Spend five days in luxury on a trip to Costa Rica and base yourself in one or two locations to soak up the country's lush landscapes and pristine beaches. Travelers seeking a mix of the two will find Vara Blanca and Manuel Antonio the ideal bases, while thrill seekers with a taste for creature comforts should opt for a rafting trip on the Río Pacuare. If you're seeking a lavish beach getaway, both Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and the Gulf of Papagayo provide the perfect setting.

Itinerary #1: Luxury Costa Rica Landscapes & Wildlife: Vara Blanca & Manuel Antonio

Relish Costa Rica's stunning landscapes and rich wildlife on this luxury itinerary, featuring 5-star resorts and visits to Vara Blanca and Manuel Antonio. Ideal for nature lovers and suited to couples, this journey includes a trip to the smoky Poás Volcano National Park, a tour of La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, and uninterrupted time to unwind on the soft sands of Playa Playitas and Playa Espadilla. Top off your experience with deep-sea fishing off Costa Rica's abundant Pacific coastline and a private hike through Manuel Antonio National Park.

Get to know the beaches of Manuel Antonio
Get to know the beaches of Costa Rica's Manuel Antonio
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Costa Rica, Transfer to Vara Blanca & Coffee Plantation Tour Vara Blanca
Day 2 Volcán Poás Private Tour & Explore La Paz Waterfall Gardens Vara Blanca
Day 3 Transfer to Manuel Antonio, Private National Park Hike Manuel Antonio
Day 4 Deep Sea Fishing & Free Afternoon Manuel Antonio
Day 5 Return to San José, Depart   

Welcome to Costa Rica! Upon landing in San José, you'll be greeted by your private driver and whisked north to the lush Vara Blanca region. Check into the 5-star Peace Lodge in La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, which will be your lavish home for two nights, and spend your first afternoon learning about coffee production at Doka Estate and relaxing at your lodging. Then, don your hiking boots and delight in a private tour of Poás Volcano National Park, complete with a trek to the volcano's crater, before checking out the butterfly conservatory and rescued wildcat habitat at your leisure.

With the ocean calling, you'll transfer south to Manuel Antonio and unpack your bags at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort. Take advantage of the resort's chic infinity pools, then discover the region's impressive wildlife during a guided hike in Manuel Antonio National Park. After a relaxing evening at Playitas restaurant, wake refreshed and ready for a memorable morning of deep sea fishing. Spend the afternoon as you please, indulging in a spa treatment at Las Brisas Wellness Center or sunbathing before celebrating the final night of your adventure dining at Mirador. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Luxury Rafting Adventure in Costa Rica

This quick but immersive adventure features the pristine landscapes of Costa Rica's Central Valley, perfect for travelers with a taste for luxury and thrilling activities. Spend your first days in Turrialba, discovering nocturnal life alongside a guide and abseiling down cascading waterfalls. Then, conquer a two-day rafting excursion on the Río Pacuare, complete with an enchanting stay in one of Pacuare Outdoor Center's luxury eco-cabins. Top that with a chocolate-tasting tour, dinners of farm-fresh ingredients, and an evening in San José, and you've got a journey that's as memorable as it is exhilarating.

Time for some whitewater fun on the Pacuare
Time for some whitewater fun on the Río Pacuare on a Costa Rica luxury adventure
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José, Transfer to Turrialba & Night Hike Turrialba
Day 2 Waterfall Abseiling, Chocolate Tour Turrialba
Day 3 Transfer to Río Pacuare, Whitewater Rafting (Day 1) Río Pacuare
Day 4 Whitewater Rafting (Day 2), Transfer to San José San José
Day 5 Depart San José  

Your adventure begins in San José, but exploring this thriving capital city is saved for later. Instead, transfer to the idyllic town of Turrialba, located in Central Valley, and settle into your colonial-style hotel, Casa Turire. After a gourmet dinner featuring ingredients from the on-site farm, hit the surrounding trails alongside a naturalist guide to spot the area's endemic nocturnal animals. Feeling fully invigorated by your lush surroundings, kick off the next day with a thrilling abseiling experience down cascading waterfalls, then celebrate your hard work with a tour and tastings at a local cacao plantation. 

Eager for more adventure, transfer to Río Pacuare for two epic days of whitewater rafting. Start with a more relaxed eight-hour paddle that includes stops for swimming and rock diving. Then, after a night at Pacuare Outdoor Center, a 3-star accommodation featuring luxury eco-cabins, you'll turn up the pace and raft over 30 rapids to the town of Siquirres. Once here, a private driver will transfer you back to San José, where you'll check into the boutique Hotel Grano de Oro and delight in a last night strolling among the city's historic buildings and bustling squares. Learn more

Plan your trip to Costa Rica
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Itinerary #3: Luxury Costa Rica Rainforest Escape: Río Celeste & Arenal

Discover northern Costa Rica's volcanic landscapes, rainforests teaming with wildlife, and vibrant blue lagoons on this luxury escape suited to honeymooners. Throughout this carefully curated itinerary, you'll experience the stunning Río Celeste Waterfall in Tenorio Volcano National Park, indulge in gourmet cuisine at Nayara Springs, and climb towering trees in Arenal. With stays in 5-star rainforest villas complete with private hot spring plunge pools, this itinerary is perfect for nature lovers seeking a lavish retreat.

