How to Spend the Best 5 Days In Costa Rica In 2023

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase using these links, I may receive a commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for supporting Blogging Money Life! Read my full disclosure.

How to Spend the Best 5 Days In Costa Rica In 2022

The beauty of Central America is known as Costa Rica. And it is easy to see why: the country is home to a lush jungle, beaches are covered in golden sand, and various activities are sure to get your heart pounding. Costa Rica is the best place to visit in Central America and is considered a paradise on earth.

Although 5 days may not seem like much time, the 5-day Costa Rica trip is still sufficient to explore many of its most remarkable attractions. Costa Rica is the perfect place for a five-day trip for everyone, especially nature lovers.

Whenever you go on a trip, it’s always a great idea to have a perfect guide or plan. If you plan to spend 5 days in Costa Rica but do not know what you will do there, this post is for you. Here, you will get a complete guide from day 1 to 5. Find out how you can spend the five best days doing great things in Costa Rica.

Day 1

Arrival in San José, CR

San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose is the nation’s capital and the country’s largest city. It’s home to more than 1.4 million people. The first stop on your 5-day trip to Costa Rica will almost certainly be in this bustling metropolis.

It is also the location of a significant international airport, Juan Santamaria Airport. Most visitors to Costa Rica begin and finish their trips in this city.

Therefore, arranging a tour or shuttle service or renting a car is highly recommended. In addition, you must have a rental car to explore the city quickly and participate in outdoor activities.

This will allow you to easily explore San Jose’s bustling marketplaces and plazas!

Visit Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio is the most explored national park in Costa Rica despite being the country’s smallest national park. The explanation behind this is not exactly a mystery.

It features breathtaking sandy beaches with pristine white sand. Encircled by a beautiful and lush jungle, home to various wildlife, including monkeys and sloths.

Cross the Hanging & Suspension Bridges

Walking over hanging bridges through the treetop canopy is the best way to explore the numerous ecosystems that Costa Rica offers. On many people’s bucket lists is the experience of walking across a swaying suspension bridge while taking in the breathtaking scenery below. There are a few significant locations in Costa Rica where you may locate hanging bridges. 

The Manuel Antonio National Park is located in the middle of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. It is perhaps best known for its magnificent beaches and diverse fauna. If you are interested in finding hanging bridges in this area, you must veer off the typical path tourists take. A private reserve known as Rainmaker may be reached in around half an hour.

The Rainmaker property is extensive and features several pleasant walking paths through the primary rainforest. It is a lot less noisy than the national park that everyone visits. At Rainmaker, an upper route features a series of rustic hanging bridges that hikers may traverse. These precarious, cramped bridges link wooden platforms constructed around enormous ancient trees.

After you’ve finished your hike, you should have a refreshing swim in the river to cool off.

Other locations in Costa Rica are home to some of the world’s most magnificent hanging bridges. La Fortuna and Monteverde are two of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destinations. Both of these places may be found in the center and northern parts of the United States. In addition, you can reach the international airports in Liberia and San Jose in roughly the same period, which is 2.5 hours.

Keep an eye out for Spider Monkeys.

For some time now, Costa Rica has had a reputation as a fantastic eco-tourism hotspot. They were pioneers in creating eco-tourism destinations while safeguarding native wildlife. For example, there are monkeys in Costa Rica everywhere. This is one of the reasons why it is such a great place to go to see them.

Also, to observe wildlife in its natural habitat, Manuel Antonio National Park has earned its reputation as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica. You’ll have a good time there, thanks to the spider monkeys. Many visitors only visit Costa Rica to see the spider monkeys.

Day 2

Try A Cup of Local Costa Rican Coffee

Visiting a coffee farm is one of the top day trip options from San Jose. And you probably didn’t think I’d leave it off the list. But first, you must try the coffee for which the country is known internationally, Costa Rica.

There are hundreds of coffee plantations in Costa Rica. But some of the most well-known are close to the capital city of San Jose.

Doka Estate can be reached in under two hours from San José. One option is to join a guided tour. Although lunch is not provided, visitors may enjoy a sugar cane tour and a butterfly garden while they’re there.

The Britt Coffee Tour in the neighboring province of Heredia is another well-liked day excursion option from San Jose. Transportation, lunch, and a sample of coffee and chocolate are all part of this tour.

