12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Toronto
+2
Fly + Bus + Taxi:  22​h 30​min
1
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  7​h 15​min
2
Drake Bay
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  10​h
End: Toronto

1
night
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 12th (Sun): stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde online journey planner .

Toronto, Canada to Monteverde is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Toronto to Monteverde due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can go by car to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Monteverde

Tours Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
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Zipline
Nature & Wildlife Tours
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle

1
night
Drake Bay

Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. Here are some ideas for day two: step off the mainland to explore Cano Island.

For maps, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Drake Bay day trip website .

You can drive from Monteverde to Drake Bay in 7.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
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Dolphin & Whale Watching
Cano Island ©
Cano Island

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 15th (Wed): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio. Here are some ideas for day two: get interesting insight from Tours and then see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio online attractions planner .

Traveling by car from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Fishing Charters & Tours

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano. Change things up with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo (about 38 minutes away). There's still lots to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, head outdoors with Salto, tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall, and trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To see maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip maker .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
nights
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
Start off your visit on the 20th (Mon): stroll through La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Poas Volcano National Park tour planner .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Poas Volcano National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

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