Costa Rica Itineraries

Last Updated 9/1/2020
Jump to Section: Itineraries | Planning | Trip Types | How Many Days? | Top Destinations | Beaches vs Rainforest | Lodging | Transportation | Building Your Trip

Travelers looking for an affordable yet upscale and unique travel experience throughout Costa Rica are often challenged to find many options with travel agencies who don’t offer authentic local insights. Every itinerary that Costa Rica Escapes develops is private and exclusive to your travel group, no matter how many people will be traveling. Your trip is built around your schedule and preferences.

Relaxing on Costa Rica Beach
Costa Rica itineraries involve adventure and relaxation, from beach to rainforest. Experience Pura Vida!

Click above to email, or call us at 314-808-7232

 
Vacations from Costa Rica Escapes are not generic “big-box style vacations” that put you on a bus or in a high-rise hotel with a bunch of strangers during your travel experience. This is a special vacation for you, and you want your experience personalized so that your trip is distinctive and unforgettable! Experience for yourself (in the video below) what an authentic Costa Rica itinerary can be like.

Your Costa Rica Itinerary Experience

What Type of Vacation Do You Want?

Costa Rica Escapes brings clarity, definition, and efficiency to your travel preparations so that you can have a safe, high-quality, and personalized trip through this exquisite country. Though we offer many different types of trips, we specialize in the following categories:

We encourage all travelers to review our itineraries in detail and let us know which you like the most. This will give us a good starting point as we begin the planning process. We will offer local advice and knowledge. Your interests and travel style will be matched with the best places to visit and the best accommodations for your trip (and budget). Your vacation time is valuable, and we want to create memories that will last a lifetime!

Explore Our Costa Rica Itineraries

Escape the Ordinary. Get a Unique Experience! Review our favorite trips below or customize your own trip.

Costa Rica Family Vacation Itinerary

Costa Rica Family Vacations

Costa Rica Escapes specializes in hosting families of all sizes with children and adults of all different ages. With over 25 years of Costa Rica travel experience, we always use boutique properties that are appropriate for families. We only recommend age-appropriate adventures and tours. Your family’s safety is our top priority. We take pride in choosing guides and destinations that will not only keep the young ones entertained, but will engage the most well-traveled grandparent, too.


costa rica honeymoon image

Couples, Honeymoons & Romantic Getaways

We use an incredible collection of properties that specifically offer couples a blend of privacy, rainforest wildlife, and beach environments. Many of the properties that we use have in Costa Rica have private plunge pools, outdoor jungle showers, or a hot tub on the deck. These unique and special features provide the perfect setting for romance. Whether it’s a honeymoon, special anniversary trip or just an escape from everyday life, we help you achieve the perfect balance of romance and adventure.


costa rica adventure vacations iamge

Adventure & Nature Vacations

Our collection of adventure and nature-specific trips are sure to create incredible memories for you and your travel companions. They cover a good deal of ground in an efficient manner and are meant for those looking to experience as much adventure while seeing a wide range of wildlife during their trip. These one-of-a-kind trips are uniquely designed using top-quality service providers and efficient travel methods. These are not your “budget” option trips. We provide a very high level of quality and value.


Arenal Volcano: Custom Costa Rica Vacation Itineraries

Custom Costa Rica Vacations & Tours

You never know when you’ll be back to visit, so we suggest making your trip to Costa Rica the absolute best that it can be! With Costa Rica Escapes, you can design and take a complete, integrated and personalized trip. We want to involve you in the trip design process as much as you’d like to be part of it. If you have ideas on where to go or what you’d like to do, please inform us and based on our knowledge and experience. Our team will provide you with ideas and suggestions, which will include secure connections, quality transportation, and fun, safe and awe-inspiring activities.

 


Tips for Planning a Costa Rica Itinerary

First-time travelers to Costa Rica are often surprised at the wide variety of destinations, experiences, and attractions to be found in such a small country, which can make the task of planning the ultimate itinerary seem daunting. There are so many gorgeous beaches, tropical forests, national parks and tours that it can be hard to narrow it down the options to curate the trip that is right for you. Before you are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of possibilities, take a moment to imagine the ideal trip and define the necessary elements that will make it possible.

