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 scorching spring rivers. Misty cloud forests. Howler monkeys swinging by the treetops. White sand seashores. Costa Rica is a tropical, eco-friendly paradise, full of 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 by this stunning nation, we’ve discovered a couple of issues.  Like that you just 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 at last, we’ve mixed all of our experiences into one epic route that visits all of our favourite locations: the last 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, scorching springs and rivers; and befriending sloths, monkeys, macaws, toucans, and extra. And for those who’re something like us, you’ll most likely be reserving your subsequent journey to Costa Rica as quickly as you come house once more.

Able to dive in? Pura Vida!

Psst: Try a few of our different posts earlier than your journey:

Want some assist packing? We’ve created a FREE Printable Packing Checklist with every little thing that you must plan your journey to Costa Rica. We’ll additionally ship you ideas that will help you put together in your journey! Simply enroll under.

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 house

Notes and Solutions

  • In case your arrival flight lands within the night, that you must lose a day someplace – or fly again from Drake Bay and take a night flight house.
  • If you wish to add additional time to one of many locations within the itinerary, you possibly can go to Manuel Antonio for only one full day quite than two, particularly for those who get an early begin within the morning.
  • You’ll be aware 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 town simply isn’t essentially the most thrilling half in regards to the journey.
Riding a Shuttle Bus in Costa Rica
Driving a Shuttle Bus in Costa Rica. You do NOT must rent a car – there are comfy, dependable buses and shuttles all around the nation! We’ve included particulars about find out how to 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 beautiful nationwide parks in ONE epic itinerary.
  • This Costa Rica itinerary focuses on the Pacific aspect of the nation – there are not any Caribbean-side locations. That mentioned, you can be visiting two phenomenal snorkeling/swimming locations with heat, clear blue water!
  • You do NOT must hire a automotive. Buses and van shuttles join all around the nation for a low worth, though they’ve very particular schedules or run sometimes. A lot of the shuttles on this itinerary are bookable on-line prematurely by Bookaway or different on-line tour operators, and plenty of will embody direct resort pickup and drop-off. In contrast to many locations, the value to guide on-line prematurely would be the identical as the value you’d pay in individual to guide final minute, so we strongly suggest reserving all your transit prematurely! We’ve included particulars about find out how to get to every cease all through the itinerary.
  • It’s useful to talk Spanish, however English talking is frequent. You received’t have a lot problem speaking within the places on this itinerary – the tourism trade is powerful and most tour guides, resort employees, and bus drivers will converse some English. That mentioned, studying some Spanish is all the time 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 will help you pack in your journey!

Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Visiting Costa Rica makes you need to get a “pura vida” tattoo and a lifetime provide of salsa lizano – it’s a troublesome 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, full of journey and toucans and monkeys and orchids. I keep in mind galloping on horseback alongside the seaside, kayaking by 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 full of wildlife and journey, which cemented a lot of what would later turn out to be 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 one of the vital stunning locations on earth. 

As an grownup, I do know that Costa Rica’s pure magnificence is rigorously maintained, because of complete and conscientious sustainability insurance policies: Costa Rica is likely one of the world leaders in ethical and sustainable tourism. So whereas it’s not as low-cost of a vacation spot to go to as most of its Central American neighbors, for me, that additional price is price it as a result of I do know that my presence as a vacationer isn’t negatively impacting native communities or wildlife!

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

Handmade coffee pour-over in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is house to phenomenal espresso, and La Fortuna is a espresso area! In the event you see a pour-over arrange like this at a restaurant, you already know 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. Once we go to Costa Rica, we just about bounce as quickly as we hit the tarmac – though to be honest, we are inclined to choose smaller cities and extra rustic locations to large cities as a rule. 

In the event you like large cities greater than we do, we suggest exploring San Jose on the finish of your journey, whenever 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!

Examine into Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort, situated only a few miles outdoors 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

  • The right way to Get to San Jose: There are two airports you possibly can fly into: Liberia and San Jose. We suggest San Jose. In the event you can, attempt to arrive within the morning: most flights from the West Coast are red-eyes, that means you’ll be sleeping on the airplane (our lengthy haul flights packing record will assist with that). The sooner you arrive, the sooner you may 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 evening in San Jose. Adventures in La Fortuna are ready for you! But when your flight arrives late and that you must spend the evening in San Jose earlier than flying out, we suggest reserving considered one of these budget-friendly apartments in downtown San Jose.

