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: Chicago
+2
Fly + Bus + Taxi:  12​h
1
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Bus:  3​h
4
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Chicago

2
nights
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.
On the 4th (Sat), look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then explore the world behind art at Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, and then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip builder site .

Chicago, USA to Monteverde is an approximately 12-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

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.
Get outdoors at River Rafting & Tubing and Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Wood & Art Gallery and Onirica Art Gallery. There's lots more to do: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, and take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday planner .

Getting from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

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

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 9th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

For photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can take a 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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, then see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Ruinas de Ujarras and then admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense.

For reviews, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose day trip planning site .

Take a bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In April in San Jose, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 67°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

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
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

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