12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 day
Drive
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
5
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

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 Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano. And it doesn't end there: take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Estudio, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and browse the exhibits of Onirica Art Gallery.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder.

Vancouver, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 14-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Vancouver to La Fortuna de San Carlos is 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 20 — 23:

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.
On the 24th (Mon), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip itinerary tool.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
Highlights from your trip

Manuel Antonio

— 1 day
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio.

Plan my Manuel Antonio trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Beaches · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:
Highlights from your trip

Monteverde

— 2 nights
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 26th (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Here are some ideas for day two: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve.

To see reviews, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde online driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Adventure · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:

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.
On the 28th (Fri), kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then take in the exciting artwork at Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo online trip builder.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. In December, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 32°C. You will leave for home on the 29th (Sat).

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches · Outdoors · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:

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.