On this Costa Rica itinerary, you’ll be visiting three national parks; exploring cloud forests, rainforests and jungles; going snorkeling and swimming in crystalline waters; going on adventures on ziplines and hanging bridges and volcanoes and canyons and hot springs and rivers; and meeting many of Costa Rica’s most famous wildlife residents.

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Volcanoes and sizzling spring rivers. Misty cloud forests. Howler monkeys swinging via the treetops. White sand seashores. Costa Rica is a tropical, eco-friendly paradise, stuffed with colourful wildlife and luxurious forest canopies simply ready to be explored on ziplines and hanging bridges and vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. 

Over the various journeys we’ve taken and the weeks we’ve spent backpacking via this stunning nation, we’ve realized just a few issues.  Like that you simply want REALLY good bug repellant (I swear by this mixed with this). Or that there are a LOT of things nobody tells you about Costa Rica. 

And eventually, we’ve mixed all of our experiences into one epic route that visits all of our favourite locations: the final word Costa Rica two week itinerary! You’ll be visiting visiting three nationwide parks; climbing in cloud forests, rainforests and jungles; snorkeling and swimming in crystalline waters; traversing the tree cover on ziplines and hanging bridges; exploring volcanoes, canyons, sizzling springs and rivers; and befriending sloths, monkeys, macaws, toucans, and extra. And when you’re something like us, you’ll in all probability be reserving your subsequent journey to Costa Rica as quickly as you come residence once more.

Able to dive in? Pura Vida!

Psst: Take a look at a few of our different posts earlier than your journey:

Want some assist packing? We’ve created a FREE Printable Packing Record with every part you want to plan your journey to Costa Rica. We’ll additionally ship you suggestions that can assist you put together to your journey! Simply enroll beneath.

Beach and boat at the entrance to Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Welcome to Corcovado Nationwide Park, absolutely the spotlight of your two weeks in Costa Rica. It’s distant and onerous to get to however so, SO definitely worth the schlep!

Costa Rica 2 Week Itinerary Abstract

The route you’ll be taking over this Costa Rica itinerary is San José > La Fortuna > Monteverde > Manuel Antonio > Corcovado > San José

Right here’s the route damaged out by days:

  • Day 1, San Jose to La Fortuna
  • Day 2 & 3, La Fortuna
  • Day 4, Journey to Monteverde 
  • Day 5 & 6, Monteverde
  • Day 7, Journey from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio
  • Day 8 & 9, Manuel Antonio
  • Day 10, Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay
  • Day 11 & 12, Drake Bay
  • Day 13 & 14, Drake Bay to San Jose and fly residence

Notes and Options

  • In case your arrival flight lands within the night, you want to lose a day someplace – or fly again from Drake Bay and take a night flight residence.
  • If you wish to add additional time to one of many locations within the itinerary, you would go to Manuel Antonio for only one full day somewhat than two, particularly when you get an early begin within the morning.
  • You’ll notice we don’t have you ever spending a lot time in San Jose. We’ve now been to Costa Rica a number of instances and the town simply isn’t probably the most thrilling half concerning the journey.
Riding a Shuttle Bus in Costa Rica
Using a Shuttle Bus in Costa Rica. You do NOT must rent a car – there are snug, dependable buses and shuttles all around the nation! We’ve included particulars about how you can get to every cease all through the itinerary.

Costa Rica Itinerary: Issues to Know

  • This itinerary combines a number of journeys we’ve taken over time. You’ll be visiting La Fortuna (together with Arenal Volcano Nationwide Park), Monteverde, Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park, Corcovado Nationwide Park, and San José. Sure, y’all: that’s THREE of Costa Rica’s gorgeous nationwide parks in ONE epic itinerary.
  • This Costa Rica itinerary focuses on the Pacific facet of the nation – there aren’t any Caribbean-side locations. That stated, you can be visiting two phenomenal snorkeling/swimming locations with heat, clear blue water!
  • You do NOT must lease a automobile. Buses and van shuttles join all around the nation for a low value, though they’ve very particular schedules or run occasionally. A lot of the shuttles on this itinerary are bookable on-line upfront via Bookaway or different on-line tour operators, and lots of will embrace direct resort pickup and drop-off. In contrast to many locations, the worth to e book on-line upfront would be the identical as the worth you’d pay in particular person to e book final minute, so we strongly suggest reserving all your transit upfront! We’ve included particulars about how you can get to every cease all through the itinerary.
  • It’s useful to talk Spanish, however English talking is widespread. You gained’t have a lot problem speaking within the places on this itinerary – the tourism trade is strong and most tour guides, resort workers, and bus drivers will converse some English. That stated, studying some Spanish is at all times useful – to not point out well mannered!

For extra issues to know, head to our information to things nobody tells you about Costa Rica. We even have a Costa Rica packing list that can assist you pack to your journey!

Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Visiting Costa Rica makes you wish to get a “pura vida” tattoo and a lifetime provide of salsa lizano – it’s a tough place to depart.

Which is why I’ve been again 4 instances! The primary time I visited Costa Rica with my household, I used to be simply 8 years previous and in absolute awe. I’d by no means imagined a spot like this might actually exist – it was a literal paradise, stuffed with journey and toucans and monkeys and orchids. I bear in mind galloping on horseback alongside the seaside, kayaking via rapids on a river, chewing sticks of contemporary sugarcane, befriending a child squirrel monkey, and plucking a candy starfruit from a tree. Our household journey was stuffed with wildlife and journey, which cemented a lot of what would later develop into my most well-liked journey fashion. 

And on the 4 subsequent journeys to Costa Rica I’ve taken over time, my awe has by no means gone away: Costa Rica is really some of the stunning locations on earth. 

As an grownup, I do know that Costa Rica’s pure magnificence is rigorously maintained, due to complete and conscientious sustainability insurance policies: Costa Rica is without doubt one of the world leaders in ethical and sustainable tourism. So whereas it isn’t as low-cost of a vacation spot to go to as most of its Central American neighbors, for me, that additional value is value it as a result of I do know that my presence as a vacationer just isn’t negatively impacting native communities or wildlife!

With out additional ado, let’s soar into the Costa Rica 2 week itinerary.

Handmade coffee pour-over in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is residence to phenomenal espresso, and La Fortuna is a espresso area! For those who see a pour-over arrange like this at a restaurant, you recognize it’s legit AF.

Day 1: San José to La Fortuna

I’m gonna be sincere right here: San José is the least thrilling a part of this Costa Rica itinerary. After we go to Costa Rica, we just about bounce as quickly as we hit the tarmac – though to be truthful, we are inclined to favor smaller cities and extra rustic locations to huge cities as a rule. 

For those who like huge cities greater than we do, we suggest exploring San Jose on the finish of your journey, while you’ll have a while to kill earlier than your flight.

So, the primary day of your itinerary is definitely a journey day: you’ll arrive in San Jose after which instantly hop on a bus or shuttle and head to La Fortuna!

Verify into Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort, positioned only a few miles exterior of the city heart. With a number of hot-spring-fed swimming pools and a shocking mirador looking to Arenal Volcano, this surprisingly budget-friendly resort is an absolute dream and the proper place to base your self for the subsequent 2 days of journey in La Fortuna.

