9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour builder
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
3
Carara
— 1 night
Drive
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Rincon de La Vieja
— 2 nights
Fly
6
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24

San Jose — 1 night

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.
To see more things to do, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, use the San Jose trip planner.

Durham, USA to San Jose is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Durham to San Jose due to the time zone difference. In December, San Jose is warmer than Durham - with highs of 79°F and lows of 66°F. On the 15th (Thu), you're off to Manuel Antonio.
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
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Manuel Antonio — 1 night

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 15th (Thu): head outdoors with Outdoor Activities and then get the lay of the land with Walking tours.

To find maps, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip planner.

Drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. You'll set off for Carara on the 16th (Fri).
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Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:
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Carara — 1 night

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Carara trip itinerary planning website.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Carara in 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.
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Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 17:
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Highlights from your trip

Monteverde — 2 nights

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
For photos, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip maker site.

You can drive from Carara to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Monteverde can reach 82°F, while at night they dip to 82°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) so you can go by car to Rincon de La Vieja.
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Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
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Rincon de La Vieja — 2 nights

On the 19th (Mon), get impressive views of Miravalles Volcano. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get impressive views of Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja.

To find reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Rincon de La Vieja trip builder.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Rincon de La Vieja takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and taxi. In December, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 82°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to fly to San Jose.
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Parks · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
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San Jose — 1 night

On the 21st (Wed), take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum and then capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour.

To find traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the San Jose trip planner.

You can fly from Rincon de La Vieja to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in San Jose when traveling from Rincon de La Vieja in December, with lows around 66°F. You'll have a few hours on the 22nd (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling home.
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Tours · Museums · Spas
Side Trip
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Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.
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