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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 by way of the treetops. White sand seashores. Costa Rica is a tropical, eco-friendly paradise, crammed 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 by way of this lovely nation, we’ve realized a couple of 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; mountain 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 should you’re something like us, you’ll most likely 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 Checklist with all the things it’s worthwhile to plan your journey to Costa Rica. We’ll additionally ship you suggestions that can assist you put together on 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 arduous 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 Ideas

  • In case your arrival flight lands within the night, it’s worthwhile 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 could possibly go to Manuel Antonio for only one full day reasonably than two, particularly should 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 occasions and town simply isn’t probably 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 have to rent a car – there are snug, dependable buses and shuttles everywhere in the nation! We’ve included particulars about the right way 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 aren’t any Caribbean-side locations. That mentioned, you can be visiting two phenomenal snorkeling/swimming locations with heat, clear blue water!
  • You do NOT have to lease a automobile. Buses and van shuttles join everywhere in 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 prematurely by way of Bookaway or different on-line tour operators, and plenty of will embrace direct lodge pickup and drop-off. Not like many locations, the value to e-book on-line prematurely would be the similar as the value you’d pay in individual to e-book final minute, so we strongly advocate reserving all your transit prematurely! We’ve included particulars about the right way to get to every cease all through the itinerary.
  • It’s useful to talk Spanish, however English talking is frequent. You gained’t have a lot problem speaking within the places on this itinerary – the tourism trade is powerful and most tour guides, lodge workers, and bus drivers will converse some English. That mentioned, 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 on your journey!

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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 occasions! 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, crammed with journey and toucans and monkeys and orchids. I keep in mind galloping on horseback alongside the seashore, kayaking by way of 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 crammed with 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 actually one of the crucial lovely 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 among 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 price is price 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! In case you see a pour-over arrange like this at a restaurant, it’s legit AF.

Day 1: San José to La Fortuna

I’m gonna be trustworthy 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 desire smaller cities and extra rustic locations to massive cities as a rule. 

In case you like massive cities greater than we do, we advocate exploring San Jose on the finish of your journey, if 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, positioned just some miles outdoors of the city middle. With a number of hot-spring-fed swimming pools and a surprising mirador searching to Arenal Volcano, this surprisingly budget-friendly resort is an absolute dream and the right place to base your self for the following 2 days of journey in La Fortuna.

Arrival

  • Methods to Get to San Jose: There are two airports you’ll be able to fly into: Liberia and San Jose. We advocate San Jose. In case you 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 record will assist with that). The sooner you arrive, the sooner you may get to La Fortuna, and also you may be capable of squeeze in a day/night exercise in your first day!
  • The place to Keep in San Jose: Critically, don’t spend the night time in San Jose. Adventures in La Fortuna are ready for you! But when your flight arrives late and it’s worthwhile to spend the night time in San Jose earlier than flying out, we advocate reserving certainly one of these budget-friendly apartments in downtown San Jose.

Departure

  • 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 – 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 sizzling spring-fed swimming pools and a surprising 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 large.

Day 2 & 3: La Fortuna

Pure sizzling springs, forest canopies crammed with wildlife, energetic 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 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 greatest journey city! 

An journey city is basically 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 using, and extra – and La Fortuna (and Arenal, which is what number of guests discuss with the final space) has all of it. Along with exploring the jungles and canopies, because of the thermal exercise coming from the volcano, the world can also be stuffed with thermal sizzling springs – and one sizzling spring river.

In case you 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 advocate spending 2 full days in La Fortuna. The way in which we usually 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 calming river safari within the afternoon. So, you need to be capable of choose 2-4 actions to fill your days in La Fortuna. 

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

You wouldn’t assume mountain climbing is a high-octane journey exercise, would you? Properly, we disagree: this 6-hour tour additionally contains 3 of La Fortuna’s greatest sights in a single actually epic day. You’ll hike by way of 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 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 sure that you reside and in addition assist level out wildlife within the jungle, and the aforementioned cocktail-in-the-hot-springs scenario. In case 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 way of a mix of mountain 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 trip 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 – simple to intermediate should you get pleasure from white water rafting, superior should you’re fearful 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 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 an exquisite waterfall and swimming gap – be happy to hop in and luxuriate in!

