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 + foot + bus:  11​h 30​min
1
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: Los Angeles

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 26th (Thu): take a memorable tour with Tours, then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then look for gifts at Dolores Shop. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana.

To see photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo tour itinerary website .

Los Angeles, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 2 hours. While traveling from Los Angeles, expect somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Tamarindo, ranging from highs of 82°F to lows of 82°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

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

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.
Escape the urban bustle at La Fortuna Waterfall and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Get a sense of the local culture at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos and Onirica Art Gallery. There's much more to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Estudio, shop like a local with Wood & Art Gallery, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna.

To find photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing planner .

Drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

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
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Poas Volcano. Get some cultural insight at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles and Jade Museum. And it doesn't end there: take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

For ratings, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose road trip planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in December, and nighttime lows around 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Nature Parks Museums

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Poas Volcano, Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica

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