday - Ostional + Corcovado + Drake Bay

Costa Rica (self drive), with Ostional + Osa Peninsula
RCG15S
15 NIGHTS
FROM £3,295
Per person sharing
International flights + car hire quoted separately
Osa Peninsula Costa Rica Self Drive Holiday Ostional Corcovado Drake Bay

Visit the spectacular Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica & both the Caribbean & Pacific coasts, on this self drive holiday. Travel by boat to the Tortuguero Welands where Green turtles nest (July to Oct), visit Arenal Volcano & Ostional beach where Olive Ridley turtles breed (June to Dec). Also visit Manuel Antonio, Corcovado & Drake Bay. Local flight included.  Transfer option on request.

Osa Peninsula Costa Rica Self Drive Holiday Ostional Corcovado Drake Bay
• 
Self Drive Holiday
• 
Tortuguero National Park
• 
Green Sea Turtles
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs
• 
Ostional Beach
• 
Manuel Antonio
• 
Drake Bay
• 
Corcovado Park
• 
Osa Peninsula Costa Rica
• 
Self Drive Holiday
• 
Tortuguero National Park
• 
Green Sea Turtles
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs
• 
Ostional Beach
• 
Manuel Antonio
• 
Drake Bay
• 
Corcovado Park
• 
Osa Peninsula Costa Rica
Day 1
Day 2
An early pickup from your hotel this morning for your scenic shared 4-hour coach transfer to the flooded forests of Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Coast - known as the 'Amazon of Costa Rica'.
 
This remote wetland system covers an area of over 300 square km. Meaning 'Land of the Turtles', it is the largest nesting site for endangered Green sea turtles in the western hemisphere and supports a wide range of threatened flora and fauna. It is also a RAMSAR birding site of international significance.
 
After travelling 1.5-hours by air-conditioned coach, we stop at Guapiles for a Costa Rican breakfast, before continuing another 1.5-hours to the dock. Here we board the boat for our 1-hour ride along the La Suerte River and the wider Tortuguero River, to your lodge in the heart of these lush waterways.
 
On arrival check into your lodge and book your turtle tour in season (see below). After a buffet lunch we visit the local village, with balance of afternoon at leisure.
  
Note: Noctural turtle tours are run from July to October, as this is when green sea turtles nest and lay their eggs, with hatchlings emerging 45 days later. The timing of your tour (8-10pm or 10-12pm) and the beach zone you will visit are allocated by the park authority and must be booked 24 hours in advance, so it is essential to book your tour with hotel reception on arrival, as it cannot be pre-booked (approx. $40 per person).
Day 3
Today you will explore the waterways and rainforests of Tortuguero National Park on a shared boat ride, accompanied by a lodge guide.
 
Tortuguero is a critical breeding ground for vulnerable Green Turtles, which lumber up these beaches in their thousands from July to October each year to nest, with their hatchlings emerging 45 days later - an unforgettable sight. Leatherback turtles - the largest of all sea turtles - nest here in March & April and a few Loggerhead turtles nest here in June & July. The critically endangered Hawksbill turtle may be found here in very small numbers in September and October.
 
Although these beaches are best know for their sea turtles, Tortuguero is also an excellent place to see two and three-toed sloths, mantled howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, basilisk lizards, green iguana, red-eyed tree frogs, spectacled caiman, black river turtles and over half of all bird species found in Costa Rica. These include the Great green macaw, Keel-billed toucan, Boat-billed heron, Blue heron, Laughing falcon, Bare-throated tiger heron, Yellow-crowned night heron, Green-backed heron, Osprey, Snowy egret, Northern jacana, Anhinga (snakebird), Green ibis, Green kingfisher, Southern mealy parrot, Turkey vulture, Social flycatcher, Montezuma oropendola and many more.
 
With eleven different habitats - including rainforests, mangroves, swamps, beaches and lagoons - this hot and humid park has a rainfall of up to 250 inches (6,400 mm) a year. As a result it sustains a wide range of wildlife and is teeming with birds, reptiles, small mammals and insects. Occasionally bottlenose dolphins swim up the river from the sea and you may also see crocodiles, anteaters, ocelots and more.
 
Your boat ride will either be in the morning or afternoon, depending on the scheduling done by the ranger station. Your second activity for the day is a shared guided walk through the grounds of your lodge - looking out for frogs, birds, sloths, butterflies and other wildlife.
 
In the evening, if you join an optional turtle tour, wear dark clothing to ensure you do not disturb the turtles, closed shoes and long trousers to protect your feet & legs from mosquitos. Flashlights are not permitted.
 
Note: As the park receives up to 250 inches (6,400 mm) of rain a year, it is very likely that it will rain during your visit - so bring rain gear with a hood and expect to get wet. Wear sports clothing that will dry quickly (not jeans, which take too long to dry).
Day 4
Day 5
This morning enjoy a shared tour to the Arenal Hanging Bridges - a series of 9 fixed and 6 suspension bridges located in a natural corridor followed by migratory birds travelling between North and South America, offering wonderful views of the lake and volcano.
 