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What Type of Trip Should You Take?

The first element to consider is the type of trip you are creating. Are you planning a family vacation, honeymoon, or adventure trip? It is important to know how many people are going on the trip and the purpose and expectations of each traveler. Take into consideration the ages, abilities, attention span, and interests of the integrants of your trip. Remember that some locations and activities have an age minimum and require a certain level of physical fitness for safety.

Considerations:

  • Are you an adventurous couple looking for a remote romantic getaway?
  • Are you a family looking for popular and enjoyable “must-see” locations in Costa Rica?
  • Are you a group of avid explorers looking for adventurous outdoor experiences in nature?
  • Are you up for a remote family adventure that is “off the beaten path”, or are the ease and amenities of a resort more your style?
  • Did you know you can still have an all-inclusive, family trip without the generic surroundings of a resort?

Taking the time to clarify your intentions can help you make better choices as you plan your trip.

The next factors to consider are the length of time you will need to visit Costa Rica and your group’s travel pace. Are you looking to see as much as you can of the country and pack your days with activities and tours? Or are you seeking to slow down, relax and unwind, and spend more time at each location with less time on the road getting from place to place?

We recommend a minimum of 7 days to give yourself enough time for arrival and departure travel days to and from your point of origin, plus enough time to thoroughly enjoy multiple destinations in-country.

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You preferred activities should be considered in your length of trip

 

How Many Days Should Spend in Costa Rica?

We specialize in trips that involve spending 8-10 days in Costa Rica. Most of our trips are described as a 9-day trip, however, we also offer 8-day and 11-day variations (with pricing) to help you better understand your options. If you’re looking to spend only 7 days in Costa Rica, we can accommodate that, but we recommend spending a little more than a week in Costa Rica. Upwards of 10 days in Costa Rica will provide more experiences for such an important trip!

If you’re interested in a 12-14 day trip, we can help you see even more of this beautiful country and plan some incredible local experiences that you will never forget over the course of a two-week timespan. When it comes down to it, we can help with whatever length of trip that you’re interested in! Just contact us to get started. We’re happy to answer questions!

7 days (one week)

You should make sure to see the rainforest and beach, with several activities and tours at each location. The tips in our article, Best of Costa Rica in 7 Days, ensure you take advantage of the most quintessential destinations while minimizing travel time. In a week, we generally go straight for the most prized natural attractions, such as white water rafting, strategically skipping the big cities.

8 days

With an additional day, you can enjoy the highlights of a 7-day itinerary and add in another attraction, such as a volcano, mountains or a day tour such as visiting Sarchí in the central valley before you depart.

10 days

You can expand your collection of destinations, adding in more places to visit while taking your time to truly soak in the flavor and everything each place has to offer. The tips in our article, Best of Costa Rica in 10 Days, ensure you can enjoy the rainforest, a beach, and a volcano.

14 days (two weeks)

In two weeks you can give yourself the luxury of covering more ground, exploring different regions of the country, and venturing into more remote locations. You can also take a slower pace, taking time to sink into each location or maximize the diverse climates, landscapes, life zones and ecosystems that Costa Rica has to offer.

14 days also ensures that you have enough time to visit both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts and also various elevations such as the highlands of Monteverde or Irazú volcano. You can also spend some time in the capital of San José. Explore Costa Rica’s Southern Zone and secluded locations such as Drake Bay and the famous Corcovado National Park, known as one of Costa Rica’s most wild frontiers.

What are Costa Rica’s Top Destinations for Families?

Costa Rica’s top destinations usually include time at the beach, volcano, and rainforest. Our Costa Rica Collection trip includes a combination of rainforest, cloud forest, and Pacific beach to hit the most satisfying and iconic locations in Costa Rica. Popular activities include snorkeling, wildlife rainforest tours, soaking in thermal hot springs, and flying through the treetops on a canopy tour.

costa rica hot spring experience
Both families and couples will love Costa Rica’s hot spring experiences!

