7 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

7 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

7 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Salvador
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
2
Puntarenas
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive:  14​h 45​min
End: San Salvador

1
night
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.
To find where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read San Jose trip itinerary planner .

San Salvador, El Salvador to San Jose is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. While traveling from San Salvador, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in San Jose, ranging from highs of 30°C to lows of 22°C. You will leave for Puntarenas on the 25th (Wed).

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:

1
night
Puntarenas

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.
On the 25th (Wed), look for all kinds of wild species at Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Puntarenas online tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from San Jose to Puntarenas takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Puntarenas

Wildlife Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline

1
night
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, then explore and take pictures at Pura Aventura, and then stroll through Playa Avellana. Keep things going the next day: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo driving holiday planner.

Getting from Puntarenas to Tamarindo by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 32°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

1
night
Jaco

A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
On the 28th (Sat), identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, then kick back and relax at Jaco Beach, and then view the masterpieces at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts.

For photos, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Jaco trip itinerary planning tool .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Jaco takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Cartago.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Jaco Beach ©
Jaco Beach
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

1
night
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. Start off your visit on the 29th (Sun): admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester, then pause for some serene contemplation at Santiago Apostol Parish Ruins, then pause for some serene contemplation at Ruins of the Church of Carthage, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

For more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Cartago trip builder tool .

You can drive from Jaco to Cartago in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Cartago sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cartago

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Ruins of the Church of Carthage ©
Ruins of the Church of Carthage
Santiago Apostol Parish Ruins ©
Santiago Apostol Parish Ruins

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