5 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

5 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica route planner

Make it your trip
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
San Jose
— 1 night


La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 2 nights
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.
Family-friendly places like River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall will thrill your kids. And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and stop by Galeria Aguas Verdes.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing website.

Fort Lauderdale, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Manuel Antonio

— 1 night
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sun): kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

San Jose

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Mon): take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu and then identify plant and animal life at Top Travel Costa Rica.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip planning website.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 80°F, while at night they dip to 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Scenic Drive

Costa Rica travel guide

Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.