12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Bratislava
+3
bus + Fly + bus + shuttle:  27​h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
San Jose
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
4
Playa Samara
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Monteverde
— 2 nights
+2
shuttle + Fly + bus:  22​h 45​min
End: Bratislava

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.
Get some cultural insight at Onirica Art Gallery and Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos. And it doesn't end there: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder app .

Bratislava, Slovakia to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 27-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Bratislava to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 7 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos ©

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad, get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then get a taste of the local shopping with Galeria Namu, and finally explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Fri): explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Maria Auxiliadora, then see the interesting displays at Museo Municipal de Cartago, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles).

To see where to stay and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose online route planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In February, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Cartago
Highlights from your plan
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

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.
On the 16th (Sat), tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, and then view the masterpieces at The Captain's Booty.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Manuel Antonio trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

The Captain's Booty
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

1
day
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 17th (Sun): kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach and then stroll through Samara Beach.

For more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara travel itinerary planner .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Playa Samara in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

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 18th (Mon): kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, view the masterpieces at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo online trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Playa Samara to Tamarindo by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Lydia Beech Art Boutique ©
Lydia Beech Art Boutique

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): get engrossed in the history at Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts, then take in the views from Santa Elena Skywalk, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Alas y Raices. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To find reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Monteverde day trip planner .

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Chorotega Arts & Crafts ©
Chorotega Arts & Crafts
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

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