Arrival

  • Easy methods to Get to San Jose: There are two airports you’ll be able to fly into: Liberia and San Jose. We suggest San Jose. For those who can, attempt to arrive within the morning: most flights from the West Coast are red-eyes, which means you’ll be sleeping on the airplane (our lengthy haul flights packing checklist will assist with that). The sooner you arrive, the sooner you will get to La Fortuna, and also you may be capable to squeeze in a day/night exercise in your first day!
  • The place to Keep in San Jose: Significantly, don’t spend the night time in San Jose. Adventures in La Fortuna are ready for you! But when your flight arrives late and you want to spend the night time in San Jose earlier than flying out, we suggest reserving one among these budget-friendly apartments in downtown San Jose.

Departure

  • Easy methods to Get to La Fortuna: A bus or shuttle from San Jose to La Fortuna takes about 3 hours. There are many choices obtainable on Bookaway – decide a time that works along with your arriving flight.
  • The place to Keep in La Fortuna: Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort has a number of on-site sizzling spring-fed swimming pools and a shocking view of Arenal Volcano.
View of Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna, Costa Rica
La Fortuna is on the base of the still-very-much-active Arenal Volcano. You possibly can’t miss it: it’s big.

Day 2 & 3: La Fortuna

Pure sizzling springs, forest canopies stuffed with wildlife, lively volcanoes, and gushing rivers and waterfalls: welcome to La Fortuna, aka Arenal. Surrounded by a lush jungle, and positioned on the base of two volcanoes – Arenal Volcano, which continues to be lively, and Chato Volcano, which is dormant – this little city is the gateway to the Arenal Volcano Nationwide Park and is named Costa Rica’s finest journey city! 

An journey city is actually a spot the place you are able to do a bunch of journey journey actions, like white water rafting, ziplining and cover excursions, canyoning, horseback driving, and extra – and La Fortuna (and Arenal, which is what number of guests seek advice from the overall space) has all of it. Along with exploring the jungles and canopies, due to the thermal exercise coming from the volcano, the world can also be filled with thermal sizzling springs – and one sizzling spring river.

For those who got here to Costa Rica on the lookout for journey and wildlife (and, in fact, you probably did, proper?), you’ll be off to an awesome begin right here.

We suggest spending 2 full days in La Fortuna. The best way we sometimes construction our days in journey cities is with one adrenaline-rush, high-intensity exercise and one much less exhausting, extra stress-free exercise every day – say, canopying within the morning and a soothing river safari within the afternoon. So, it is best to be capable to decide 2-4 actions to fill your days in La Fortuna. 

Beneath are the most effective issues to do in La Fortuna:

You wouldn’t assume climbing is a high-octane journey exercise, would you? Nicely, we disagree: this 6-hour tour additionally contains 3 of La Fortuna’s finest points of interest in a single actually epic day. You’ll hike via the jungle, scramble up lava rocks on a volcano, cross hanging bridges throughout forest canopies, go swimming on the gorgeous La Fortuna waterfall, and finish your day with a cocktail in a pure sizzling spring (which is by the way the one factor you’ll really feel like doing after a full day filled with journey)

The tour contains transportation, lunch, a bilingual information who will each be certain that you reside and in addition assist level out wildlife within the jungle, and the aforementioned cocktail-in-the-hot-springs state of affairs. For those who’re up for the problem, that is THE tour to do throughout your journey! Be aware that it’ll take up one full day of your keep.

Canyoning combines a bunch of various actions into one thrilling journey. Basically, it entails going right into a canyon after which getting again out of it, via a mixture of climbing, rappelling, cliff diving, mountain climbing, and just about the rest you’ll be able to consider – it’s thrilling, and Jeremy completely loves it. 

He recommends this half day tour, on which you’ll experience a 4×4 into the forest, rappel down waterfalls, rock climb up a hidden rain forest canyon, and zip line throughout the canyon! Plus, the tour contains lunch and transportation. 

This Balsa River white water rafting tour covers class II and III rapids – straightforward to intermediate when you take pleasure in white water rafting, superior when you’re fearful of something greater than completely nonetheless water, like me.

Your guides will decide you up out of your  lodging and drive about 45 minutes exterior of city to a non-public put-in of the Balsa River, adjoining to personal restrooms and altering rooms.

You’ll be taught the fundamentals of white water rafting, gear up, and hop in for six miles of rolling rapids! Throughout lulls, your information will level out wildlife like monkeys, sloths, and toucans within the lush greenery alongside the river.

After your tour, you’ll eat a refreshing lunch subsequent to a wonderful waterfall and swimming gap – be at liberty to hop in and luxuriate in!

One factor to notice: I’m fairly positive I acquired an ear an infection from this river, so I might extremely suggest carrying ear plugs – as long as you’re nonetheless in a position to hear the information’s directions, in fact.

Three toed sloth and baby swinging from the trees in Costa Rica.
Three toed sloth and child swinging from the bushes! You’ll see loads of wildlife like this on a river safari – with the assistance of a information, who’s an precise skilled at recognizing animals.

River safaris are good scaredy cats like me who simply wish to be on a river with out the entire terrifying bits. You’ll float down the river for about 2 hours with a wildlife information, who will assist spot toucans, sloths, caymans, kingfishers, and extra. 

Your information will navigate the river utilizing poles or paddles, so you’ll be able to sit again and calm down and take heed to the sounds of calling birds and buzzing bugs jungle round you and the water gliding previous you. 

And, er, howler monkeys: we glided proper beneath a pack of them! They sound like Godzilla and are legitimately nerve-wracking – they gained’t like, harm you, however they may completely fling poo at you and make actually loud noises, which is sufficient for my anxiousness to behave up.  This half day tour contains snacks and low at a neighborhood farm!

There are tons of sizzling springs to soak in round La Fortuna, starting from rustic to luxurious. A lot of them are positioned at resorts or resorts, so you’ll be able to truly e book lodging that comes with sizzling spring entry – or simply purchase a day cross. 

Tabacón River Hot Springs is fabulous however dear, round $100 for a day cross that features lunch or dinner – a splurge, however a worthy splurge. However there may be additionally a free public entrance to the Tabacón River, positioned throughout from Tabacon Resort: search for a small parking zone filled with locals strolling right down to the river! 

Baldi Hot Springs is sort of a sizzling spring waterpark and appears superior, however trying on the views we have been a bit delay … it appears a bit … er, sketch? Not tremendous clear? Not completely protected? Perhaps we have been simply being too cautious? 

Anyway, this information to hot springs in La Fortuna will assist you determine the place to go!

There are a LOT extra issues to do in La Fortuna, however we’ve minimize out a number of actions that you simply’ll be doing afterward within the itinerary, together with Hanging Bridges and ziplining, which you’ll be doing in a cloud forest in Monteverde; and horseback driving, which you’ll be doing via the jungle and on the seaside in Corcovado. 

We did say this was the final word Costa Rica two week itinerary, didn’t we??

After an action-packed two days, you’ll head up into the clouds – er, cloud forest, that’s – to Monteverde!

Girl Admiring the View in Monteverde Costa Rica from a Balcony
Admiring the view from the balcony atCamino Verde B&B in Monteverde

Day 4: La Fortuna to Monteverde

Immediately is a journey day: you’ll be departing La Fortuna and heading up into the mountains to close by Monteverde. However despite the fact that these locations seem shut on a map, there’s a large volcano, an enormous lake, and a Nationwide Park separating them!

 An Interbus direct shuttle takes about 4 hours and departs solely as soon as per day, arriving in Monteverde at midday. The shuttle will decide you up and drop you off at your lodging.

