9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly to Juan Santamaría International Airport, Drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
4
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive to Juan Santamaría International Airport, Fly to Washington

S M T W T F S
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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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos online route planner.

Washington, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Tue): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Tortuguero road trip tool.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In December in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 84°F during the day and 71°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Manuel Antonio

— 1 night
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 29th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio and then glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

To find more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio tour itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Monteverde

— 3 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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Thu): stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Here are some ideas for day two: catch some excitement at El Trapiche Tour and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Monteverde road trip planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 82°F in December, and nighttime lows around 82°F. You'll set off for home on the 1st (Sat).

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Fun & Games

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
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.