12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday planner

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

S M T W T F S
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

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.
On the 29th (Wed), stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, then relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle.

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

Los Angeles, USA to Monteverde is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive. Traveling from Los Angeles to Monteverde, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure

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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): take a memorable tour with Tours, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Sat): see Off-Road Tours.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio day trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

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: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, get interesting insight from Tours, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip website.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can 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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero road trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. February in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 84°F and lows of 69°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

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 Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). There's lots more to do: get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park, look for gifts at J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, and take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu.

To see reviews, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip itinerary site.

You can drive from Tortuguero to San Jose in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Tortuguero in February, you will find days in San Jose are little chillier (79°F), and nights are about the same (65°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Nature · Parks · Museums · Nightlife

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.