9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Portland
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  18​h 30​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
ferry:  3​h 30​min
3
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Tamarindo
— 1 night
+2
bus + foot + Fly:  17​h 30​min
End: Portland

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall and then take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs. On your second day here, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary builder.

Portland, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Portland to La Fortuna de San Carlos is 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature Parks Spas
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.
On the 28th (Fri), explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio National Park trip planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 79°F, and evening lows to 68°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

1
night
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
On the 29th (Sat), kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Santa Teresa vacation planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio National Park to Santa Teresa by combination of ferry and taxi takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

2
nights
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.
On the 30th (Sun), enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach, then admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Playa Samara travel itinerary creator.

Drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 2 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 91°F, and evening lows to 74°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can catcht the bus to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

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

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.
On the 31st (Mon), get outside with Guanacaste Adventure & Travel and then kick back and relax at Playa Conchal. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, look for gifts at Diamante Boutique, then look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, and finally kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, use the Tamarindo sightseeing planner.

You can take a bus from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In July, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 91°F, while at night they dip to 74°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Guanacaste Adventure & Travel
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

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