However there may be one other transit choice which entails taking a ship throughout Lake Arenal somewhat than driving round it. It cuts a few half hour off your complete transit time, plus you get a pleasant stress-free ferry boat journey to interrupt up the lengthy automobile experience! 

The fee is comparable for both choice, so it actually simply comes down to private choice. You’ll e book all the van-boat-van/taxi-boat-taxi transport service with a single firm. This taxi-boat-taxi transit service picks you up and drops you off at your lodging.

Journey Tip: No matter which choice you select, there are some curvy roads on this route, and the final half of the journey is on bumpy roads winding up into the mountains. We suggest taking a non-drowsy Dramamine to assist keep away from nausea!

When you arrive, verify into Camino Verde B&B. The small, budget-friendly resort gives stunning views from its out of doors deck: when the morning and night fog clears, you’ll be able to see all the best way to the Pacific Coast, the ocean and islands on one facet, and Monteverde city on the opposite! The b&b is positioned a brief stroll into city (down a brief hill and up a brief hill). 

One factor we cherished about this resort was the incredible service: everybody was tremendous pleasant and accommodating, and after we checked in, the entrance desk clerk sat us down and booked us the entire excursions we needed to take action our itinerary was all organized for us.

Plus, a scrumptious and filling breakfast is included every day with a number of choices like gallo pinto, scrumptious pancakes, and fruit. We’d undoubtedly keep right here once more!

  • Easy methods to Get to Monteverde: There are two choices: an Interbus direct shuttle will take about 4 hours to drive round Lake Arenal, and a taxi-boat-taxi transit service will take about 3.5 hours with a ferry experience throughout the lake. 
  • The place to Keep in Monteverde: We suggest Camino Verde B&B, positioned a really quick stroll from city. The small, budget-friendly resort gives stunning views from its out of doors deck and a scrumptious breakfast is included along with your keep.
Monteverde Orchid Garden in Costa Rica-5
Orchids on the Monteverde Orchid Garden. Monteverde is in a cloud forest, and the bushes are coated with epiphytes together with bromeliads, ferns, monsteras, and naturally, orchids!

Day 5 & 6: Monteverde

Welcome to the mountains of Costa Rica! Monteverde is a high-elevation city positioned immediately on the Continental Divide amongst a dense cloud forest. The climate is way cooler than the remainder of the nation – you’ll undoubtedly wish to pack some hotter layers and a rain jacket for this portion of the journey.

However taking a break from the heat of the low-elevation tropics is effectively value it to discover a very completely different ecosystem in Monteverde. Inside the extremely biodiverse cloud forests orchids, ferns, and bromeliads climb up towering avocado and strangler fig bushes as monkeys, sloths, hummingbirds, Quetzal birds and butterflies flit among the many treetops. 

Plus, due to the dense forest cover, Monteverde is residence to among the longest zip strains and hanging bridges within the nation! 

I’m going to out myself as a large Lord of the Rings nerd right here, however one of the best ways I can describe the cloud forests of Monteverde is that it is sort of a real-life Lothlorien: image huge hole bushes hiding pure ladders, boughs laden with flowers and vegetation, and hanging bridges criss-crossing via a misty cover … it’s otherworldly, y’all. And if that doesn’t make you wish to go, you undoubtedly want to look at LotR once more!

The perfect issues to do in Monteverde – very similar to the remainder of Costa Rica – contain wildlife and out of doors journey. Right here’s what we suggest throughout your two days in Monteverde:

I’ll be sincere: orchids had by no means me earlier than this journey. However the Monteverde Orchid Backyard modified my thoughts. The small backyard is packed with a very mind-blowing number of orchids that I didn’t notice existed. 

We looked for teeny tiny orchids with magnifying glasses – together with the smallest orchid on the planet, which is concerning the dimension of a freckle. We discovered orchids formed like hearts and orchids that appear to be alien squids. Do you know that vanilla is an orchid?! I didn’t. Orchids are dope, y’all! 

I like to recommend making this a soothing afternoon cease in your first half-day in Monteverde, after you arrive and verify into your lodging. Situated a really quick stroll away is the most effective Tico (conventional Costa Rican) restaurant on the town, Sabor Tico – head right here for lunch or dinner!

Jeremy ziplining through a cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
Jeremy ziplining via a cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Tip: put on a rain jacket (his, mine) and fast drying pants (his, mine).

Costa Rica invented ziplining, and whereas you are able to do it virtually wherever within the nation, it’s actually particular contained in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. From a shocking one-mile lengthy superman swing over the tree cover – the longest and highest zipline route in all of Latin America – to a spine-tingling Tarzan swing, that is undoubtedly not your fundamental zipline course. 

The route is without doubt one of the longest in Costa Rica and winds via the tree cover throughout hanging bridges. (Be aware that there’s a 250lb weight restrict on the Tarzan swing. Which *ahem* means Jeremy skipped it – however nonetheless had a good time.) 

Be aware that there are two important locations to go ziplining in Monteverde, Aventura Park and Selvatura Park – we suggest Aventura.

Confession: we’re obsessed with sloths, however we normally solely get to see their little fuzzy butts hanging out of bushes via binoculars. On the Sloth Sanctuary, you’ll be able to see them up shut! 

Importantly, breeding sloths is prohibited in Costa Rica, and also you completely can not contact or work together with the sloths – so, splendidly, that is an moral animal expertise. 

The Sloth Sanctuary at Selvatura Park is just one of two working in Costa Rica, and takes care of sloths that have been rescued as infants and can’t be launched again into the wild due to their dependence on people. (That is completely different from a rescue heart, which takes in injured sloths and nurses them again to well being earlier than releasing them again into the wild.) 

We extremely suggest this expertise for sloth lovers like us!

Girl on Hanging Bridge in La Fortuna Costa Rica
Hanging bridges help you stroll throughout the highest of a forest cover! They’re nerve-wracking at first:attempt to stroll slowly and within the very center to keep away from swinging the bridge – and maintain onto the edges.

Along with the sloth sanctuary (and adjoining butterfly garden), the park additionally options hanging bridges and ziplines via the Monteverde Cloud Forest tree cover. 

We extremely suggest taking a self-guided stroll via the cover. You’ll be traversing an easy to observe stone path. The route has just a few small hills, however just isn’t difficult. Take it sluggish when you’re a slower hiker (like us) – it ought to take round 1.5-2 hours when you’re not in a rush. Apparently some folks do it in 1 hour, although I don’t know the way.  

Alongside the best way, you’ll cross hanging bridges of various lengths spanning the treetops. For a non-adventure lover like me, the hanging bridges have been scary at first. Attempt to stroll slowly and within the very center to keep away from swinging the bridge, and maintain onto the edges. I additionally waited to start out every bridge till the ppl forward of me have been completed. However by the previous few bridges I used to be used to it and it wasn’t so scary anymore!

Carry a pair of binoculars and preserve an eye fixed out for monkeys taking part in within the bushes! In our case, we didn’t even want our binoculars: on the longest bridge, a gaggle of howler monkeys popped up into the cover throughout us, munching on leaves like 2 ft away from us within the bridge, completely unbothered. So freaking cool!! We might have stayed there watching them without end. 

A ticket to Selvatura Park contains transportation from native resorts – your lodging ought to be capable to organize it for you, or you’ll be able to e book immediately on-line on the Selvatura Website. 

