1 week in costa rica itinerary

Your Ultimate 1 Week in Costa Rica Itinerary: Unleash Adventure

Welcome to your ultimate 1 week in Costa Rica itinerary, where you’ll embark on an unforgettable adventure through this tropical paradise. Costa Rica offers a perfect blend of white sandy beaches, thrilling adventures, and secluded lodges that will leave you in awe. From exploring rainforests and volcanoes to relaxing on pristine beaches, this itinerary has it all. Get ready to unleash your inner explorer and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Key Takeaways:

  • Immerse yourself in the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica, from rainforests to beaches.
  • Experience thrilling adventures such as volcano hikes, zip-lining, and wildlife tours.
  • Relax and rejuvenate in hot springs and luxury resorts.
  • Discover hidden gems like Uvita, Drake Bay, and the Nicoya Peninsula.
  • Customize this itinerary to fit your preferences and make the most of your 1 week in Costa Rica.

When to Go and What to Expect

Planning a trip to Costa Rica? Here’s what you need to know about the country’s weather and what to expect during your visit.

The best time to visit Costa Rica is from November to April when the weather is dry and sunny. This is the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. The temperature ranges from 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C) during this period, making it ideal for outdoor activities and beach adventures.

However, even during the wetter months from May to October, Costa Rica offers plenty of adventure and beauty. Be prepared for occasional tropical rain showers, which are usually brief and followed by sunshine. It’s a good idea to pack lightweight, quick-dry clothing to stay comfortable in the humid conditions.

Costa Rica is known for its diverse ecosystems, from rainforests to beaches, and offers a wide range of activities such as hiking, kayaking, and zip-lining. Whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise.

Costa Rica Weather

Table: Costa Rica Weather by Month

Month Average High Temperature (°F) Average Low Temperature (°F) Rainfall (inches)
November 85 73 1.6
December 84 72 0.9
January 84 71 0.5
February 85 71 0.4
March 86 73 0.4
April 87 73 1.6
May 87 74 6.7
June 86 73 9.4
July 86 72 9.4
August 86 72 7.7
September 85 72 11.2
October 85 73 11.2

As shown in the table above, the wetter months of May to October have higher rainfall, ranging from 6.7 to 11.2 inches. Despite the rain, this period offers lush green landscapes and fewer tourists, making it a great time to explore the country’s natural beauty.

So, whether you prefer the dry season with its sunny days or don’t mind a little rain for a more serene experience, Costa Rica has something to offer year-round. Just pack accordingly and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.

Getting to San Jose

If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, your adventure will likely begin in San Jose, the capital city and main entry point for international travelers. The Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose is well-connected and serves as a hub for several major airlines. To help you navigate your way to San Jose, here are some transportation options and travel tips to keep in mind.

When you arrive at the San Jose airport, you’ll have several options for getting to your destination. Many hotels offer airport shuttles, which provide a convenient and hassle-free way to reach your accommodation. If you prefer more flexibility, you can rent a car and explore Costa Rica at your own pace. Private transfers are also available and can be arranged in advance for a smooth transition from the airport to your hotel. Taxis and Uber are additional options for getting around the city.

It’s important to note that Costa Rica requires a valid passport for entry, and visa requirements may vary depending on your nationality. To ensure a seamless entry into the country, it’s recommended to check the official website of Costa Rica’s immigration authority for the most up-to-date and accurate information. By familiarizing yourself with the entry requirements beforehand, you can avoid any potential issues during your trip.

