12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

Make it your trip
Fly to San Jose, Taxi to Monteverde
1
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Vara Blanca
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Ferry
5
Santa Teresa
Drive
6
Tamarindo
— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Tue): appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Elena Skywalk. On the next day, stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To find ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Monteverde itinerary app.

Detroit, USA to Monteverde is an approximately 13.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. You will have some time to spend on the 30th (Thu) before leaving for La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Shopping

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 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.
Take a break from the city and head to La Fortuna Waterfall and Baldi Hot Springs. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like River Rafting & Tubing and Onirica Art Gallery. There's more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs and get impressive views of Arenal Volcano.

To see reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors

Side Trip

Vara Blanca

A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Vara Blanca day trip tool.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Vara Blanca by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks · Nature
Highlights from your trip

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 4th (Tue): look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

For ratings, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. You will have some time to spend on the 5th (Wed) before leaving for Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Shopping
Highlights from your trip

Santa Teresa

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.
On the 5th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa day trip planning site.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Santa Teresa by ferry takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches
Highlights from your trip

Tamarindo

— 2 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Conchal and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, and then look for gifts at Diamante Boutique.

To find maps, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Tamarindo takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Spas

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.