Itinerary #1: Costa Rica from Coast to Coast
See Costa Rica from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific coast, enjoying outdoor adventures along the way, on this exciting 13-day itinerary to Tortuguero National Park, Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio National Park.
|Day 1||Arrive & Explore Downtown San José||San José|
|Day 2||Guided Jungle Night Hike||Tortuguero|
|Day 3||Boat Along the Tortuguero Canals||Tortuguero|
|Day 4||Explore the Wilderness of Arenal||La Fortuna|
|Day 5||Hike Hanging Bridges, Volcano & Soak in Hot Springs||La Fortuna|
|Day 6||Visit Proyecto Asis Wildlife Rehabilitation Center||La Fortuna|
|Day 7||Guided Night Walk of Children's Eternal Forest||Monteverde|
|Day 8||Tour Monteverde Cloud Forest on a Guided Hike||Monteverde|
|Day 9||Have Fun at the Sky Adventures Park||Monteverde|
|Day 10||Transfer to Manuel Antonio National Park||Manuel Antonio|
|Day 11||Explore Manuel Antonio National Park||Manuel Antonio|
|Day 12||Boat & Snorkel in Manuel Antonio National Park||Manuel Antonio|
|Day 13||Manuel Antonio to San José, Depart||Manuel Antonio|
Welcome to Costa Rica! Spend a day sightseeing in San José before traveling to Tortuguero National Park for a nocturnal wildlife walk and a boat tour along the park's waterways. Then it's off to Arenal, where you'll explore the famous Hanging Bridges, hike around Arenal Volcano, soak in hot springs, and visit a wildlife rehabilitation center.
Continue to Monteverde to discover the cloud forest on a guided hike and zipline through the trees at the Sky Adventures Park. The last leg of the trip takes you to Manuel Antonio National Park for hiking, swimming, boating, and snorkeling around the protected wilderness. You'll head back to San José to catch a flight out. Learn more
Check out this Ultimate Guide to Manuel Antonio National Park for more information.
Itinerary #2: Explore Costa Rica's Volcanoes, Wetlands & Caribbean Coast
Kayaking, ziplining, whitewater rafting, a coffee tour, hot springs, and horseback riding on the beach await travelers on this wide-ranging 13-day adventure around Costa Rica's natural attractions.
|Day 1||Arrive in San José & Transfer to Arenal/La Fortuna||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 2||Spot Nocturnal Wildlife at Ecocentro Danaus||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 3||Hike Around Arenal Volcano & Soak in Hot Springs||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 4||Taste Costa Rican Coffee, Nighttime Nature Walk||Monteverde|
|Day 5||Tour Monteverde Cloud Forest & Sky Adventures Park||Monteverde|
|Day 6||Go Whitewater Rafting on the Pacuare River||Puerto Viejo de Talamanca|
|Day 7||Tour Cahuita National Park||Puerto Viejo de Talamanca|
|Day 8||Visit a Jaguar Rescue Center & BriBri Chocolate Farm||Puerto Viejo de Talamanca|
|Day 9||Go Horseback Riding on the Beach||Puerto Viejo de Talamanca|
|Day 10||Transfer from Puerto Viejo to Tortuguero National Park||Tortuguero|
|Day 11||Hike in the Mountains & Kayak on the Tortuguero Canals||Tortuguero|
|Day 12||Travel to San José & Enjoy a Free Evening||San José|
|Day 13||Depart San José|
Land in San José and transfer to La Fortuna, your base for exploring the Arenal region. Enjoy a guided nighttime wildlife hike, a visit to Arenal Volcano, and a relaxing dip in hot springs before you head to Monteverde for a tour of a coffee farm. You'll have the chance to hike in the cloud forest and zipline through the trees before moving on to your next destination, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
Go on a whitewater rafting adventure down the Rio Pacuare, spend a day exploring Cahuita National Park, visit a wildlife rescue center, and learn how chocolate is made on a special tour. You'll ride horses on the beach before departing for Tortuguero National Park. Divide your time hiking and kayaking in the park—don't miss the spectacular view from Cerro Tortuguero—before traveling to San José for an evening out on the town. Learn more
For more ideas, read this article on the Best Things to Do in Tortuguero National Park.
Itinerary #3: Active Adventure in Costa Rica's Jungles and Beaches
Hike, kayak, raft, and zip through the cloud forest canopy on this thrilling 13-day adventure around Costa Rica that leads you from tropical jungles to rushing rivers to wide, inviting beaches.
|Day 1||Arrive in San José||San José|
|Day 2||Rafting Río Pacuare||Río Pacuare|
|Day 3||Rafting Class III-IV Rapids - Arrive in Arenal Volcano National Park||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 4||Volcano Hike & La Fortuna Waterfall||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 5||Waterfall Rappelling in Arenal||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 6||Coffee Farm Tour & Tabacon Hot Springs||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 7||Boat from Arenal to Monteverde - Nocturnal Nature Tour||Monteverde|
|Day 8||Zip-Line Fun in the Cloud Forest||Monteverde|
|Day 9||Monteverde to Jacó||Jacó|
|Day 10||River Safari in Carara National Park||Jacó|
|Day 11||Day trip to Tortuga Island||Jacó|
|Day 12||Jacó to San José||San José|
|Day 13||Depart San José|
Kick off the trip with a quick stay in San José, then transfer to Rio Pacuare for a whitewater rafting adventure. The next day, you'll arrive in Arenal Volcano National Park. Go for a guided volcano hike and an excursion to La Fortuna waterfall. Try waterfall rappelling the next day. On day six, tour a coffee farm and go for a dip in the waters of the Tabacon Hot Springs.
