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Experience the best of 5 days in Costa Rica with Adobe 

Are you planning a quick trip to Costa Rica and don’t know where to begin?  Look no further! This tropical paradise offers something for everyone. 

Blend volcanic hot springs and hanging bridges with stunning national parks and beautiful beaches… what you get is the vacation of a lifetime!

At Adobe, we know Costa Rica’s hidden gems and tropical treasures better than anyone. Here, we’ve put together a 5-day itinerary that will take you to the most memorable spots.

A rental car is the best way to get to know Costa Rica. You can combine destinations without delays and visit remote attractions for a vacation full of discovery.

The following 5-day Costa Rica itinerary will start your journey through paradise. Discover the meaning of Pura Vida with Adobe Rent a Car!

Adobe travel itineraries for Costa Rica

There are many ways to get around Costa Rica. Yet only some companies offer the quality and convenience that Adobe does. 

We are the largest and longest-operating Costa Rican-owned rental company. And we have 14 full-service offices across the country. With an Adobe office always nearby,  trips like yours are logistically easy and hassle-free.

Adobe allows you to pick your car up at one destination and drop it off at another. Our free airport shuttle service is an added bonus. While saving money with Adobe, your travel budget can go to what’s important: your vacation!

Ways to Get Around the Country

There are a few transportation options available to get around Costa Rica. A handful of service providers offer in-country flights. Most popular tourist destinations are within a few minutes to one hour from the closest airstrip. 

Private and shared shuttle services are another option. These services are usually door-to-door. Shared buses run regular scheduled routes to the biggest beach and attraction towns. 

Domestic flights and shuttles are convenient but they don’t compare to renting a car. Buying multiple flights or shuttle tickets throughout your trip can get very expensive.

Moreover, many of the country’s most beautiful spots are off the beaten path. Having a rental car allows you to explore these areas at your own pace. 

And finally, having a rental car gives you the freedom to plan your own itinerary and see the treasures that interest you the most.

The best Adobe car for a 5-day itinerary in Costa Rica

At Adobe, we have a full fleet of rental car options to choose from. From economy cars and full-size sedans to SUVs and 4WD powerhouses, we have the vehicle for you. 

You can rest assured that all of our cars are in top shape. Our entire fleet is less than two years old and perfectly maintained. 

If you’re on a budget, we recommend the Geely GX3 2WD SUV or a similar vehicle. Geely’s added lift and power will come in handy as you navigate steep roads and coastal terrain.

If you prefer a 4×4 vehicle, try the Mitsubishi ASX 4WD AT. Its powerful traction and high end features will ensure you drive in comfort and security.

Our most luxurious SUV is the premium Hyundai Palisade 4WD. Perfect for large groups and extra luggage, the palisade ensures your time driving in Costa Rica will be a big part of the fun.

Your five full days in Costa Rica start here!

Day 1: Arenal Volcano National Park and La Fortuna Waterfall

Start your trip in Costa Rica driving to La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano National Park. This world-renowned destination is in the country’s northern lowlands. The drive is about three hours from our San Jose International Airport office.

This park is home to the iconic Arenal Volcano. Until 2010, Arenal was one of the country’s most active volcanoes. Today, the volcano is dormant but still produces lovely hot springs.

To begin, take a guided tour through the park to learn more about the volcano and the surrounding rainforest. The massive Arenal Volcano Conservation Area is home to an incredible diversity of animal, insect, and plant species.

After your tour, head to the La Fortuna Waterfall, just a few miles from the park. The waterfall is one of Costa Rica’s largest and most majestic. Watch as the La Fortuna River drops 250 feet from the ancient El Chato Volcano to the rocky ground below. You can even take a refreshing swim in the natural pool at the base of the falls.

Next, return to your luxurious hot springs resort to relish in the springs’ healing waters. If your hotel doesn’t have its own bubbling pools, no worries. La Fortuna and the surrounding area have plenty of hot springs and parks where you can enjoy the thermal waters.

Day 2: Monteverde Adventure Parks and Free Time

On your second day in Costa Rica, drive from La Fortuna upwards through the lush Tilaran mountains. Your destination is the legendary Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Once you arrive, head to one of Monteverde’s scenic and exciting adventure parks. The parks offer a series of hanging bridges, canopy tours, zip lines, and gondola rides. Each allows you to experience the forest canopy and incredible biodiversity of the area. 

Birdwatching is a steadily growing pastime in Costa Rica. And Monteverde is one of the country’s premier birding destinations. 

The famed resplendent quetzal, trogons, falcons, and the three-wattled bellbird are among the most sought-after species. Hundreds more species are sure to delight you in the mist cloud forests.

After your tour, you’ll have some free time to explore the nearby town of Santa Elena and try the local cuisine. 

