9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica vacation planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Shuttle to San Jose, Fly to Newark

S M T W T F S
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14

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 (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, and then get in on the family fun at Canopy Vista Tamarindo. On the next day, kick back and relax at Playa Avellana and then kick back and relax at Playa Conchal.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo route app.

New York City, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Theme Parks

Side Trips

Playa Samara

— 1 night
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 8th (Sun), kick back and relax at Samara Beach, then stroll through Barrigona Beach, and then admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara trip planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Monteverde

— 1 night
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and then view the masterpieces at Alas y Raices.

To find traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, use the Monteverde day trip planning tool.

Drive from Playa Samara to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Shopping

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 10th (Tue), find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Adventure

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): view the masterpieces at Wood & Art Gallery, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, then get interesting insight from Tours, and finally learn something new at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To find more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos driving holiday planner.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. You will leave for home on the 13th (Fri).

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors

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.