11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Montreal
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  10​h 30​min
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Tortuguero
— 1 night
taxi + bus:  3​h 30​min
7
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  9​h
End: Montreal

1
night
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo route maker website .

Montreal, Canada to Tamarindo is an approximately 10.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Montreal to Tamarindo, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In December, Tamarindo is warmer than Montreal - with highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Spas & Wellness

1
night
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 (Fri): admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, then look for gifts at Hummingbird Gallery, and finally identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde online travel planner .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. In December, daily temperatures in Monteverde can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery ©
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sat): let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and then take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, then explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), and then look for gifts at Souvenir Leo.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary 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 30th (Sun) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature Parks Spas

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

2
nights
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 31st (Mon): relax in the rural setting at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices, stop by Super Joseth, and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Parque Nahomi, and finally stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio driving holiday planner .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio by combination of taxi and flight takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Parque Nahomi
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): explore the ancient world of Guayabo National Park and Monument.

To find ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Turrialba trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Turrialba takes 4.5 hours. January in Turrialba sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Turrialba

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©

1
night
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Tortuguero road trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Turrialba to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in January, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to catch the shuttle to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

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 4th (Fri), stop by Chieton Moren, take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles).

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

Take a shuttle from Tortuguero to San Jose in 3.5 hours. In January, San Jose is little chillier than Tortuguero - with highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C. On the 5th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

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