11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly to San Jose, Bus to Manuel Antonio
1
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
2
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
3
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive
4
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio and then do sightseeing your way with Mulguri Adventure. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio holiday planning website.

Vancouver, Canada to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:

San Jose

— 1 night
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.
On the 25th (Tue), get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and finally see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

For ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose travel planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can go by car to Turrialba.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:

Turrialba

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 26th (Wed): explore the ancient world of Guayabo National Monument.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Turrialba online trip maker.

Drive from San Jose to Turrialba in 2 hours. December in Turrialba sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Turrialba

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your trip

Tortuguero

— 1 night

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 27th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip maker website.

You can drive from Turrialba to Tortuguero in 3 hours. In December, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your trip

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.
Get outdoors at La Fortuna Waterfall and River Rafting & Tubing. There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, and contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano.

To see more things to do, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online day trip planner.

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Mon): stroll through Tamarindo Beach, look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, then look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana.

To find reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip itinerary tool.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. You will leave for home on the 1st (Tue).

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches · Outdoors · Parks · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:

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.