11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

San Jose
shuttle:  4​h 45​min
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
shuttle + bus:  6​h 30​min
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
Herradura
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
shuttle:  2​h 15​min
San Jose

2
days
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 6th (Sat), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana, choose your vessel at Costa Rica Sailing Center, and then head outdoors with Los Piratas de Flamingo. Here are some ideas for day two: explore and take pictures at Kingpin Sportfishing, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then stop by EK Art Jewelry.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo itinerary builder.

San Jose to Tamarindo is an approximately 2.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from San Jose in January, expect nights in Tamarindo to be about the same, around 71°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 91°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to travel to Uvita.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Los Piratas de Flamingo, Costa Rica Sailing Center
Accommodations
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Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Costa Rica Sailing Center ©
Costa Rica Sailing Center

2
days
Uvita

Uvita ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Mon): explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. Keep things going the next day: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then kick back and relax at Uvita Beach, and then admire the sheer force of Santa Lucia Falls.

For ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Uvita vacation trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Tamarindo to Uvita in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trip

Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Accommodations
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Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Santa Lucia Falls ©
Santa Lucia Falls

2
days
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
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 10th (Wed): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, and then experience rural life at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices. On the 11th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz and then get interesting insight from Tours.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio custom trip planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. January in Manuel Antonio sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 66°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Herradura.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
Accommodations
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Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

1
day
Herradura

On the 12th (Fri), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, stroll through Herradura Beach, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Herradura trip generator.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Herradura in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Herradura

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trip

Nature & Wildlife Tours
Accommodations
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Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
days
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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sat): witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs, then take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and then meet the residents at Arenal Eco Zoo. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Sun): witness a stunning natural landmark at Los Lagos Hot Springs, then identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Conservatory, and then Head underground at Venado Caves.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation builder.

Traveling by car from Herradura to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. On the 15th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trips

El Castillo, Venado Caves
Accommodations
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Paradise Hot Springs ©
Paradise Hot Springs
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

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