12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
4
San Jose
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Fraijanes
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 nights
Set against the backdrop of the imposing Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos offers visitors a chance to explore diverse natural landscapes and sample some delicious local produce.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, trek along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs.

For reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos journey builder website.

Washington DC, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Monteverde

— 1 night
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Fri): delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde online trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Nature

Manuel Antonio

— 1 night
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sat): see MidWorld Costa Rica and then stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 20th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Wildlife

San Jose

— 3 nights
A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
Venture out of the city with trips to Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (in Alajuela) and Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles (in Cartago). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, revel in the low prices at Mercado Municipal De Artesanias, and stroll around Parque La Sabana.

To see reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In August in San Jose, expect temperatures between 81°F during the day and 66°F at night. You will have some time to spend on the 23rd (Wed) before leaving for Fraijanes.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Fraijanes

— 2 nights
On the 23rd (Wed), get impressive views of Poas Volcano and then get a taste of local nightlife at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo. On the 24th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find where to stay, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Fraijanes trip planner.

Drive from San Jose to Fraijanes in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Fraijanes

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.