8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: New York City
Fly:  10​h 15​min
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Bus:  3​h
5
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly + Bus:  8​h 45​min
End: New York City

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.
On the 5th (Sun), glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf.

To see reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Tamarindo travel itinerary planner.

New York City, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from New York City to Tamarindo. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Beaches

Side Trip

Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Bolas Locas Mini Golf ©
Bolas Locas Mini Golf

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stroll through Monteverde Frog Pond.

To find other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde sightseeing tool .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
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Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, parks, trails, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and get impressive views of Arenal Volcano.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online vacation planner .

Getting from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then walk around Parque Nahomi.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio itinerary planner .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Parque Nahomi ©
Parque Nahomi

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu and then steep yourself in history at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, use the San Jose trip builder tool .

You can take a bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In January, daytime highs in San Jose are 78°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Nightlife Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

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