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

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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 excellent scaredy cats like me who simply need 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 chill out and hearken 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, damage you, however they may 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 an area farm!

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

Tabacón River Hot Springs is fabulous however dear, round $100 for a day move 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 stuffed 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 postpone … it appears a bit … er, sketch? Not tremendous clear? Not completely secure? 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 simply’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 using, which you’ll be doing by way of the jungle and on the seashore 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

In the present day is a journey day: you’ll be departing La Fortuna and heading up into the mountains to close by Monteverde. However regardless that 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 choice which includes taking a ship throughout Lake Arenal reasonably than driving round it. It cuts a couple of half hour off your whole transit time, plus you get a pleasant enjoyable ferry boat journey to interrupt up the lengthy automobile trip! 

The price is comparable for both choice, so it actually simply comes down to non-public choice. You’ll e-book your entire 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 advocate taking a non-drowsy Dramamine to assist keep away from nausea!

When you arrive, test into Camino Verde B&B. The small, budget-friendly lodge presents lovely views from its outside 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 aspect, 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 liked about this lodge was the implausible 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 might undoubtedly keep right here once more!

  • 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 trip throughout the lake. 
  • The place to Keep in Monteverde: We advocate Camino Verde B&B, positioned a really quick stroll from city. The small, budget-friendly lodge presents lovely views from its outside deck and a scrumptious breakfast is included together with your keep.

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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 far cooler than the remainder of the nation – you’ll undoubtedly 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 nicely 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 residence to among the longest zip traces 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 simplest 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 crops, and hanging bridges criss-crossing by way of a misty cover … it’s otherworldly, y’all. And if that doesn’t make you need to go, you undoubtedly want to observe LotR once more!

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

I’ll be trustworthy: 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 understand 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 appear 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 calming afternoon cease in your first half-day in Monteverde, after you arrive and test 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 by way of 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 surprising 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 among the longest in Costa Rica and winds by way of 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 advocate Aventura.

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

Importantly, breeding sloths is against the law 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 middle, which takes in injured sloths and nurses them again to well being earlier than releasing them again into the wild.) 

We extremely advocate this expertise for sloth lovers like us!

Girl on Hanging Bridge in La Fortuna Costa Rica
Hanging bridges will let 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 perimeters.

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

We extremely advocate taking a self-guided stroll by way of the cover. You’ll be traversing an easy to comply with stone path. The route has a couple of small hills, however just isn’t difficult. Take it sluggish should you’re a slower hiker (like us) – it ought to take round 1.5-2 hours should you’re not in a rush. Apparently some individuals 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 perimeters. I additionally waited to start out every bridge till the ppl forward of me have been completed. However by the previous couple of bridges I used to be used to it and it wasn’t so scary anymore!

Deliver a pair of binoculars and hold a watch out for monkeys enjoying 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 endlessly. 

A ticket to Selvatura Park contains transportation from native inns – your lodging ought to be capable of 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 if you’re 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 by way of it on the very base of the forest. To completely respect the cloud forests, we advocate 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 arduous to select only one to go to – however time is restricted. There’s the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (which you’ll be ziplining by way of 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 energetic, so that is an incredible alternative to see a totally completely different aspect of the forest!

After which there’s the Curicancha Reserve, a a lot smaller attraction that permits fewer individuals 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 way of our lodge 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 liked in regards to the Curicancha Reserve is how accessible it’s: the strolling paths are good and extensive, though rocky (they’re presently working to enhance oath accessibility for wheelchairs.) There are loos and benches all through, and you may 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 a couple of small hills, however the route may be very doable at a mild tempo even for non-hikers. Simply make sure you gown for rain and dirt!

