Costa Rica Travel Guide

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.
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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
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Hope you enjoy your trip. Happy to answer any questions in the comments section.


  • Kavya

    Costa Rica is beautiful indeed!! Loved reading your post, Ankita. And all your pictures are just lovely. That red eyed frog is so creepy though! Hehe! Always love your travel posts! 🙂
    Have a great day babe! 🙂

    • ankitamiharia

      Thanks Kavya. We had a great time taking the pictures. Haha the red eyed frog was sleeping the entire time. We had to get the shot in a matter of a few seconds. It’s apparently really sought after in Costa Rica. Thank you for the motivation for the posts 🙂

  • Monika

    This post makes me want to travel to Costa Rica now! Such a detailed travel log. Loved all the pics and I am definitely using your post as reference whenever I go to Costa Rica 🙂 I absolutely loved your pic where you are wearing yellow shorts. All the colors are exploding so well together <3

    Monika |

    • ankitamiharia

      Thank you so much Monika. You’re so kind with your words. We had a great time taking all the pics and I am a big time planner, hence the detailed itinerary. haha. You should def plan a trip there 🙂

    • ankitamiharia

      Haha you should totally do it. Glad my posts inspire you to travel. Thank you so much for the motivation. Mwah 🙂

    • ankitamiharia

      Thank you so much for appreciating the pictures. We had a great time taking them. Some of them, we only had a window of a couple of seconds to capture the shot, so your compliments mean a lot. Have a great day 🙂

  • Anirudh

    Hey! We’re planning a trip to CR in April. What month did you guys visit it in? Also, did you drive through Monteverde?


    • ankitamiharia

      Hi Anirudh,
      Sorry for the late reply. We visited in December. April will be the rainy season in Costa Rica. We did not drive to Monteverde as the roads to get there are really bad. Also, it takes almost 8 hours to drive uptil Monteverde and we did not find that worth it for a one day trip. Everything that you do in Monteverde, you can do it in Arenal. Let me know if I can answer any other questions for you. 🙂

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