Transportation Options from San Jose Airport:

Transportation Method Pros Cons
Airport Shuttle – Convenient and prearranged
– No need to navigate public transportation
– Limited schedules
– Shared with other passengers
Car Rental – Flexibility to explore at your own pace
– Option to visit nearby attractions
– Additional cost for rental and parking
– Navigating unfamiliar roads
Private Transfer – Personalized service
– Direct transportation to your destination
– Higher cost compared to other options
– Pre-booking required
Taxi – Readily available at the airport
– Door-to-door service
– Metered fare may vary
– Language barrier with the driver
Uber – Easy and familiar app-based service
– Transparent pricing
– Availability may vary
– Internet connection required

San Jose airport

Whether you choose to relax in the comfort of an airport shuttle, explore the country in a rental car, or opt for a private transfer, the journey from the San Jose airport sets the stage for your Costa Rican adventure. Take advantage of the transportation options available and start immersing yourself in the beauty and excitement that await you in this tropical destination.

Exploring San Jose

When visiting Costa Rica, a stop in the capital city of San Jose is a must. This vibrant city offers a variety of attractions that showcase the country’s rich history and culture. One of the top places to visit is the Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, which houses a vast collection of pre-Columbian artifacts and exhibits on the country’s natural history. You can immerse yourself in the local culture and gain a deeper understanding of Costa Rica’s heritage.

Another highlight of San Jose is the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, located just outside the city. This natural park is home to stunning waterfalls, lush gardens, and a variety of wildlife. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and enjoy the serene beauty of the cascading waterfalls. It’s a great opportunity to connect with nature and experience the tranquility of the Costa Rican rainforest.

For coffee enthusiasts, a visit to the La Chimba Coffee Farm is a must. Here, you can learn about the coffee-making process from bean to cup, take part in tasting sessions, and even purchase some locally grown coffee to take home. It’s a unique and educational experience that allows you to appreciate the art and science behind Costa Rica’s world-renowned coffee.

Attraction Description
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica Explore the country’s rich history and culture through exhibits and artifacts.
La Paz Waterfall Gardens Discover lush gardens, impressive waterfalls, and a wide array of wildlife.
La Chimba Coffee Farm Learn about the coffee-making process and indulge in tasting sessions.

San Jose offers something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, nature, or culinary delights. Make sure to include these attractions on your Costa Rica itinerary for an unforgettable experience.

Uvita – Beaches and Wildlife

Uvita, located in the beautiful country of Costa Rica, is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of stunning beaches and rich wildlife. This peaceful beach town is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and beach lovers alike. With its pristine coastline, lush forests, and magnificent waterfalls, Uvita provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

One of the must-visit attractions in Uvita is the Marino Ballena, also known as the Whale Tail. This natural phenomenon occurs when two beaches meet, creating a shape that resembles a whale’s tail. It’s a picturesque spot where you can soak up the sun, stroll along the shores, and even witness the annual migration of humpback whales during certain months. The Marino Ballena National Park surrounding the area offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and exploring marine life.

Another highlight of Uvita is the enchanting Nauyaca Waterfall. This stunning waterfall is known for its two-tiered cascades and crystal-clear pools. Hiking through the lush jungle and reaching the waterfall is an adventure in itself. Once you arrive, take a refreshing swim in the pools and marvel at the beauty and power of nature. It’s a magical experience that will leave you in awe.

In Uvita, you’ll find a range of accommodations, from cozy eco-lodges to luxurious resorts, allowing you to relax and unwind in paradise. Explore the local cuisine at the various restaurants, offering delicious seafood and traditional Costa Rican dishes. Don’t forget to visit the local boutiques and markets to discover unique souvenirs and support local artisans.

Things to Do in Uvita Best Time to Visit Travel Tips
Visit Marino Ballena December to April for whale-watching Apply sunscreen and bring snorkeling gear
Explore Nauyaca Waterfall Year-round Wear comfortable shoes for hiking
Discover Marino Ballena National Park Anytime Respect the park’s rules and regulations
Relax on Uvita Beach Year-round Bring a beach towel and enjoy the sun

Uvita is a destination that offers a true escape into nature. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on picturesque beaches, thrilling encounters with wildlife, or breathtaking waterfall adventures, this coastal town has it all. Plan your visit to Uvita and take in the beauty and tranquility of this tropical paradise.