Departure

  • The right way to Get to La Fortuna: A bus or shuttle from San Jose to La Fortuna takes about 3 hours. There are many choices accessible on Bookaway – choose a time that works together with your arriving flight.
  • The place to Keep in La Fortuna: Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort has a number of on-site scorching 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 may’t miss it: it’s large.

Day 2 & 3: La Fortuna

Pure scorching springs, forest canopies full of wildlife, energetic volcanoes, and gushing rivers and waterfalls: welcome to La Fortuna, aka Arenal. Surrounded by a lush jungle, and situated on the base of two volcanoes – Arenal Volcano, which remains to be energetic, and Chato Volcano, which is dormant – this little city is the gateway to the Arenal Volcano Nationwide Park and is called 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 consult with the overall space) has all of it. Along with exploring the jungles and canopies, because of the thermal exercise coming from the volcano, the realm can be filled with thermal scorching springs – and one scorching spring river.

In the event you got here to Costa Rica searching for journey and wildlife (and, after all, you probably did, proper?), you’ll be off to an ideal begin right here.

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

Beneath are the very best issues to do in La Fortuna:

You wouldn’t suppose 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 by the jungle, scramble up lava rocks on a volcano, cross hanging bridges throughout forest canopies, go swimming on the beautiful La Fortuna waterfall, and finish your day with a cocktail in a pure scorching spring (which is by the way the one factor you’ll really feel like doing after a full day full of journey)

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

Canyoning combines a bunch of various actions into one thrilling journey. Basically, it includes going right into a canyon after which getting again out of it, by a mix of climbing, rappelling, cliff diving, mountain climbing, and just about the rest you possibly can consider – it’s thrilling, and Jeremy completely loves it. 

He recommends this half day tour, on which you’ll journey 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 for those who take pleasure in white water rafting, superior for those who’re petrified of something greater than completely nonetheless water, like me.

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

You’ll study 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 gorgeous waterfall and swimming gap – be at liberty to hop in and revel in!

One factor to notice: I’m fairly positive I acquired an ear an infection from this river, so I might extremely suggest sporting ear plugs – as long as you’re nonetheless capable of hear the information’s directions, after all.

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 need to be on a river with out all the 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 possibly can sit again and loosen up 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 received’t like, harm you, however they’ll completely fling poo at you and make actually loud noises, which is sufficient for my nervousness to behave up.  This half day tour contains snacks and occasional at a neighborhood farm!

There are tons of scorching springs to soak in round La Fortuna, starting from rustic to luxurious. Lots of them are situated at inns or resorts, so you possibly can really guide lodging that comes with scorching spring entry – or simply purchase a day go. 

Tabacón River Hot Springs is fabulous however expensive, round $100 for a day go that features lunch or dinner – a splurge, however a worthy splurge. However there may be additionally a free public entrance to the Tabacón River, situated 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 scorching 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? Possibly 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 just’ll be doing in a while 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 by the jungle and on the seaside in Corcovado. 

We did say this was the last 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

As we speak is a journey day: you’ll be departing La Fortuna and heading up into the mountains to close by Monteverde. However though these locations seem shut on a map, there’s an enormous 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 choose you up and drop you off at your lodging.

However there may be one other transit possibility which includes taking a ship throughout Lake Arenal quite than driving round it. It cuts a few half hour off your whole transit time, plus you get a pleasant enjoyable ferry boat journey to interrupt up the lengthy automotive journey! 

The price is comparable for both possibility, so it actually simply comes down to private choice. You’ll guide the whole 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 possibility 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, test into Camino Verde B&B. The small, budget-friendly resort gives stunning views from its outside deck: when the morning and night fog clears, you possibly can see all the best way to the Pacific Coast, the ocean and islands on one aspect, and Monteverde city on the opposite! The b&b is situated a brief stroll into city (down a brief hill and up a brief hill). 

One factor we beloved about this resort was the implausible service: everybody was tremendous pleasant and accommodating, and once we checked in, the entrance desk clerk sat us down and booked us all the 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 positively keep right here once more!

