A 10-Day Costa Rica Itinerary from Rainforest to Beaches

Travel advisor Katie Anderson smiling for the picture
Curated By

Katie Anderson

Icon Share


  • Costa Rica

  • Active Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Beaches

  • Outdoors

  • Local Food

  • Entertainment

Manuel Antonio National Park with a beach and trees view
Curator’s statement

Costa Rica is the very first country that I have traveled to solo, so it holds a special place in my heart. It was my first brave adventure! As a single solo female, I felt completely safe. There are so many wonderful activities for solo travelers, couples and families. It's easily accessible from many U.S. cities (Liberia or San Jose) and a fabulous option for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. For Costa Rica's dry season, it's best to visit from December to late April.

The Fora Difference

Book with Katie to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Previous slide

Nayara Gardens

Indulge in a slice of paradise at Nayara Gardens. Nestled in the lush rainforests of Costa Rica, this luxury resort offers a secluded and tranquil retreat. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings, relax in exquisite accommodations, and rejuvenate your senses with world-class spa treatments. With personalized service, gourmet dining, and breathtaking views, Nayara Gardens provides an enchanting escape for nature lovers and luxury seekers alike.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal

Luxurious thermal spa resort with rustic-chic rooms, natural hot and cold springs and waterfalls.

Fora Perks
  • $125 spa credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Luxe resort and spa near Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Next slide
Travel advisor Katie Anderson smiling for the picture

Unlock perks by contacting Katie to book your trip.

Day 1: Arrival and check-in

Costa rica green trees

Make your way from your home airport to Liberia, Costa Rica. From there you will take an airport transfer to your first hotel for a 5-night stay surrounded by tropical forest and volcano views. Recommended hotels include: Nayara Gardens, The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal or Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa.

Day 2: Rainforest adventure

Rainforest Adventure

Take a La Fortuna Waterfall and Hanging Bridges & Lunch Tour. This will be a true rainforest experience as you traverse a series of trails and exciting suspension bridges to reach a stunning waterfall (approx. 7 hours). This tour has an intermediate physical activity level, but it is amazing! Each of the recommended accommodations will have their own dining options on the resort property.

Day 3: Volcano trek

Volcano Trek

Spend the morning doing a Lava Fields Walk tour trekking over the dried lava fields of Arenal Volcano (approx. 3.5 hours). This is an opportunity for you to take a safe trail with a guide with fantastic views of the volcano and Lake Arenal. This also requires an intermediate physical activity level. Spend the afternoon relaxing or enjoying your resort pool.

Day 4: Cano Negro wildlife tour

Cano Negro Wildlife

Take a Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge tour to see wildlife including green iguanas, crocodiles, two or three-toed sloths, howler monkeys, parrots and toucans to name a few. You will take a covered boat with a naturalist guide through the Rio Frio (Cold River). You will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. This tour is about seven hours long. This tour is suitable for all ages and all levels of physical activity.

Day 5: Frog watching

Insect in Costa Rica

Enjoy your final day in the rainforest relaxing at your resort with an optional Frog-Watching Night Walk tour (2.5 hours). You will travel with a naturalist guide to the private reserve of the Rojas Bonilla Family, the habitat for 28 varieties of frog species. This tour is great for all age groups.

Day 6: Beach resort arrival

Beautiful Blue Sky with Mountains and trees

You will make your way by arranged transfer to your beach resort for a 4-night stay. Recommended hotel options include: Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo, Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo or Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica. All of the recommended resorts have an array of dining options on the property.

Day 7: Mega combo adventure

Ziplining in Costarica

Take a full-day Mega Combo Adventure Tour (ziplining/horseback riding/shopping in Liberia/mud baths and hot springs) with roundtrip transportation from your hotel with included lunch.

Day 8: Customized activities

Cafe in Costa Rica

Choose your own adventure from some of the following options: Off-Roading, Peninsula Monkey Tour, Sensoria (Rainforest Land of Senses Walking and Thermals Tour), Aerial Park, Mountain Biking or Sunrise Sportfishing.

Day 9: Resort relaxation

Twilight in Costa rica

Enjoy your final day relaxing at your resort and enjoy your resort pools.

Day 10: Departure Day

La fortuna Costa rica

Take an arranged airport transfer from your hotel back to Liberia International Airport for your flight back to your home airport.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Sarah Keim's guide, Packing Luxury and Adventure Into a 4 Day Costa Rica Itinerary.

Travel advisor Katie Anderson smiling for the picture

Travel Advisor

Katie Anderson

Get in touch with Katie

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Katie within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Costa Rica.