9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica attractions planner

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Charleston
Fly + Drive:  10​h 30​min
1
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Fly:  8​h
End: Charleston

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): get great views at Mirador Huequecura and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Vara Blanca trip planner .

Charleston, USA to Vara Blanca is an approximately 10.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Mirador Huequecura

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 8th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Tortuguero online holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to Tortuguero takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 84°F and lows of 71°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

3
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: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos tour builder site .

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

2
nights
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 12th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. On the 13th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour.

To find maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. December in Monteverde sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 82°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

1
night
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Sat): stroll through Tamarindo Beach and then get a taste of the local shopping with Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip builder app .

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. On the 14th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Lydia Beech Art Boutique ©
Lydia Beech Art Boutique

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