1 week costa rica itinerary

Plan Perfectly: Your 1 Week Costa Rica Itinerary Unveiled

Welcome to the ultimate Costa Rica honeymoon itinerary & guide!

Costa Rica has emerged as one of the most thrilling honeymoon destinations, capturing the hearts of adventure-seeking couples.

From exhilarating activities that will get your adrenaline pumping to spectacular beaches, this Central American gem has it all. In this article, we will unveil a comprehensive 1 week Costa Rica itinerary to help you plan the perfect trip. Whether you have less time or more, we’ve got tips to customize your itinerary.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the adventure and natural beauty of Costa Rica in just one week
  • Explore Costa Rica’s breathtaking beaches and thrilling activities
  • Create a customized itinerary based on your preferences and time constraints
  • Learn about important information such as travel tips and best time to visit
  • Consider transportation options to make the most of your Costa Rica adventure

Good to Know About Costa Rica

Before diving into your Costa Rica adventure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with some key information about the country. This will ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some travel tips to keep in mind:

Time Zone and Language:

Costa Rica is in the GMT -6 time zone. The official language is Spanish, so knowing a few basic phrases can be helpful during your travels.

Capital City and Population:

The capital city of Costa Rica is San José, a vibrant hub of culture and history. The country has a population of about 5 million people.

Currency and US Dollars:

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (¢), but US dollars are widely accepted in most tourist areas. It’s always a good idea to carry some local currency for smaller purchases.

Visa Requirements:

Most nationalities can enter Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a visa. However, if you have a layover or transit through the US or Canada, make sure to check if you need any additional documentation.

Travel Insurance and Vaccinations:

It’s highly recommended to have travel insurance in place before visiting Costa Rica. Additionally, check for any required travel vaccinations and make sure you are up to date with routine immunizations.

By keeping these travel tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared and ready to make the most of your Costa Rica adventure!

costa rica travel tips


“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Best Time to Visit Costa Rica

If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, it’s important to choose the best time to visit to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience. The weather plays a significant role in determining the ideal time for your visit. The dry season, from December to April, is considered the best time to explore this tropical paradise. During these months, you can expect sunny days, clear skies, and less rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

However, if you’re looking to experience the lush and vibrant landscapes of Costa Rica, the rainy season, from May to November, can offer its own unique charm. While it does rain more frequently during this time, the showers are typically short-lived, and the rainforests come alive with lush greenery. It’s important to come prepared with rain gear and plan your activities accordingly.

Whether you choose to visit during the dry season or the rainy season, Costa Rica offers a wide range of attractions and activities to suit every traveler’s preferences. From exploring the pristine beaches to hiking through the rainforests and discovering the diverse wildlife, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful country.

“Costa Rica’s diverse landscapes and enchanting beauty can be enjoyed year-round, offering unique experiences in every season.”

Costa Rica Weather Overview

Dry Season (December to April)Sunny with occasional showersSurfing, hiking, beach activities, wildlife spotting
Rainy Season (May to November)Frequent rain showersRainforest trekking, waterfalls, river rafting, birdwatching
best time to visit Costa Rica

As you plan your trip to Costa Rica, keep in mind that the weather can vary depending on the region you’re visiting. The Caribbean coast tends to experience more rainfall throughout the year, while the Pacific coast enjoys a drier climate. The highlands of Costa Rica also have cooler temperatures, offering a refreshing escape from the tropical heat.

With its stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and welcoming culture, Costa Rica is a destination that can be enjoyed year-round. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a combination of both, this Central American gem has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags, get ready to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Costa Rica, and create unforgettable memories.

Getting Around Costa Rica

When planning your Costa Rica adventure, it’s important to consider the various transportation options available to make the most of your itinerary. Whether you prefer convenience, flexibility, or cost-effectiveness, there are several ways to navigate this beautiful country and explore its diverse landscapes.

Private Driver

Many couples opt for hiring a local private driver to navigate the roads and transport them between destinations. This option allows you to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery without the stress of navigating unfamiliar roads. It also provides the flexibility to make stops along the way and customize your itinerary based on your preferences.

Hotel Assistance

If you prefer a hassle-free experience, many hotels in Costa Rica offer assistance with organizing transportation for their guests. They can arrange private shuttles or taxis to transport you between destinations, ensuring a comfortable and convenient journey.

Local Bus Network

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option and have more time on your hands, Costa Rica has an extensive local bus network that connects major towns and tourist destinations. Although it may take longer to reach your destination compared to private transportation, it provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with fellow travelers.

costa rica trip planner

Car Hire

For those who are comfortable driving on the right and prefer the freedom to explore at their own pace, renting a car in Costa Rica is a popular option. However, it’s important to exercise caution, especially during the wet season when roads can be treacherous. Familiarize yourself with local driving regulations and road conditions before embarking on your journey.

Domestic Flights

If time is of the essence or you want to cover long distances quickly, flying between destinations is a convenient option. Costa Rica has several regional airports, such as Puerto Jiménez, Quepos, and Tortuguero, which offer domestic flights. This allows you to maximize your time on the ground and explore more of the country’s diverse regions.

