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
Playas del Coco
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Shuttle to Playa Panamá, Fly to Halifax

S M T W T F S
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

Playas del Coco

— 3 nights

Coco Beach

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Get a sense of the local culture at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco and Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Playa Hermosa and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Step out of Playas del Coco with an excursion to Playa Conchal in Playa Conchal--about 1h 10 min away. There's more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas and look for gifts at Lis Umana Beachwear.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Playas del Coco trip planner.

Halifax, Canada to Playas del Coco is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Halifax to Playas del Coco is minus 2 hours. You'll set off for Santa Teresa on the 16th (Thu).

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis, and then admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

To find photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Santa Teresa vacation planning tool.

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to Santa Teresa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Monteverde.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Monteverde

— 3 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.
Get in touch with nature at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and Horseback Riding Tours. Discover out-of-the-way places like Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas) and The Bat Jungle. When in Monteverde, make a side trip to see Catedral de Puntarenas in Puntarenas, approximately Puntarenas away. Next up on the itinerary: take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve and appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Elena Skywalk.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde route tool.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Monteverde takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Tours

Side Trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 2 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.
On the 22nd (Wed), witness a stunning natural landmark at Rio Chollin, trek along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation maker.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trip

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.