  • The right way 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 journey throughout the lake. 
  • The place to Keep in Monteverde: We suggest Camino Verde B&B, situated a really quick stroll from city. The small, budget-friendly resort gives stunning views from its outside deck and a scrumptious breakfast is included together 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 straight on the Continental Divide amongst a dense cloud forest. The climate is way cooler than the remainder of the nation – you’ll positively need 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 price it to discover a totally completely different ecosystem in Monteverde. Throughout 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, because of the dense forest cover, Monteverde is house to a number of the longest zip strains and hanging bridges within the nation! 

I’m going to out myself as an enormous 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 by a misty cover … it’s otherworldly, y’all. And if that doesn’t make you need to go, you positively want to observe LotR once more!

The most effective issues to do in Monteverde – very similar to the remainder of Costa Rica – contain wildlife and outside 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 earth, which is in regards to the dimension of a freckle. We discovered orchids formed like hearts and orchids that seem like 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 test into your lodging. Positioned a really quick stroll away is the very best 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 by 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 nearly anyplace 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 positively not your fundamental zipline course. 

The route is likely one of the longest in Costa Rica and winds by the tree cover throughout hanging bridges. (Observe that there’s a 250lb weight restrict on the Tarzan swing. Which *ahem* means Jeremy skipped it – however nonetheless had a good time.) 

Observe that there are two foremost 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 by binoculars. On the Sloth Sanctuary, you possibly can see them up shut! 

Importantly, breeding sloths is against the law in Costa Rica, and also you completely can’t 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 can 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 by the Monteverde Cloud Forest tree cover. 

We extremely suggest taking a self-guided stroll by the cover. You’ll be traversing a very simple to comply with stone path. The route has a couple of small hills, however isn’t difficult. Take it sluggish for those who’re a slower hiker (like us) – it ought to take round 1.5-2 hours for those who’re not in a rush. Apparently some folks do it in 1 hour, although I don’t understand how.  

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 begin 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!

Deliver 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 bunch of howler monkeys popped up into the cover throughout us, munching on leaves like 2 toes away from us within the bridge, completely unbothered. So freaking cool!! We might have stayed there watching them endlessly. 

A ticket to Selvatura Park contains transportation from native inns – your lodging ought to be capable to organize it for you, or you possibly can guide straight 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 once we realized we have been working late. We RAN and made the bus, however we didn’t get to totally recognize 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, nevertheless it’s fairly one other to stroll by it on the very base of the forest. To completely recognize the cloud forests, we suggest taking the time to do each.

There are a number of cloud forests and reserves you possibly can go to in Monteverde, and it’s onerous to choose 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 by at Aventura Park), the 2 hottest choices.

You may even do a guided night hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest – evening is the time when wildlife is most energetic, so that is a tremendous alternative to see a totally completely different aspect of the forest!

After which there’s the Curicancha Reserve, a a lot smaller attraction that enables fewer folks to go to every day. We are inclined to keep away from crowds and folks – 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 by 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 beloved in regards to the Curicancha Reserve is how accessible it’s: the strolling paths are good and broad, though rocky (they’re presently working to enhance oath accessibility for wheelchairs.) There are loos and benches all through, and you may even hire 4x4s so that you don’t should stroll. The strolling itself goes slowly as you’re regularly stopping to have a look at wildlife, and there are a couple of small hills, however the route could be very doable at a mild tempo even for non-hikers. Simply make sure you gown for rain and dust!

  • Take pleasure in native meals & espresso

We’ve a couple of strategies for the place to eat and drink in Monteverde:

  • Tree House Restaurant & Cafe: This restaurant constructed into an enormous 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 sort 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 implausible specialty espresso store on the town serving Costa Rican brews in quite a lot of preparation strategies. You can too pattern a number of completely different roasts and purchase a bag to deliver house with you! This space is a espresso area, and for those who like, you possibly can even guide a coffee farm tour by the store.
  • Sabor Tico: Positioned up on a hill near the Orchid Backyard, this was the very best Costa Rican meal we ate throughout our keep in Monteverde. The parts are large, the view is beautiful, 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 whenever you go to the Orchid Backyard so that you solely should make the journey as soon as.
Hostel Plinio in Quepos Manuel Antonio Costa Rica-4
Hostel Plinio is a gorgeous, cheap hostel a brief bus journey 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

As we speak you’ll be leaving very first thing within the morning to move about 4 hours from Monteverde to your subsequent vacation spot, Manuel Antonio, house of Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park.

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

The cheaper however barely extra sophisticated possibility 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 most important city adjoining to Manuel Antonio. From there you’ll must hail a taxi to get you to your lodging (there can be a lot close by, and Quepos is simply about quarter-hour from Manuel Antonio). You’ll find the bus schedules and costs on Rome2Rio.