Whichever mode of transportation you choose, be sure to plan ahead and consider the specific needs of your itinerary. Whether it’s the convenience of a private driver, the affordability of local buses, or the flexibility of car hire, getting around Costa Rica is an adventure in itself.

Day 1 – Arrive in San José

Start your Costa Rica adventure by arriving in San José, the capital city. While many couples bypass the city due to time constraints, consider spending a day exploring San José on your Costa Rica itinerary. Some highlights include visiting 19th-century architecture, enjoying local coffee shops, and immersing yourself in Costa Rican culture. You can also indulge in traditional Costa Rican cuisine, such as casado, a plate of rice and beans with meat or fish. Don’t forget to experience the vibrant salsa music scene and try some local beers and small plates. Accommodation options in San José range from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels.

1 week costa rica itinerary

Must-See Attractions in San José

  • National Theatre of Costa Rica
  • Mercado Central
  • La Sabana Metropolitan Park
  • National Museum of Costa Rica
  • Central Market

“San José is more than just a gateway to other destinations in Costa Rica. It has its own unique charm and cultural experiences waiting to be discovered. Don’t miss the chance to explore the city and immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere.”

After a day of exploration in San José, you can prepare for the next leg of your journey, which will take you to the stunning natural wonders of Costa Rica. Get ready for an adventure-filled itinerary that showcases the best of this beautiful country.

Day 2 – Poas Volcano & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

On day 2 of your Costa Rica adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to explore two incredible attractions: the Poas Volcano and the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Start your day by immersing yourself in the secrets of coffee production at the Doka Coffee Estate, where you’ll learn about the journey from bean to cup. Then, make your way to the stunning Poas Volcano, home to the largest active crater in the world. As you stand in awe of the bubbling lake and billowing smoke, surrounded by the lush cloud forest, you’ll be captivated by the raw power of nature.

After visiting the Poas Volcano, continue your journey to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Here, you’ll have the chance to hike to hidden waterfalls, stroll through lush gardens, and encounter a wide variety of wildlife. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the butterfly observatory, where you can witness the mesmerizing beauty of these delicate creatures up close. At the end of the day, you can unwind and relax amidst the picturesque surroundings of the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

These two attractions offer a perfect blend of nature, adventure, and cultural experiences, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Costa Rica. From the towering volcano to the cascading waterfalls, you’ll be surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes at every turn. Make sure to bring your camera along to capture the breathtaking moments and memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Poas VolcanoLargest active crater in the world
Billowing smoke and bubbling lake
Lush cloud forest surroundings
La Paz Waterfall GardensHiking to hidden waterfalls
Butterfly observatory
Encounter diverse wildlife

Day 3 & 4 – Detour to Tortuguero

For the adventurous souls seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience, days 3 and 4 of your Costa Rica itinerary are dedicated to a detour to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Coast. This remote and enchanting destination is accessible only by boat or plane, ensuring a truly unique and secluded experience.

Upon arrival, immerse yourself in the charm of the small village that relies on eco-tourism and discover local handicrafts in the quaint shops. As you explore, keep an eye out for the region’s star residents, the green turtles, as Tortuguero is a nesting site for these magnificent creatures. If you’re fortunate enough to visit during turtle nesting season (July to September), you may witness the awe-inspiring sight of turtles laying their eggs or baby turtles making their first journey to the ocean.

One of the highlights of Tortuguero is a jungle boat tour through the creeks and lagoons of the national park. Hop aboard and venture deep into the lush rainforest, where you’ll encounter a rich diversity of wildlife. From colorful birds and playful monkeys to elusive jaguars and crocodiles, the park is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Don’t forget your camera to capture the breathtaking moments along the way.

Detour to Tortuguero: Highlights

Turtle NestingWitness the natural wonder of turtles laying their eggs or baby turtles making their first journey to the ocean during nesting season (July to September).
Eco-Tourism VillageExplore the small village of Tortuguero, which relies on eco-tourism and offers an authentic glimpse into Costa Rican culture.
Jungle Boat TourEmbark on a thrilling jungle boat tour through the creeks and lagoons of Tortuguero National Park, where you can spot a variety of wildlife.

After two days of immersing yourself in the natural wonders of Tortuguero, you’ll be ready to continue your Costa Rica adventure.

Day 5 – 7 Explore La Fortuna & Arenal

Days 5 to 7 of your Costa Rica itinerary are dedicated to exploring the La Fortuna and Arenal region. Travel from Tortuguero to La Fortuna, the town located at the base of the Arenal Volcano. Marvel at the majestic volcano and spend time hiking, relaxing in hot springs, and exploring the lush rainforest.

One of the top attractions in this area is the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a network of suspension bridges that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Take a leisurely walk along the trails, crossing the bridges as you immerse yourself in the beauty of the rainforest canopy. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as monkeys, toucans, and sloths that inhabit the area.