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  • Get pleasure from native meals & espresso

We have now a couple of options for the place to eat and drink in Monteverde:

  • Tree House Restaurant & Cafe: This restaurant constructed into an enormous ficus tree is freaking attractive. 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 art work whereas birds name and play within the branches overhead. Y’all: it’s very Lothlorien! We extremely advocate 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 may as well pattern a number of completely different roasts and purchase a bag to carry residence with you! This space is a espresso area, and should you like, you’ll be able to even e-book a coffee farm tour by way of 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 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 advocate consuming right here if 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 an exquisite, cheap hostel a brief bus trip from Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park. We advocate a non-public ensuite, however even the dorm rooms have lovely ocean views!

Day 7: Monteverde to Manuel Antonio

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

You may have two choices. The best 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 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 most important city adjoining to Manuel Antonio. From there you’ll have to hail a taxi to get you to your lodging (there might be a lot close by, and Quepos is barely about quarter-hour from Manuel Antonio). You could 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 snug and dependable, and the bus stations are simple to navigate with clear signage and many useful attendants, so don’t fear – even should you aren’t aware of taking public transit in Costa Rica, you’ll be simply high quality!

If you arrive in Quepos, test into your lodging. We’ve stayed on the cheap however lovely 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 principle purpose 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 simple to hop on one and take a reasonably quick, cheap trip to the park.

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

  • Methods to Get to Manuel Antonio: You possibly can book an Interbus shuttle with lodge 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 could find the bus schedules and costs on Rome2Rio. 
  • The place to Keep in Quepos: We love Hostel Plinio, an exquisite, cheap hostel a brief bus trip from the Nationwide Park. In its place, Hotel Manuel Antonio is strolling distance to the doorway of the Nationwide Park and throughout the road from the seashore.
White sand beach on a sunny day at Manuel Antonio State Park in Quepos, Costa Rica
White sand seashore on a sunny day in Manuel Antonio State Park! That is the principle seashore, a couple of 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 crucial common – and for good purpose. With lovely seashores, well-maintained trails operating by way of the forest and mangroves, and plentiful wildlife, the park is among the greatest 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 chill out or hit the seashore. The perfect seashores on this space, in fact, are inside the Nationwide Park – however that’s a complete 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 seashore outdoors of the park within the city of Manuel Antonio. You’ll discover distributors on the seashore 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 seashore, there are many small retailers to browse for trinkets and snacks. Calm down and luxuriate in!

Alternatively, you’ll be able to 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 Resort Parador. You’ll head by way of a small opening in a fence and down a steep hill with free pebbles for about 10 minutes. When you arrive, the seashore might be all yours – nicely, yours and a buzzing jungle crammed with monkeys, sloths, lizards, and birds, in fact.

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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 certainly one of my favourite swimsuits for curvy girls!)

To entry the park entrance, you’ll have to stroll from the street up a rocky filth path and over a bridge. It’s going to 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 charge (check the site for the present fee) and have the choice of reserving a guided tour. It prices 10,000 colones per individual, and truthfully, should you actually need to spot animals, that is your greatest probability! It’s very arduous to identify critters with out a information, and the park guides have fixed studies about the place all of the wildlife is hanging out all through the day. That mentioned, in case your purpose is simply to go mountain climbing and swimming, then the tour isn’t price it.

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

Attending to the seashore in Manuel Antonio takes about half-hour down a large, largely flat path – the principle path within the park. Sure sections of the path additionally dovetail to boardwalks by way of 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 principle path.)

Simply up the hill from the seashore, 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 seashore till you’re actually prepared!

The seashore 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 mountain climbing. The park is filled with trails, most of that are quick (although not essentially simple). 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 identify: catarata means waterfall in Spanish). Preserve a watch 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, hold a watch out overhead for sloths!
  • Punta Catedral Path: This mile-long path results in one of the crucial iconic components and scenic of the park, a excessive peak that divides the seashore outdoors the city and the park’s seashore. 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 seashore
  • Playa Gemelas Path: This quick, simple path from the principle seashore will take you to a second seashore, 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 as a substitute return route.

