8 Days in Costa Rica #TripPlanThursday

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Costa Rica is a land of diversity – within the same vacation you can go from hiking up a volcano to lounging on some of the world’s best beaches.  This itinerary is meant to get the best of both worlds in Costa Rica – and only uses 5 Vacation days!  The first half of the trip can be completed as individual day trips from San Jose or Alajuela but we recommend staying closer to the Volcano.

Friday – Departure:

Hotel Area: Alajuela

Costa Rica has one major airport (San Jose) with many connections from the United States.  Most hub cities have evening flights which will get you into Costa Rica before midnight.  Rent a car (although this itinerary is possible to do on your own – in that case you could use local buses, this plan works best with a rental car – a group will help reduce yours costs).  The closest and cheapest city to get a hotel in will be Alajuela.

Saturday – La Paz Waterfall and Rio Celeste

Hotel Area: Volcan Poas Area

You will have to get an early start to head to your hotel in the Volcano region.  Along the way you can stop at La Paz Waterfalls and Rio Celeste.  La Paz Waterfall Gardens are one of the most visited ecological attractions in the country.  Surrounded by a rain-forest, the five waterfalls in the gardens are only an hour outside the capital of San Jose.  Rio Celeste is a little more remote and will require hiking, but the less visited waterfalls are much prettier.  It takes about 45 minutes to hike the two miles through a rain forest and you could spend hours exploring the falls and pools underneath.  After exploring the waterfalls head to your hotel (pick any hotel in the region, don’t forget to look at AirBnB there are excellent options with volcano views).

Sunday – Montverde Cloud Forest

Hotel Area: Volcan Poas Area

You will spend the whole day at the Montverde Cloud Forest.  The nature reserve encompasses over 35,000 acres of rain forest with over 100 species of mammals, 400+ species of birds and thousands of other reptiles and amphibians.  Don’t be surprised if you see jaguars, ocelots, pumas or  spider monkeys as they all call this area home.  You can either hike, go bird watching, visit a butterfly farm, go zip lining, or do the ever popular Hanging Bridge and Canopy Tour.

Monday – Poas Volcano

Hotel Area: Volcan Poas Area

Standing high above the terrain, you will see this volcano everyday – today is the day you get to explore it.  Don’t be afraid of the steam you see coming out of the world’s largest active crater.  That is water from a nearby lake seeping through the cracks where it is heated and turned to steam.  There are many hikes in the park, you can spend the day doing those or just exploring the area – as you will be headed to the beach tomorrow.

Tuesday – Driving

Hotel Area:  Santa Cruz / Beach

Today you will head to your new hotel on the Pacific Ocean side of the country.  Along the way you can stop at one last waterfall, Montezuma Falls.  The area is also in prime coffee growing country, we suggest stopping at the Spice Farm.

Wednesday – Beach

Hotel Area: Santa Cruz / Beach

The next three days will be spent at different beach cities.  The first one is Playa Tamarindo.  This is one of the more popular beaches in the country, with high end hotels, a bustling nightlife scene and many activities to be found.  Though it is not the cheapest area the white sand beaches and crystal clear water make it one of the best beaches in the country.

Thursday – Beach

Hotel Area: Santa Cruz/ Beach

Mal Pais is a big change from Play Taramindo, this beach is much more desolate.  It is a great area to sit back and relax without being hassled every other minute to purchase a good or activity.  This beach is known for its surfing.

Friday – Beach 

Hotel Area: Santa Cruz / Beach

Montezuma Beach is the combination of both of the best elements of the previous two beaches.  During the day it is very quite and an excellent place to relax, but it has excellent nightlife options at nights.  There is something to do for everyone, the city is surrounded by mangroves, estuaries and tropical forest – so if you want to do something other than relaxing at the beach you will be able to find it here.

Saturday – San Jose

Hotel Area: San Jose or Alajuela

Generally skipped by tourists visiting Costa Rica – the capital city is an excellent place to spend a day or two.  There are many museums, but we suggest just strolling the historic neighborhoods.  On Saturday’s you can visit the farmers market.  There is also many nightlife options you can enjoy on your last night in the country.

Sunday – Depart


What is #TripPlanThursday?

Every Thursday we will release a rough overview of a Trip Plan.  These will have a brief description of each of the stops and a suggestion for where to spend the night.  It might also include helpful tips as well as resturaunt suggestions if any stick out.  These will be inspired by sales that are live during the week, by previous trips, by plans we are making for customers, by plans on our bucket list, or even by suggestions from you!

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