12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Shuttle
2
San Jose
— Few hours
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Ferry
4
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive
5
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6

4
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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Onirica Art Gallery and Souvenir Leo. Visiting Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano, stroll through La Fortuna Waterfall, and hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

Plan my trip to La Fortuna de San Carlos with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Ottawa, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Ottawa to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to catch the shuttle to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors

Side Trip

few
hours
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Tue): explore the galleries of Galeria Namu and then browse the eclectic array of goods at Central Market (Mercado Central).

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our San Jose travel planner.

Traveling by shuttle from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in April, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping · Museums

2
nights
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 26th (Wed), look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa, look for gifts at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz.

To see reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio travel planner.

Getting from San Jose to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. You'll set off for Santa Teresa on the 27th (Thu).

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa and then kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa.

Find out how to plan Santa Teresa trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Traveling by ferry from Manuel Antonio to Santa Teresa takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches

2
nights
Playa Samara

A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
On the 29th (Sat), enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach and then kick back and relax at Samara Beach.

To see more things to do, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Playa Samara trip itinerary planning tool.

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches
Highlights from your trip

1
night
Tamarindo

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 30th (Sun): kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach and then stroll through Playa Conchal. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Mon): look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, then take in the exciting artwork at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, then wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana.

To see ratings, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary builder website.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

Side Trip

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.