12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
5
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Tamarindo — 1 night

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 29th (Tue): kick back and relax at Playa Conchal. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

Dallas, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can drive to Monteverde.
more
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Side Trip

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Thu): look for gifts at Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, then get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Curi Cancha Reserve, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde tour itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
more
Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Sat): get outside with Outdoor Activities, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then pick up some new knowledge with ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. On the 4th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall and then take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos attractions planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.
more
Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Tortuguero — 2 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Mon): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Tortuguero trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Jose.
more
Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

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 6th (Tue): see the top attractions with Top Travel Costa Rica, capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, and then take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica. On the next day, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

For traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read San Jose driving holiday planning tool.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In December, San Jose is slightly colder than Tortuguero - with highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.
more
Tours · Museums · Outdoors · Wildlife
Side Trip

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.
On the 8th (Thu), stop by Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas. On the next day, kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, then kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip tool.

Drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. You will leave for home on the 10th (Sat).
more
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
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.
more