9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip builder

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Route & dates

9 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
Drive:  2​h 45​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Playas del Coco
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Dominical
— 1 night
bus:  2​h 45​min
End: San Jose

2
nights
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Butterfly Conservatory and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. The adventure continues: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, identify plant and animal life at Costa Rica Dog Rescue & Adoption, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and indulge in some personalized pampering at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To find maps, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online route builder .

San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 3-hour car ride. You can also take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
Playas del Coco

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then get a taste of the local shopping with Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts.

To find ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco road trip planning site .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Playas del Coco in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Playa Hermosa
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts ©

2
nights
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 4th (Wed), relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Thu): get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo vacation planner.

Getting from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Playa Flamingo
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and then view the masterpieces at Alas y Raices. On your second day here, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), then look for all kinds of wild species at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and then relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour.

For photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde day trip app .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can go by car to Dominical.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

1
night
Dominical

Dominical ©
The laid back beachfront town of Dominical has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a surfer haunt of some repute.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, then identify plant and animal life at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Ventanas.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Dominical road trip planning site .

You can drive from Monteverde to Dominical in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can catcht the bus back home.

Things to do in Dominical

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Photography Tours, Playa Ventanas
Highlights from your plan
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Photography Tours

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