12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Playa Carrillo
— 1 night
Drive
4
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Liberia
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Ecocentro Danaus as well as Rio Celeste. Get in touch with nature at La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Volcano. There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs and stroll through La Fortuna Arenal Volcano Rain Forest Reserve.

To see more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Montreal, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 12-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Montreal to La Fortuna de San Carlos due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Spas

Side Trips

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.
On the 29th (Wed), take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond. Keep things going the next day: admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To see more things to do, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to drive to Playa Carrillo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Nature

Playa Carrillo

— 1 night
Curving around a bay to form a perfect wineglass shape, the low-key destination of Playa Carrillo remains one of Costa Rica's hidden coastal gems.
On the 31st (Fri), tour the pleasant surroundings at Jungle Butterfly Farm and then kick back and relax at Playa Islita. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Playa Carrillo.

Before you visit Playa Carrillo, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Carrillo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In December in Playa Carrillo, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Playa Carrillo

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Samara

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and then kick back and relax at Playa Buena Vista.

Plan my trip to Playa Samara with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Playa Samara is just a short distance from Playa Carrillo. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Liberia.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

Liberia

— 1 night

White City

Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): take in the dramatic scenery at Cataratas Llanos de Cortes, then view the masterpieces at Costa Rica'n Art Craft, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Liberia trip planning tool.

Getting from Playa Samara to Liberia by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Liberia

Adventure · Tours · Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
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.