This 2-mile (3 km) trail will allow you to enjoy the great diversity of flora and fauna inside this mountainous zone, as well as outstanding bird watching. Keep an eye out for howler monkeys, sloths, anteaters, coati, racoons and other rainforest wildlife. Birds you can hope to see include the Yellow-throated toucan, Crested guan, Grey-headed chachalaca, Baltimore oriole, Clay-coloured thrush and Red-throated ant tanager, amongst others.
 
In the afternoon relax at the magnificent Tabacon Hot Springs, with its many natural waterfalls and pools, as well as a large swimming pool with swim-up bar. Dinner at the hot springs is included this evening.
 
Note: Group size 2 to 12 per guide. This trail is not suitable if you have a fear of heights. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars & raingear. Also sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, swimwear and water shoes.
Day 6
Day 7
This morning leave La Fortuna and drive 5-hours, travelling around Lake Arenal and through the beautiful landscapes of Guanacaste province to Nosara.
 
Check into your hotel in this small surfing town situated on the Nicoya Peninsula, with its stunning Pacific Ocean beaches and amazing sunsets.
 
Note: As the last section of the road today is relatively poor gravel, be sure to travel during daylight.
 
During the turtle nesting season, on arrival at your lodge you should immediately book your turtle tour for the following night, as these cannot be pre-arranged (pay locally - approx $60 pp).
Day 8
At leisure to explore the laid-back town of Nosara on the Pacific Coast, where access to the beach is through a 200 m strip of coastal forest where howler monkeys live, as well as armadillos, porcupines, green iguanas, squirrels, wild cats, crabs, pelicans and other wildlife. The Surf Club offers a convenient beach base for a daily fee (pay locally).
 
With its long wide beaches and consistent easy waves, this is one of the best places in the world to learn to surf. It is also a well-known yoga centre. Optional horse riding, snorkelling, fishing, canopy tours or kayaking through the mangroves of Nosara Reserve can be arranged (pay locally).
 
But the reason this town is most famous is because every year on nearby Ostional Beach hundreds of thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtles return to lay their eggs, the second largest nesting site in the world. Turtles nest all year, but from June to December an amazing natural phenomenon occurs known as the 'arribadas' (or 'arrival') – when tens of thousands of turtles coming ashore simultaneously to nest and lay their eggs. This lasts for only a few days and usually occurs around new moon. Seeing a huge sea turtle lumbering ashore to dig a nest and lay her eggs, before returning to sea is an unforgettable experience, with the whole process taking about 1-hour.
 
Note: Nocturnal turtle tours set out at 8 pm and include a 30-minute transfer to Ostional Beach. Wear dark clothing to ensure you do not disturb the turtles, closed shoes and long trousers to protect your legs from mosquitos. Flashlights are not permitted. The best time to visit is around new moon (avoid full moon, as the turtles like the camouflage of darkness).
Day 9
Day 10
Today drive 2-hours from Tarcoles to Manuel Antonio, a busy tourist town known for its sandy Pacific beaches surrounded by lush coastal rainforest.
 
On arrival check into your hotel and relax in your verdant surroundings.
Day 11
Rise early this morning to avoid the heat of the day for a 2-hour privately guided hike with a naturalist, through the tropical humid rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park - the oldest and most visited national park in the country.
 
Situated on the Pacific Coast, this wildlife sanctuary consists of four protected white sandy beaches bordered by verdant tropical jungle. A series of boardwalks offer two main routes - either a direct 2-mile (3.2 km) hike to the main beach, or a longer 3.5-mile (5.6 km) circular hike that includes a second spectacular beach.
 
Over 100 mammals can be found here, as well as over 350 different bird species. You can hope to spot an adorable sloth - a tree-dwelling animal that sleeps for over 15 hours a day, whilst hanging from the branches of trees. The two-fingered sloth is largely nocturnal, so you are more likely to see the three-fingered sloth, although both species have excellent camouflage so can be hard to spot. These cute creatures move so slowly that algae grows on their fur. Look out for white-faced capuchins and cute squirrel monkeys and listen out for howler monkeys calling across the trees. You should see hermit crabs scurrying across the sands, halloween crabs (with their bright orange & black colouring) and may even see a bull frog, Jesus Christ lizard (the brown basilisk that 'walks on water'), helmet basilisk, black spiny-tailed iguana, green anole lizard, caiman, American crocodile, wish moth, wax-tail hopper, rainbow grasshopper or spectacular blue morph butterfly.
 
Birds you can hope to see include the Brown pelican flying in formation over the sea, Yellow-throated toucan, Tendin fruit bat, Long nosed bat, Mangrove hummingbird, Yellow-crowned night heron, Crowned woodnymph and Bananaquit, amongst many others.
 
At the end of your hike you will be given the opportunity to relax on the beach for about an hour, before returning to your hotel. Your afternoon is at leisure.
 