Catch a boat from Arenal to Monteverde for a nighttime nature tour followed by an aerial canopy the next day. Move on to the surf village of Jacó, where you can relax, swim, or go for a hike. Next up is Carara National Park and a guided river safari, then a day trip to Tortuga Island for snorkeling and water sports. Return to San José early for an extra dose of Costa Rican culture and cuisine before flying out. Learn more
Find out more about the best things to do in Arenal.
Itinerary #4: Relaxing Nicoya Peninsula Road Trip
Hit the open road on this laid-back 13-day road trip around Costa Rica's beautiful Nicoya Peninsula that features stops at the stunning beaches of Guanacaste and the quintessential surf towns of Tamarindo, Nosara, and Santa Teresa.
|Day 1||Liberia to Tamarindo - Self Drive||Tamarindo|
|Day 2||Private Surf Lesson at Playa Tamarindo||Tamarindo|
|Day 3||Sunset Catamaran Adventure||Tamarindo|
|Day 4||Kayak Tamarindo||Tamarindo|
|Day 5||Free Day in Tamarindo||Tamarindo|
|Day 6||Tamarindo to Nosara - Optional Beach Excursion||Nosara|
|Day 7||Nosara Mangrove Tour - SUP Paddle Board||Nosara|
|Day 8||Nosara - Free Day||Nosara|
|Day 9||Nosara to Santa Teresa||Playa Tambor|
|Day 10||Free Afternoon and Evening Bioluminescent Bay Tour||Santa Teresa|
|Day 11||Free Day in Santa Teresa||Santa Teresa|
|Day 12||Surfing Lesson at Playa Santa Teresa||Santa Teresa|
|Day 13||Santa Teresa to Liberia & Depart Costa Rica|
Touch down in Liberia, where you'll pick up a rental car for the drive to the popular surf village of Playa Tamarindo. Hit the beach on day two for a private surf lesson and a sunset catamaran cruise. On day four, you'll go on a kayaking excursion, and the next day, you'll have a free day for water sports, hiking, or practicing your new surfing skills. Head to another popular surf spot, Nosara, next.
Go on a mangrove tour and try SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) in Nosara before continuing along to Santa Teresa. Enjoy a relaxed day at Playa Tambor beach. Hike in Curú Wildlife Refuge, then go on an evening bioluminescent tour of the bay. This three-hour interactive trip includes a short kayaking excursion to Quesera Beach, where you'll have a picnic and watch the sun go down. Learn more
See this article on the best things to do on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Itinerary #5: Costa Rica Nature and Birding Adventure
Costa Rica has over 850 species of birds, and you'll see as many as you can on this birdwatching-focused 13-day itinerary through the country's pristine landscapes, including forests, beaches, and national parks.
|Day 1||Arrive in Costa Rica - Experience San José's Culture and History||San José|
|Day 2||Birding at Vara Blanca - Transfer to La Fortuna/Arenal||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 3||Arenal to Caño Negro||Caño Negro|
|Day 4||Early-Morning Birding at Caño Negro||Caño Negro|
|Day 5||Caño Negro to the Celeste River & Tenorio National Park||Cañas|
|Day 6||Travel to Rincón de la Vieja National Park||Cañas|
|Day 7||Palo Verde National Park - Travel to Tárcoles||Tarcoles|
|Day 8||Birding at Villa Lapas - Optional Visit to Carara National Park||Tarcoles|
|Day 9||Tárcoles to the Southern Pacific Coast||La Gamba|
|Day 10||Early Birding on the Southern Pacific Coast||La Gamba|
|Day 11||Esquinas Rainforest Lodge to the Talamanca Mountains||San Gerardo de Dota|
|Day 12||Quetzal Safari in Los Quetzales National Park||San Gerardo de Dota|
|Day 13||San Gerardo to San José - Departure|
Travel to Vara Blanca for your first birding experience. Look for the fiery-throated hummingbird, barred hawk, ornate hawk-eagle, and more. Then transfer to the Arenal region and Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, the largest wetland in the country, where you may spot a cinnamon woodpecker. Next up is Celeste River and Tenorio National Park, home to the quail-dove, black-eared wood-quail, rufous-vented ground-cuckoo, and others.
In the second part of the trip, you'll make stops at several national parks: Rincón de la Vieja National Park, Palo Verde National Park, and Carara National Park. Look for scarlet macaws around Villa Lapas, then continue to another birding outing in Piedras Blancas National Park. Relax at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge before finishing up with a trip to the Talamanca Mountains and a quetzal safari in Los Quetzales National Park. Learn more
Read more about the Best Wildlife Experiences in Costa Rica.
More Great Costa Rica Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Costa Rica? Check out these other Costa Rica itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in Costa Rica, or discover the best time to visit Costa Rica.