  • Journey Tip: We made the error of heading to Selvatura on the afternoon shuttle at 2pm. However the final bus again into city is at 4:30pm. So round 4pm we have been nonetheless on hanging bridge #5 of 8 having a second with some monkeys within the treetops after we realized we have been operating late. We RAN and made the bus, however we didn’t get to completely respect half of it! Give your self ample time particularly in case you are a sluggish hiker like we’re, and depart earlier within the day.
  • Discover a Cloud Forest on foot

It’s one factor to expertise a cloud forest from a dangling bridge or zipline within the treetops, but it surely’s fairly one other to stroll via it on the very base of the forest. To totally respect the cloud forests, we suggest taking the time to do each.

There are a number of cloud forests and reserves you’ll be able to go to in Monteverde, and it’s onerous to select only one to go to – however time is proscribed. There’s the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (which you’ll be ziplining via at Aventura Park), the 2 hottest choices.

You possibly can even do a guided night hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest – night time is the time when wildlife is most lively, so that is a tremendous alternative to see a very completely different facet of the forest!

After which there’s the Curicancha Reserve, a a lot smaller attraction that permits fewer folks to go to every day. We are inclined to keep away from crowds and other people – they scare off the wildlife! But additionally sure we’re form of misanthropic like that – so we selected to go to Curicancha. We booked a guided tour via our resort with Monteverde Experts, and our naturalist information made the forest come alive as he defined the wildlife, the historical past, and identified wildlife.

One factor we cherished concerning the Curicancha Reserve is how accessible it’s: the strolling paths are good and large, though rocky (they’re at the moment working to enhance oath accessibility for wheelchairs.) There are loos and benches all through, and you’ll even lease 4x4s so that you don’t need to stroll. The strolling itself goes slowly as you’re often stopping to take a look at wildlife, and there are just a few small hills, however the route may be very doable at a delicate tempo even for non-hikers. Simply you should definitely gown for rain and dirt!

  • Get pleasure from native meals & espresso

We now have just a few strategies for the place to eat and drink in Monteverde:

  • Tree House Restaurant & Cafe: This restaurant constructed into a large ficus tree is freaking beautiful. Needless to say you don’t go right here for the meals, you go for the ambiance. However nothing is kind of like eating in a tree surrounded by paintings whereas birds name and play within the branches overhead. Y’all: it’s very Lothlorien! We extremely suggest making this a cease throughout your journey.
  • Cafe Monteverde is a incredible specialty espresso store on the town serving Costa Rican brews in a wide range of preparation strategies. You too can pattern a number of completely different roasts and purchase a bag to carry residence with you! This space is a espresso area, and when you like, you’ll be able to even e book a coffee farm tour via the store.
  • Sabor Tico: Situated up on a hill near the Orchid Backyard, this was the most effective Costa Rican meal we ate throughout our keep in Monteverde. The parts are big, the view is gorgeous, and the meals is scrumptious. It’s a little bit of a schlep on foot, although – 10 minutes or so, however with a few quick hills – so we suggest consuming right here while you go to the Orchid Backyard so that you solely need to make the journey as soon as.
Hostel Plinio in Quepos Manuel Antonio Costa Rica-4
Hostel Plinio is a wonderful, cheap hostel a brief bus experience from Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park. We suggest a non-public ensuite, however even the dorm rooms have stunning ocean views!

Day 7: Monteverde to Manuel Antonio

Immediately you’ll be leaving very first thing within the morning to go about 4 hours from Monteverde to your subsequent vacation spot, Manuel Antonio, residence of Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park.

You’ve got two choices. The simplest manner is to book an Interbus shuttle leaving at 8am. The shuttle will decide you up and drop you off proper at your lodging.

The cheaper however barely extra sophisticated choice is to take 2 buses. First you’ll board an early morning bus from the bus station in Santa Elena to Punta Arenas. From there, you’ll take a bus to Quepos, the biggest city adjoining to Manuel Antonio. From there you’ll must hail a taxi to get you to your lodging (there can be lots close by, and Quepos is just about quarter-hour from Manuel Antonio). You will discover the bus schedules and costs on Rome2Rio.

For what it’s value, we’ve discovered that the general public buses in Costa Rica are each snug and dependable, and the bus stations are straightforward to navigate with clear signage and plenty of useful attendants, so don’t fear – even when you aren’t acquainted with taking public transit in Costa Rica, you’ll be simply wonderful!

If you arrive in Quepos, verify into your lodging. We’ve stayed on the cheap however stunning Hostel Plinio twice now – every time in a non-public ensuite room, although their dorms are additionally incredible! The hostel is located up a hill with ocean views from a lot of the rooms, an on-site restaurant and pool, and an open-air lounge the place breakfast is served. It’s a incredible hostel! 

That stated, it’s a bit removed from the primary cause you’re within the space, Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park. Public buses heading to the park run each quarter-hour proper previous the hostel till 7:30 PM, so it’s straightforward to hop on one and take a reasonably quick, cheap experience to the park.

For those who’d favor to be nearer to the park and the seaside and don’t thoughts paying extra, Hotel Manuel Antonio is a superb decide, strolling distance to the doorway of the Nationwide Park and throughout the road from the seaside!

  • Easy methods to Get to Manuel Antonio: You possibly can book an Interbus shuttle with resort decide up and drop-off, or take a public bus. First you’ll board an early morning bus from the bus station in Santa Elena to Punta Arenas. From there, you’ll take a bus to Quepos, then take a taxi to your lodging. You will discover the bus schedules and costs on Rome2Rio. 
  • The place to Keep in Quepos: We love Hostel Plinio, a wonderful, cheap hostel a brief bus experience from the Nationwide Park. Instead, Hotel Manuel Antonio is strolling distance to the doorway of the Nationwide Park and throughout the road from the seaside.
White sand beach on a sunny day at Manuel Antonio State Park in Quepos, Costa Rica
White sand seaside on a sunny day in Manuel Antonio State Park! That is the primary seaside, a few 30 minute stroll from the park entrance.

Day 8 & 9, Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park is Costa Rica’s smallest, however some of the widespread – and for good cause. With stunning seashores, well-maintained trails operating via the forest and mangroves, and ample wildlife, the park is without doubt one of the finest locations on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. You’re extremely more likely to see Capuchin, Howler, and Squirrel Monkeys, plus sloths, iguanas, agoutis, and tons of birds!

You’ll arrive in Manuel Antonio with a lot of the day left to calm down or hit the seaside. The perfect seashores on this space, in fact, are inside the Nationwide Park – however that’s an entire day exercise.  Two, actually!  

Right here’s what you’ll be doing in Manuel Antonio:

On the half day of your arrival, head to Playa Espadilla Norte, the seaside exterior of the park within the city of Manuel Antonio. You’ll discover distributors on the seaside providing chair and umbrella leases, surf classes, and even meals supply. The water is fantastically heat and swimmable, and also you’ll see surfers having fun with the waves, too. Throughout from the seaside, there are many small outlets to browse for trinkets and snacks. Loosen up and luxuriate in!

Alternatively, you’ll be able to head to the rather more secluded (and subsequently a lot emptier) Playa Biesanz. Search for a jungle path that begins by the facet of the street near Lodge Parador. You’ll head via a small opening in a fence and down a steep hill with free pebbles for about 10 minutes. When you arrive, the seaside might be all yours – effectively, yours and a buzzing jungle stuffed with monkeys, sloths, lizards, and birds, in fact.