If you’re looking for adventure, La Fortuna is the perfect place to try out thrilling activities. Zip-line through the treetops, rappel down waterfalls, or go whitewater rafting in the nearby rivers. For a more relaxing experience, indulge in the natural hot springs that are heated by the volcanic activity in the area. Unwind and rejuvenate as you soak in the warm mineral-rich waters, surrounded by the lush tropical scenery.

ZipliningSoar through the canopy on an exhilarating zip-lining adventure, enjoying panoramic views of the rainforest.
Arenal Volcano HikeTrek up the Arenal Volcano and learn about its geology and history from knowledgeable guides.
Hot SpringsRelax in the natural hot springs that are heated by the volcanic activity in the area, offering a soothing and rejuvenating experience.
Hanging BridgesEmbark on a guided tour of the Arenal Hanging Bridges, traversing a series of suspension bridges and enjoying stunning views of the rainforest.
Whitewater RaftingChallenge yourself with an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip down the rivers surrounding La Fortuna, experiencing the thrill of navigating through rapids.

With a range of accommodation options available, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly lodges, you can find the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate after a day of adventure. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities or tranquil natural surroundings, La Fortuna and Arenal offer a truly unforgettable experience in Costa Rica.

Cruise to Panama and Costa Rica

If you’re looking for a more unique and immersive experience, consider embarking on a cruise that allows you to explore both Panama and Costa Rica. An 8-day cruise aboard the Safari Voyager provides the opportunity to uncover the wonders of jungles, mangroves, national parks, preserves, and even the Panama Canal. Cruise among the diverse islands and islets in the Gulf of Panama, visit national parks, snorkel, kayak, paddleboard, and explore the extraordinary flora and fauna of the region. This cruise option offers a diverse range of activities and landscapes, providing a truly unforgettable adventure.

By choosing a cruise, you can enjoy the convenience of unpacking once and exploring multiple destinations. The Safari Voyager is equipped with comfortable cabins, delicious onboard dining options, and a range of amenities to ensure a relaxing and enjoyable journey. Each day brings new discoveries and exciting adventures, with knowledgeable guides providing insights into the local culture, wildlife, and ecosystems.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a unique way to experience Costa Rica and Panama, a cruise is a fantastic option. It allows you to explore the beauty of both countries while enjoying the luxurious amenities and personalized service provided by the Safari Voyager. Prepare to be amazed by the breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage that await you on this unforgettable journey.


In conclusion, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for an adventurous and immersive vacation. With our 1 week Costa Rica itinerary, you can experience the best that this stunning country has to offer. From exploring the vibrant capital city of San José to marveling at the majestic Arenal Volcano, there is something for everyone.

Whether you choose to follow our itinerary or embark on a cruise adventure, Costa Rica will leave you mesmerized with its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich culture. Remember to plan your visit based on the best time to explore this tropical paradise and consider your transportation options for a seamless journey.

So get ready to create unforgettable memories as you dive into the beauty of Costa Rica. Pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and immerse yourself in the wonders of this incredible country. Start planning your dream Costa Rican adventure today!


What is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

The best time to visit Costa Rica is from December to April when the weather is dry and ideal for outdoor activities. May to November is the rainy season, but even during this time, you can still enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica. Just be prepared for short bursts of rain and pack appropriate clothing.

What language is spoken in Costa Rica?

The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish.

What currency is used in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (¢), but US dollars are widely accepted.

Do I need a visa to enter Costa Rica?

Most nationalities can enter Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a visa. However, transit through the US or Canada may require additional documentation. It’s always best to check the latest travel requirements before visiting Costa Rica.

What transportation options are available in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, you can hire a local private driver, use the local bus network, rent a car, or fly between destinations. Private shuttles are a popular option for those with limited time, and many hotels can assist with transportation arrangements.

What can I do in San José?

In San José, you can explore 19th-century architecture, visit local coffee shops, immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture, indulge in traditional Costa Rican cuisine, and experience the vibrant salsa music scene. There are accommodation options for all budgets in San José.

What should I expect at Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens?

At Poas Volcano, you can witness the largest active crater in the world and explore the lush cloud forest. At La Paz Waterfall Gardens, you can hike to hidden waterfalls, visit the butterfly observatory, and encounter diverse wildlife.

How can I explore Tortuguero National Park?

Tortuguero National Park is accessible only by boat or plane. You can explore the park by embarking on a jungle boat tour through the creeks and lagoons, where you can spot a variety of wildlife. If you visit during turtle nesting season (July to September), you may have the opportunity to witness turtles laying their eggs or baby turtles making their first journey to the ocean.

What can I do in La Fortuna and Arenal?

In La Fortuna and Arenal, you can marvel at the majestic Arenal Volcano, hike in the rainforest, relax in hot springs, zip-line, canyoneer, and go whitewater rafting. Don’t miss the Arenal Hanging Bridges for stunning views. There are accommodation options for all types of travelers in this region.

Can I go on a cruise to Panama and Costa Rica?

Yes, you can go on a cruise to explore both Panama and Costa Rica. An 8-day cruise aboard the Safari Voyager allows you to experience jungle, mangroves, national parks, preserves, and even the Panama Canal. You can enjoy activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and exploring the flora and fauna of the region.

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