8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  11​h 30​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Dominical
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
3
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + bus + train:  6​h 30​min
End: Washington DC

3
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Butterfly Conservatory and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos and Galeria Estudio are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with a short trip to Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park in La Virgen (about 1h 10 min away). There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, take in the natural beauty of Los Lagos Hot Springs, take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation planning website .

Washington DC, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of subway, bus, flight, and shuttle. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can drive to Dominical.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Butterfly Conservatory, Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park
Find places to stay Mar 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park ©
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
Dominical

The laid back beachfront town of Dominical has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a surfer haunt of some repute.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and then stop by Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, and then kick back and relax at Uvita Beach.

To see photos, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Dominical tour planning site .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Dominical takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Dominical

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio, Uvita
Find places to stay Mar 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Photography Tours
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa, and then view the masterpieces at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts. On the 21st (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stop by Cata Chocolate and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read Playas del Coco trip planner .

Traveling by car from Dominical to Playas del Coco takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Playa Hermosa
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
River Rafting & Tubing

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