9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive
2
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive
3
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Ferry
4
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Shuttle to Playa Panamá, Fly to Charlotte

S M T W T F S
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Mon): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then look for gifts at Souvenir Guanacaste. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see Off-Road Tours, then get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo online tour planner.

Charlotte, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Charlotte to Tamarindo is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Charlotte in December, expect Tamarindo to be much warmer, temps between 82°F and 82°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.
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Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Spas
Side Trip

Playa Samara — 1 night

A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Wed): take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara trip itinerary builder app.

Getting from Tamarindo to Playa Samara by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. December in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 82°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) early enough to drive to Santa Teresa.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours

Santa Teresa — 1 night

A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and then get a dose of the wild on Costa Rican Tropical Tours.

For maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can ride a ferry to Manuel Antonio.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Beaches
Side 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 30th (Fri): cast your line with Jackpot Sport Fishing, then whizz through the canopy at Safari Adventures, and then walk around Parque Nahomi.

For photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip maker site.

You can ride a ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Uvita.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure
Side Trip

Uvita — 2 nights

Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Sat): fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then ride a horse along Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, and finally look for gifts at Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, then take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall, and then kick back and relax at Uvita Beach.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Uvita trip planning app.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Uvita by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Tours
Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, then hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip app.

Getting from Uvita to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.
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Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Nature

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.
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