Plus sized girl in a bathing suit on the beach in Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Costa Rica
Put together for rain at anytime. Don’t fear, the water was nonetheless heat and delightful! (Psst: that is one among my favourite swimsuits for curvy girls!)

To entry the park entrance, you’ll must stroll from the street up a rocky grime path and over a bridge. It’s going to really feel kind of such as you’re going the incorrect manner however there are indicators directing you to the general public park entrance!

On the entrance, you’ll pay the doorway charge (check the site for the present charge) and have the choice of reserving a guided tour. It prices 10,000 colones per particular person, and actually, when you actually wish to spot animals, that is your finest probability! It’s very onerous to identify critters with out a information, and the park guides have fixed reviews about the place all of the wildlife is hanging out all through the day. That stated, in case your purpose is simply to go climbing and swimming, then the tour isn’t value it.

Aside from on the lookout for wildlife, there are two important actions in Manuel Antonio: climbing and swimming on the seaside!

Attending to the seaside in Manuel Antonio takes about half-hour down a large, principally flat path – the primary path within the park. Sure sections of the path additionally dovetail to boardwalks via the mangroves, which personally I discover to be much less crowded and extra scenic. (The boardwalks are a part of the El Perezoso path, and run parallel to the primary path.)

Simply up the hill from the seaside, you’ll a restaurant, altering rooms, loos, and lockers to retailer your stuff. These are the one amenities, so don’t head all the best way down the hill to the seaside till you’re actually prepared!

The seaside is gorgeous, scenic, and heat. That stated, do watch out for excessive tides and swells.

Boardwalk Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica
Boardwalk alongside the El Perezoso Path in Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park.

The opposite important exercise in Manuel Antonio is climbing. The park is filled with trails, most of that are quick (although not essentially straightforward). Right here’s a fast information:

  • La Catarata Path: Situated near the park entrance, this medium depth .6 mile lengthy path results in a small waterfall (therefore the title: catarata means waterfall in Spanish). Hold an eye fixed out for frogs alongside the best way!
  • El Perezoso Path: These are the boardwalks that run parallel to the park’s important path. Because the title suggests, preserve an eye fixed out overhead for sloths!
  • Punta Catedral Path: This mile-long path results in some of the iconic components and scenic of the park, a excessive peak that divides the seaside exterior the city and the park’s seaside. Though the hike is comparatively quick, it’s steep – carry loads of water and be ready to climb! You’ll discover the trailhead on the finish of the seaside
  • Playa Gemelas Path: This quick, straightforward path from the primary seaside will take you to a second seaside, Playa Gemelas. It additionally connects to the opposite trails and to the western portion of the park. Throughout low tide, you’ll be able to see a view of Punta Catedral on this path.
  • Mirador Path: This mile-long path results in a scenic lookout of Punta Serrucho, a rocky landmark. Heads up, this path is difficult!
  • Congo Path: This quick path connects Playa Gemelas and the Mirador Path and it may be used instead return route.

One, yet one more factor: there are gonna be monkeys, they usually’re gonna need your stuff. I might discourage you from bringing in any snacks or meals – the primary time we visited Manuel Antonio, we watched a monkey snatch a backpack off of somebody’s shoulder, run up a tree with it, and proceed to dig out all of her snacks! 

The park has since enforced stricter laws about meals. There’s a small restaurant close to the seaside that sells sandwiches, drinks, ice cream, pastries, and souvenirs – and whether or not you carry your individual meals or not, that is the one place that’s protected so that you can eat it. You must NEVER, EVER feed a wild animal – even inadvertently!

By way of what to carry with you, you’ll need a day bag filled with climbing footwear/sandals, a swimsuit, a towel, sunscreen, a rain jacket and travel umbrella, and bug repellant. Put on garments which might be snug to hike in and dry rapidly – we’ve acquired particular strategies in our Costa Rica Packing List.

Aside from the nationwide park, there are a number of different issues to do in Manuel Antonio:

Costa Rica’s wildlife residents are most lively at night time, and the jungle is a completely completely different place after the solar goes down! This tour will lead you thru a close-by rainforest the place the extinct harlequin frog reappeared and was rediscovered, an thrilling scientific discovery.

Throughout your journey you may even see bats, Jesus Christ lizards, arachnids, owls, tons and plenty of frogs, snakes and all kinds of fascinating bugs. You’ll be supplied with every part you want to navigate safely and see wildlife with out disturbing them.

The night time stroll contains resort pickup and drop-off in addition to a meal, and takes about 2-2.5-hours. 

For those who’re up for locating the critters that fill the rainforest while you’re not trying, you should definitely put on close-toed footwear (in order to not get bitten by something). If the concept of bugs and spiders provides you the heebie-jeebies, possibly simply skip it!

Capuchin Monkey Calling in Manuel Antonio Costa Rica
Capuchin monkeys are so named as a result of their coloring appears to be like like a cappuccino: mild foam on the highest and darkish espresso beneath!

Kids Saving The Rainforest runs the one authorized rescue heart that rehabilitates wounded, sick and deserted rainforest animals on the Pacific Coast. The non-profit, positioned about quarter-hour exterior of Quepos, protects and rehabilitates wildlife, conducts scientific analysis, and supplies outreach and training about conservation and moral tourism. 

The middle rescues greater than 100 animals every year, focusing totally on rehabilitating and releasing wild animals again into their habitats at any time when doable.

For animals that can not be launched again into the wild, the middle has an onsite wildlife sanctuary which guests can tour. You’ll see 5 sorts of monkeys, together with Spider Monkeys, White Confronted Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Tamarins, & Marmoset; Coatis; Two-toed sloths; Nocturnal Kinkajous (if they’re awake); and Parrots!

Be aware that you simply’ll must e-mail to make a reservation upfront to your tour – more information here.

Head out on the ocean for two.5 hour kayaking and snorkeling journey! On and off your kayak, you’ll see marine birds and their nesting grounds, parrot fish, starfish, angelfish and presumably just a few sea turtles.  The tour will give you snorkeling gear, so simply carry a towel

I extremely suggest carrying swim leggings and a rash guard so that you don’t want to fret about sunscreen besides in your palms, face, and ft – plus, it’s the proper outfit for leaping and and out of the water!

The tour contains pickup and drop off out of your resort and a scrumptious meal!

Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park encompasses some mangroves, however simply 10 minutes away is Damas Island, an infinite protected mangrove forest with unimaginable biodiversity. Throughout your stress-free experience in a 12-person coated boat, you’ll wind via lush inexperienced vegetation as you information helps spot white-faced monkeys, anteaters, boa constrictors, iguanas, birds, and colourful mangrove crabs!

The tour contains pickup and drop-off and a meal. I extremely suggest placing on loads of bug repellent for this tour, and bringing your individual pair of binoculars, since you by no means know when a critter may disappear earlier than you’ve had an opportunity to look via your information’s!

Day 10: Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay

Manuel Antonio and its neighboring city, Quepos, is simply up the Pacific coast out of your subsequent vacation spot, however you’ll be able to’t drive all the best way there. Your subsequent vacation spot is, er, a bit distant. Like, on a tiny bay, on a tiny peninsula, proper subsequent to an enormous nationwide park you could solely entry by boat. Yup: it’s superior!

From Quepos, you’ll take a shuttle to the boat dock in Sierpe. On the Sierpe boat dock, you’ll board a ferry that can take you down a river to Drake Bay and drop you off on to the dock of your subsequent lodging.