For what it’s price, we’ve discovered that the general public buses in Costa Rica are each comfy and dependable, and the bus stations are straightforward to navigate with clear signage and plenty of useful attendants, so don’t fear – even for those who aren’t conversant in taking public transit in Costa Rica, you’ll be simply high-quality!

Once you arrive in Quepos, test 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 implausible! The hostel is located up a hill with ocean views from many of the rooms, an on-site restaurant and pool, and an open-air lounge the place breakfast is served. It’s a implausible hostel! 

That mentioned, it’s a bit removed from the primary motive 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 journey to the park.

In the event you’d choose to be nearer to the park and the seaside and don’t thoughts paying extra, Hotel Manuel Antonio is a superb choose, strolling distance to the doorway of the Nationwide Park and throughout the road from the seaside!

  • The right way to Get to Manuel Antonio: You may book an Interbus shuttle with resort choose 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’ll find the bus schedules and costs on Rome2Rio. 
  • The place to Keep in Quepos: We love Hostel Plinio, a gorgeous, cheap hostel a brief bus journey 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 one of the vital common – and for good motive. With stunning seashores, well-maintained trails working by the forest and mangroves, and considerable wildlife, the park is likely one of the finest locations on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. You’re extremely prone to see Capuchin, Howler, and Squirrel Monkeys, plus sloths, iguanas, agoutis, and tons of birds!

You’ll arrive in Manuel Antonio with many of the day left to loosen up or hit the seaside. The most effective seashores on this space, after all, are inside the Nationwide Park – however that’s an entire day exercise.  Two, in truth!  

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 outdoors 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 superbly 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. Calm down and revel in!

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

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 exquisite! (Psst: that is considered one of my favourite swimsuits for curvy girls!)

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

On the entrance, you’ll pay the doorway price (check the site for the present price) and have the choice of reserving a guided tour. It prices 10,000 colones per individual, and actually, for those who actually need to spot animals, that is your finest likelihood! It’s very onerous to identify critters with no information, and the park guides have fixed reviews about the place all of the wildlife is hanging out all through the day. That mentioned, in case your aim is simply to go climbing and swimming, then the tour isn’t price it.

Apart from searching for wildlife, there are two foremost 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 by 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 services, 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 mentioned, 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 foremost exercise in Manuel Antonio is climbing. The park is stuffed with trails, most of that are quick (although not essentially straightforward). Right here’s a fast information:

  • La Catarata Path: Positioned near the park entrance, this medium depth .6 mile lengthy path results in a small waterfall (therefore the identify: catarata means waterfall in Spanish). Maintain an eye fixed out for frogs alongside the best way!
  • El Perezoso Path: These are the boardwalks that run parallel to the park’s foremost path. Because the identify suggests, preserve an eye fixed out overhead for sloths!
  • Punta Catedral Path: This mile-long path results in one of the vital iconic components and scenic of the park, a excessive peak that divides the seaside outdoors the city and the park’s seaside. Though the hike is comparatively quick, it’s steep – deliver 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 possibly can 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, another 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 deliver your personal 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!

When it comes to what to deliver with you, you’ll need a day bag full of climbing sneakers/sandals, a swimsuit, a towel, sunscreen, a rain jacket and travel umbrella, and bug repellant. Put on garments which are comfy to hike in and dry shortly – we’ve acquired particular strategies in our Costa Rica Packing List.

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

Costa Rica’s wildlife residents are most energetic at evening, 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 little thing that you must navigate safely and see wildlife with out disturbing them.

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

In the event you’re up for locating the critters that fill the rainforest whenever you’re not trying, make sure you put on close-toed sneakers (in order to not get bitten by something). If the concept of taking a look at bugs and spiders offers you the heebie-jeebies, perhaps 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: gentle foam on the highest and darkish espresso under!

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, situated about quarter-hour outdoors of Quepos, protects and rehabilitates wildlife, conducts scientific analysis, and offers outreach and training about conservation and moral tourism. 

The middle rescues greater than 100 animals annually, focusing totally on rehabilitating and releasing wild animals again into their habitats each time doable.

For animals that can’t be launched again into the wild, the middle has an onsite wildlife sanctuary which guests can tour. You’ll see 5 kinds 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!

