12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Belgrade
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  22​h 45​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Vara Blanca
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Cahuita
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
5
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h
6
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Monteverde
— 1 night
shuttle + Fly:  22​h 45​min
End: Belgrade

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo (about 42 minutes away). There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, take a memorable tour with Tours, shop like a local with Onirica Art Gallery, and identify plant and animal life at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find out how to plan a trip to La Fortuna de San Carlos, use our trip itinerary maker.

Belgrade, Serbia to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 23-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. You'll gain 7 hours traveling from Belgrade to La Fortuna de San Carlos due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sun) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Spas, #Nature

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Mon): look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa and then explore the stunning scenery at MidWorld Costa Rica.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio online vacation planner .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. February in Manuel Antonio sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to travel to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Adventure, #Outdoors, #Tours
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa

few
hours
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca ©
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Tue): look for gifts at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read Vara Blanca trip site .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to Vara Blanca takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. February in Vara Blanca sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Tue) to allow time for travel to Cahuita.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

#Shopping

Side Trip

Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

1
night
Cahuita

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Wed): stroll through Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica.

To find other places to visit, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read our Cahuita visit planner .

Getting from Vara Blanca to Cahuita by combination of taxi, flight, and bus takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Vara Blanca to Cahuita is 1 hour. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Cahuita when traveling from Vara Blanca in February, with lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Wed) to allow time for the shuttle ride to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cahuita

#Parks, #Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica ©
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica

2
nights
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
On the 8th (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at Tortuguero National Park.

To find ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero day trip website .

Traveling by shuttle from Cahuita to Tortuguero takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Cahuita to Tortuguero due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Cahuita in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Tortuguero, with lows of 21°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Nature, #Parks, #Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

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.
For reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo online trip planner .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Tortuguero to Tamarindo in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle, taxi, flight, and bus. Traveling from Tortuguero in February, things will get a bit warmer in Tamarindo: highs are around 39°C and lows about 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Spas
Find places to stay Feb 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Spas & Wellness

1
night
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 10th (Sat): stop by Hummingbird Gallery and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve. Here are some ideas for day two: admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then look for gifts at Souvenir Rosewood.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde visit planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Adventure, #Tours, #Parks
Find places to stay Feb 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Hummingbird Gallery ©
Hummingbird Gallery

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