Discovering Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park

If you’re a nature lover and an adventure seeker, then Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park are must-visit destinations in Costa Rica. Located on the Osa Peninsula, these pristine and biodiverse areas offer an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of the rainforest and encounter a wide array of wildlife.

Drake Bay serves as the gateway to Corcovado National Park, a true gem of the country. This park is renowned for its rich biodiversity, boasting over 500 species of trees, 400 species of birds, and 140 species of mammals, including jaguars, tapirs, and monkeys. Embark on a full-day wildlife tour led by experienced guides and witness the magic of the rainforest firsthand. Listen to the symphony of chirping birds, observe troops of monkeys swinging through the trees, and keep your eyes peeled for elusive big cats in their natural habitat.

The boat trip to Corcovado National Park is an adventure in itself, offering glimpses of magnificent mangrove trees and marine life. Marvel at the picturesque landscapes as you make your way to the park, and soak in the tranquility that surrounds you. Upon arrival, explore the park’s different ecosystems, from dense rainforests to pristine beaches, and revel in the raw beauty of nature.

“The biodiversity in Corcovado National Park is simply astounding. It’s like stepping into a nature documentary. Every corner reveals a new and awe-inspiring creature. This is truly a wildlife lover’s paradise.”

Wildlife Tours in Costa Rica

If you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife adventure, Costa Rica is the place to be. With its vast protected areas and commitment to conservation, the country offers a multitude of wildlife tours that allow you to observe and interact with exotic creatures in their natural habitats.

Whether you’re interested in birdwatching, snorkeling with sea turtles, or trekking through the rainforest in search of elusive wildlife, there’s a tour for every type of nature enthusiast. Knowledgeable guides will accompany you, providing valuable insights and ensuring a safe and educational experience.

Some popular wildlife tours in Costa Rica include turtle watching in Tortuguero, where you can witness the nesting process of sea turtles; sloth spotting in Manuel Antonio National Park, home to a large population of these adorable creatures; and dolphin and whale watching in the Marino Ballena National Park, where you can witness the majestic humpback whales in their annual migration.

Tour Description Duration
Turtle Watching in Tortuguero Observe sea turtles nesting on the beaches 2-3 hours
Sloth Spotting in Manuel Antonio Search for sloths in the lush rainforest 4-5 hours
Dolphin and Whale Watching in Marino Ballena Witness the incredible marine life 3-4 hours

Wildlife in Corcovado National Park

Adventure in Arenal

When it comes to adventure in Costa Rica, Arenal is a destination that should not be missed. With its majestic volcano and natural hot springs, Arenal offers a thrilling and rejuvenating experience for visitors of all ages.

Start your adventure by exploring the Arenal Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Take a guided hike through the lush rainforest trails, learning about the volcano’s history and geology along the way. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as monkeys, toucans, and sloths, as you witness breathtaking views of the volcano’s smoking crater.

After a day of exploration, unwind and relax in the healing waters of the natural hot springs. These geothermal pools are surrounded by lush vegetation and offer a soothing respite from the day’s activities. Whether you choose to soak in a secluded oasis or indulge in a luxury spa experience, the hot springs of Arenal provide the perfect opportunity to rest and rejuvenate.

Arenal Volcano

Table: Top Attractions in Arenal

Attraction Description
La Fortuna Waterfall A stunning waterfall surrounded by lush rainforest, perfect for swimming and hiking.
Adventure Tours Enjoy thrilling activities such as ziplining, canyoning, and white-water rafting.
Arenal Hanging Bridges Walk through the rainforest on a series of suspended bridges for a unique perspective of the ecosystem.
Ecotermales Fortuna A secluded hot springs resort known for its relaxing ambiance and natural beauty.

Aside from its natural beauty and adventure activities, Arenal also offers a range of charming accommodations, from cozy eco-lodges to luxurious resorts. Immerse yourself in the lush surroundings and wake up to breathtaking views of the volcano each morning.

