Hike around active volcanoes, spot wildlife in a cloud forest, soak in natural hot springs, learn to surf, or relax on the beach: there are countless ways to spend a week in Costa Rica. Featuring activities ranging from whitewater rafting and zip-lining to cycling tours and cooking classes, these unique itineraries take you to the country's biodiverse regions for a deep dive into culture, nature, and adventure. Read on to find your perfect itinerary for seven days in Costa Rica.

Itinerary #1: Costa Rica's Natural Wonders 

Discover Costa Rica's spectacular natural landscapes on this exciting week-long itinerary around the country's volcanoes, hot springs, cloud forests, and idyllic beaches.

Sunset at Manuel Antonio Beach
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José & Explore the Rainforest at Night Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 2 Enjoy a Sloth and Bird Hike & Soak in Hot Springs Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 3 Taste Costa Rican Coffee & Nighttime Nature Walk Monteverde
Day 4 Monteverde Cloud Forest Guided Hike Monteverde
Day 5 Tárcoles River Crocodiles and on to Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio
Day 6 Discover Manuel Antonio National Park  Manuel Antonio
Day 7 Depart Costa Rica  

Welcome to Costa Rica! Your adventure begins in La Fortuna, where you'll base yourself while exploring Arenal Volcano, hiking through a sloth habitat, and soaking in the Tabacon Hot Springs. Before moving on to Monteverde, you'll taste Costa Rican coffee at a popular plantation, followed by a nighttime rainforest walk to spot nocturnal animals.

Continue to Manuel Antonio National Park, your third and final destination on the itinerary. Enjoy some free time to hike or relax on the beach before going on a guided tour of the national park with an expert guide on day six. Spot monkeys in the wild and stop at one of the country's most beautiful beaches before heading back to San José, where the trip ends. Learn more

Find out more about the Top Nature Experiences in Costa Rica.

Itinerary #2: Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast: Tortuguero & Puerto Viejo

Explore Costa Rica's beautiful Caribbean coastline on this well-rounded seven-day trip that leads you from Tortuguero National Park to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a base for snorkeling and hiking in Cahuita National Park.

Wildlife in Tortuguero National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José, Evening Tour San José
Day 2 Hike in Tortuguero National Park Tortuguero National Park
Day 3 Boat Tour in Tortuguero National Park Tortuguero National Park
Day 4 Travel to Puerto Viejo Puerto Viejo
Day 5 Snorkel & Hike in Cahuita National Park Puerto Viejo
Day 6 Beach & Return to San José San José
Day 7 Depart  

Perfect for travelers looking to hike and observe wildlife, this itinerary starts and ends in San José and includes many of the Caribbean coast's best destinations, including a famous sea turtle nesting site. Begin the journey in Tortuguero National Park, exploring the coastline on a boat tour, before the itinerary leads you to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

From Puerto Viejo, you'll explore Cahuita National Park. Compared to the Pacific coast, which many other itineraries focus on, the Caribbean side tends to be less crowded, with more cultural diversity. From nature treks to pristine beaches to snorkeling excursions, this itinerary offers something for everyone who wants to experience splendid scenery with a laid-back feel. Learn more

Read this Ultimate Guide to Tortuguero National Park for more ideas and inspiration.

Itinerary #3: Costa Rica's Whitewater, Beaches & Volcanoes

Designed for adventurous travelers, this action-packed seven-day itinerary around Costa Rica features whitewater rafting, volcano hikes, sea kayaking, a sunset cruise, and more.

Raft the Sarapiqui River
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José San José
Day 2 Drive to Arenal, Whitewater Raft on the Sarapiqui River Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 3 Discover Arenal Volcano from Land & Water Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 4 Arenal to Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio
Day 5 Sea Kayak & Snorkel Tour at Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio
Day 6 Snorkel & Sunset Catamaran Cruise in Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio
Day 7 Manuel Antonio to San José, Depart Costa Rica  

This fun itinerary highlights Costa Rica's incredible natural scenery through a thrilling series of adventurous activities, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, and more. Starting in the nation's capital, you'll make your way to rivers, jungles, waterfalls, and cone-shaped volcanoes. Go rafting in the Arenal region, then hike around the famous volcano.

The trip continues on the Pacific Coast with time to relax on the white-sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. Spend a day sea kayaking and snorkeling offshore, spotting colorful fish and marine life. Then finish the adventure with a sunset catamaran cruise with incredible views over land and water. Learn more

Looking for a place to stay near the national park? Check out these articles on the region's best boutique hotels and best family-friendly hotels.

