11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Lisbon
Fly + Drive:  17​h 30​min
1
Vara Blanca
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
3
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
+3
bus + foot + shuttle + Fly:  20​h 30​min
End: Lisbon

1
day
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Vara Blanca online trip itinerary maker .

Lisbon, Portugal to Vara Blanca is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You'll gain 6 hours traveling from Lisbon to Vara Blanca due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal) and Ecotermales Fortuna. Next up on the itinerary: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
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 18th (Wed): get interesting insight from Tours, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach, and then look for gifts at Dolores Shop. On your second day here, kick back and relax at Playa Conchal and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Avellana.

To find where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Tamarindo travel itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December in Tamarindo, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Scuba & Snorkeling

1
night
Monteverde

Monteverde ©
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 20th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To see photos, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde online trip builder .

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In December in Monteverde, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

2
nights
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
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 21st (Sat): get interesting insight from Tours, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then take in the exciting artwork at The Captain's Booty. On your second day here, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio and then stroll through Playa Biesanz.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio holiday planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

The Captain's Booty
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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