12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route builder
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
Drive
2
Jaco
— 1 day
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Drive
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive
7
Playa Hermosa
— 2 nights
Drive
8
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
6
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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.
For maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose trip planner.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands to San Jose is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. Traveling from Amsterdam to San Jose, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Amsterdam in March, things will get much warmer in San Jose: highs are around 32°C and lows about 21°C. On the 13th (Sun), you'll travel to Jaco.
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

Jaco — 1 day

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 13th (Sun): get outside with Outdoor Activities and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Jaco trip planner.

Drive from San Jose to Jaco in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.
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Tours · Outdoors

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.
On the 14th (Mon), get a taste of local nightlife at Manuel's Tours, Costa Rica..

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio online sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Tue) to allow time for the flight to Poas Volcano National Park.
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Nightlife · Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Poas Volcano National Park — 1 night

A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens.

To find photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Poas Volcano National Park route tool.

You can fly from Manuel Antonio to Poas Volcano National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to drive to Monteverde.
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Nature · Parks · Wildlife
Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Thu): stroll through El Trapiche Tour and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip planning tool.

Getting from Poas Volcano National Park to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.
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Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Fun & Games

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 (Fri), get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Tamarindo road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can drive to Playa Hermosa.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Beaches
Side Trip

Playa Hermosa — 2 nights

Playa Hermosa, located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica, is a popular beach and beach-front resort town.People who visit Playa Hermosa can indulge in swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving, sport fishing or sailing.Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste Province is not to be confused with Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas Province. Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sat): relax in the rural setting at Tio Leo Coffee Tour,a real cultural experience and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands. On your second day here, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read Playa Hermosa trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Hermosa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) to allow time to fly to San Jose.
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Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches
Side Trips

San Jose — 1 night

On the 21st (Mon), see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the San Jose online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Playa Hermosa to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to fly back home.
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Museums · Shopping

Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
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.
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