9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Santiago
Fly:  12​h
1
San Jose
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Cahuita
— 1 night
Drive:  45​min
5
Manzanillo
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  20​h
End: Santiago

few
hours
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.
To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose trip itinerary maker tool .

Santiago, Chile to San Jose is an approximately 12-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Santiago to San Jose is minus 2 hours. September in San Jose sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 21°C at night. You will leave for Tortuguero on the 18th (Wed).

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

2
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.
On the 18th (Wed), head outdoors with Salto and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs. On the 19th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then shop like a local with Galeria Estudio, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Onirica Art Gallery.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip planning website .

You can drive from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature Parks Spas
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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 20th (Fri): examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip itinerary planner.

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 35°C in September, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Limon.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

1
night
Cahuita

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park and then take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens.

For other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Cahuita day trip app .

You can drive from Manzanillo to Cahuita in an hour. September in Cahuita sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 26°C at night. On the 24th (Tue), you're off toPuerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Cahuita

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

2
nights
Manzanillo

Manzanillo
On the 21st (Sat), explore and take pictures at Nature Park Walk and then kick back and relax at Manzanillo Beach.

For traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Manzanillo trip builder website .

Getting from Tortuguero to Manzanillo by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can go by car to Cahuita.

Things to do in Manzanillo

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

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