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: Los Angeles
Fly + Drive:  11 h
1
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  5 h 30 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Bus + Fly:  13 h 15 min
End: Los Angeles

1
night
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Fri): admire the sheer force of La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To see maps, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Vara Blanca trip itinerary planning app.

Los Angeles, USA to Vara Blanca is an approximately 11- hour combination of flight and car. Traveling from Los Angeles to Vara Blanca, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 16:

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arenal Volcano.

To see where to stay, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

1
night
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
On the 20th (Tue), see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. October in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 87°F and lows of 73°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Oct 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio attractions planning site.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. You'll have a few hours on the 22nd (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Spas
Parque Nahomi ©
Parque Nahomi

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