12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Juan Santamaria International Airport, Drive to Poas Volcano National Park
1
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Taxi to Naranjo, Fly to Riga

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Poas Volcano National Park

— 2 nights
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): get impressive views of Poas Volcano and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the views at Orosi River Valley ( El Valle del Rio Orosi ) and then admire the sheer force of Los Chorros Waterfalls.

For photos, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Poas Volcano National Park road trip planning site.

Riga, Latvia to Poas Volcano National Park is an approximately 22.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Eastern European Standard Time (EET) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -8 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Nature · Parks

Side Trips

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: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip planner.

Drive from Poas Volcano National Park to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In February, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks · Museums

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
On the 8th (Sat), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, get interesting insight from Tours, and then walk around Parque Nahomi. Here are some ideas for day two: see Off-Road Tours.

To find where to stay, maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder tool.

Getting from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Monteverde

— 2 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond. Here are some ideas for day two: experience rural life at El Trapiche Tour, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle.

To find reviews, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure

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.