12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica attractions planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Ottawa
+3
Fly + Bus + Foot + Bus:  15​h
1
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Taxi + Ferry:  3​h 45​min
4
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: Ottawa

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Tue): take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, then kick back and relax at Playa Chiquita, and then kick back and relax at Playa Cocles. On the 1st (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach and then identify plant and animal life at Nature Observatorio.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca road trip website .

Ottawa, Canada to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Ottawa to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

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

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.
Get in touch with nature at Butterfly Conservatory and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Paradise Hot Springs and Ecocentro Danaus. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos with an excursion to Arenal Eco Zoo in El Castillo--about 38 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, get impressive views of Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), and get interesting insight from Tours.

For maps, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

El Castillo, Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Ecocentro Danaus ©
Ecocentro Danaus
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa trip builder site .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Santa Teresa takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel to Uvita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

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

2
nights
Uvita

Uvita ©
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
On the 6th (Mon), get interesting insight from Tours and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Tue): kick back and relax at Uvita Beach, look for all kinds of wild species at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, then take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall, and finally look for gifts at Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars.

To see ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Uvita trip builder app .

Getting from Santa Teresa to Uvita by combination of taxi and ferry takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

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.
On the 8th (Wed), kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio and then look for all kinds of wild species at Rainmaker Park. Here are some ideas for day two: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

Plan trip to Manuel Antonio with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Getting from Uvita to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Rainmaker Park
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park
Parasailing & Paragliding

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