9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Norfolk
Fly:  12​h 45​min
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h 30​min
End: Norfolk

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.
On the 5th (Fri), explore and take pictures at Kingpin Sportfishing, glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and then push the limits with an extreme tour. On the 6th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: view the masterpieces at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For ratings, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo road trip planner .

Norfolk, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 13-hour flight. Traveling from Norfolk to Tamarindo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Playa Flamingo
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Fishing Charters & Tours

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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): ride a horse along Arenal Wilberth Stables and then take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the exciting artwork at Wood & Art Gallery, then identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Conservatory, then admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and finally let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Jul 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
River Rafting & Tubing

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 9th (Tue): get interesting insight from Tours and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio holiday planning site .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jul 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Parasailing & Paragliding

1
night
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.
On the 10th (Wed), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then get a taste of the local shopping with Tico Pod Art House & Gifts.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Jaco trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Jaco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Nature & Wildlife Tours, Zipline
Find places to stay Jul 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Zipline
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

2
nights
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.
On the 11th (Thu), take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana), then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, and finally contemplate the long history of Ruinas de Ujarras. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Fri): explore the engaging exhibits at Museo de los Ninos.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read San Jose holiday app .

You can drive from Jaco to San Jose in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. July in San Jose sees daily highs of 80°F and lows of 67°F at night. On the 12th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Ruinas de Ujarras
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Museo de los Ninos ©
Museo de los Ninos
Ruinas de Ujarras ©
Ruinas de Ujarras

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