9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
+2
Fly + Bus + Taxi:  12 h 15 min
1
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
2
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h 15 min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
4
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Taxi + Bus:  2 h 45 min
5
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly:  9 h
End: Los Angeles

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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To find ratings, maps, and tourist information, use the Monteverde online travel route planner .

Los Angeles, USA to Monteverde is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Los Angeles to Monteverde, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

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 4th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary planning site .

Drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Quepos
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Parque Nahomi ©
Parque Nahomi

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.
On the 5th (Sun), hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park and then take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs. Keep things going the next day: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary tool .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

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

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.
On the 7th (Tue), get interesting insight from Tours and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For ratings, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero planning site .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In January, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 83°F, while at night they dip to 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

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) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, explore the galleries of Galeria Namu, take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, and contemplate the geological forces at Irazu Volcano National Park.

To see more things to do, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the San Jose trip planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and bus from Tortuguero to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In January, San Jose is little chillier than Tortuguero - with highs of 78°F and lows of 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Nature Parks Museums

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Poas Volcano, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Irazu Volcano National Park
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

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