Observe that you just’ll must e-mail to make a reservation prematurely in 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 probably a couple of sea turtles.  The tour will offer you snorkeling gear, so simply deliver a towel

I extremely suggest sporting swim leggings and a rash guard so that you don’t want to fret about sunscreen besides in your arms, face, and toes – 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 unbelievable biodiversity. Throughout your enjoyable journey in a 12-person coated boat, you’ll wind by 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 personal pair of binoculars, since you by no means know when a critter may disappear earlier than you’ve had an opportunity to look by 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 possibly can’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.

Actually, the schlep is all a part of the journey of attending to the vacation spot: the boat journey takes about an hour and travels by 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 realm now, and right this moment the ferry is a big, comfy boat with ample seating, loads of house for baggage, and a canopy to guard you from the solar.

Although it could 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 guide 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 outdoors 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 guide all the excursions and actions you need straight from the resort whenever you arrive.

Observe that this cease on the itinerary is certainly the most costly, 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 elements, 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 beautiful, open-air nice room and are actually one of many highlights of every day.

There’s additionally no must guide any excursions prematurely: your lodging will provide help to plan your itinerary and guide every little thing for you when you arrive.

That mentioned, there are cheaper locations to remain in Drake Bay (take a look here), and all the lodging within the space will provide roughly the identical tour choices. Simply don’t anticipate finding any large inns close by: every little thing right here is small, rustic, and deep within the rainforest. In the event you guide an lodging that doesn’t provide assist organize transportation, you possibly can contact Transportes Alvarez to rearrange a shuttle.

  • The right way 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 guide every little thing by 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 unbelievable, sustainable eco-lodge within the rainforest overlooking the ocean – mainly, paradise! It’s a splurge, however belief us once we say that it’s a spotlight of this itinerary and effectively price 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 likely to be onerous to imagine after the adventures you’ve been having for the final two weeks, however we really saved the very best 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 – house to the most important rainforest in Central America – and the tiny city of Drake Bay are, arms 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 beautiful 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 simplest place to get to, nevertheless it’s effectively definitely worth the journey!

Personally, that is the place the place I first fell in love in Costa Rica (and with journey typically) on two unbelievable household holidays, a long time in the past. My dad and mom 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 outdoors the home windows of our bungalow every day. Every evening 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 gorgeous and memorable journey for our household that my sister returned on her honeymoon … and eventually, after years of telling Jeremy about this unbelievable 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 house, 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 unbelievable 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 precise goal. (Enjoyable reality: in 2020, my Spotify most performed record was actually all simply rain/jungle noises. It was a tough yr, okay??!)

And to not make it bizarre, however let’s simply say that I lastly sat down to jot down this put up 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 deliver our little one right here and level at numerous issues and inform them it’s the place they have been conceived. As a result of what’s the level of getting a toddler if to not embarrass and probably 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 suppose you’ll have a tremendous time!)

Right here’s what we suggest doing throughout your keep in Drake Bay. (Observe that many of the excursions can be shared with a number of native resorts/inns, and every little thing may 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 unbelievable 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 a licensed PADI scuba diver, so we cut up up for this exercise – and we have been each deeply glad with our separate experiences!

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

Male Howler Monkey in a Tree in Costa Rica
A particularly ballsy Howler monkey. Isn’t nature superb?
  • 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 journey is about 25 minutes, and also you’ll need to put on sandals and quick-drying pants: there can be a moist touchdown (and it’s somewhat little bit of a nail biter – however don’t fear, your boat captain does this actually daily). 

Your naturalist information could 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 sort of flat, however it’s scorching, humid, muddy and sweaty – deliver loads of water, put on breathable clothes, and slather on bug repellant prefer it’s your job. Halfway by your hike, you’ll go to a swimming lagoon on the base of a small waterfall to take a brief swim (so make sure you put on or deliver a swimsuit!)

  • Journey Tip: Put on breathable, quick-drying garments and a swimsuit, and convey each sandals and durable climbing sneakers with good grip. Trekking poles are useful on muddy days, although we did with out and have been high-quality. A lot 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 referred to as the rainforest for a motive!
Palomino Horse in Corcovado National Park Costa Rica
A small, mild Palomino Horse in Corcovado Nationwide Park Costa Rica

One among my favourite actions in Costa Rica is horseback driving, because of their very small, closer-to-the-ground-than-usual Palomino horses, that are MUCH much less scary to journey 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 aspect. 

