10 days in San Jose, La Fortuna de San Carlos & Tamarindo Itinerary

10 days in San Jose, La Fortuna de San Carlos & Tamarindo Itinerary

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Route & dates

10 days in San Jose, La Fortuna de San Carlos & Tamarindo Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  11​h 30​min
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly:  11​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

1
night
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 8th (Wed), cruise along Top Travel Costa Rica, see the interesting displays at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, then look for gifts at Chieton Moren, and finally steep yourself in history at Ruinas de Ujarras.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, use the San Jose trip planner .

San Francisco, USA to San Jose is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from San Francisco to San Jose, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from San Francisco in January, with highs in San Jose at 78°F and lows at 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Scenic Drive Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

3
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.
Visiting Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) and Nature & Wildlife Tours will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Butterfly Conservatory and Venado Caves. There's much more to do: take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs, trek along Arenal 1968 Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at Bogarin Trail, and trot along with Arenal Wilberth Stables.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for La Fortuna de San Carlos using our trip planner.

Getting from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Venado Caves ©
Venado Caves

2
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at San Juanillo Beach and Playa Danta. Escape the urban bustle at Fishing Charters & Tours and River Rafting & Tubing. Step out of Tamarindo to go to Las Catalinas and see Playa Dantita, which is approximately 54 minutes away. There's much more to do: get interesting insight from Tours, stop by Papaya Con Leche, and take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo online holiday planner .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Las Catalinas, San Juanillo Beach, Fishing Charters & Tours
Highlights from your plan
San Juanillo Beach ©
San Juanillo Beach
Fishing Charters & Tours
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

1
night
San Jose

San Jose ©
On the 15th (Wed), look for gifts at La Bodega de Chema, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, and then examine the collection at Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for San Jose using our trip planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to San Jose in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum
Highlights from your plan

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