Day 3: Manuel Antonio National Park

On day three, start early and drive southwest to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast. There are a variety of lodging options to choose from in this popular tourist destination. Once you’ve settled in, explore Manuel Antonio National Park.

The park is home to exotic wildlife and some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Spend the afternoon swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the park’s trails. 

There’s a variety of curious wildlife you’ll surely encounter in the park. Three types of monkeys, coati, raccoons, sloths, and iguanas, are among the most common.

After your visit, enjoy free time relaxing and discovering the vibrant town. Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s oldest and most popular vacation spots. Here you will find an assortment of enticing restaurants and activities to entertain you.

Day 4: Corcovado National Park, rainforests, and Horseback Riding

On day three, grab your gear and continue the drive south to Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula. 

The park is home to an incredible variety of wildlife, including jaguars, pumas, and monkeys. Upon arrival, take a guided horseback riding tour through the park to see the area’s unique flora and fauna. 

The marine waters surrounding the peninsula are some of the most pristine. Keep your eyes on the horizon. You will likely see dolphins or humpback whales if the time and season are right.

Several species of sea turtle visit the Osa coastline seasonally to lay their eggs. If you’re lucky, you may have the good fortune to see the creatures arrival to the beach nesting. Night tours can be arranged to see the ancient ritual. It’s a beautiful and moving experience.

Day 5: Puerto Viejo and the Caribbean Coast

For the last day of your 5-day journey, rise early and drive north to the Quepos Adobe office to drop off your rental car. From here, an Adobe representative will transfer you to the Quepos domestic airstrip for your flight to Limon on the South Caribbean Coast.

Arrange for your new Adobe rental to be waiting for you at the Limon Airstrip. Once you’ve settled into your new wheels, drive south to the scenic beach town of Puerto Viejo.

Driving is certainly one of the best ways to get around the country. However, you will save precious time flying to the Caribbean side over making the trip by land.

Puerto Viejo is famed for its transparent turquoise waters, beautiful beaches, and Afro-Caribbean culture. Once you arrive, head to the beach to enjoy the warm ocean waters. You can also take a surfing class at one of the many popular surf breaks.

Another popular activity in Puerto Viejo is chocolate tasting. The region is well known for its cacao plantations. Schedule a chocolate process tour, and you’ll be delighted with the sweet results.

5 day Costa Rica itinerary – Leave Costa Rica for home on day six

Now you’ve had the chance to spend 5 days in Costa Rica, it’s time to head home. Return to Limon to drop off your rental and board the domestic flight to San Jose Airport and your international flight home.

Costa Rica itinerary for 5 days: Frequently asked questions

Is 5 days enough for Costa Rica?

We recommend visiting Costa Rica for at least a full week. If not, five days is still a decent amount of time to see the country’s most beautiful and exciting destinations.

How many days do you need to see Costa Rica?

Opinions vary. Costa Rica is a very diverse country. We have towering mountains and volcanoes in the interior. 

We also have lush rainforests and rivers as well as some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. 

Diverse flora and fauna are found in all of these areas. For these reasons, we recommend you visit Costa Rica for as long as possible. Nonetheless, this five-day itinerary will allow you to see the country’s most special destinations.

Where to spend four days in Costa Rica?

If you only have four days to explore Costa Rica, we recommend you visit two destinations at most. There is so much to do and see wherever you go. It’s better to enjoy each place to the maximum than wasting time getting from one place to the next.

If you’d like help planning the perfect 4 day itinerary in Costa Rica contact an Adobe representative. Our friendly staff are on hand to listen to your needs and expectations. 

Our Costa Rican reps are the perfect people to help you plan your vacation. Regardles if it is for four days or four weeks.

How do I decide where to go in Costa Rica?

 The best way to plan your vacation in Costa Rica is to speak with someone who knows the country. At Adobe, we are vacation specialists. 

Although we aren’t an official travel agency, our agents can provide solid travel recommendations.  

Keep in mind that Costa Rica is a small country, but getting around takes time. And it’s unnecessary to combine multiple destinations. 

Instead visit a volcano or the Monteverde cloud forests followed by the beach destination of your choice.

We’re positive that you’ll want to come back once you get a taste of this beautiful country. And we have the rental car and excellent customer service to ensure your trip is memorable and secure.

Do I need rental insurance for a vacation in Costa Rica?

Yes, third party liability coverage is mandatory in Costa Rica, As is CDW (LDW) coverage. 

If you have an international credit card it might be possible to waive our CDW coverage for your own. For specific details read here.

For your safety and peace of mind we recommend adding Adobe’s supplemental protection package (SPP). 

With our SPP, you have 24/7 roadside assistance across the country. Vandalism and damage to the windows or tires is included. And your coverage is raised considerably.

Your safety and security are our foremost concern. That’s why we go out of our way to ensure all our customers have the best vehicle and vehicle coverage options available.

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