12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Birmingham
Fly:  19​h 30​min
1
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  11​h 45​min
End: Birmingham

3
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.
We've included these beaches for you: Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz. Escape the urban bustle at MidWorld Costa Rica and Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices. Go for a jaunt from Manuel Antonio to Parrita to see Rainmaker Park about 44 minutes away. It doesn't end there: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker site .

Birmingham, USA to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 19.5-hour flight. Traveling from Birmingham in May, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Manuel Antonio, with lows around 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) to allow time to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trip

Rainmaker Park
Find places to stay May 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

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.
Visiting River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall will get you outdoors. Go for a jaunt from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Quesada to see Catedral de Ciudad Quesada about 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), get a taste of the local shopping with Wood & Art Gallery, and trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos visit planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Spas

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), Catedral de Ciudad Quesada
Find places to stay May 19 — 22:
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 ©
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 23rd (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Frog Pond and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the next day, get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve.

To find more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Monteverde trip itinerary maker site .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

2
nights
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 25th (Fri), stop by Azul Profundo Boutique, then stroll through Tamarindo Beach, and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana. On the 26th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then look for gifts at Diamante Boutique.

To find reviews, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo road trip planning app .

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. In May, plan for daily highs up to 93°F, and evening lows to 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
Find places to stay May 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

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