Most people visiting both Manuel Antonio and Monteverde spend about 8 to 10 days in Costa Rica, which usually includes some time in Arenal/La Fortuna as well. For travelers wanting to visit Manuel Antonio and Monteverde exclusively, plan on 6 to 7 days for a well-paced trip. With less time, it's still possible to see the highlights in as few as 5 days. Check out our favorite Manuel Antonio and Monteverde trips below.

How many days do you need?

  • Most travelers spend 6-7 days in Manuel Antonio and Monteverde combined
  • Visiting Manuel Antonio and Monteverde in 5 days is possible, but will feel rushed
  • With 8 or more days, most travelers choose to add more stops to their trip
  • The most common extensions are Arenal/La Fortuna and Tamarindo

How Many Days Should You Spend in Costa Rica?

Recommended Itineraries for Manuel Antonio and Monteverde

Recommended Itinerary for 6 Days

Hiking trail in Manuel Antonio National Park
Hiking trail in Manuel Antonio National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José San José
Day 2 San Jose to Monteverde Cloud Forest Monteverde
Day 3 Zip-Line Fun in the Cloud Forest Monteverde
Day 4 Monteverde Transfer to Manuel Antonio - Free Afternoon Manuel Antonio
Day 5 Morning Free Time - Afternoon Sunset Catamaran Cruise Manuel Antonio
Day 6 Manuel Antonio to San José - Depart Costa Rica  


Perfect for nature lovers and first-time travelers to Costa Rica, this fast-paced itinerary takes you to two of the country's most beloved national parks. With the diverse wildlife of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the jungle-lined white sand beaches of Manuel Antonio, you'll get to the essence of the Costa Rican motto: Pura Vida! Read more

Recommended Itinerary for 7 Days

Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José San José
Day 2 San Jose to Monteverde Cloud Forest Monteverde
Day 3 Free Day - Night Tour in Monteverde Monteverde
Day 4 Monteverde Transfer to Manuel Antonio - Free Afternoon Manuel Antonio
Day 5 Morning Free Time - Afternoon Sunset Catamaran Cruise Manuel Antonio
Day 6 Free Day in Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio
Day 7 Manuel Antonio to San José - Depart Costa Rica  


With abundant wildlife, a nocturnal nature tour, a visit to the jungle in Manuel Antonio National Park, and time to relax on the beach, this trip captures the essence of Costa Rica's motto: Pura Vida! Starting in San José, you'll travel first to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, where you'll encounter Costa Rica's famed biodiversity. Continue on to Manuel Antonio National Park, where the forest meets the sea, for activities including a sunset catamaran cruise. Read more

Extended Itineraries

8-Day Itinerary Including Arenal/La Fortuna

Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano.
Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano.
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in San José - Transfer to La Fortuna & Hotsprings Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 2 La Fortuna Waterfall - Free Afternoon Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 3 Arenal to Monteverde by Boat with Nocturnal Nature Tour Monteverde
Day 4 Sky Walk, Sky Tram & Sky Trek Zipline Monteverde
Day 5 Monteverde Transfer to Manuel Antonio - Free Afternoon Manuel Antonio
Day 6 Damas Island Kayaking Tour Manuel Antonio
Day 7 Morning Free Time - Afternoon Sunset Catamaran Cruise Manuel Antonio
Day 8 Manuel Antonio to San José - Depart Costa Rica  


This 8-day trip is ideal for travelers looking to experience Costa Rica's highlights. Go for a dip in Arenal's hot springs and spot monkeys and other wildlife on hikes around the famous volcano. Continue to Monteverde, where you'll discover the remarkable flora and fauna of the cloud forest. Finally, spend a few days in Manuel Antonio National Park, kayaking through turquoise waters and relaxing on pristine white sand beaches. Read more

15-Day Itinerary Including Arenal/La Fortuna and Tortuguero

Toucans can often be spotted among the treetops in Tortuguero National Park
Toucans can often be spotted among the treetops in Tortuguero National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José San José
Day 2 Fly San José to Tortuguero National Park Tortuguero
Day 3 Turtle Spotting in Tortuguero Tortuguero
Day 4 Tortuguero to La Fortuna Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 5 Arenal - Whitewater Rafting on the Sarapiquí River Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 6 Arenal Hanging Bridges & La Fortuna Waterfall Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 7 Early Birding and Private Nocturnal Nature Hike Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 8 Boat from Arenal to Monteverde - Nocturnal Nature Tour Monteverde
Day 9 Zip-Line Fun in the Cloud Forest Monteverde
Day 10 Santa Elena Birdwatching & Jungle Hike Monteverde
Day 11 Monteverde to Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio
Day 12 Guided Hike of Manuel Antonio National Park Manuel Antonio
Day 13 Kayaking - Damas Island Manuel Antonio
Day 14 Snorkeling & Sunset Catamaran Cruise in Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio
Day 15 Manuel Antonio to San José, Depart Costa Rica  


Experience Costa Rica's most spectacular national parks on this 15-day tour. You'll catch glimpses of sea turtles and monkeys in Tortuguero National Park and spot hundreds of bird species in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Then it's time to head to the countries largest and most famous volcano, Arenal, for a mix of wildlife and heart pumping excursions. Finally, you'll end the trip in  Manuel Antonio, where you'll snorkel among colorful fish and traverse jungle trails. Read more

15-Day Itinerary Including Arenal/La Fortuna and Tamarindo

Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in San José - Welcome to Costa Rica San José
Day 2 Pacuare River Rafting Adventure & Travel to La Fortuna Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 3 Day Trip to Celeste River in Tenorio Volcano National Park Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 4 Arenal Volcano Hike & Visit La Fortuna Waterfall Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 5 Free Day - Explore Arenal Volcano National Park Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 6 Transfer From La Fortuna to Manuel Antonio Beach Manuel Antonio
Day 7 Manuel Antonio National Park Hike Manuel Antonio
Day 8 Kayaking & Snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean Manuel Antonio
Day 9 Free Day - Manuel Antonio Beach Manuel Antonio
Day 10 Travel to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Monteverde
Day 11 Excursions at Sky Adventures Monteverde Park Monteverde
Day 12 Travel From Monteverde to Tamarindo Beach Tamarindo
Day 13 Free Day - Tamarindo Beach Tamarindo
Day 14 Beach Day & Catamaran Sunset Sailing Tour Tamarindo
Day 15 Travel to San José & Departure  


Enjoy a 15-day honeymoon adventure that covers several of Costa Rica’s greatest outdoor destinations. Begin in the capital city for a welcome dinner, before heading to the Arenal region for river rafting, volcano hikes, scenic waterfalls, and more. Next, go snorkeling and kayaking in the ocean on the shores of beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park. Venture into the cloud forests of Monteverde to take suspension bridges and ziplines through the greenery, followed by downtime in Tamardino Beach to surf, sail, and relish magnificent sunsets. Read more

How to travel between Manuel Antonio and Monteverde

Manuel Antonio National Park is a microcosm of Costa Rica's most iconic offerings: pristine beaches, rainforests with an abundance of wildlife, and active outdoor pursuits. It’s also fairly easy to reach from other major hubs in Costa Rica. Read more

Map

Map of Manuel Antonio & Monteverde: Best Itinerary Ideas
Map of Manuel Antonio & Monteverde: Best Itinerary Ideas