12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route maker

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

Start: Newark
Fly:  6 h 15 min
1
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  5 h 30 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
6
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 30 min
7
Playa Hermosa
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  9 h
End: Newark

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.
To find ratings, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Vara Blanca journey planner.

Newark, USA to Vara Blanca is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Newark to Vara Blanca is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

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, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, explore the galleries of Onirica Art Gallery, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder site.

Drive from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero road trip planning app.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In March in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 84°F during the day and 70°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Museums
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

1
night
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 (Tue): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio online driving holiday planner.

Drive from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Mar 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stroll through Monteverde Frog Pond. On the 12th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, thenexperience rural life at El Trapiche Tour, and finally get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Monteverde day trip app.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

1
night
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 13th (Fri), get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, thenkick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then stop by Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa.

To see where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo sightseeing planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can go by car to Playa Hermosa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Beaches
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Boat Tours & Water Sports
Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa ©
Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa

2
nights
Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa, located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica, is a popular beach and beach-front resort town.People who visit Playa Hermosa can indulge in swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving, sport fishing or sailing.Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste Province is not to be confused with Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas Province. On the 14th (Sat), have unforgettable encounters with a shark diving experience and then stroll through Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Playa Hermosa road trip planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Hermosa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Shark Diving, Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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