12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Washington DC
train + bus + Fly:  11​h 30​min
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  8​h 15​min
Washington DC

1
day
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Tue): get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip planner .

Washington DC, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of train and flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Washington DC to Tamarindo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Washington DC in June, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 74°F in Tamarindo. On the 19th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
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Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Bolas Locas Mini Golf ©
Bolas Locas Mini Golf

2
days
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.
On the 20th (Wed), identify plant and animal life at Ecological Sanctuary, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, and finally view the masterpieces at Art House. On the 21st (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To find more things to do, reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the Monteverde online trip builder .

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites
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Zipline
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

3
days
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.
Step out of the city life by going to River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. Next up on the itinerary: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery, hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

2
days
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Mon): let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Tue): stop by Meli Melo Boutique and then explore the stunning scenery at MidWorld Costa Rica.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio day trip planning app .

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 June in Manuel Antonio, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 68°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) early enough to travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Adventure

Side Trip

Meli Melo Boutique
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
River Rafting & Tubing

1
day
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
Start off your visit on the 27th (Wed): delve into the distant past at Guayabo National Park and Monument.

For traveler tips, maps, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Turrialba day trip planner.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Turrialba in 4.5 hours. In June, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 68°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Turrialba

#Parks, #Nature, #Historic Sites
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Guayabo National Park and Monument ©
Guayabo National Park and Monument

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Thu): take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), and finally take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find photos, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose online tour itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Turrialba to San Jose takes 2 hours. In June in San Jose, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 68°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums, #Adventure, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Precolumbian Gold Museum ©
Precolumbian Gold Museum
River Rafting & Tubing
National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)

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