8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  14​h 30​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  13​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

2
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.
Attractions like Arenal Eco Zoo and Kalambu Hot Springs make great kid-friendly stops. Next up on the itinerary: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, get outside with Salto, take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, and ride a horse along Arenal Wilberth Stables.

For maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday app .

San Francisco, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 14.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from San Francisco to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Eco Zoo
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Kalambu Hot Springs ©
Kalambu Hot Springs
Arenal Eco Zoo ©
Arenal Eco Zoo

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 31st (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, and then look for gifts at Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde.

To see where to stay, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read Monteverde tour builder app .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle

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 1st (Thu), kick back and relax at Playa Conchal and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Avellana. Keep things going the next day: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

To see ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo route planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 3rd (Sat) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

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