Truthfully, the schlep is all a part of the journey of attending to the vacation spot: the boat experience takes about an hour and travels via stunning mangroves alongside the Sierpe River, earlier than crossing over the mouth of the river connecting to the Pacific Ocean after which heading to a different, a lot smaller, river. The primary time I visited, the ferry boat was tiny – actually like, a tiny little boat with room sufficient for a cooler filled with Fanta, the boat captain, our baggage, and my household of 4. However extra vacationers go to the world now, and in the present day the ferry is a big, snug boat with ample seating, loads of area for baggage, and a canopy to guard you from the solar.

Although it might sound a bit sophisticated, don’t fear – you don’t want to rearrange any of this by yourself: your lodging can set all of it up and e book it for you! 

For the ultimate cease in your journey, you’ll be staying on the Aguila de Osa Rainforest Lodge, a sustainable eco-lodge on the mouth of the River Agujitas simply exterior Corcovado Nationwide Park. 

All the rooms and the open-air lodge characteristic sweeping views of Drake Bay and the Osa Peninsula. The lodge is a 1 minute stroll away from a small seaside, and also you’ll be capable to e book the entire excursions and actions you need immediately from the resort while you arrive.

Be aware that this cease on the itinerary is certainly the costliest, however actually? It’s an extremely worthy splurge. The lodge is like an all-inclusive resort, besides rustic and eco-friendly and sustainable. All your meals are included in the price of your room – breakfast, lunch, appetizers, and dinner – and have contemporary, domestically sourced components, like no matter contemporary fish was caught by native fisherman that morning and natural greens picked from the lodge’s close by farm. Meals are served within the gorgeous, open-air nice room and are actually one of many highlights of every day.

There’s additionally no must e book any excursions upfront: your lodging will aid you plan your itinerary and e book every part for you when you arrive.

That stated, there are cheaper locations to remain in Drake Bay (take a look here), and the entire lodging within the space will provide roughly the identical tour choices. Simply don’t look forward to finding any huge resorts close by: every part right here is small, rustic, and deep within the rainforest. For those who e book an lodging that doesn’t provide assist organize transportation, you’ll be able to contact Transportes Alvarez to rearrange a shuttle.

  • Easy methods to Get to Drake Bay: From Quepos, you’ll take a shuttle to Sierpe. Then, you’ll board a ferry that can take you down a river to Drake Bay and drop you off on to the dock of the lodging at your subsequent cease. You must be capable to e book every part via your lodging, but when not, contact Transportes Alvarez to rearrange your shuttle.
  • The place to Keep in Drake Bay: Aguila de Osa Rainforest Lodge is an unimaginable, sustainable eco-lodge within the rainforest overlooking the ocean – principally, paradise! It’s a splurge, however belief us after we say that it’s a spotlight of this itinerary and effectively value it. Your meals are all included.
Lia Walking on Beach in Corcovado National Park Costa Rica carrying a pair of shoes
Falling in love with Costa Rica for the 4th time in Corcovado Nationwide Park.

Day 11 & 12, Drake Bay/Corcovado

It is perhaps onerous to imagine after the adventures you’ve been having for the final two weeks, however we truly saved the most effective for final. We needed to: if we put this vacation spot earlier within the itinerary, in every single place else would have felt like a downer. 

Corcovado Nationwide Park – residence to the biggest rainforest in Central America – and the tiny city of Drake Bay are, palms down, our favourite locations to go to in Costa Rica. The crystalline waters of the ocean are full of colourful coral reefs and marine life, bordered by jungle stretching all the best way to the seaside. And subsequent to this gorgeous and distant Nationwide Park are a tiny handful of eco-lodges and resorts and the teeny tiny little city of Agujitas. It’s not the best place to get to, but it surely’s effectively definitely worth the journey!

Personally, that is the place the place I first fell in love in Costa Rica (and with journey on the whole) on two unimaginable household holidays, many years in the past. My mother and father booked this superior eco-lodge within the jungle, strolling distance from the seaside. We rode horses on the sands of Corcovado Nationwide Park, snorkeled in good heat, clear blue water, and woke as much as monkeys, scarlet macaws and toucans and laughing hawks calling and taking part in exterior the home windows of our bungalow every day. Every night time we watched the solar set from the open air lodge over dinner, and drifted off to sleep lulled by the scent of ylang ylang bushes and the sound of buzzing cicadas. It was heaven.

It was such a wonderful and memorable journey for our household that my sister returned on her honeymoon … and eventually, after years of telling Jeremy about this unimaginable place, we determined to make it our first journey after COVID. Why did we wait so lengthy? As a result of it’s form of a splurge, and we’re like… hostel folks, not resort folks. However after 2 years of being caught at residence, we have been able to ball. I used to be terrified that I’d constructed it up in my head, that we’d arrive and it wouldn’t be something like I remembered it.

River feeding into the ocean on a sunny day in Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.
A view from a swimming gap with a waterfall in Corcovado Nationwide Park. Actually heaven, y’all.

However. Y’all. It was precisely as magical as I remembered it being! This unimaginable little place, on the foot of a river opening as much as the ocean – accessible solely by boat – is a dream. Actually: it’s the place I think about in my head once I’m attempting to go to sleep, listening to rain and jungle noises on a Spotify playlist I made for this actual goal. (Enjoyable truth: in 2020, my Spotify most performed checklist was actually all simply rain/jungle noises. It was a tough 12 months, okay??!)

And to not make it bizarre, however let’s simply say that I lastly sat down to put in writing this submit 8.5 months after our journey… and a pair of weeks earlier than welcoming a tiny new member to our household. You do the mathematics. And sure, we absolutely intend to carry our baby right here and level at varied issues and inform them it’s the place they have been conceived. As a result of what’s the level of getting a baby if to not embarrass and presumably traumatize them??

Anyway. My private historical past with this place apart, you HAVE to go. I do know, it’s onerous to get to. I do know, it’s pricier than the remainder of the locations on this itinerary. However don’t skip it! Belief us – you’ll thank me later. (Otherwise you’ll come again right here and depart me a strongly worded remark telling me about your expertise, one or the opposite. However I actually assume you’ll have a tremendous time!)

Right here’s what we suggest doing throughout your keep in Drake Bay. (Be aware that a lot of the excursions can be shared with a number of native resorts/resorts, and every part could be booked on arrival at your lodging.)

Boat filled with snorkellers at Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica.
Snorkeling atCaño Island subsequent to Corcovado Nationwide Park
  • Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

The clear waters of Caño Island Organic Marine Reserve are an unimaginable place for each scuba diving and snorkeling. You’ll see wholesome coral reefs, faculties of vibrant tropical fish, turtles, reef sharks, and rays.

I’m a snorkeler and Jeremy is an authorized PADI scuba diver, so we break up up for this exercise – and we have been each deeply happy with our separate experiences!

Your lodging will present all of the gear you want and e book and organize your boat tour.

Male Howler Monkey in a Tree in Costa Rica
An especially ballsy Howler monkey. Isn’t nature wonderful?
  • Go on a wildlife hike in Corcovado Nationwide Park

Corcovado Nationwide Park is the crown jewel of this area, and a visit into the rainforest is a spotlight of any journey to the Osa Peninsula! Hikes start and finish at San Pedrillo, Corcovado Nationwide Park’s northernmost ranger station – however first, you must get there by boat. The experience is about 25 minutes, and also you’ll wish to put on sandals and quick-drying pants: there can be a moist touchdown (and it’s a bit of little bit of a nail biter – however don’t fear, your boat captain does this actually daily). 

