5 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

5 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America vacation planner

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

Route & dates

Start: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fly + Bus:  9 h
1
San Jose
— Few hours
Drive:  1 h
2
Cartago
— Few hours
Drive:  3 h 30 min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
+2
Bus + Fly + Taxi:  3 h
4
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
6
Escazu
— Few hours
Drive + Fly:  17 h 15 min
End: San Juan, Puerto Rico

few
hours
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.
On the 4th (Wed), explore the world behind art at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design and then take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica.

For photos, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the San Jose holiday planner.

San Juan, Puerto Rico to San Jose is an approximately 8.5- hour combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Atlantic Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 2 hours. Traveling from San Juan in September, expect San Jose to be a bit cooler, temps between 81°F and 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Cartago.

Things to do in San Jose

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Museum of Contemporary Art and Design ©
Museum of Contemporary Art and Design

few
hours
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. You've now added Irazu Volcano National Park to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 4th (Wed): get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Cartago route planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Cartago in an hour. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. In September in Cartago, expect temperatures between 81°F during the day and 65°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Cartago

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Thu): get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playas Gemelas, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip planning website.

Getting from Cartago to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Nature & Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Playas Gemelas ©
Playas Gemelas
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
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 6th (Fri): get impressive views of Poas Volcano, then take in the dramatic scenery at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens, and then get outside with Parque Recreativo Los Manantiales.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read Poas Volcano National Park trip planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Poas Volcano National Park by combination of bus, flight, and taxi takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens
Find places to stay Sep 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

1
night
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.
On the 7th (Sat), admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary maker website.

You can 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. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can go by car to Escazu.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

few
hours
Escazu

Escazu
Escazú, officially San Miguel de Escazú, is the capital city of the canton of Escazú in the province of San José in Costa Rica. To find other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Escazu travel route site.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Escazu by car takes about 3 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Escazu can reach 81°F, while at night they dip to 65°F. You'll set off for home on the 7th (Sat).

Things to do in Escazu

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 8:

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