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
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Shuttle
2
San Jose
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Ferry
4
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 5 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.
Head to Souvenir Leo and Onirica Art Galleryfor some retail therapy. Get in touch with nature at Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano. There's much more to do: get interesting insight from Tours, identify plant and animal life at Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, tour the pleasant surroundings at Proyecto Asis, and take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planning site.

Jerusalem, Israel to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 26-hour flight. Traveling from Jerusalem to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 8 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to take a shuttle to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Wildlife

Side Trip

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 7th (Fri): hunt for treasures at Central Market (Mercado Central) and then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu.

For maps, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose road trip planner.

You can take a shuttle from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Other options are to 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 7th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping · Museums

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 8th (Sat): look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Super Joseth and then look for gifts at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices.

Plan trip to Manuel Antonio with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

You can drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can catch the ferry to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Shopping

Santa Teresa

— 1 night
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 10th (Mon), look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Santa Teresa.

For reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read Santa Teresa trip planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Santa Teresa by ferry takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Beaches · Outdoors · Parks · Shopping
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal, then view the masterpieces at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, and then step aboard Kingpin Sportfishing.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo planner.

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Tamarindo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 12th (Wed), you're off to home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches · Outdoors · Parks · Shopping

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.