9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner
Make it your trip
Fly to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, Drive to Tamarindo
— 2 nights
San Jose
— 1 night
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive to Juan Santamaría International Airport, Fly to Newark


Tamarindo — 2 nights

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
For other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo day trip website.

Newark, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and car. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Newark to Tamarindo due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Newark in December, expect Tamarindo to be warmer, temps between 82°F and 82°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can fly to San Jose.
Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Spas
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:

San Jose — 1 night

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 28th (Thu), see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and then browse the exhibits of Galeria Namu.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the San Jose itinerary planning website.

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 little chillier with lows of 66°F in San Jose. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.
Museums · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:

Manuel Antonio — 2 nights

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 29th (Fri): stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Playa Biesanz and then look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

To see where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder app.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:


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.
On the 31st (Sun), view the masterpieces at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

For photos, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Jaco trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Jaco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sun) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Shopping
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:

La Fortuna de San Carlos — 3 nights

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Mon): soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs and then hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online tour itinerary builder.

You can drive from Jaco to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 3rd (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.
Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:

Costa Rica travel guide

Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.