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
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Ferry
3
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 1 day
Drive to Juan Santamaria International Airport, Fly to Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport

S M T W T F S
26
27
28
1
2
3
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5
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10
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18

Tamarindo

— 3 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore hidden gems such as Spas & Wellness and Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco. Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal) and Scuba & Snorkeling (in Playas del Coco). The adventure continues: have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf, stroll through Playa Avellana, and wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura.

To find more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip planner.

Sydney, Australia to Tamarindo is an approximately 26-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 16 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Santa Teresa

— 2 nights
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Santa Teresa road trip planning app.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to ride a ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Manuel Antonio

— 4 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa and Meli Melo Boutique. And it doesn't end there: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, get interesting insight from Tours, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Shopping

Side Trip

Jaco

— 1 day
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
On the 11th (Sat), kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Jaco online route maker.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · 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.