8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

San Jose

— 2 nights
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 30th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Wed): examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose online vacation maker.

Norfolk, USA to San Jose is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Norfolk to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Norfolk in July: high temperatures in San Jose hover around 80°F and lows are around 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio

— 1 night
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 2nd (Fri), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 2 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.
On the 3rd (Sat), indulge in some personalized pampering at Tabacon Hot Springs, then stroll through La Fortuna Arenal Volcano Rain Forest Reserve, and then take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery. On the 4th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, browse the exhibits of Wood & Art Gallery, view the masterpieces at Coco Loco Art Studio & Gallery, then explore the galleries of Galeria Estudio, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip website.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Adventure

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 5th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Tamarindo holiday planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 6th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches · Parks · Outdoors · Museums

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.