You’ll journey your horse straight by a river, on winding paths by the rainforest, and throughout the seaside – and your horse will nearly actually break right into a trot or canter on the seaside. (For what it’s price, Palominos are the ONLY horse I’ve ever felt comfy cantering on!)

The tour provided by Aguila de Osa ends at a waterfall and a seaside the place you possibly can swim and loosen up 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 may 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 somewhat uneven in components and is house to very small, reportedly innocent crocodiles that nonetheless scared the residing daylights out of us – particularly once we hit a few tough patches of water. (It seems that Jeremy and I are BOTH scaredy cats in terms of 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 a long time aside) as a direct results of our ears coming into contact with river water in Costa Rica. In the event you’re vulnerable to ear infections like we’re, you may need to put on a pair of earplugs simply to be protected.

Actually, for those who’re able to not flipping your kayak, you’ll be high-quality… however perhaps 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 energetic at evening? You may not see a lot exercise through the day, however you’re just about assured to see critters at evening!

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

Sure – I mentioned arachnids. On this tour, you’ll positively want to have the ability to recognize that spiders are bros – or not less than that they’re stunning and various creatures! Probably the most memorable arachnid mates we noticed on our evening hike have been trapdoor spiders, which stay in tiny little hobbit holes. Our information gently opened a wonderfully hidden spherical door, and somewhat spider arm got here out and SLAMMED it shut. I’m guessing he had most likely learn the Hobbit and knew to not let a bunch of strangers in, lest he find yourself on a protracted journey with the destiny of the world resting on his tiny spider shoulders. What number of LotR references in a single weblog put up is just too many? 

Anyway: for those who’re up for locating the critters that fill the rainforest whenever you’re not trying, make sure you put on close-toed sneakers (in order to not get bitten by something). And if this part gave you the heebie-jeebies, perhaps 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 – nevertheless it appears to be like so much like San Josecito, besides with extra rocks and no picnic tables.

San Josecito is arms down essentially 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 may also hike, horseback journey, or take a ship to get right here.

In the event you 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 already know what to anticipate. Costume 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.

In the event you’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 little thing arrange for you, and inform you what it’s going to price.

  • Actually simply loosen up, take a look at the view and take heed to the rain

Staying in a gorgeous eco-resort is a large a part of why the journey to this a part of Costa Rica is so price it, so take full benefit! 

All of the rooms on the  Aguila de Osa Rainforest Lodge have an out of doors patio with beautiful 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 enjoyable. 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 a couple of different actions you are able to do throughout your keep, together with zip lining, chicken watching, visiting the native city, and climbing to the seaside. Ask your lodging for different choices for those who’re !

Sunset over Drake Bay Costa Rica
Be sure you 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 House

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 option to get again is by taking a teeny tiny little airplane (positively an journey in and of itself) from both Drake Bay or Palmar Sur. (Observe that for those who fly out of Palmar Sur, you’ll must repeat the boat journey again from Drake Bay to Sierpe – the airport is about quarter-hour outdoors of Sierpe.) 

You may guide your flight by Sansa Airlines or Aerobell. In the event you time issues good and your flight house is after 4PM or so, you possibly can depart straight from San Jose when you arrive on the airport! (That additionally means you have got an additional day for those who’d like so as to add time someplace on this itinerary.)

That mentioned: flying can be the most costly possibility.

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

The most cost effective possibility 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 positively extra sophisticated, however for those who can pull it off, you’ll save a bunch of money. 

Nevertheless, your foremost 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 received’t make it – that means you’ll want to remain in a single day in Sierpe. And at that time, it’s most likely price it to simply guide the dang shuttle. (We do that math each time we go to Costa Rica, and we all the time 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 evening in San Jose. In the event you’re desperate to discover town, guide 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 cheap place near the airport and an early morning flight. Sadly, the place we booked had some kind of reserving situation 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!

In the end, it could have been higher for us to remain in an space with extra inns 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 dangerous luck most likely received’t occur to you (we’re journey catastrophe magnets, it’s scientific reality) however nonetheless, we suggest staying in a extra walkable a part of city so that you not less than get some exploration in in your final evening and may say a correct goodbye to Costa Rica! We suggest reserving considered one of these budget-friendly apartments in downtown San Jose proper on Central avenue. It’s conveniently situated inside strolling distance of a number of of town’s finest museums, together with the Jade Museum, the Costa Rica Nationwide Museum, and the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. When you have time earlier than your flight, choose one to discover!

