Costa Rica, Destinations, Luxury family travel, Luxury travel, Travel planning, Travel tips

December 15, 2023

Welcome to Costa Rica: A Sample Itinerary

Costa Rica is a dream destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. From the beautiful beaches to the tropical rainforest and the vibrant cities, Cost Rica is the perfect playground for adults and kids alike. 

Information about Costa Rica: 

Costa Rica is located in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama. 

The official language is Spanish though many people speak English especially in the major cities. 

Costa Rica has a tropical climate. The dry season is December- April. Wet season or rainy season is May- November. During the rainy season, you will most likely experience a daily downpour, this usually doesn’t affect the overall daily temperature though. The average daily temperature stays around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit but can get hotter or colder depending on where you are at in the country (mountains or coast).

One thing to know is the Caribbean side of the country doesn’t experience rainy season at the same time as the rest of the country. October is usually fairly dry in comparison to the rain in the rest of the country. 

Costa Rica Itinerary:

So, you want to vacation in Costa Rica and are not sure where to start. If you have 9 days to spend in Costa Rica here is what I would recommend.

Day 1:

Fly into San Jose airport. Stay one night in San Jose if your flight arrives in the afternoon or later. It gets dark around 6:00 pm in Costa Rica and you won’t want to drive after dark or arrive late to your hotel.

Stay at a beautiful 4-star hotel located in the heart of San Jose. It is within walking distance to the main cultural and tourist attractions.

Recommended Tour: Private San Jose city tour, theater, and national museum. You will immerse yourself in the rich Costa Rican culture on this tour by visiting museums and historical sites.  

Day 2:

After breakfast, meet your private driver at your hotel for a transfer to Arenal Volcano area of La Fortuna. It’s about 3 hour drive to this part of the country. Arenal volcano is one of the most popular tourist destinations is Costa Rica. La Fortuna, the town that sits at the base of the volcano, has plenty of hotel options to fit every budget. This area is famous for the rainforests, wildlife, hiking, and adventure. 

Stay at a beautiful 5-star hotel that boasts views of the rainforest and each room has its own private plunge pool. The hotel is filled with never-ending nature, adventure, and relaxation.  It is very romantic, making it perfect for a couple’s escape. It also has family room options, perfect for more space and privacy.

Recommended Tour:  Experience the hot springs. No trip to Costa Rica is complete without a visit to the hot springs. Rejuvenate with a dip in the volcanic hot springs and relax the rest of the afternoon.

Day 3:

Wake up ready to explore the rainforest.

Recommended Tour: Hanging Bridges hike. Embark on a walk of forest trails and hanging bridges. You will discover rainforest ecosystems and catch glimpses of various wildlife. The hike contains 16 suspended and hanging bridges. During this 2.5 hour tour you will have stunning views of the Arenal Volcano.

The second half of your day should be spent on a private chocolate and coffee tour. You will learn about the process of producing coffee and chocolate. At the farm you will see the coffee from the beginning of the process- growing through fermentation and roasting. During the tour you will be able to grind the cacao beans and make your own chocolate bar. In the end you will also have time to taste a few varieties of coffee.

Day 4:

Another day in the rainforest. It is time for another hike. A can’t miss spot, the La Fortuna Waterfall.

Recommended Tour: Meet your private guide in your hotel lobby and head to a unique open-air butterfly garden. Next head to the La Fortuna Waterfall trail. You will be able to observe various plants and wildlife as you make your way to the base of the waterfall. The area is known to have sloths, toucans, orioles, and more. Once you have reached the waterfall you can choose to swim in the waters or simply relax and take in all the beauty of the La Fortuna Waterfall.

Day 5:

After breakfast you will say goodbye to the lush rainforest and meet your driver for the 3-4 hour (approximately) drive to the Papagayo Peninsula area in northern Costa Rica. This area contains great beaches as well as luxurious accommodations. It is also close to Liberia airport making it very convenient.

Stay at beautiful beach front 4-star or 5 star properties near the peninsula.  A great option for families and couples is a beautiful 4-star hotel with a spa, golf course, private plunge pool in the suites, and beautiful views. Most hotels have pools, spas, restaurants, and a variety of water sport options- such as stand up paddle boarding.  I personally love the 5-star resort as a luxurious option. It is a celebrity favorite and stunning property.

Recommended Tour: Today take a break and enjoy the hotel and beach.  

Day 6:

After waking up to the sounds of the ocean the hardest decision you’ll have to make will be what adventure to choose.

Recommended Tour: Horseback riding and zip line private tour. You will be transferred from your hotel to your zipline adventure. This is perfect for adrenaline seekers. There may be 5 cables of various lengths and 10 platforms of different heights. You may be able to spot wildlife along the way. Built into this tour you will also have the option to go horseback riding. During the trial ride you may see armadillos, raccoons, anteaters, and many tropical birds.  

Day 7: 

Another day in paradise. Today you will have time to relax and explore the coast.

Recommended Tour: Sailing and snorkel tour or a sunset cruise. Hop on a catamaran or sailboat for your private tour to secluded bays. You will experience snorkeling around reefs and relaxing on white sandy Costa Rican beaches and hopefully catch a glimpse of some of famous Costa Rican turtles.  

Day 8:

After 7 days of adventure, you may need a day of leisure. 

Recommended Tour: Enjoy the hotel spa, spend time on the beach, ride bikes into town and explore the shops. Or if you’re up for more adventure take a private surfing lesson. The Pacific side offers year round great surfing for all levels.

Day 9:

At the end of your trip, you will fly home out of Liberia airport. This airport is close to the Papagayo hotels, making it the most convenient way to get home.

For this trip I would recommend private transfers and private tours while vacationing in Costa Rica. The drivers are all very knowledgeable about the country and experienced on the roads. It’ll save you time and make the trip more enjoyable-even stress free.  This itinerary can serve as a starting point to planning your Costa Rica trip. It can be fully customized to your needs and wishes. You can adjust for a family trip, enhance for more adventure, and tailor to a romantic couple’s trip. Costa Rica is a beautiful spot and worth considering for your next vacation destination.

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