9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fly:  9​h 30​min
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
shuttle + bus + Fly:  13​h 30​min
San Juan, Puerto Rico

2
days
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 25th (Thu), look for gifts at Chieton Moren. Keep things going the next day: take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu.

For more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip maker .

San Juan, Puerto Rico to San Jose is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and flight. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from San Juan to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Traveling from San Juan in January, things will get a bit cooler in San Jose: highs are around 30°C and lows about 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums, #Historic Sites, #Shopping

Side Trip

Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles)
Accommodations
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2
days
Monteverde

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through The Bat Jungle, then look for all kinds of wild species at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Elena Skywalk.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Monteverde attractions planner .

Traveling by car from San Jose to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites
Accommodations
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Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle

3
days
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Paradise Hot Springs and Onirica Art Gallery. Visiting Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Tabacon Hot Springs will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and trek along Ecocentro Danaus.

For where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors
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River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Ecocentro Danaus ©
Ecocentro Danaus

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