12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica route planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Rio de Janeiro
Travel:  21​h 30​min
1
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
6
Tamarindo
— 1 night
shuttle + Fly:  18​h
End: Rio de Janeiro

2
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
On the 31st (Sat), look for all kinds of wild species at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Chiquita and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Cocles.

To find where to stay, maps, photos, and tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online route maker .

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an approximately 21.5-hour flight. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cahuita
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 2:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Playa Chiquita ©
Playa Chiquita

2
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.
On the 2nd (Mon), stroll through Ecocentro Danaus and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, then identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Conservatory, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Eco Zoo.

You can plan La Fortuna de San Carlos trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

El Castillo
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Ecocentro Danaus ©
Ecocentro Danaus
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

few
hours
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 4th (Wed), soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio visit planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In April, daytime highs in Manuel Antonio are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Spas & Wellness

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Hacienda Baru, look for all kinds of wild species at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars and then enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Uvita trip simple and quick.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Uvita by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Fri) to allow time for travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Dominical
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Hacienda Baru ©
Hacienda Baru

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 7th (Sat): stop by Hummingbird Gallery, meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, then identify plant and animal life at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and finally take in the views from Santa Elena Skywalk.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by combination of bus and shuttle from Uvita to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, flight, and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

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.
On the 8th (Sun), push the limits with an extreme tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Mon): soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then explore and take pictures at Pura Aventura, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Avellana.

Plan my Tamarindo trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 41°C in April, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Spas & Wellness

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