One, another factor: there are gonna be monkeys, and so they’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 rules about meals. There’s a small restaurant close to the seashore that sells sandwiches, drinks, ice cream, pastries, and souvenirs – and whether or not you carry your personal meals or not, that is the one place that’s secure so that you can eat it. It’s best to NEVER, EVER feed a wild animal – even inadvertently!

When it comes to what to carry with you, you’ll need a day bag filled with mountain climbing sneakers/sandals, a swimsuit, a towel, sunscreen, a rain jacket and travel umbrella, and bug repellant. Put on garments which are snug to hike in and dry rapidly – we’ve acquired particular options 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 energetic 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 might even see bats, Jesus Christ lizards, arachnids, owls, heaps and many frogs, snakes and all kinds of fascinating bugs. You’ll be supplied with all the things it’s worthwhile to navigate safely and see wildlife with out disturbing them.

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

In case you’re up for locating the critters that fill the rainforest if 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 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 like a cappuccino: gentle foam on the highest and darkish espresso under!

Kids Saving The Rainforest runs the one authorized rescue middle that rehabilitates wounded, sick and deserted rainforest animals on the Pacific Coast. The non-profit, positioned about quarter-hour outdoors of Quepos, protects and rehabilitates wildlife, conducts scientific analysis, and offers outreach and schooling 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 every time attainable.

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 forms 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 simply’ll have to electronic mail to make a reservation prematurely on 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 a couple of sea turtles.  The tour will offer you snorkeling gear, so simply carry a towel

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

The tour contains pickup and drop off out of your lodge 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 enjoyable trip in a 12-person coated boat, you’ll wind by way of 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 advocate 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 way of 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 which 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 may 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 trip takes about an hour and travels by way of lovely 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 stuffed with Fanta, the boat captain, our baggage, and my household of 4. However extra vacationers go to the world now, and at this time 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 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 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 outdoors Corcovado Nationwide Park. 

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

Observe that this cease on the itinerary is certainly the most costly, however truthfully? 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, regionally 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 truthfully one of many highlights of every day.

There’s additionally no have to e-book any excursions prematurely: your lodging will provide help to plan your itinerary and e-book all the things for you when you arrive.

That mentioned, 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 anticipate finding any massive inns close by: all the things right here is small, rustic, and deep within the rainforest. In case you e-book an lodging that doesn’t provide assist organize transportation, you’ll be able to contact Transportes Alvarez to rearrange a shuttle.

  • Methods to Get to Drake Bay: From Quepos, you’ll take a shuttle to Sierpe. Then, you’ll board a ferry that may take you down a river to Drake Bay and drop you off on to the dock of the lodging at your subsequent cease. It’s best to be capable of e-book all the things by way of 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 – mainly, paradise! It’s a splurge, however belief us after we say that it’s a spotlight of this itinerary and nicely price it. Your meals are all included.

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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 arduous to imagine after the adventures you’ve been having for the final two weeks, however we really 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 most important rainforest in Central America – and the tiny city of Drake Bay are, fingers 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 seashore. 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 best place to get to, but it surely’s nicely definitely worth the journey!

Personally, that is the place the place I first fell in love in Costa Rica (and with journey normally) on two unimaginable household holidays, a long time in the past. My mother and father booked this superior eco-lodge within the jungle, strolling distance from the seashore. We rode horses on the sands of Corcovado Nationwide Park, snorkeled in excellent heat, clear blue water, and woke as much as monkeys, scarlet macaws and toucans and laughing hawks calling and enjoying outdoors 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 an exquisite 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 individuals, not resort individuals. 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 after I’m making an attempt to go to sleep, listening to rain and jungle noises on a Spotify playlist I made for this actual function. (Enjoyable truth: 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 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 maths. And sure, we totally intend to carry our youngster 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 toddler 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 arduous 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 an incredible time!)

Right here’s what we advocate doing throughout your keep in Drake Bay. (Observe that many of the excursions might be shared with a number of native resorts/inns, and all the things 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 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.

