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: Toronto
+2
Fly + bus + taxi:  11​h 45​min
1
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
ferry:  4​h
5
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 45​min
6
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
+3
bus + foot + bus + Fly:  12​h 45​min
End: Toronto

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.
On the 6th (Fri), look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then admire the masterpieces at Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts. On the 7th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, then admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), then admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and finally learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle.

For where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde sightseeing planner.

Toronto, Canada to Monteverde is an approximately 12-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to Monteverde is minus 1 hour. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Toronto in December, with highs in Monteverde at 32°C and lows at 32°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Orchid Garden ©
Monteverde Orchid Garden
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

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.
On the 8th (Sun), kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, look for all kinds of wild species at Monkey Park, then explore and take pictures at Pura Aventura, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then shop like a local with Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo day trip planning tool .

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

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

1
night
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach, then get a taste of the local shopping with Koss Art Gallery, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read Playa Samara attractions planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. December in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Spas
Koss Art Gallery ©
Koss Art Gallery

1
night
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
On the 11th (Wed), kick back and relax at Playa Carmen, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa trip planner .

Getting from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can catch the ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Spas & Wellness

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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and then take in the waterfront at Marina Pez Vela.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary site .

You can ride a ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Quepos
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Spas
Marina Pez Vela ©
Marina Pez Vela

1
night
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
On the 13th (Fri), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Chiquita, enjoy the sand and surf at Punta Uva Beach, and then explore and take pictures at Chocorart. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Cocles, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see ratings, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Spas

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