9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Durham
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  13​h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
San Jose
— 1 night
bus:  3​h
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  11​h 45​min
End: Durham

1
day
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 10th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Proyecto Asis and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary maker site .

Durham, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 13-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of bus, taxi, flight, and shuttle; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Durham to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 11:
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Proyecto Asis ©
Proyecto Asis

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Thu): admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, shop like a local with Galeria Namu, then get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally contemplate the long history of Ruinas de Ujarras.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the San Jose trip builder tool .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose in 3 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 80°F, while at night they dip to 67°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to catcht the bus to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Ruinas de Ujarras
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

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.
On the 12th (Fri), kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

Plan a Manuel Antonio trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by bus from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sat): get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, and then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk.

For reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip itinerary planning app .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

3
nights
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 14th (Sun), identify plant and animal life at Monkey Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, then meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts. On your second day here, stroll through Playa Avellana, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal, and then push the limits with an extreme tour.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip maker site .

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 16th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Playa Hermosa, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

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