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: Toronto
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  12​h 15​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
2
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
4
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Fly:  11​h
End: Toronto

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Butterfly Conservatory and Paradise Hot Springs. Visiting La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Natura Ecological Park will get you outdoors. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos with an excursion to Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park in La Virgen--about 1h 10 min away. The adventure continues: take a memorable tour with Tours, witness a stunning natural landmark at Los Lagos Hot Springs, look for all kinds of wild species at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, and get a taste of the local shopping with Onirica Art Gallery.

Plan trip to La Fortuna de San Carlos with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Toronto, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Butterfly Conservatory, Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park
Highlights from your plan
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Rainmaker Park and Zipline. Step out of the city life by going to Playa Manuel Antonio and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Take a break from Manuel Antonio with a short trip to Horseback Riding Tours in Esterillos Este, about 56 minutes away. There's lots more to do: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, stop by Jungle Avenue, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read Manuel Antonio itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Horseback Riding Tours, Rainmaker Park
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Parasailing & Paragliding
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, identify plant and animal life at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, then stroll through Playa Ventanas, and finally look for gifts at Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, and then stroll through Uvita Beach.

To see reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Uvita tour builder site .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Uvita in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Dominical, Playa Ventanas
Highlights from your plan
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach

3
nights
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 26th (Thu), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and then stroll through Playa Hermosa. On the 27th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach and then have unforgettable encounters with a shark diving experience.

To see reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Uvita to Tamarindo in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 32°C. You'll have a few hours on the 28th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Playa Hermosa
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Shark Diving
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

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