With its combination of thrilling adventures, stunning natural landscapes, and rejuvenating hot springs, Arenal is a must-visit destination in Costa Rica. Embark on an unforgettable adventure in this tropical paradise and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Beach Bliss in the Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula is a haven for beach lovers and luxury seekers. With its stunning coastline, world-class surf spots, and exclusive resorts, this region offers the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves, indulge in spa treatments, or simply unwind on the pristine beaches, the Nicoya Peninsula has it all.

When it comes to surfing, the Nicoya Peninsula boasts some of the best breaks in Costa Rica. Playa Santa Teresa, named one of the top surf destinations in the world, offers consistent waves for surfers of all levels. With its warm waters and stunning natural surroundings, this beach is a must-visit for any surf enthusiast.

For those seeking a luxurious getaway, the Nicoya Peninsula is home to a range of high-end resorts. From boutique eco-lodges to five-star beachfront hotels, you’ll find a variety of options to suit your taste and budget. Indulge in pampering spa treatments, enjoy gourmet dining experiences, and let the tranquil beauty of the surroundings wash over you.

Soak up the sun, take long walks along the shoreline, and immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of the Nicoya Peninsula. Whether you’re seeking adventure or pure relaxation, this coastal paradise is sure to captivate your senses and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


In conclusion, this 1-week itinerary serves as a perfect Costa Rica vacation planner, allowing you to experience the best of this tropical paradise. From the vibrant culture of San Jose to the breathtaking beauty of Uvita, Drake Bay, Arenal, and the Nicoya Peninsula, there is something for everyone in this adventure-packed journey.

Whether you’re a nature lover, adrenaline junkie, or beach enthusiast, Costa Rica has it all. Explore the dense rainforests, hike majestic volcanoes, spot diverse wildlife, and relax on pristine beaches. Customize this itinerary to fit your preferences, adding or adjusting activities to create your dream vacation.

Embark on a memorable trip to Costa Rica and immerse yourself in its natural wonders, vibrant culture, and thrilling adventures. With this 1-week itinerary as your guide, you’ll create unforgettable memories in one of the world’s most captivating destinations.


When is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

The best time to visit Costa Rica is from November to April when the weather is dry and sunny. However, even during the wetter months, Costa Rica offers plenty of adventure and beauty.

How long should I plan to stay in Costa Rica?

The ideal length for a vacation in Costa Rica is 12 nights. This will give you enough time to explore different regions and enjoy a variety of activities.

What is the price range for a luxury vacation in Costa Rica?

The price for a luxury vacation in Costa Rica starts from $5,938 per person, excluding flights. This price is based on two people traveling together.

How long is the flight to Costa Rica?

The flight time to Costa Rica is approximately 14 hours and 5 minutes from the UK, and 5 hours and 10 minutes from NYC.

What are the transportation options from the airport in San Jose?

Transportation options from the airport in San Jose include airport shuttles, car rentals, private transfers, taxis, and Uber.

What are some popular attractions in San Jose?

Some popular attractions in San Jose include the Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, and La Chimba Coffee Farm.

What can I do in Uvita?

In Uvita, you can visit the Marino Ballena, hike to the Nauyaca Waterfall, and enjoy the town’s beautiful beaches.

What can I see and do in Drake Bay?

In Drake Bay, you can take a full-day wildlife tour to Corcovado National Park, explore the beaches, and experience the laid-back atmosphere of this hidden gem.

What are some adventure activities in Arenal?

In Arenal, you can hike the volcano, relax in the hot springs, try canyoning, and go ziplining through the rainforest.

What can I expect in the Nicoya Peninsula?

In the Nicoya Peninsula, you can enjoy pristine beaches, go surfing, indulge in luxury resorts, and spot wildlife such as iguanas and howler monkeys.

Is it possible to customize this itinerary?

Yes, this itinerary can be customized to fit your preferences. You can choose to add or remove destinations and activities based on your interests.

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