9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
4
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
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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.
For where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose online trip maker.

Durham, USA to San Jose is an approximately 17-hour flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Durham to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Durham in May, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 67°F in San Jose. On the 16th (Sun), you'll travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay May 15 — 16:

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 nights
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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, Zipline and Arenal Volcano. There's lots more to do: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, look for gifts at Galeria Aguas Verdes, and take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall.

For reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online driving holiday planner.

Traveling by shuttle from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 16 — 19:

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Manuel Antonio National Park. On the 19th (Wed), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour. On the 20th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll around Manuel Antonio National Park, stop by Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop, then get interesting insight from Tours, and finally walk around Parque Nahomi.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio route maker app.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 19 — 21:

San Jose

— 1 night
Your day by day itinerary now includes Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. Start off your visit on the 21st (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, then hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read San Jose online day trip planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to San Jose by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Tours · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 21 — 22:

Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
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.

Arenal Volcano National Park travel guide

4.3
Hot Springs · Waterfalls · River Rafting & Tubing
Plan a tour of Arenal Volcano National Park to get in touch with nature, enjoy scenic views, and admire the majestic volcano up close. The park, established in 1991, protects a variety of ecosystems and wildlife. You can choose from four hiking trails, taking you across the rainforest and lava fields. Enjoy scenic lookout points, see a staggering variety of birds and plants, or climb the dormant Mount Chato on your trip to Arenal Volcano National Park.