8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica journey 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
— 2 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Scuba & Snorkeling and Pura Aventura. Get in touch with nature at Playa Avellana and Monkey Park. Step out of Tamarindo to go to Playa Hermosa and see Playa Hermosa, which is approximately 1h 20 min away. Next up on the itinerary: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip planner.

Newark, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Newark to Tamarindo is minus 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) to allow time to fly to San Jose.
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trips

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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad.

For ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose itinerary maker website.

Fly from Tamarindo to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In September, daytime highs in San Jose are 81°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.
Museums · Historic Sites

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then stroll through Playa Biesanz. Keep things going the next day: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio tour site.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Wildlife

La Fortuna de San Carlos — 2 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.
On the 25th (Mon), walk around Bogarin Trail, see Off-Road Tours, and then hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

For reviews and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip app.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can travel back home.
Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours

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.