12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary maker

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  45 min
2
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h
3
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Carara
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
End: San Jose

2
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
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.
Take a break from San Jose with a short trip to Zoo Ave in Alajuela, about 34 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom.

For ratings, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the San Jose holiday builder site.

If you are flying in from United States, the closest major aiports are Tobias Bolanos International Airport, Juan Santamaria International Airport and Limon International Airport. In July, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 80°F, while at night they dip to 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to travel to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Museums Adventure

Side Trips

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Irazu Volcano National Park, Zoo Ave
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

1
night
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
Start off your visit on the 15th (Mon): experience rural life at The Ark Herb Farm, then enjoy some friendly competition at Bol Cariari, and then stroll through Parque Angostura.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara trip itinerary planner.

Drive from San Jose to Santa Barbara in an hour. In July in Santa Barbara, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 67°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wildlife Parks Fun & Games

Side Trip

Bol Cariari
Find places to stay Jul 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Bol Cariari ©
Bol Cariari
The Ark Herb Farm ©
The Ark Herb Farm

2
nights
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Tue): stroll through Mariposas Sarchi, then pause for some serene contemplation at Metal Church, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. On the 17th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano and then stop by Souvenir Muy Tranquilo.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Poas Volcano National Park online trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Poas Volcano National Park in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Shopping

Side Trips

Metal Church, Mariposas Sarchi, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Find places to stay Jul 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Metal Church ©
Metal Church

2
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.
Keep things going the next day: head outdoors with El Salto and then take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary builder.

Drive from Poas Volcano National Park to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Carara.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature Spas Parks
Find places to stay Jul 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing

4
nights
Carara

Carara ©
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Carara: Playa Mantas (in Herradura) and Verde Malakita (in San Pablo). Spend the 20th (Sat) exploring nature at Carara National Park.

Make your Carara itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Carara takes 4 hours. You'll set off for home on the 23rd (Tue).

Things to do in Carara

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Playa Mantas, Verde Malakita
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Carara National Park ©
Carara National Park
Verde Malakita ©
Verde Malakita
Playa Mantas ©
Playa Mantas

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