Note: Manuel Antonio Park is closed on a Monday. Wear swimwear, comfortable walking shoes, shorts & T-shirt, as it will be very hot & humid. Bring water, binoculars, raingear, sun hat, sunscreen, towel & insect repellent and expect this park to be very busy.
Day 12
This morning drive 2.5-hours from Manuel Antonio to the small town of Sierpe, where you will leave your hire car in secure parking at the nominated meeting point.
 
You will then take a scenic shared 1.5-hour boat ride to reach your lodge situated near Drake Bay on the spectacular Osa Peninsula. Half of this ride will be through the mangroves of the Sierpe River delta and the other half will be along the Pacific Coast, with a wet landing at your lodge.
 
With the Golfo Dulce ('Sweet Gulf') to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Osa Peninsula is a paradise of primary rainforest, empty beaches and backwater settlements. Check into your lodge surrounded by the lush vegetation and wildlife of Corcovado National Park.
 
Note: As your boat departs at a set time, arrive in good time to change into shorts and water shoes for your wet landing and to hand in your hire car, if  your rental ends here. Each lodge has a specified pick-up point & departure time (eg for Casa Corcovado, arrive at La Hacienda by 11.00 for the 11.30 boat departure).
 
Most Corcovado lodges are closed from the beginning of October to mid November.
Day 13
Set off early this morning to explore Corcovado National Park, a virgin tropical rainforest that is home to over half of all wildlife species found in Costa Rica.
 
National Geographic magazine has called Corcovado "the most biologically intense place on earth", with more than 500 different trees, over 400 birds, 140 mammals, 117 reptiles/amphibians and over 40 species of freshwater fish. Depending on the location of your lodge, it will take about 1.5-hours by speedboat to reach the Sirena ranger station (with a wet landing), followed by a guided nature hike, crossing many small streams as we discover the park's varied flora and fauna.
 
Wildlife you can hope to see here include endangered species such as the Scarlet macaw and Squirrel monkey, as well as the iconic sloth. Keep an eye out for magnificent birds such as toucans, parrots, tanagers and manakins. These rainforests are also home to the howler monkey, white-faced monkey, spider monkey, white-lipped peccary, collared peccary, poison dart frog, tyra, coati, agouti, American crocodile, caiman and the shy and secretive tapir. If you are very fortunate you may even see a small wild cat such as the ocelot or jaguarundi. Puma (also known as mountain lion or cougar) and jaguar also live here but are rarely seen.
 
After an included picnic lunch on the beach, we return 1.5-hours by boat to our lodge. In the warm ocean you can hope to see dolphins and whales, as there are two whale watching seasons. From mid July until mid October, humpback whales travel up from Antarctica to breed, whilst from December to March northern hemisphere whales travel down from Alaska, but these are much harder to see. Although not often seen, three species of sea turtles nest on this side of the Osa Peninsula - the small Olive Ridley turtle that you will see most often (year round, but best seen July to November at new moon), the endangered Green turtle (July/August) and the vulnerable Leatherback (September to March).
 
Note: Wear shorts & water shoes for the wet landing and good walking shoes. Also take water, swimsuit, towel and rain gear. Not recommended if you are pregnant or have back, respiratory or heart problems, as the boat ride can be rough at times.
Day 14
It is not necessary to leave the grounds of your lodge to enjoy the wildlife of the Osa Peninsula, as birds and rainforest wildlife are all around you.
 
There are many nature trails for you to explore, as well as miles of pristine beaches. Birdlife is colourful and abundant with scarlet macaws, toucans, parrots, tanagers and so much more. Other wildlife you can hope to see include the sloth, howler monkey, white-faced capuchin, spider monkey, squirrel monkey, poison dart frog, tyra, coati and agouti. It is rare to see tapirs, but December to February offer the best opportunities.
 
Optional activities vary by lodge (pay locally) but usually include nature walks, bird watching, night walks to discover noctural wildlife, kayaking in the mangrove, horse riding, fishing, boat rides to search for dolphins and two seasons of whale watching (mid July to mid October for humpback whales migrating from Antarctica; and December to March for northern hemisphere whales travelling down from Alaska, but they tend to pass much further offshore so are much harder to see).
 
You can also book a snorkelling or diving excursion to Caño Island and additional visits to Corcovado National Park - but these require wildlife permits, so must be booked in advance.
Day 15
Transfer 30-minutes by boat and 45-minutes by road to Drake Bay Airport for your light aircraft flight to San Jose.
 
You will be met at San Jose Airport and transferred to your hotel situated in a location convenient for the airport.
 
Note: As you are flying in a small light aircraft, your baggage must not exceed 18 kg in weight or be outsized. If the plane is not full, you can purchase excess baggage at $1.50 per pound. However if the plane is already at its weight capacity, your bags will be left behind to follow on the next plane that has space. These weight restrictions therefore need to be taken seriously.
Day 16
Transfer to San Jose Airport for your flight home.
 
Note: Your driver will only speak Spanish.

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