11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

11 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica vacation planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 day
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
6
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

San Jose

— 1 day
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.
For maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose sightseeing planning app.

Phoenix, USA to San Jose is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time is 1 hour. Traveling from Phoenix in May, you will find days in San Jose are little chillier (82°F), and nights are about the same (67°F). You will leave for Monteverde on the 14th (Thu).

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

Monteverde

— 2 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Thu): meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, and then admire the masterpieces at Chorotega Arts & Crafts. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Fri): take in the dramatic scenery at San Luis Waterfall, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then relax in the rural setting at Hidden Valley Permaculture Farm.

To see photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): stroll through Arenal 1968 Volcano View & Trails, tour the pleasant surroundings at Butterfly Conservatory, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Arenal Eco Zoo, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Wood & Art Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Sun): get outside with Flow Trips, get impressive views of Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), and then take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Tortuguero

— 2 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Step off the beaten path and head to Sea Turtle Conservancy and Blue Day Family Club. Get outdoors at Zipline and Tortuguero National Park.

To find ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tortuguero road trip planning site.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 86°F in May, and nighttime lows around 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Theme Parks · Parks · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 nights

Walaba

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Negra, head outdoors with Nature Riders, and then stroll through Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: relax in the rural setting at Finca Tierra, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manzanillo, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at La Ceiba.

To see traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca tour itinerary planning app.

Drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

San Jose

— 1 night
On the 23rd (Sat), take an in-depth tour of Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle and then cruise along Top Travel Costa Rica.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the San Jose travel route tool.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Scenic Drive · Outdoors · Wildlife

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.