The following resources will help you determine where to go:

What Lodging & Accommodations Should You Consider?

When planning your lodging, make sure that your accommodations are the right match for your group’s budget and tastes. By planning a trip with us, you can prevent unexpected surprises or lodging that doesn’t meet the reviews or photos you saw on their website. Whether you are in need of Casual, Premier, or Upgraded (Luxury) accommodations, we can make sure that you get the right lodging for your group and your wallet.

What Transportation Should You Take In-Country?

Transportation is key on a trip that involves multiple destinations. The smoothest and easiest way to experience the trip, especially for groups, is to have private transportation (including airport transfers) so you know that you have a trusted driver waiting for you when you arrive.

For the more adventurous travelers and those up for navigating Costa Rica’s roads and different driving cultures, there is also the option of rental cars, shuttles, or even public buses. However, we recommend reviewing the Costa Rica transportation tips from the U.S. Department of State before choosing to drive in Costa Rica.

Some destinations such as Tortuguero do not currently have road access, so arrival via riverboat through tropical mangroves is part of the journey.

For more remote locations or to save time instead of going overland, Costa Rica has local airlines that fly from the major airports of Juan Santamaría and Liberia to smaller landing strips at destinations throughout the country.

costa rica beach manuel antonio
Don’t forget about the rainforests, but the beaches in Costa Rica are incredible!

Balancing Beaches vs Rainforest

On any trip to Costa Rica make sure to hit both the rainforest and beach. While visiting Costa Rica many enjoy the contrast of climate, temperature, and diverse flora and fauna of the beaches of Guanacaste vs the cloud forest of Monteverde. There are some locations, such as Manuel Antonio that have both beaches and rainforest in the same place.

Rather than fumbling blindly through the vast and varied possibilities of a trip in Costa Rica, allow Costa Rica Escapes’ team to match you and your group to the ultimate itinerary for your needs, interests, and specific requests.

Building Your Costa Rica Itinerary

We specialize in producing authentic and personalized travel experiences and use extensive knowledge and local relationships to offer travel suggestions tailored to your interests. This results in the perfect Costa Rica vacation.

How We Communicate

We strongly believe in making a personal connection over the phone to begin the trip planning process, because vacations like these are an important investment. We want to make sure that expectations are properly managed and everything is exactly as you want it to be.

Feel free to call us as your schedule permits. We are available during the week, over the weekends and in the evenings. You can also email us to let us know how and when we can reach you.

Purchasing Flights to Costa Rica

It doesn’t matter whether you purchase your airfare before you speak to us or afterward, but you will need to send us your flight information at some point early in our communication. We can offer you some suggestions on the airfare purchasing if you’d like.

SJO Airport
Costa Rica offers clean and efficient airport experiences in both San Jose and Liberia. Photo Credit: SJO

Choosing & Refining Trip Details

Let us know which of our sample itineraries appeal to you, and we can begin discussing ideas to personalize your trip and secure necessary reservations.

Once your trip details and an estimated price has been developed, we will request an initial deposit and travel application, verify availability and share the details of the accommodations. At this point, you can confirm your preferred accommodations and further refine the details of your trip. Travel insurance is also available from our preferred provider.

Deposit & Finalized Details

We will work with you to define a deposit schedule that works for everyone. One week before your trip, you will receive a detailed, day-to-day itinerary that outlines your trip and gives you all of the necessary information and instructions to carry out your daily travel.

Costa Rica pura vida
Come to Costa Rica. Experience Pura Vida!

Let’s Help You Plan the Perfect Itinerary

Complete the form below to initiate the itinerary planning process with our itinerary designers. Whether it’s a family trip, romantic honeymoon, or a group of friends seeking high adventure, we will combine your travel needs with our local knowledge to design your ideal travel experience!

  • Planning Tip: Please include your phone number. We want to respect your time. A quick phone call is a mutually beneficial way to start planning your dream trip to Costa Rica!

  • Please tell us how we can help you plan a trip to Costa Rica. Our trips start at $1,500 per adult, which includes your lodging, in-country transportation, and many of your activities and meals.
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