11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route maker
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La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Shuttle to San José, Fly to Tamarindo
— 3 nights
— 2 nights
Taxi to Atenas, Fly to London


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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Bogarin Trail and Venado Caves. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, and relax in the rural setting at Arenal Vida Campesina.

For reviews, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online journey planner.

London, UK to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -6 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.
Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Spas
Side Trip

Manuel Antonio — 3 nights

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge and Parasailing & Paragliding. When in Manuel Antonio, make a side trip to see Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store in Dominical, approximately Dominical away. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, stroll through Playa Espadilla Norte, take in the waterfront at Marina Pez Vela, and stroll around Parque Nahomi.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder tool.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to travel to Tamarindo.
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Trails
Side Trips

Tamarindo — 3 nights

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Pura Aventura and Monkey Park. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, step aboard Kingpin Sportfishing, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach.

Planning Tamarindo trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Manuel Antonio to Tamarindo in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to drive to Monteverde.
Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): relax in the rural setting at Hidden Valley Permaculture Farm, then view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery, then get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Monteverde attractions planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. In December in Monteverde, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel back home.
Spas · Parks · Museums · Shopping

Costa Rica travel guide

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.