Itinerary #4: Costa Rica Culinary Tour

Eat and drink your way through Costa Rica on this week-long adventure of the country's culinary hot spots. In addition to visiting a coffee farm, learning how chocolate is made, and taking a cooking class, you'll visit jungles, volcanoes, and beaches. 

Take a culinary journey through Costa Rica
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Costa Rica, Explore San José's Culture & History San José
Day 2 Drive to Arenal Volcano, Chocolate Making & Hot Springs Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 3 Waterfall Hike & Cooking Class Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 4 Coffee Farm Tour & Nighttime Nature Walk Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 5 Arenal to the Gulf of Papagayo Gulf de Papagayo
Day 6 Beach Day & Sunset Catamaran Sail in Papagayo Gulf de Papagayo
Day 7 Depart Costa Rica from Liberia  

On this food-themed tour, you'll start in the capital city. Explore food stalls at San José's Mercado Central, then continue to La Fortuna, where you'll have the chance to participate in chocolate making—cacao is one of Costa Rica's most important exports—and go for a dip in natural hot springs. You'll also hike to waterfalls and learn how to make traditional dishes during a hands-on cooking class.

Tour a local coffee farm to learn about the industry before traveling to the Gulf of Papagayo. Experience the region's incredible natural surroundings, exploring jungles and beaches, then taking a full day to relax on the sand and enjoy a sunset sailing trip before the trip comes to an end. Learn more

Find out more about the Top Cultural Experiences in Costa Rica.

Itinerary #5: Wildlife Luxury Adventure in Arenal & the Osa Peninsula

Get off the beaten path on this week-long luxury trip around the Osa Peninsula, where you'll go whale-watching and explore Corcovado National Park on a guided hike. Finish the adventure in Arenal with visits to a sloth habitat and a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Beaches of the Osa Peninsula
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore Downtown San José San José
Day 2 Transfer to Drake Bay & Take a Birdwatching Tour Drake Bay
Day 3 Hike in Corcovado National Park Drake Bay
Day 4 Go on a Whale & Dolphin Tour on Drake Bay Drake Bay
Day 5 Continue to Arenal & Relax in La Fortuna Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 6 See Sloths in the Wild & Visit a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 7 Depart Costa Rica  

After a day exploring San José, you'll travel to the Osa Peninsula and go on a sunset birdwatching tour around Drake Bay. The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biodiverse areas on earth. Over half of all animal species in Costa Rica exist here, making this tour one of the best for unique flora and fauna.

Next, discover Corcovado National Park on a guided hike. The park has preserved one of the country's few remaining lowland rainforests, and the peninsula's remote location on the southern Pacific Coast makes Osa a lost world perfect for exploration from the jungle to the sea. Spot whales and dolphins on a boat tour, then finish the trip in the Arenal region with a visit to a sloth habitat. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Costa Rica Cycling Adventure

Pedal from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Coast on this epic seven-day adventure that leads you past Costa Rica's farms, banana plantations, and sugar cane fields. Stop to explore jungle rivers, an active volcano, and the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Cycle from Siquirres to Turrialba Volcano
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José San José
Day 2 Bike from Playa Bonita to Siquirres Siquirres
Day 3 Cycle from Siquirres to Turrialba Turrialba
Day 4 Continue from Turrialba to Orosi Orosi
Day 5 Pedal from Orosi to Santa Maria Santa Maria de Dota
Day 6 Enjoy a Downhill Ride from Santa Maria to Quepos Quepos
Day 7 Depart Costa Rica  

Begin in the capital city of San José. You'll be outfitted with cycling equipment and take off pedaling from Playa Bonita to Siquirres, where you'll spend the night. Continue through the Costa Rican countryside to Turrialba, keeping an eye out for puffs of smoke rising out of the active Turrialba Volcano.

Ride through one of Costa Rica's most important coffee-growing regions—the Orosi Valley—on day four. Day five brings a steep uphill mountain climb followed by a downhill ride to the charming town of Santa Maria de Dota. After an unforgettable cross-country bike ride, celebrate your achievement on the beaches of the storied Manuel Antonio National Park. Learn more

Discover more about the country's best active experiences by reading this article.

More Great Costa Rica Itineraries

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


Map of 7 Days in Costa Rica - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 7 Days in Costa Rica - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas