11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip maker

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Route & dates

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
Drive:  2​h 15​min
1
Cartago
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Punta Arenas
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
End: San Jose

1
day
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester, pause for some serene contemplation at Santiago Apostol Parish Ruins, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles).

To find traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Cartago trip planning tool .

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 2.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of bus and taxi. In January, daytime highs in Cartago are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cartago

#Historic Sites, #Parks
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip itinerary maker tool .

Do a combination of car and flight from Cartago to Tortuguero in 3 hours. In January, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to travel to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Nature, #Wildlife, #Parks
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

1
night
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca ©
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
On the 12th (Fri), look for gifts at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo and then take in the dramatic scenery at La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

For ratings, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Vara Blanca tour planning tool .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Tortuguero to Vara Blanca takes 1.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Vara Blanca can reach 33°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

#Nature, #Parks, #Shopping

Side Trip

Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
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, trails, wildlife, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, trek along Ecocentro Danaus, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Nature
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

2
nights
Monteverde

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 16th (Tue): look for gifts at Hummingbird Gallery and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then stop by Souvenir Rosewood.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Punta Arenas.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Tours
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
nights
Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas ©
A major port city with a busy fish market, for most tourists Puntarenas represents little more than the launching point for ferries heading to the pleasant beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Carara National Park and then stroll through Bridge Over Rio Tarcoles. On the 19th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic scenery at Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Puntarenas.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Punta Arenas travel planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Punta Arenas in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. On the 20th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Punta Arenas

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Tarcoles, Carara National Park, Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Carara National Park ©
Carara National Park
Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls ©
Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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