12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Buenos Aires
Fly:  16​h 15​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
+3
bus + foot + shuttle + Fly:  17​h
End: Buenos Aires

4
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.
Escape the urban bustle at River Rafting & Tubing and Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). There's much more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, identify plant and animal life at Proyecto Asis, take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

For where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planning tool .

Buenos Aires, Argentina to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 16.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. The time zone changes from Argentine Time (ART) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Conchal and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana. Keep things going the next day: take a memorable tour with Tours and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo sightseeing planning app .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
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 20th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve.

For where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
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 22nd (Mon), let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and then stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio. On your second day here, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio online tour planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Spas
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
River Rafting & Tubing

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