12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

New York City
Fly:  14​h 30​min
Gulf of Papagayo
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  2​h 45​min
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
Sierpe
— 2 nights
Drive:  8​h 30​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
+3
shuttle + bus + Fly + bus:  15​h 45​min
New York City

3
days
Gulf of Papagayo

Gulf of Papagayo ©
A concerted development project by the government given Gulf of Papagayo a growing number of luxury and all inclusive resort complexes and turned it into one of the country's leading holiday destinations.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Spas & Wellness. Get outdoors at River Rafting & Tubing and Playa Ocotal. Next up on the itinerary: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Gulf of Papagayo sightseeing planner.

New York City, USA to Gulf of Papagayo is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from New York City to Gulf of Papagayo. Expect a daytime high around 91°F in July, and nighttime lows around 74°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Gulf of Papagayo

#Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Ocotal
Accommodations
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Playa Ocotal ©
Playa Ocotal

1
day
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.
On the 8th (Sat), make a trip to Mercado Nacional de Artesanias, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read San Jose vacation builder.

You can fly from Gulf of Papagayo to San Jose in 3 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Gulf of Papagayo in July, expect San Jose to be little chillier, temps between 79°F and 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to travel to Sierpe.

Things to do in San Jose

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure
Accommodations
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River Rafting & Tubing
Mercado Nacional de Artesanias ©
Mercado Nacional de Artesanias
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

2
days
Sierpe

Sierpe ©
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour. On the 10th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Uvita Beach and then admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Sierpe travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Sierpe in 4.5 hours. You'll set off for La Fortuna de San Carlos on the 11th (Tue).

Things to do in Sierpe

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trip

Uvita
Accommodations
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Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Uvita Waterfall ©
Uvita Waterfall

4
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Venado Caves and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Get in touch with nature at Paradise Hot Springs and Tabacon Hot Springs. Take a break from La Fortuna de San Carlos with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo, about 42 minutes away.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder.

Traveling by car from Sierpe to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 6 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Spas

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

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