12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica visit planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly to Juan Santamaria International Airport, Drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
Drive
4
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive to Juan Santamaria International Airport, Fly to Owen Roberts International Airport

S M T W T F S
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3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
Wood & Art Gallery and Galeria Estudio are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of the city life by going to Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. There's lots more to do: admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, stop by Galeria Aguas Verdes, contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano, and trek along Senderos Los Tucanes.

To find maps, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner.

George Town, Cayman Islands to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from George Town to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors

Side Trip

1
night
Tortuguero

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.
On the 13th (Tue), learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Tortuguero road trip site.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In October, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Museums

1
night
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Walaba

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Wed): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, explore the galleries of Luluberlu Art Gallery, and then kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip builder app.

Drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors · Shopping · Parks · Museums

2
nights
San Jose

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Thu): take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Fri): explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, then explore the world behind art at Museo Municipal de Cartago, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In October in San Jose, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 21°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trip

1
night
Manuel Antonio

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 17th (Sat), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, then get interesting insight from Tours, and then look for gifts at The Captain's Booty.

For ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio day trip planner.

Drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trip

3
nights
Monteverde

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 18th (Sun): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then explore the galleries of Arte Jaguar Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then admire the masterpieces at Chorotega Arts & Crafts.

To find other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde online travel planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 20th (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Tours

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
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.