9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary maker

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Route & dates

Start: Washington DC
+2
Bus + Fly + Bus:  8 h 15 min
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
3
Cano Negro
— 1 day
Drive:  3 h 30 min
4
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h
6
San Jose
— 1 night
+2
Bus + Fly + Bus:  8 h 15 min
End: Washington DC

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.
On the 2nd (Sun), don't miss a visit to Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez, then see a show at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, and then see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose day trip planning app.

Washington DC, USA to San Jose is an approximately 8.5- hour combination of bus and flight. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. In February, San Jose is warmer than Washington DC - with highs of 79°F and lows of 65°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites Nightlife
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica
Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez ©
Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez

2
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 3rd (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Natura Ecological Park and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planning website.

You can drive from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can go by car to Cano Negro.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Spas Nature
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

1
day
Cano Negro

Cano Negro ©
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): stroll through Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Cano Negro trip planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Cano Negro by car takes about 2.5 hours. In February in Cano Negro, expect temperatures between 93°F during the day and 70°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Cano Negro

Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge ©
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

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.
For maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde journey planning tool.

Getting from Cano Negro to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. You will leave for Manuel Antonio on the 5th (Wed).

Things to do in Monteverde

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 5:

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 5th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi. Keep things going the next day: see Off-Road Tours and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio itinerary planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can take a bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Fishing Charters & Tours
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
San Jose

Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and finally stroll around Parque La Sabana. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Sat): admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester and then hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose road trip planning tool.

You can take a bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Museums Parks

Side Trip

Jardin Botanico Lankester
Find places to stay Feb 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Photography Tours
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

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