9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Newark
Fly:  9​h 45​min
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Jaco
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Fly:  11​h
Newark

1
day
Tamarindo

The lively beach town of Tamarindo remains one of the country's top tourist destinations offering outstanding surfing and proximity to a major airport.
To find ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo itinerary builder.

Newark, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 10-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Newark to Tamarindo. In December, Tamarindo is warmer than Newark - with highs of 90°F and lows of 70°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Spas & Wellness
Azul Profundo Boutique ©
Azul Profundo Boutique

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Thu): explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu.

To find where to stay and more tourist information, go to the San Jose tour planner.

Traveling by flight from Tamarindo to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from Tamarindo in December, expect nights in San Jose to be about the same, around 66°F, while days are slightly colder, around 78°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in San Jose.
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Jade Museum
Jade Museum
Precolumbian Gold Museum ©
Precolumbian Gold Museum
Galeria Namu
Galeria Namu

2
days
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
A tour of Manuel Antonio National Park reveals one of Costa Rica's most impressive areas in terms of natural beauty and biodiversity.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers. On your second day here, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

To see other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 78°F, and evening lows to 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sun) to allow time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Zipline
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Manuel Antonio.
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Highlights from your plan
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Zipline
Spas & Wellness

1
day
Jaco

A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Sun): take in the exciting artwork at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Jaco vacation builder.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Nature & Wildlife Tours
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Jaco.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

2
days
La Fortuna de San Carlos

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
The small city of La Fortuna de San Carlos is best known for the nearby Arenal volcano that looms in the background and dominates the vista.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Mon): relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs and then trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trek along Ecocentro Danaus, then admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and taxi. You will have some time to spend on the 3rd (Wed) before leaving for home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

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