  • The right way to Get to San Jose: The simplest, quickest, and most enjoyable option to get again is by taking a teeny tiny little airplane from both Drake Bay or Palmar Sur. You may guide your flight by Sansa Airlines or Aerobell. In the event you time issues good, you possibly can depart straight from San Jose when you arrive on the airport! A less expensive possibility is to take a 4.5 hour shuttle again to San Jose; you possibly can reserve a shuttle on-line on Bookaway or ask your accomodation to assist make preparations.
  • The place to Keep in San Jose: If that you must spend the evening in San Jose earlier than flying out, we suggest reserving considered one of 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 sporting his Teva Sandals and quick-dry shorts, and Lia is sporting 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 all the garments you’ll be bringing with Permethrin Spray, a bug repellent which adheres solely to materials, leaves no odor 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 setting) and it doesn’t depart a gross oily residue in your pores and skin. Between these two repellants, we hardly ever get bitten!
  • Reef-Safe Sunscreen: It’s essential 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 for those who’re going into the ocean! Observe that though reef-safe sunscreen is all the time 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 exploit this lightweight sunscreen on my face. Higher but, deliver a rash guard so that you want much less sunscreen general!
  • Swim Leggings: This itinerary includes quite a lot of hikes and horseback rides to the seaside, which suggests that you must be sporting one thing that may dry shortly. Personally, my pores and skin chafes simply fascinated with sporting a moist swimsuit, so my go-to choose is swim leggings, that are mainly like leggings comprised of swimsuit materials! They’re fast drying and intensely comfy to put on whereas moist (sure, you possibly can really hike in them even after they’re soaking moist). Plus, they supply glorious solar safety, so that you don’t want to fret about sunscreen even whenever you’re butt-up on a snorkeling tour. For extra data, head to the complete evaluation of my favourite pair of sustainable swim leggings!
  • Binoculars: Each tour information in Costa Rica could have a pair of binoculars or an enormous 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 need to deliver a full-sized, quick-drying travel towel. Towels will not be sometimes offered on excursions, and also you’ll be going to plenty of seashores!
  • Teva Sandals (his & hers): Not solely are these rugged sandals comfy and rugged sufficient to stroll and hike for miles comfortably, however in addition they double as water shoes. They keep strapped tightly to your toes 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, try 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’d like 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, digital camera, or laptop computer out of your sight on journey days)! For extra energetic 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 scorching days whenever you’ll want to remain additional hydrated!

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

We’ve additionally created a FREE Printable Packing Checklist with every little thing that you must plan your journey to Costa Rica. We’ll additionally ship you ideas that will help you put together in your journey! Simply enroll under.


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

Psst: Try a few of our different posts earlier than your journey:

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Our High Journey Suggestions & Assets

Listed here are our favourite journey ideas & assets for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra ideas, try our travel tips resource page or our guide to planning a trip.

  • Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Cash-saving ideas: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a price range airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique inns or non-public rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to guide inns (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to guide hostels (low deposit, straightforward change/cancellation, and glorious opinions). For trip leases, we choose to guide utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher assist than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical observe file. You can too guide trip leases on Expedia and Hotels.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our house and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We all the time, all the time, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY recommend it – go to our Travel Insurance Guide to seek out out why. We suggest both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is likely one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have glorious month-to-month insurance policies which are good for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Journey Credit score Card: We guide all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely can we earn money again that we will spend on extra journey, however the card gives implausible journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automotive protection, which helps shield us on our travels. Learn more here.
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC website to analysis really helpful medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We all the time suggest getting each vaccine really helpful by the CDC! You will get them at your main care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Excursions: We love reserving guided excursions, particularly meals excursions and strolling excursions, to get a neighborhood’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We guide our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine find out how to get from place to put, and guide native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we will. Once we guide a rental automotive, we use Kayak to check rental corporations and discover the very best deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Every time we’re testing early or profiting from a protracted layover, we use LuggageHero to securely retailer our baggage whereas we’re working round. Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
  • VPN Service: A VPN retains your digital data (like web site login particulars, financial institution data, and many others) protected, even whenever you’re related to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it permits you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO whenever you enroll!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we deliver on each journey. We even have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and plenty of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!

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