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Male Howler Monkey in a Tree in Costa Rica
A particularly 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, it’s a must to get there by boat. The trip is about 25 minutes, and also you’ll need to put on sandals and quick-drying pants: there might be a moist touchdown (and it’s a little bit little bit of a nail biter – however don’t fear, your boat captain does this actually each day). 

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 cute white-lipped peccary mother and child pair, scarlet macaws, and a coati.

The hike isn’t difficult when it comes to distance and is sort 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 by way of 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 carry a swimsuit!)

  • Journey Tip: Put on breathable, quick-drying garments and a swimsuit, and produce each sandals and durable mountain climbing sneakers with good grip. Trekking poles are useful on muddy days, although we did with out and have been high quality. Numerous water, sunscreen, and bug repellent are a should as nicely. And pack a light-weight rain jacket and travel umbrella simply in case – it’s referred to as the rainforest for a purpose!
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 using, because of their very small, closer-to-the-ground-than-usual Palomino horses, that are MUCH much less scary to trip than tall thoroughbreds (or Clydesdales, which we rode precisely one time – it felt like using a T-Rex).

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

You’ll trip your horse immediately by way of a river, on winding paths by way of the rainforest, and throughout the seashore – and your horse will virtually definitely break right into a trot or canter on the seashore. (For what it’s price, 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 seashore the place you’ll be able to swim and chill out earlier than using 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 it is a fairly relaxed exercise, don’t get too complacent: the river can get a little bit 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 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 case you’re vulnerable to ear infections like we’re, you may need to put on a pair of earplugs simply to be secure.

Truthfully, should you’re able to not flipping your kayak, you’ll be high quality… 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 energetic at night time? You won’t see a lot exercise throughout the day, however you’re just about assured to see critters at night time!

​​Our tour was led by an area scientist, the Bug Woman. 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 undoubtedly want to have the ability to respect that spiders are bros – or a minimum of that they’re lovely and numerous creatures! Essentially the most memorable arachnid buddies we noticed on our night time hike have been trapdoor spiders, which dwell in tiny little hobbit holes. Our information gently opened a superbly hidden spherical door, and a little bit 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 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 just too many? 

Anyway: should you’re up for locating the critters that fill the rainforest if 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, possibly simply skip this one!

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

San Josecito is fingers down probably the most lovely seashore on the Osa Peninsula: image a sandy cove with splendidly swimmable water, ringed with palm bushes stuffed with scarlet macaws. Many excursions cease right here at one level, however you can too hike, horseback trip, or take a ship to get right here.

In case 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 what to anticipate. Gown appropriately and put on water/mountain climbing sandals, as a result of there’s a water crossing at one level – we extremely advocate a pair of Tevas for each women and men.

In case 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 all the things arrange for you, and inform you what it is going to price.

  • Actually simply chill out, take a look at the view and hearken to the rain

Staying in an exquisite eco-resort is a big 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 outside patio with beautiful ocean views. Some have rocking chairs, others have hammocks. 

We extremely advocate 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 mountain climbing to the seashore. Ask your lodging for different choices should you’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 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 best, quickest, and most fun strategy 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. (Observe that should you fly out of Palmar Sur, you’ll have to repeat the boat journey again from Drake Bay to Sierpe – the airport is about quarter-hour outdoors of Sierpe.) 

You possibly can e-book your flight by way of Sansa Airlines or Aerobell. In case you 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 may have an additional day should you’d like so as to add time someplace on this itinerary.)

That mentioned: flying can also be the most costly choice.

Beach in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Can I squeeze in a single final image of the seashore 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. In case you’re reserving this selection, ask your lodging for help or reserve a shuttle on-line on Bookaway.

The most affordable choice is to take a public bus. You’ll first have to 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 should use Rome2Rio to determine the precise route. It’s undoubtedly extra sophisticated, however should you can pull it off, you’ll save a bunch of money. 

Nonetheless, 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 gained’t make it – which means you’ll want to remain in a single day in Sierpe. And at that time, it’s most likely price it to only 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. In case you’re desirous to discover town, e-book your self a later flight or contemplate including an additional day – however we truthfully don’t advocate it.

