8 days in San Jose & Province of Guanacaste Itinerary

8 days in San Jose & Province of Guanacaste Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in San Jose & Province of Guanacaste Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly:  7​h 15​min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
bus + Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Playas del Coco
— 1 night
Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Houston

3
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park), Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Zipline (in Jaco). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, look for gifts at Holalola Souvenir Shop, and shop like a local with Galeria Namu.

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

Houston, USA to San Jose is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. In December, San Jose is somewhat warmer than Houston - with highs of 79°F and lows of 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Playa Samara.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Zipline, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Poas Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Zipline
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

1
night
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): kick back and relax at Samara Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach, and then admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Playa Samara trip planner .

Getting from San Jose to Playa Samara by combination of bus and car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. Traveling from San Jose in December, plan for a bit warmer nights in Playa Samara, with lows around 82°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Belen Waterfall ©
Belen Waterfall

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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, stroll through Tamarindo Beach, and then look for gifts at Dolores Shop. On the 13th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planning app .

Getting from Playa Samara to Tamarindo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 82°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

1
night
Playas del Coco

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
On the 14th (Sat), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco and then have unforgettable encounters with a shark diving experience.

For ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Playas del Coco online tour planner .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 82°F in December, and nighttime lows around 82°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco ©

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