12 Day itinerary in Costa Rica, Central America & Caribbean

Nature Luxury Escape in Costa Rica

Drive through Costa Rica staying at the best hotels in each city to enjoy their luxurious facilities, while connecting with nature visiting the most amazing sites such as Pacuare River, Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna and the beautiful warm waters of the Caribbean.

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By Gabriela


Physical Difficulty


Recommended Age


Operated in

English, Spanish, French


On Some Day Trips

starting point

San José

trip type


trip attributes

Meet local people



Outdoors & Nature






Explore Pacuare River, rated one of the top rivers in the world for white water rafting


Visit La Fortuna, a city located at the foot of the Arenal volcano and take part in fun activities


Swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean in Playa Chiquita, Playa Cocles or Playa Punta Uva


Kayak, paddle, take dance or sports lessons, or explore the surrounding beaches in Conchal


Luxury Accommodation expand_more

Day 1

place Welcome to Costa Rica

Welcome to Costa Rica: welcome by your English-speaking local representative at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Your stay begins with a first night in San Jose. Located at an altitude of 1,200 metres, the capital and its urban area are home to half of the country's population. The city is located in the heart of the central valley surrounded in the north by various volcanoes, such as the Poas, Irazú or Turrialba, and in the south by the Talamanca mountain range, which is the highest mountain range in southern Central America.

Guide: Included for the day


  • Luxury Accommodation: Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen
Day 2

place Transfer to the Caribeean Coast

Meet your car rental agency representative in the hotel lobby to pick up your rental vehicle. Continue towards the Southern Caribbean. You will pass through Siquirres and the port city of Limón before reaching the seaside where the villages of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo are located. A unique atmosphere awaits you in the small fishing village of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast, characterized by its multicultural atmosphere and its calypso music, reggae from Afro-Caribbean culture. Optional activity on the way to the Caribbean coast : Visit a family owned coffee plantation in Turrialba region! The “Black Gold” of Costa Rica will have no secrets for you! (Not included).

Meals: Breakfast


  • Luxury Accommodation: Boutique Hotel Aguas Claras Puerto Viejo
Day 3

place Explore the jungle

Drive to the beautiful beaches of the coast and discover Cahuita National Park or go to the Gandoca Manzanillo wildlife refuge, which is located south of Puerto Viejo. Walk or cycle (the most used means of transport in the area) from your hotel to the beach to treat yourself to a moment to swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean. Playa Chiquita, Playa Cocles or Playa Punta Uva are waiting for you. Between sunbathing, take a relaxing break in one of the restaurants in the area and enjoy a cocktail or a cold beer.

Meals: Breakfast


  • Luxury Accommodation: Boutique Hotel Aguas Claras Puerto Viejo
Day 4

place Relax on the beach

Enjoy another free day and also opt to add any of these optional activities (not included): - Visit Cahuita National Park and discover the local fauna before taking a swim in the crystal clear water of Playa Blanca. - Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center, a shelter and rehabilitation center for injured local wild animals, and learn more about wildlife conservation in Costa Rica. - Spend one or several days in the Bri-Bri Indigenous reserve to immerse yourself into one of the native cultures of Costa Rica. - Take a cooking course from local women of the community and learn more about the afro caribbean heritage of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. - Go on an adventure across the border all the way to Panama to discover the natural habitat of the manatee, a peaceful and gentle animal, although vulnerable to extinction, and learn how to help his conservation.

Meals: Breakfast


  • Luxury Accommodation: Boutique Hotel Aguas Claras Puerto Viejo
Day 5

place Pacuare River

Drive to the north to Pacuare River, rated one of the top rivers in the world for white water rafting! Beside rafting, the Pacuare region is home to an extraordinary biodiversity and breathtaking sceneries.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


