9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary builder
Make it your trip
— 1 night
— 2 nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
San Jose
— 2 nights


Tamarindo — 1 night

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 18th (Sat), kick back and relax at Playa Avellana and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo tour website.

Seattle, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Seattle to Tamarindo. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can drive to Monteverde.
Parks · Beaches · Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 17 — 18:

Monteverde — 2 nights

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
On the 19th (Sun), explore the world behind art at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, and then browse the exhibits of Alas y Raices.

To find maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
Parks · Wildlife · Adventure · Tours
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 20:

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.
Get outdoors at La Fortuna Waterfall and Ecotermales Fortuna. Get some cultural insight at Wood & Art Gallery and ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. Next up on the itinerary: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, browse the exhibits of Onirica Art Gallery, push the limits with an extreme tour, and view the masterpieces at Galeria Estudio.

For photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder site.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to catch the shuttle to San Jose.
Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 23:

San Jose — 2 nights

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 24th (Fri): see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and finally explore the galleries of Galeria Namu.

For other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip planning tool.

Take a shuttle from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 81°F in March, and nighttime lows around 65°F. On the 25th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.
Museums · Shopping · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 25:

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.