Your naturalist information may have binoculars and can level out wildlife alongside the best way. On our final hike in Corcovado we noticed white-faced, spider and howler monkeys, an lovable white-lipped peccary mother and child pair, scarlet macaws, and a coati.

The hike isn’t difficult by way of distance and is kind of flat, however it’s sizzling, humid, muddy and sweaty – carry loads of water, put on breathable clothes, and slather on bug repellant prefer it’s your job. Halfway via your hike, you’ll go to a swimming lagoon on the base of a small waterfall to take a brief swim (so you should definitely put on or carry a swimsuit!)

  • Journey Tip: Put on breathable, quick-drying garments and a swimsuit, and produce each sandals and durable climbing footwear with good grip. Trekking poles are useful on muddy days, although we did with out and have been wonderful. Plenty of water, sunscreen, and bug repellent are a should as effectively. And pack a light-weight rain jacket and travel umbrella simply in case – it’s known as the rainforest for a cause!
Palomino Horse in Corcovado National Park Costa Rica
A small, light Palomino Horse in Corcovado Nationwide Park Costa Rica

Certainly one of my favourite actions in Costa Rica is horseback driving, due to their very small, closer-to-the-ground-than-usual Palomino horses, that are MUCH much less scary to experience than tall thoroughbreds (or Clydesdales, which we rode precisely one time – it felt like driving a T-Rex).

And it’s nice that the horses are small and mild, as a result of horseback driving on this space is certainly extra on the adventurous facet. 

You’ll experience your horse immediately via a river, on winding paths via the rainforest, and throughout the seaside – and your horse will virtually definitely break right into a trot or canter on the seaside. (For what it’s value, Palominos are the ONLY horse I’ve ever felt snug cantering on!)

The tour provided by Aguila de Osa ends at a waterfall and a seaside the place you’ll be able to swim and calm down earlier than driving again!

The River Agujitas in Drake Bay Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula
The River Agujitas in Drake Bay Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula.
  • Kayaking on the Agujitas River

Borrow a kayak out of your lodging and take a self-guided kayak tour at excessive tide! You possibly can head upriver deeper into the rainforest, or depart the river and head down the coast to discover sandy seashores.

Though this can be a fairly relaxed exercise, don’t get too complacent: the river can get a bit of uneven in components and is residence to very small, reportedly innocent crocodiles that nonetheless scared the residing daylights out of us – particularly after we hit a few tough patches of water. (It seems that Jeremy and I are BOTH scaredy cats with regards to tiny crocodiles.)

Additionally, I wouldn’t swim within the river – and take care to not get your ears moist, both. Each my dad and I contracted gnarly ear infections (a few many years aside) as a direct results of our ears coming into contact with river water in Costa Rica. For those who’re susceptible to ear infections like we’re, you may wish to put on a pair of earplugs simply to be protected.

Truthfully, when you’re able to not flipping your kayak, you’ll be wonderful… however possibly don’t do that as your very first kayaking journey ever. Let’s name this an intermediate kayaking expertise.

  • Take an evening wildlife tour

Do you know that Costa Rica’s wildlife residents are most lively at night time? You may not see a lot exercise in the course of the day, however you’re just about assured to see critters at night time!

​​Our tour was led by a neighborhood scientist, the Bug Girl. And though we didn’t journey far (a lot of the tour is simply on paths across the resort) we noticed just a few snoozing sloths, a number of tree frogs, sleeping birds, moths, opossums, owls, and a bunch of fascinating bugs and arachnids! 

Sure – I stated arachnids. On this tour, you’ll undoubtedly want to have the ability to respect that spiders are bros – or no less than that they’re stunning and numerous creatures! Probably the most memorable arachnid mates we noticed on our night time hike have been trapdoor spiders, which reside in tiny little hobbit holes. Our information gently opened a wonderfully hidden spherical door, and a bit of spider arm got here out and SLAMMED it shut. I’m guessing he had in all probability learn the Hobbit and knew to not let a gaggle of strangers in, lest he find yourself on an extended journey with the destiny of the world resting on his tiny spider shoulders. What number of LotR references in a single weblog submit is simply too many? 

Anyway: when you’re up for locating the critters that fill the rainforest while you’re not trying, you should definitely put on close-toed footwear (in order to not get bitten by something). And if this part gave you the heebie-jeebies, possibly simply skip this one!

Beach in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
So, this isn’t San Josecito – it’s a seaside in Corcovado Nationwide Park – but it surely appears to be like quite a bit like San Josecito, besides with extra rocks and no picnic tables.

San Josecito is palms down probably the most stunning seaside on the Osa Peninsula: image a sandy cove with splendidly swimmable water, ringed with palm bushes filled with scarlet macaws. Many excursions cease right here at one level, however you can even hike, horseback experience, or take a ship to get right here.

For those who select the two.5 hour hike, you’ll discover the trailhead on the hanging bridge throughout the Rio Agujitas close to the mouth of the river. This guide will assist you recognize what to anticipate. Gown appropriately and put on water/climbing sandals, as a result of there’s a water crossing at one level – we extremely suggest a pair of Tevas for each women and men.

For those who’d like to go to San Josecito by horseback or boat, simply ask your lodging: they’ll know who to name and what to rearrange to get every part arrange for you, and let you know what it’s going to value.

  • Actually simply calm down, have a look at the view and take heed to the rain

Staying in a wonderful eco-resort is a big a part of why the journey to this a part of Costa Rica is so value it, so take full benefit! 

All of the rooms on the  Aguila de Osa Rainforest Lodge have an outside patio with gorgeous ocean views. Some have rocking chairs, others have hammocks. 

We extremely suggest spending a day out on the patio, listening to the sounds of the tropical rainforest and simply stress-free. Bonus factors if you are able to do it throughout a heavy rain. Annnd I simply turned on my Spotify playlist once more…

There are additionally just a few different actions you are able to do throughout your keep, together with zip lining, hen watching, visiting the native city, and climbing to the seaside. Ask your lodging for different choices when you’re !

Sunset over Drake Bay Costa Rica
Remember to savor your final sundown overlooking Drake Bay, so it lasts till your subsequent journey to Costa Rica!

Day 13 & 14: Return to San Jose and Fly Dwelling

Leaving Drake Bay is a little more sophisticated than the best way you arrived, since at this level you’ve traveled fairly a methods from San Jose! 

The simplest, quickest, and most enjoyable technique to get again is by taking a teeny tiny little airplane (undoubtedly an journey in and of itself) from both Drake Bay or Palmar Sur. (Be aware that when you fly out of Palmar Sur, you’ll must repeat the boat journey again from Drake Bay to Sierpe – the airport is about quarter-hour exterior of Sierpe.) 

You possibly can e book your flight via Sansa Airlines or Aerobell. For those who time issues good and your flight house is after 4PM or so, you’ll be able to depart immediately from San Jose when you arrive on the airport! (That additionally means you could have an additional day when you’d like so as to add time someplace on this itinerary.)

That stated: flying can also be the costliest choice.

Beach in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Can I squeeze in a single final image of the seaside in Corcovado Nationwide Park??

A less expensive choice is to take a shuttle again to San Jose. You’ll first hop again on the boat to Sierpe, then you definately’ll be taking the Costanera (Coast Highway) all the best way again up the Pacific Coast earlier than turning inland to San Jose. The drive takes about 4.5 hours. For those who’re reserving this selection, ask your lodging for help or reserve a shuttle on-line on Bookaway.

