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A Costa Rica road trip with Adobe and Travelguru TV

Cathy Bartrop of the UK’s hit video travel series,, chose Costa Rica for a recent holiday road trip. 

Cathy and her husband Peter travel the globe, bringing firsthand location experience to their followers. Her straightforward insights give travelers a realistic view of what to expect when on a road trip in a foreign country.

The duo chose Adobe Rent a Car as their trusted vehicle provider. Adobe’s reputation as a Costa Rican-owned business with over 30 years in the rental car market was an attractive choice for the series.

Visiting Costa Rica with

Cathy and Peter’s two-week road trip in Costa Rica began in the Capital, San Jose. Their mission: to learn what Pura Vida is all about!

From San Jose, they headed north, then down the Pacific Coast, visiting six unique destinations along the way. “…it is a wondrous place full of stunning landscapes, amazing wildlife, and no end to fun things to see and do,” said Cathy.

The couple first chose a guided walking tour of San Jose in the Central Valley. It turned out to be a perfect introduction to the country’s history, customs, and tastes. 

Although they visited Costa Rica during the rainy season, the rains were rarely a nuisance. Even in May, the mornings and early afternoons were always bright and sunny.

Once leaving the capital, they picked up the Adobe rental in downtown San Jose and hit the road. Rural roads aren’t always in good shape or well-marked, noted They recommend visitors choose a 4WD vehicle and rent a good “Sat-Nav” GPS device or internet hot spot. 

A road trip around Costa Rica with

Cathy and Peter’s first stop was La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano. The hotel they stayed at had a fabulous view of the 1,6330-meter-high volcano and its perfect conical volcano shape.

La Fortuna has grown over the decades into a bustling tourist hub famous for adventure tourism. It’s not all about thrills, however. A visit to the Arenal Volcano National Park reveals many treasures, including incredible vistas, sloths, and exotic birds.

To wind down after a day of exploring, the two travelers soaked in their hotel’s onsite hot springs. It was a delightful ending to a fulfilling day, they agreed.

Nearby La Fortuna is another popular visitor attraction, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Monteverde is a nature lovers paradise located in the heights of the Tilaran Mountains. The rare cloud forest flora and fauna are best explored hiking or from above on one of the park’s dramatic hanging bridges. 

Next stop on their big Costa Rica road trip: Guanacaste Province

After leaving the iconic Arenal Volcano, the Bartrops headed to the mountains of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park. Once they encountered Guanacaste’s rugged, unpaved roads, they were happy to have chosen a 4×4 vehicle.  

The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is active and the source of bubbling thermal waters and mud baths that are healing for the skin. Horseback riding, canopy tours, and four-wheeling were a part of their adventure. And the hotel’s rainforest spa and swimming pool with a swim-up bar topped off the experience.

After a pleasant stay at Ricon de la Vieja, Cathy and Peter set off for their third destination: Nosara. Their hotel in Playa Guiones beach town is renowned as a yogi and surfer’s paradise. The Bartrops found it easy to rent a surfboard and book a class in Nosara. 

The region is famous for its long, consistent swells, healthy lifestyle, and international dining. But it’s the beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets that make Nosara particularly special.

Their next stop was the rocky coastline along the eastern edge of the Nicoya Peninsula. Tango Mar Resort is set just steps away from the peninsula’s white sand beaches, perfect for walking and sightseeing. 

There’s a plethora of activities to entertain visitors on the Nicoya Peninsula. And horseback riding, waterfall hikes, boat tours, golf, and zip lining are just a few of the options.

The best Costa Rica road trips are with Adobe

To reach the Central Pacific Coast from the Peninsula, it’s easiest to take the Naviera Tambor Ferry across to the mainland. The ferry ride is a scenic 1.5 hours over the Gulf of Nicoya’s calm waters.

From Puntarenas, the duo had a smooth and easy drive to Hotel Villa Caletas, just under 30 minutes from Jaco. En route, they saw giant American crocodiles under the Tárcoles Bridge. They also explored the unique ecosystems of Carara National Park.

The couple’s final destination was Playa Esterillos Este, only 22 km south of Jaco. They were delighted with their hotel’s bright and friendly ambiance. Playa Esterillos is well known for its picturesque beaches and small-town feel.

From Esterillos, they were just minutes from the world-renowned Manuel Antonio National Park. Hailed for its pristine beaches and abundant wildlife, the park is one of Costa Rica’s most visited. 

Unfortunately, the Bartrops didn’t have the time to make it as far south along the Pacific Coast as Drake Bay or the Osa Peninsula. They’ll have to save it for their next amazing road trip in Costa Rica. 

A Pura Vida road trip

The translation is Pure Life, and you see it printed everywhere in Costa Rica. Pura Vida is also a part of everyday conversation and means different things depending on how it’s said.

After exploring Costa Rica’s magnificent volcanoes and beautifully unique beaches, Cathy and Peter understood exactly what Pura Vida amounts to. Thanks to Adobe Rent a Car and the Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica, they had an unforgettable road trip in Costa Rica.

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