Costa Rica 10 Day Jungle and Beach Itinerary

Costa Rica 10 Day Jungle and Beach Itinerary

Traveling to Costa Rica for our first international trip was the perfect choice to begin our adventures. Immersing ourselves in nature was easy, we found great boutique hotels to stay at, and it fit our budget. Not to mention, the natural beauty and biodiversity is off the charts! Below is a brief overview of our itinerary for Costa Rica.

Days 1-4: Exploring La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano

After arriving in San Jose we spent a few hours sleeping at the County Inn & Suites. Next we took an early morning shuttle to the quiet town of La Fortuna which sits at the base of Arenal Volcano. The shuttle ride took about 2 hours 45 minutes and stopped at a small touristy shop (with beautiful views of the Costa Rican countryside) where you can purchase souvenirs and snacks.

We chose to stay at Casa Luna Hotel & Spa to be surrounded by lush greenery while still being near the town. This quaint boutique hotel was a quick 5 minute taxi ride or 30 minute walk into La Fortuna. From here, we had plenty of activities to fill our days. We walked the Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, took a DIY hike to La Fortuna Waterfall from the hotel, went ziplining, visited Tabacon hot springs, and crawled through the Venado Caves.

View of Arenal Volcano.
We got a rare glimpse of the Arenal Volcano peak!

Days 4-10: Mangroves, Beaches and Wildlife in Manuel Antonio

Next, we took a 5 hour shuttle down to Manuel Antonio and stayed at Hotel Plaza Yara. It was perfect because it sat right on the main road to the national park, but still felt secluded. It was also just a two minute walk to the local bus stop which provided cheap and easy transportation around town. We spent that first day hanging out at Espadilla Beach enjoying cocktails at Restaurante Balu (2-for-1 Piña Colodas anyone?!) and planning our next adventures.

We navigated mangrove forests on kayak, ate lunch in a decommissioned airplane, and hiked through Manuel Antonio National Park spotting toucans and sloths on the way to a hidden beach. To top it off, we rode on horseback to the incredible Nauyaca Waterfalls – our favorite adventure.

Espadilla Beach at sunset
Restaurante Balu on Espadilla Beach right before sunset.

Finally, we made our way back to San Jose to spend our last night at Studio Hotel. If you’re into Indian cuisine, be sure to check out Chak de India in San Jose. The next day we flew home to L.A. Spending 10 days in Costa Rica gave us just enough time to experience the diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife. Not only is the country breathtakingly beautiful – it’s also safe, affordable, and the people are so friendly. Check out our other posts for a more in-depth look at each region of our adventure itinerary for Costa Rica. Thanks for reading!

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