8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

New York City
bus + Fly + Drive:  11​h
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly + bus:  8​h 45​min
New York City

2
days
Monteverde

Monteverde ©
If you're a nature lover, consider a vacation in Monteverde, an eco-tourism heaven nestled between two primary cloud forests in the Costa Rican Central Highlands.
On the 26th (Tue), view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the next day, stop by Souvenir Rosewood, look for all kinds of wild species at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde online itinerary planner .

New York City, USA to Monteverde is an approximately 11-hour combination of bus, flight, and car. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums
Accommodations
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Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle

3
days
La Fortuna de San Carlos

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
The small city of La Fortuna de San Carlos is best known for the nearby Arenal volcano that looms in the background and dominates the vista.
Visiting Butterfly Conservatory and Paradise Hot Springs will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Onirica Art Gallery. There's lots more to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, explore the fascinating underground world of Venado Caves, and relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs.

For maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder .

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trips

Venado Caves, Butterfly Conservatory
Accommodations
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Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles).

For more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose road trip planning tool .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose by combination of taxi and flight takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 78°F, and evening lows to 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles), Zoo Ave
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in San Jose.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Precolumbian Gold Museum ©
Precolumbian Gold Museum
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave

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