10 Days in Costa Rica: Our Recommendations

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10 days in Costa Rica gives visitors a chance to really get to grips with this astonishing country. Nestled within the rainforests of Central America, with tropical beaches stretching along two coasts, warm azure seas, and incredible wildlife to boot, there’s no doubt that a world of adventure awaits on a Costa Rica trip.

Ziplining, kayaking, hiking, and scuba diving are just some of the thrills on offer. Check out our suggested Costa Rica tour itineraries below, covering anywhere between nine and eleven days. Have less or more time than a 10-day Costa Rica itinerary? Check out our guide on how many days to spend in Costa Rica for all recommended Costa Rica tour durations.

9 days in Costa Rica: Beaches and Outdoor Activities

River rafting in Pacuare river in Costa Rica
Pacuare River is popular for rafting in class III and IV rapids.
Day 1 Free time to explore San Jose
Day 2 Paddle the Pacuare River
Day 3 Uncover the wonders of Arenal Volcano National Park
Day 4 Horseriding in Monteverde Cloud Forest
Day 5 Zipline across the canopy in Santa Elena
Day 6 Hit the sands of Samara Beach
Day 7 Bike, kayak, snorkel or surf in Samara Beach
Day 8 Catch what you missed in San Jose
Day 9 Depart from Costa Rica

This bestselling 9-day tour in Costa Rica takes in many of the country’s most popular sights while providing plenty of time for adventure. The thrills begin with rafting along one of the world’s top whitewater rivers, before hiking the unspoiled landscapes of Arenal Volcano. You’ll then ride through Monteverde Cloud Forest on horseback and zipline over the jungle at Santa Elena before enjoying a couple of days at the beach of Samara, where even more activities await. See tour

9-day National Parks of Costa Rica Trip

Walking through the rainforest in Costa Rica
Explore the rainforests of Tortuguero, Arenal and Monteverde.
Day 1 Spend a day exploring San Jose
Day 2 Visit the Turtle Museum of Tortuguero National Park
Day 3 Explore the wilds of Tortuguero National Park
Day 4 Absorb the panoramas around Arenal Volcano National Park
Day 5 Choose from a long list of activities in Arenal Volcano National Park
Day 6 Enjoy the jeep and boat trip to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Day 7 Uncover the wonders of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Day 8 Free time to discover San Jose
Day 9 Depart from Costa Rica

Dive straight into the incredible jungles and waterways of Tortuguero National Park on this 9-day Costa Rica trip. Unreachable by road and only accessible by canals, the beaches of Tortuguero are home to the sea turtles after which the place is named. You may also spot caiman, manatee, and jaguar in this region. You’ll then get to take in the protected forests of Arenal Volcano National Park on foot, by bike, or on a boat before heading to the mountains encompassing the Monteverde Cloud Forest for the chance to explore on horseback. The tour ends with time to explore the Costa Rican urban jungle of San Jose. See tour

10 Day Itinerary in Costa Rica: Essential Costa Rica

Day trips from San Jose Costa Rica, Jaco beach
Jaco beach is the closest beach you can reach from San Jose
Costa Rica has many places to go ziplining in Costa Rica
Ziplining through forests in Manuel Antonio is not to be missed
Day 1 Arrive in San Jose
Day 2 Drive from San Jose to Tortoguero
Day 3 Enjoy boat ride in Tortuguero
Day 4 Travel from Tortuguero to Arenal
Day 5 Spend a day in Arenal Volcano National Park
Day 6 Travel from Arenal to Monteverde
Day 7 Explore Monteverde
Day 8 Travel from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio
Day 9 Go hiking in Manuel Antonio
Day 10 Travel from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

For those wanting to experience the natural side of Costa Rica, this ten-day tour takes you from Costa Rica’s east to west, across the vastly different ecosystems and through a variety of terrain. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of Braulio Carillo National Park on the way to Tortuguero, where you will sail through a jungle before embarking on a hiking adventure in Arenal Volcano National Park. Witness the changeover from rainforest to cloud forest in Monteverde and explore the quaint, little town of Santa Elena. The unique ecosystem and lush vegetation of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve come alive during a hiking trip. Experience a contrasting but equally captivating ecosystem in Manual Antonio National Park. See tour

11 days in Costa Rica: A luxurious rainforest experience

A hot spring in Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica
Soak in the hot springs of Arenal Volcano after a day of adventure
Day 1 Enjoy a day in San Jose
Day 2 Whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River
Day 3 Relax in the splendor of Bajos del Tigre
Day 4 Pacuare River rafting towards Arenal Volcano
Day 5 Take in Arenal Volcano National Park on foot and by zipline
Day 6 White sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 7 Go dolphin spotting on a sunset tour of Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 8 Explore a private nature reserve on the Osa Peninsula
Day 9 Head out wildlife spotting on the Osa Peninsula
Day 10 Free time to enjoy San Jose
Day 11 Depart from Costa Rica

Experiencing all that Costa Rica has to offer doesn’t have to mean roughing it. Thanks to this tour, you have the opportunity to five-star it all the way without missing out on what makes the country so special! You’ll tackle the class III white water of the Pacuare River before enjoying a relaxed day on the Caribbean at Bajos del Tigre. If you think the first day’s rafting is an adventure of a lifetime, hold on; there’s more to follow. Explore the mesmerizing vistas around Arenal Volcano on foot and via zipline, and then relax by soaking in the hot springs. The Pacific Coast is next — relax on its pristine beaches and delve into the reserves of the Osa Peninsula. See tour

In many ways, 10 days in Costa Rica is perfect to explore all the country has to offer. Ten days in Costa Rica allows you to head from coast to coast without rushing, taking in the vistas, exploring the jungle, and heading out on boat-based adventures.

Planning a 10-day itinerary in Costa Rica? Get in touch with one of our travel experts in Costa Rica to inquire about a customized trip. If you’d like to book a package trip or join a group, check out our packaged tours in Costa Rica

Like the idea of Costa Rica but don’t have 10 days to spare? Check out our guide on 5 days or 7 days in Costa Rica. Or, if you’d rather spend even longer in this wonderful country, you can choose one of the itineraries from our 14-day in Costa Rica article too!

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  • Ellen Zoe Golden
    Ellen Zoe Golden
    Travel Expert in Costa Rica
  • Alberto Molina
    Alberto Molina
    Travel Expert in Costa Rica
  • Randall Jiménez Moreno
    Randall Jiménez Moreno
    Travel Expert in Costa Rica
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