13 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

13 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Toronto
+2
Fly + shuttle + bus:  10​h 15​min
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Playa Samara
— Few hours
taxi + ferry:  2​h 30​min
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive:  45​min
Carara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
Dominical
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
San Gerardo de Dota
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Fly:  9​h 45​min
End: Toronto

2
nights
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 25th (Sat): look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, then admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Avellana. Here are some ideas for day two: relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo itinerary planner.

Toronto, Canada to Tamarindo is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Toronto to Tamarindo due to the time zone difference. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Toronto in March: high temperatures in Tamarindo hover around 40°C and lows are around 25°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can catcht the bus to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Beaches, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

few
hours
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara trip builder.

Traveling by bus from Tamarindo to Playa Samara takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or drive. March in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 40°C and lows of 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) early enough to travel to Jaco.

Things to do in Playa Samara

#Beaches, #Parks, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Tue): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then get lost in a book at Jaco Library and Learning Center. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then head outdoors with Costa Rica SUP'ers.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Jaco vacation planner.

Do a combination of taxi and ferry from Playa Samara to Jaco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Carara.

Things to do in Jaco

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure
Accommodations
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Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Zipline

1
night
Carara

Carara
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Carara National Park.

For photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Carara travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Carara takes an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in Carara

#Nature, #Parks
Accommodations
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3
nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Spas & Wellness and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours.

To see other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio National Park online itinerary creator.

Traveling by car from Carara to Manuel Antonio National Park takes 2.5 hours. March in Manuel Antonio National Park sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Dominical.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Tours

Side Trip

Spas & Wellness
Accommodations
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Nature & Wildlife Tours
Spas & Wellness
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa

1
night
Dominical

Dominical ©
The laid back beachfront town of Dominical has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a surfer haunt of some repute.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): look for gifts at Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store and then look for all kinds of wild species at Hacienda Baru.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Dominical trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio National Park to Dominical in an hour. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. On the 3rd (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to San Gerardo de Dota.

Things to do in Dominical

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Tours
Accommodations
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Hacienda Baru ©
Hacienda Baru

1
night
San Gerardo de Dota

San Gerardo de Dota
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): look for gifts at Dantica Gallery and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the San Gerardo de Dota vacation planner.

Getting from Dominical to San Gerardo de Dota by car takes about 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) to allow time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in San Gerardo de Dota

#Shopping
Accommodations
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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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Wed): stop by Chieton Moren, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and then take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional).

To see reviews, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from San Gerardo de Dota to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in April, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums, #Shopping
Accommodations
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National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Chieton Moren ©
Chieton Moren

1
night
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
To see other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Poas Volcano National Park trip generator.

You can drive from San Jose to Poas Volcano National Park in 1.5 hours. April in Poas Volcano National Park sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 22°C at night. On the 6th (Thu), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Parks
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Poas Volcano National Park.
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