9 days in Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Bucharest, Romania
Fly:  27​h
1
Panama City, Panama
— 1 day
Fly:  8​h 30​min
2
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Vara Blanca, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  20​h 45​min
End: Bucharest, Romania


Learn more about your trip

1
day
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Fri): appreciate the extensive heritage of Avenida Balboa, then get engrossed in the history at Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, and then wander the streets of Casco Viejo.

For ratings, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Panama City road trip planner .

Bucharest, Romania to Panama City is an approximately 27-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Bucharest to Panama City. Traveling from Bucharest in July, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Panama City, with lows around 29°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Avenida Balboa ©
Avenida Balboa
Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama ©

1
day
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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 27th (Sat): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

For more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio visit planner.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Panama City to Manuel Antonio in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Panama City to Manuel Antonio due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
Monteverde, Costa Rica

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): look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then take an in-depth tour of Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts.

To find more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Museums
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
Step out of the city life by going to River Rafting & Tubing and Tabacon Hot Springs. Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Estudio, and take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) early enough to go by car to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Find places to stay Jul 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

1
night
Vara Blanca, Costa Rica

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Thu): identify plant and animal life at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Vara Blanca trip planner .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Vara Blanca in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens
Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 1:

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