7 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

7 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

7 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Mexico City
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  9​h 30​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
2
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 45​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
bus:  3​h
4
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h 30​min
End: Mexico City

2
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
On the 24th (Wed), witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs and then take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park. On the 25th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Conservatory, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Los Lagos Hot Springs.

For ratings, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos travel route planner.

Mexico City, Mexico to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Jul 23 — 25:
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

1
night
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Fri): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planning app .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) so you can go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Tours Outdoors Spas

Side Trip

Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Find places to stay Jul 25 — 26:
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Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Spas
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura

1
night
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio online trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Manuel Antonio in 6 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to catcht the bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 28:
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
San Jose

San Jose ©
A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sun): contemplate the long history of Ruinas de Ujarras, admire the masterpieces at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, then look for all kinds of wild species at Toucan Rescue Ranch, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral. On the 29th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia La Soledad and then take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica.

For more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our San Jose attractions planner.

You can take a bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. In July, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 31°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Wildlife Scenic Drive Tours

Side Trips

Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, Toucan Rescue Ranch
Find places to stay Jul 28 — 29:
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Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica

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