  • Luxury Accommodation: Pacuare Lodge
Day 6

place Activities in Pacuare River

Wake up to the sounds of nature! One of the following activities are included in your stay. The hardest part will be to pick one! White water rafting: Experience the white water magic as you discover the excitement of thrilling rapids coursing through rugged canyons and verdant tropical rainforests on one of the most exotic and scenic rivers in the world. Zip-lining adventure: Most of the action in the rainforest happens not at ground level, but in the treetops. That’s why this zip-lining adventure is perfect for thrill seekers and nature lovers alike. Canyoning at El Tesorito Creek: This fun outdoor adventure includes rock climbing, a descent down a small waterfall, sliding along cables, swinging through the jungle like Tarzan, and rappelling down a 30-meter (100-foot) rock face. The result is a light but exhilarating adventure in an idyllic, natural setting. Meeting the Cabecar Indigenous people: The Talamanca Mountains are host to the Cabécar, the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica, and one that retains many of its traditional customs and beliefs. The trek to visit these family clans is challenging due to the difficult conditions of the trails; nevertheless, the trail offers a wonderful opportunity to discover many secrets of the forest, interact with the ecosystem, and hike the same trails the Cabécar have for centuries. Birdwatching: With the first blush of morning, amid dappled shadows and misty morning light, we leave the warmth of our bungalows to pay fitting tribute to the beginning of a new day. Meeting with the local community of Bajos del Tigre: Close to the Pacuare Lodge, on the far bank of the river, there is a small village called Bajo del Tigre; most of the lodge employees are from there. This adventure starts by crossing the Pacuare River from the lodge in a gondola suspended from a steel cable. Together with your naturalist guide, you will explore the river basin and rainforest by foot and visit the community of Bajo del Tigre.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


  • Luxury Accommodation: Pacuare Lodge
Day 7

place Arenal Volcano

Today, your Costa Rican adventure takes you north to reach La Fortuna, a city located at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Costa Rica is known to host about 116 volcanoes, among which (and probably the most impressive) is the Arenal volcano. Despite its 7,500 years, it is fairly well-preserved since it is in fact the youngest volcano in the country. Rising to 1,630 metres, this stratovolcano has not been active since the end of 2010, but it is a delight for photographers (when it is exposed on clear days) as well as for aficionados of thermal waters. Tonight, we recommend you the following optional activity (not included): Soak the stress and the troubles away in Tabacon Thermal Resort, the most luxurious and scrumptious thermal resort in Costa Rica.

Meals: Breakfast


  • Luxury Accommodation: Amor Arenal
Day 8

place Day at leisure in Arenal Volcano region

Welcome to the adventure capital of Costa Rica! Thanks to its location and its generous natural surroundings, Arenal Volcano area is an adventure activities lovers’ paradise ! Among the many optional activities that are of interest in the area (not included), we recommend: Visit Arenal National Park and discover the solidified lava river. Walk on the hanging bridges and discover the tropical forest at monkey eye-level. Experience the best ziplining in Costa Rica. Go on a kayak or paddle adventure on Arenal lake and take in beautiful views of Arenal Volcano. Outing in ATV on the slopes of the volcano. Meet Don Hubert and visit his organic farm and crops.


  • Luxury Accommodation: Amor Arenal
Day 9

place Transfer to the Pacific Coast

Today you will transfer to the most luxurious destinations of Costa Rica. Conchal Beach is a natural paradise located on the Pacific Coast this place offers you an intimate experience with nature, reflective waters, several high quality hotel chains and real estate developers plan to make this region a model of a tourist center where the natural environment and commercial development can coexist.

Meals: Breakfast


  • Luxury Accommodation: W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal
Day 10

place Day at leisure at the beach

Take advantage of the free days to kayak, paddle (free use in your hotel) or to take dance or sports lessons. From your hotel you could explore the surrounding beaches

Meals: Breakfast


  • Luxury Accommodation: W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal
Day 11

place Day at leisure on the beach

Enjoy your last free day in this paradise to take part in different activities or just relax at the beautiful beach.

Meals: Breakfast


  • Luxury Accommodation: W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal
Day 12

place Transfer back to San Jose

It is now time to head back to Juan Santamaria Airport. Drive to the road along the Pacific coast with beautiful views the whole way before joining the road leading to the central valley.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included

Accommodation expand_less

  • Boutique Hotel Aguas Claras Puerto Viejo
  • Pacuare Lodge
  • Amor Arenal
  • W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal
  • Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen

Meals expand_less

  • Breakfast (10)
  • Dinner (2)
  • Lunch (1)

Transport expand_less

  • Private transfer to your hotel on day 1
  • 12 days of car rental from day 2 to day 12 (unlimited km, basic insurance, GPS and on board Wifi)

Activities expand_less

  • All included activities as per itinerary

Extras expand_less

  • Meet and greet at the airport
  • Phone support by the team all along the trip
  • Travel documents in English
  • Administrative fees and taxes

Not Included expand_less

  • International flights, cancelation, repatriation, luggage insurance
  • Additional car insurance & deposit for the car
  • Gas expenses
  • Any meal that is not mentioned as included or not mentioned at all
  • Any activity o entrance fee that is not mentioned as included or not mentioned at all
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Anything not mentioned above in the inclusions section
  • Optional Activities

About Gabriela


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Visit markets

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