The most cost effective choice is to take a public bus. You’ll first must take the ferry again to Sierpe, then a taxi to the bus station, the place you’ll board a bus to Quepos. From there, you’ll board a bus again to San Jose. You need to use Rome2Rio to determine the precise route. It’s undoubtedly extra sophisticated, however when you can pull it off, you’ll save a bunch of money. 

Nevertheless, your important problem is timing: buses from Sierpe to Quepos depart at 7:30 AM, however the boat from Drake Bay to Sierpe leaves at 7:15 AM, so that you gained’t make it – which means you’ll want to remain in a single day in Sierpe. And at that time, it’s in all probability value it to simply e book the dang shuttle. (We do that math each time we go to Costa Rica, and we at all times find yourself taking the shuttles!)

As a result of it takes fairly a while to get from Drake Bay to San Jose on the shuttle, we ended up needing to remain the night time in San Jose. For those who’re wanting to discover the town, e book your self a later flight or contemplate including an additional day – however we actually don’t suggest it.

We needed to spend as little time as doable in San Jose, so we booked a reasonable place near the airport and an early morning flight. Sadly, the place we booked had some kind of reserving subject and turned us away on the door. We ended up having to stroll a number of blocks on foot with all of our baggage to a different close by resort to see if that they had room for us. And there was completely nothing round to do or see within the space, so we simply sat in our low-cost resort for the remainder of the day feeling unhappy about our journey ending. It was not one of the best ways to finish a visit!

Finally, it could have been higher for us to remain in an space with extra resorts and extra issues to do close by, even when it meant waking up earlier to take a taxi to the airport within the morning (our least favourite factor ever – we’re serial oversleepers). 

Our freakish unhealthy luck in all probability gained’t occur to you (we’re journey catastrophe magnets, it’s scientific truth) however nonetheless, we suggest staying in a extra walkable a part of city so that you no less than get some exploration in in your final night time and might say a correct goodbye to Costa Rica! We suggest reserving one among these budget-friendly apartments in downtown San Jose proper on Central avenue. It’s conveniently positioned inside strolling distance of a number of of the town’s finest museums, together with the Jade Museum, the Costa Rica Nationwide Museum, and the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. In case you have time earlier than your flight, decide one to discover!

  • Easy methods to Get to San Jose: The simplest, quickest, and most enjoyable technique to get again is by taking a teeny tiny little airplane from both Drake Bay or Palmar Sur. You possibly can e book your flight via Sansa Airlines or Aerobell. For those who time issues good, you’ll be able to depart immediately from San Jose when you arrive on the airport! A less expensive choice is to take a 4.5 hour shuttle again to San Jose; you’ll be able to reserve a shuttle on-line on Bookaway or ask your accomodation to assist make preparations.
  • The place to Keep in San Jose: If you want to spend the night time in San Jose earlier than flying out, we suggest reserving one among these budget-friendly apartments in downtown San Jose.
Lia and Jeremy on the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park in Quepos, Costa Rica.
Let’s faux we’re fashions and name that sweat a pleasant “glow” from the hike to get to this seaside at Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park. Jeremy is carrying his Teva Sandals and quick-dry shorts, and Lia is carrying her favourite hot-weather travel pants and Teva sandals.

Necessities to Pack for Costa Rica

  • Bug Repellant: We take a two-pronged strategy to avoiding bug bites: Insect Repellant Lotion and handled clothes. Earlier than your journey, spray the entire garments you’ll be bringing with Permethrin Spray, a bug repellent which adheres solely to materials, leaves no scent or residue on garments, and doesn’t hurt human pores and skin. Throughout your journey, slather all your unclothed pores and skin in lightweight Picaridin lotion. It’s extremely efficient, the protection of the lotion is MUCH higher than spray-on bug repellant (to not point out much less dangerous for the atmosphere) and it doesn’t depart a gross oily residue in your pores and skin. Between these two repellants, we not often get bitten!
  • Reef-Safe Sunscreen: It’s good to put on reef-safe sunscreen each time you go into the ocean. Reef-safe sunscreen is designed to biodegrade and never hurt marine life. Regular sunscreen bleaches coral and ensures humanity’s swift demise from local weather change. So please, for the love of society’s inevitable collapse, put on reef-safe sunscreen when you’re going into the ocean! Be aware that though reef-safe sunscreen is at all times mineral, not all mineral sunscreens are reef-safe. Sunscreen should use “non-nano zinc oxide” particles to be reef protected(more details here). That is my favorite reef-safe sunscreen, and I take advantage of this lightweight sunscreen on my face. Higher but, carry a rash guard so that you want much less sunscreen general!
  • Swim Leggings: This itinerary entails a whole lot of hikes and horseback rides to the seaside, which suggests you want to be carrying one thing that may dry rapidly. Personally, my pores and skin chafes simply fascinated with carrying a moist swimsuit, so my go-to decide is swim leggings, that are principally like leggings comprised of swimsuit materials! They’re fast drying and intensely snug to put on whereas moist (sure, you’ll be able to truly hike in them even once they’re soaking moist). Plus, they supply glorious solar safety, so that you don’t want to fret about sunscreen even while you’re butt-up on a snorkeling tour. For extra data, head to the complete overview of my favourite pair of sustainable swim leggings!
  • Binoculars: Each tour information in Costa Rica may have a pair of binoculars or a large telescope. However then you must share it between everybody else on the tour, and critters don’t like to face round ready for full viewers appreciation. So, stick some travel-friendly binoculars into your day-bag!
  • Travel Towel: You’ll wish to carry a full-sized, quick-drying travel towel. Towels are usually not sometimes supplied on excursions, and also you’ll be going to a lot of seashores!
  • Teva Sandals (his & hers): Not solely are these rugged sandals snug and rugged sufficient to stroll and hike for miles comfortably, however additionally they double as water shoes. They keep strapped tightly to your ft within the water and are good for journey sports activities like canyoning or rafting. Plus, they’re light-weight, sturdy, and legitimately cute!
  • Rain Gear: From rainforests to cloud forests, you need to be ready for it to rain at any second! All the time preserve an Extremely-Gentle Rain Jackets (His & Hers) and a teeny tiny light-weight Travel Umbrella in your day bag, simply in case.
  • Day Bag: Jeremy and I every carry a day bag on journeys. This cute backpack is ideal for some snacks, a few jackets, a travel umbrella, cameras, telephones, and no matter we want for the day. It additionally doubles as our lockable carry-on valuables bag whereas on transit, which is vital for security (by no means let your passport, digicam, or laptop computer out of your sight on journey days)! For extra lively days, we pack up a Camelbak Hydration Pack that matches 70oz of water along with all our gear. It’s good for hikes or exploring on sizzling days while you’ll want to remain additional hydrated!

We’ve acquired a ton extra packing suggestions and particular strategies in our Costa Rica packing list!

We’ve additionally created a FREE Printable Packing Record with every part you want to plan your journey to Costa Rica. We’ll additionally ship you suggestions that can assist you put together to your journey! Simply enroll beneath.


Able to pack your baggage and take off for 2 weeks in Costa Rica? Do you could have any questions on our Costa Rica 2 week itinerary? Drop us a remark beneath!

Psst: Take a look at a few of our different posts earlier than your journey:

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