We needed to spend as little time as attainable in San Jose, so we booked an affordable place near the airport and an early morning flight. Sadly, the place we booked had some kind of reserving concern 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 lodge to see if they’d room for us. And there was completely nothing round to do or see within the space, so we simply sat in our low-cost lodge for the remainder of the day feeling unhappy about our journey ending. It was not one of the simplest 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 gained’t occur to you (we’re journey catastrophe magnets, it’s scientific truth) however nonetheless, we advocate staying in a extra walkable a part of city so that you a minimum of get some exploration in in your final night time and may say a correct goodbye to Costa Rica! We advocate reserving certainly one of these budget-friendly apartments in downtown San Jose proper on Central avenue. It’s conveniently positioned inside strolling distance of a number of of town’s greatest 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!

  • Methods to Get to San Jose: The best, quickest, and most fun strategy 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 by way of Sansa Airlines or Aerobell. In case you 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 it’s worthwhile to spend the night time in San Jose earlier than flying out, we advocate reserving certainly one of these budget-friendly apartments in downtown San Jose.

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Costa Rica Packing List: 42 Essentials to Pack for Costa Rica

Lia and Jeremy on the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park in Quepos, Costa Rica.
Let’s fake we’re fashions and name that sweat a pleasant “glow” from the hike to get to this seashore 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 surroundings) 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 essential 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 loss of life from local weather change. So please, for the love of society’s inevitable collapse, put on reef-safe sunscreen should you’re going into the ocean! Observe 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 secure(more details here). That is my favorite reef-safe sunscreen, and I exploit this lightweight sunscreen on my face. Higher but, carry a rash guard so that you want much less sunscreen general!
  • Swim Leggings: This itinerary includes numerous hikes and horseback rides to the seashore, which suggests it’s worthwhile 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 choose is swim leggings, that are mainly like leggings constructed from swimsuit materials! They’re fast drying and intensely snug to put on whereas moist (sure, you’ll be able to 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 if you’re butt-up on a snorkeling tour. For extra data, head to the complete assessment 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 it’s a must to 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 carry a full-sized, quick-drying travel towel. Towels will not be usually offered on excursions, and also you’ll be going to a number of seashores!
  • Teva Sandals (his & hers): Not solely are these rugged sandals snug and rugged sufficient to stroll and hike for miles comfortably, however in addition they double as water shoes. They keep strapped tightly to your ft within the water and are excellent 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! At all times hold 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 excellent for hikes or exploring on sizzling days if you’ll want to remain additional hydrated!

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

We’ve additionally created a FREE Printable Packing Checklist with all the things it’s worthwhile to plan your journey to Costa Rica. We’ll additionally ship you suggestions that can assist you put together on your journey! Simply enroll under.


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

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

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Our Prime Journey Ideas & Assets

Listed here are our favourite journey suggestions & assets for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra suggestions, take a look at 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 suggestions: 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 often keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique inns or personal rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to e-book inns (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to e-book hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and glorious critiques). For trip leases, we desire to e-book utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher help than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical observe report. You may as well e-book trip leases on Expedia and Hotels.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our residence and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We at all times, at all times, 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 advocate both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is among the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, and so they have glorious month-to-month insurance policies which are excellent for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Journey Credit score Card: We e-book all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely will we earn money again that we are able to spend on extra journey, however the card presents implausible journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automobile protection, which helps shield us on our travels. Learn more here.
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC website to analysis advisable drugs and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times advocate getting each vaccine advisable 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 an area’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We e-book our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine the right way to get from place to put, and e-book native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we are able to. Once we e-book a rental automobile, we use Kayak to check rental corporations and discover the most effective deal.
  • Baggage Storage: At any time when we’re testing early or benefiting from an extended layover, we use LuggageHero to securely retailer our baggage whereas we’re operating 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) secure, even if you’re linked to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it enables you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO if you enroll!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we carry 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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