8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica attractions planner

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Route & dates

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Fly:  12​h 45​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
2
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Bus:  3​h
3
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: Los Angeles

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.
Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos and Wood & Art Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of the city life by going to Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal) and River Rafting & Tubing. There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, and hike along Bogarin Trail.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner .

Los Angeles, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 13-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

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

1
night
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 16th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip builder app .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can catcht the bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
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 17th (Fri): get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, and finally contemplate the long history of Ruinas de Ujarras. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Sat): explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and then see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the San Jose trip itinerary maker website .

Traveling by bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In April, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

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