14 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

14 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

14 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly + Drive:  12​h 45​min
1
Vara Blanca
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  13​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

1
day
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
On the 22nd (Sun), take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and then take some stellar pictures from Mirador Huequecura.

For more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our Vara Blanca trip site .

San Francisco, USA to Vara Blanca is an approximately 13-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from San Francisco to Vara Blanca is 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature

Side Trip

Mirador Huequecura

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.
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, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and get interesting insight from Tours.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation maker tool .

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

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
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.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Fri): get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the Tortuguero road trip app .

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 84°F, and evening lows to 71°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive 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

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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then stop by Jungle Avenue. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

For reviews, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio day trip site .

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Quepos, Parasailing & Paragliding
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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.
On the 30th (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: experience the excitement of Curi Cancha Reserve, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 82°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

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

3
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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): kick back and relax at Playa Conchal and then stroll through Playa Avellana. Keep things going the next day: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo online day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 82°F. You will have some time to spend on the 3rd (Fri) before leaving for home.

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

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