See magnificent wildlife on a tree-climbing adventure in Arenal Volcano National Park
See magnificent wildlife on a tree-climbing adventure in Arenal Volcano National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Costa Rica, Transfer to Río Celeste & Night Hike Bijagua / Río Celeste
Day 2 Hiking in Tenorio Volcano National Park Bijagua / Río Celeste
Day 3 Transfer to La Fortuna, Explore the Resort Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 4 Rainforest Tree Climbing & Dining, Private Dinner at Nayara Springs Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 5 Transfer to the Airport, Depart   

After arriving in the lush Guanacaste region in Costa Rica's far north, your adventure begins with a transfer to Río Celeste Hideaway Resort. Here, you'll check into your luxury casita, rejuvenate with a fine meal at the open-air Kantala restaurant, and spend the evening searching for nocturnal wildlife alongside a private guide. Next, discover the geothermal landscape of Tenorio Volcano National Park during a guided hike and marvel at the strikingly blue waters of Río Celeste. Following an adventurous morning, delight in a massage at the resort's on-site spa.

On the morning of Day 3, it's time to transfer to La Fortuna, a town at the base of Arenal Volcano. Take time to settle into your chic villa at the 5-star Nayara Springs and enjoy an afternoon of leisure lounging by the pool or meandering along the nearby Perezoso Trail. Feeling fully rejuvenated and ready for an adventure, you'll then tackle a unique tree-climbing experience. Pull yourself up ancient trees using a rope system and enjoy a memorable lunch at treetop level before returning to your resort to celebrate the end of your fabulous adventure dining under the stars. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Luxury Costa Rica Beach Break: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Kick back and soak in the pleasures of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast on this luxury beach getaway. Crafted especially for those seeking a vacation focused on one location—perfect for honeymooners—you'll unpack your bags and spend four splendid nights at the 5-star Aguas Claras hotel. Throughout, visit an Indigenous Bribri community, explore Cahuita National Park by kayak, take optional surfing lessons, and delight in plenty of time to rest and rejuvenate.

Enjoy unspoilt beaches on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast
Enjoy unspoiled beaches on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Costa Rica, Transfer to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 2 BriBri Community & Chocolate Tour Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 3 Cahuita National Park Tour, Rainforest Spa Session Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 4 Cahuita Sunrise Kayaking, Transfer to San José San José
Day 5 Depart San José  

Upon landing in San José, you'll immediately set your sights on the sea, and after an easy 4.5-hour transfer, find yourself relaxing at the opulent Aguas Claras hotel. Located in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, this beach town is the ideal spot to unwind and soak in the rich culture, thick rainforests, and pale sand beaches of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. Spend your first evening sampling fresh seafood at a local restaurant, then devote the next day to learning about the history and traditions of the Bribri Indigenous community through a forest hike and a chocolate-making demonstration. 

Wake up to a two-hour pamper session planned at the resort's spa the following morning, and afterward, an activity of your choice awaits. You can choose to embark on a private tour of the Cahuita National Park, hit the beach, take a surfing class, or explore by bike. Once evening falls, head to DaLime Beach Club for dinner under the stars, but rest up, as you'll wake early for a sunrise kayaking tour before catching your flight back to San José. With your trip winding down, squeeze in a night at the luxurious Hotel Grano de Oro and explore the capital city on your own. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Luxury Costa Rica Beach Escape in the Gulf of Papagayo

Indulge in a luxury escape to the Gulf of Papagayo with this Costa Rica adventure. Providing an intricate blend of adrenaline-fueled excursions and beach time, you'll stay at an oceanfront boutique hotel, enjoy a private ocean kayaking trip spotting marine life, and experience a day of canyoning, tubing, and ziplining. In between, you'll find abundant free time to explore or unwind on the golden sands of Playa Hermosa.

Experience a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation on the Gulf of Papagayo
Experience a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation on the Gulf of Papagayo
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in the Gulf of Papagayo Gulf of Papagayo
Day 2 Private Ocean Kayak Tour  Gulf of Papagayo
Day 3 Free Day in the Gulf of Papagayo Gulf of Papagayo
Day 4 Ziplining, Canyoning & Tubing Adventure Day Gulf of Papagayo
Day 5 Depart the Gulf of Papagayo  

Straight off the plane in the idyllic Gulf of Papagayo, a driver will be waiting to chauffeur you to the immaculate Hotel Bosque del Mar, steps from Playa Hermosa. Check into your garden or ocean-view suite and refresh at the hotel's pool before embarking on a sunset catamaran tour complete with stops to swim, snorkel, and explore a deserted beach. The following day is devoted to the same waters, but this time by a private kayak tour. Afterward, swim and snorkel in the tranquil waters of Playa Hermosa and end your day dining at the on-site NIROMI Restaurant.

With so much to do and see in the Gulf of Papagayo, the third day has been purposely left open for an activity of your choice. Adventure seekers may opt for a private hike in the Rincón de la Vieja National Park while birders embark on a boat trip down the Río Tempisque. There's also the option to unwind by the hotel pool or spend the afternoon at the spa. Then, devote your final full day to ziplining and canyoning through the Río Blanco Canyon, tubing down the Río Negro, and soaking in natural hot springs before catching your onward flight from the airport in Liberia. Learn more

More Great 5-Day Costa Rica Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Costa Rica? Check out these other five-day Costa Rica itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 5 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Luxury Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Luxury Itinerary Ideas