12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Dubrovnik
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  20​h 30​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  1​h 45​min
6
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  18​h 30​min
End: Dubrovnik

3
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, wildlife, trails, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary maker app .

Dubrovnik, Croatia to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 20.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. The time zone difference when traveling from Dubrovnik to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 7 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Tortuguero trip planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tortuguero

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

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 29th (Sun), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, then kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, and then walk around Parque Nahomi.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip planner .

You can drive from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Parque Nahomi
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Parque Nahomi ©
Parque Nahomi

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. December in Monteverde sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery ©
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery

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 31st (Tue), kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, stop by Dolores Shop, and then get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Conchal.

To find where to stay, photos, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo sightseeing planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

2
nights
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano, admire the sheer force of Los Chorros Waterfalls, and then experience rural life at Finca Organica. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri): experience rural life at The Ark Herb Farm and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Poas Volcano National Park holiday maker website .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Tamarindo to Poas Volcano National Park takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature

Side Trips

Grecia, The Ark Herb Farm, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Los Chorros Waterfalls ©
Los Chorros Waterfalls
Finca  Organica ©
Finca Organica

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