12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Toronto
+2
Fly + Foot + Bus:  9 h 45 min
1
Playas del Coco
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
2
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Taxi + Ferry:  3 h 45 min
3
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 30 min
5
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
+3
Bus + Foot + Bus + Fly:  13 h
End: Toronto

1
night
Playas del Coco

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
On the 10th (Sun), see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and then look for gifts at Lis Umana Beachwear.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Playas del Coco vacation planner.

Toronto, Canada to Playas del Coco is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Playa Hermosa
Find places to stay May 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Lis Umana Beachwear ©
Lis Umana Beachwear

1
night
Santa Teresa

A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
On the 11th (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at Wild Sun Rescue Center, then find your balance on the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area, and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

Start your trip to Santa Teresa by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to Santa Teresa takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can travel to Uvita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Wild Sun Rescue Center
Find places to stay May 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Wild Sun Rescue Center ©
Wild Sun Rescue Center

2
nights
Uvita

Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Tue): see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, then admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, and then kick back and relax at Uvita Beach.

To see where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Uvita road trip planning site .

Traveling by combination of taxi and ferry from Santa Teresa to Uvita takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Find places to stay May 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

1
night
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.
On the 14th (Thu), look for gifts at The Captain's Booty, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

Discover how to plan a Manuel Antonio trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trip

The Captain's Booty
Find places to stay May 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
River Rafting & Tubing
The Captain's Booty ©
The Captain's Booty

1
night
Jaco

A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, see Off-Road Tours, and then take in the exciting artwork at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Jaco trip planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Jaco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours Outdoors Museums

Side Trip

Nature & Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay May 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Off-Road Tours
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then stroll through Bogarin Trail, and then get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Sun): witness a stunning natural landmark at Los Lagos Hot Springs, then take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Jaco to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay May 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Paradise Hot Springs ©
Paradise Hot Springs

3
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
On the 18th (Mon), take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, then browse the fresh offerings at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita, and then kick back and relax at Playa Cocles. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio and then enjoy the sand and surf at Punta Uva Beach.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca road trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Nature Observatorio, Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay May 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio

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