12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America holiday planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Curitiba
Fly:  14​h 15​min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Monteverde
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Puntarenas
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
6
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
8
San Jose
— Few hours
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Curitiba

3
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Ruinas de Ujarras and Galeria Namu. Step off the beaten path and head to Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum and Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral. Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Parque Angostura (in Santa Barbara) and Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro). There's still lots to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, look for gifts at J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, enjoy the scholastic atmosphere at Universidad de Costa Rica, and indulge your thirst for a good beer at Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co..

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip itinerary planner.

Curitiba, Brazil to San Jose is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Brasilia Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -3 hour difference. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Curitiba in June: high temperatures in San Jose hover around 32°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Wildlife Parks Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Alajuela, Parque Angostura, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Ruinas de Ujarras, Toucan Rescue Ranch
Find places to stay Jun 12 — 15:
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Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Ruinas de Ujarras ©
Ruinas de Ujarras

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, look for gifts at Galeria Aguas Verdes, then identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Conservatory, and finally witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs. Keep things going the next day: hike along Bogarin Trail, then get a taste of the local shopping with Wood & Art Gallery, then contemplate the geological forces at Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), and finally take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner .

Traveling by car from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Butterfly Conservatory, Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
Find places to stay Jun 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Spas
Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) ©
Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)

few
hours
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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Tue): get engrossed in the history at Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde holiday builder .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Jun 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Chorotega Arts & Crafts ©
Chorotega Arts & Crafts

1
night
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
To see more things to do, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo route site .

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Puntarenas.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 18 — 19:
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Lydia Beech Art Boutique ©
Lydia Beech Art Boutique
Kingpin Sportfishing ©
Kingpin Sportfishing

1
night
Puntarenas

Puntarenas
A major port city with a busy fish market, for most tourists Puntarenas represents little more than the launching point for ferries heading to the pleasant beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula.
To find more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Puntarenas trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Puntarenas takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will leave for Turrialba on the 20th (Thu).

Things to do in Puntarenas

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 19 — 20:

1
night
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
On the 20th (Thu), admire all the interesting features of Aquiares Coffee & Community Experience and then contemplate the waterfront views at Pejibaye River.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Turrialba road trip app .

You can drive from Puntarenas to Turrialba in 4 hours. In June in Turrialba, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Turrialba

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jun 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Aquiares Coffee & Community Experience ©

1
night
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Manzanillo Beach, then look for gifts at Cho.co, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve. On the 22nd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get a taste of the local shopping with Luluberlu Art Gallery and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

To see more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online travel route planner .

Drive from Turrialba to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time for the bus ride to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Manzanillo Beach
Find places to stay Jun 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours

few
hours
San Jose

San Jose
For maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose road trip planning app .

Traveling by bus from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 22 — 23:

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