12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner

This plan was created by another inspirock user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
train + Fly:  9​h 15​min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
bus + taxi:  3​h 30​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
+3
bus + shuttle + Fly + train:  10​h 15​min
End: Philadelphia

3
nights
San Jose

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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): look for gifts at Chieton Moren. On the 30th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and then get impressive views of Poas Volcano.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip itinerary planning tool .

Philadelphia, USA to San Jose is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Philadelphia in April, you will find days in San Jose are a bit warmer (82°F), and nights are warmer (67°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can catch the shuttle to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

#Nature, #Parks, #Adventure

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 2:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
On the 2nd (Wed), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see ratings, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Tortuguero travel planner .

Traveling by shuttle from San Jose to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 81°F in May, and nighttime lows around 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can take a shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Nature, #Parks, #Wildlife
Find places to stay May 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

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: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and get impressive views of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

For reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos attractions planning website .

You can take a shuttle from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 6 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Nature, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay May 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

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.
On the 7th (Mon), whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Tue): admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden and then look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Adventure
Find places to stay May 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

2
nights
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.
On the 9th (Wed), take a memorable tour with MidWorld Costa Rica and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio.

To find maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder tool .

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. In May in Manuel Antonio, expect temperatures between 81°F during the day and 68°F at night. On the 10th (Thu), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Beaches
Find places to stay May 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica

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