Hello My Fellow Travelers,
Costa Rica is a beautiful country and I had the pleasure of visiting it this past year. It left me awestruck with it’s amazing natural beauty. Read my blog post about the 10 things you should know before planning a trip to Costa Rica. So without further ado, here we go. Below is the detailed itinerary that we followed for our one week trip.
Day 1: San Jose
Landed in San Jose, checked into our hotel and rested for the night.
Day 2: Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens
This is a beautiful place where you can see a lot of exotic birds, butterflies and lots of other animals. It takes about 3 hours to go around the whole place. They have some beautiful views of the waterfalls and I would recommend you wear comfortable shoes here as there are a lot of stairs and they can get slippery. You can even hold the Tucanos and get a picture with them. Also, there is an amazing buffet lunch option here for $12.
Cost: $36 per person
After visiting these 2 attractions we started driving towards Arenal where we spent the night. Our hotel was located in the La Fortuna town. We stayed at the Las Flores hotel. It was a great budget hotel which is close to all attractions. The owners are great hosts and they took great care of us.
Day 3: La Fortuna Falls and Arenal Volcano Tour
We started our day by having some awesome costa rican coffee and breakfast and then heading to the La Fortuna falls. We started really early morning. Unfortunately, the day we visited it was raining heavily and we weren’t allowed to swim in the waterfall. There are a lot of stairs here to get to the waterfall, but if you are physically fit it’s not too bad to climb them back up again.
Cost: $17 per person
We took the Arenal Volcano tour with the Red Lava Tour company. This included a pickup from our hotel at about 2 PM. They showed us some wildlife such as Pizote’s and Sloth’s on the way. We drove up a dirt road right to the observatory from where you can see beautiful views of the Arenal Volcano. It was really tough to get a good view of the volcano as it was very cloudy the whole time we were there. After that, we hiked some short trails where we even saw the famous red eyed frog. Our guide was really nice and friendly and told us a lot about the wildlife and plants on our hike. We even crossed 3 hanging bridges on our tour. Once we were done with that we drove to a river (which was basically water from the hot springs) and we could relax there. We were given a mud facial here and a famous costa rican alcoholic drink which was delicious. At around 8 PM we were dropped back to our hotel. Here’s the link to book the package.
Cost: $45 per person
Day 4: Canyoning, Zip-lining and Night Hike
We started our day really early in the morning for our canyoning and zip-lining adventure. Read my blog post here to read more about this adventure with the Desafio Tour Company. Here’s the link to book the package.
Cost: $135 per person
Day 5: Mistico Hanging Bridges and Tabacon Hot Springs
We visited the hanging bridges first thing in the morning. Upon arrival they give you a map of the place. The whole thing took about 2 hours. It’s about a 3 mile walk. They have 6 hanging bridges, each one higher than the other with different views. It took us about 2 hours to complete this.
Cost: $24 per person
Around mid afternoon we headed over to the beautiful Tabacon Hot Springs. Read my full travel post here
. Here is the link to buy the day pass
Cost (Day Pass): $94 per person
Day 6: Drive to Manuel Antonio, Rio Tarcoles and El Avion
We spent the day driving to Manuel Antonio from Arenal. The drive is beautiful with a look of vista points in between. We took the opportunity to take a lot of pictures on the way and enjoy the drive. There are some great local fruit shops along the way as well.
We din’t end up going to the Rio Tarcoles park as it was blazing hot there, but saw the crocodiles from the bridge. However, there is a boat tour there where they take you really close to the crocodiles if you’re interested.
In the evening, we went to the El Avion restaurant. It’s a really funky restaurant in the shape of a plane. The sunset views are absolutely stunning from there. Do get there early as most of the seats get taken close to the sunset.
Day 7: Manuel Antonio National Park
We went to the park with a guide. Again we were picked up around 7 AM from our hotel. The park is very crowded and it’s best you take the earliest tour available so that you don’t spend hours waiting in line. I would recommend hiring a guide for the park as you won’t be able to see all the wildlife without a telescope. We saw different kinds of sloths, bats, capuchin monkeys, spiders etc. The guide told us stories of how they survived, what they ate and a lot of other facts so it was quite interesting. At the end of the trail there is a beautiful beach you can relax at. Be careful not to leave you bag-packs on the sand as the monkeys are known for stealing it.
Cost: $16 per person
Hope you enjoy your trip. Happy to answer any questions in the comments section.