8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
+3
Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  8​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
San Jose
— 1 night
+2
Fly + bus + subway:  8​h 15​min
End: Washington DC

1
night
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 29th (Tue): soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip builder site .

Washington DC, USA to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of train, flight, and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Washington DC to Manuel Antonio due to the time zone difference. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Washington DC in May since evenings lows in Manuel Antonio dip to 68°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Adventure, #Tours, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Spas & Wellness
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa

3
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Thu): soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs and then trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Keep things going the next day: trek along Ecocentro Danaus, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For more things to do, maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip tool .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
nights
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 2nd (Sat): stop by Lydia Beech Art and then stroll through Tamarindo Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Conchal.

To find maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo itinerary planning website .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. June in Tamarindo sees daily highs of 90°F and lows of 74°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Accommodations
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Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

1
night
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 4th (Mon): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then contemplate the long history of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles).

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our San Jose online attractions planner .

Getting from Tamarindo to San Jose by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or drive. Traveling from Tamarindo in June, things will get slightly colder in San Jose: highs are around 80°F and lows about 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

#Adventure, #Tours, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles)
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in San Jose.
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