Explore the Town of La Fortuna

Now, after exploring the one-complete day on your 5-day itinerary in San Jose, it’s time to explore La Fortuna. La Fortuna is approximately three hour drive from San Jose. If you rent a car, you do not require a four-wheel-drive vehicle for any part of this schedule because the roads linking the locations have recently resurfaced. However, to minimize any damage caused by potholes, we strongly advise hiring a somewhat raised car from the ground.

Several high-quality hotels are available in La Fortuna, each of which is affordable. On the other hand, if you have your mode of transportation, you will discover the most excellent places to stay and camp close outside of La Fortuna. If spending time in Costa Rica’s hot springs is high on your to-do list, you might want to look into booking a room at a hotel that offers access to those springs as part of the room’s standard rate.

Hike Near La Fortuna Waterfall

One of the most famous waterfalls in Costa Rica is the La Fortuna Waterfall, which gets its name from the Spanish phrase “la Fortuna,” which translates to “luck.” The Arenal River, which originates in the province of Alajuela and flows through the Arenal Mountain range’s tropical rainforest until it reaches the edge of a cliff and plunges around 200 feet (70 meters) down, is the source of the waterfall’s water.

A pool with a jade-green tint may be found at the waterfall’s base. It is bordered on all sides by mossy slopes, enormous stones, and a forest scene. The setting is so peaceful that one could easily spend the entire day basking in the sun and appreciating the refreshing touch of the waterfall’s mist.

You have to suffer a bit to get to the La Fortuna Waterfall, but it’s worth it because it’s like a tiny piece of heaven when you get there. There are approximately 500 stairs to descend during the hike to La Fortuna Waterfall.

The trip back up takes around 20 to 30 minutes, but the walk down takes ten to fifteen minutes. There are short rest places with seats around every hundred stairs for those who require a rest. The entrance charge to the La Fortuna Waterfall is $18 per adult and $5 per kid. The remarkable thing is that they accept credit cards and cash payments.

Day 3

Travel to Arenal Volcano National Park

You can hire a car rental at prices from $8 to $10, and it takes around 6 minutes to travel the distance from La Fortuna to Arenal Volcano National Park. This is the most cost-effective mode of transportation. The Arenal Volcano National Park is located in central Costa Rica and, together with the Tilaran Conservation Area, forms the Arenal Volcano National Park.

Just one entry to the Arenal Volcano National Park is open to the public. It is approximately one mile west of the well-known Tabacón Hot Springs and may be reached through a dirt road.

The Arenal Volcano, which was thought to be dormant until a massive eruption in 1968, is located inside the park’s boundaries. The Lake Arenal Dam, the largest hydroelectric project in the country, is located nearby. Because it casts a shadow on the eastern side of the town of La Fortuna, you will have to travel to the mountain’s opposite side to view the lava flowing down the hill. It is also essential to remember that clouds cover the summit most days.

Within the national park’s boundaries, there are a few small paths ranging from 3.4 kilometers to 2 kilometers and travel through secondary forests and fields formed by lava from past eruptions. The park rangers keep a constant eye on volcanic activity, and if they believe it is risky, they will not hesitate to restrict trails or sections of the park.

Relax in the Natural Hot Springs

Hot springs in Costa Rica provide visitors with the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate in water that is rich in minerals. These springs were created when volcanic springs were heated underground and then returned to the surface.

You can easily relax on the 3rd day of the tour in Costa Rica; for many visitors, this one is the best time of the term. The Arenal Volcano is undoubtedly one of the most well-known places to visit by tourists interested in experiencing the incredible comfort of soaking in a natural hot spring.

Even though the volcano is in a dormant phase, magma continues to rise to a depth that brings it into touch with groundwater, keeping the natural thermal pools at a comfortable temperature. As a result, the heat can be enjoyed at Arenal in several different areas, giving visitors plenty of options.

Guests enjoy the true sense of refreshment that comes from a visit to the hot springs in Costa Rica, which comes from being immersed in a natural Jacuzzi while being accompanied by the beautiful nature of the tropics. There are many places to go to, each of which has its distinct atmosphere and area of expertise; thus, there is something that will appeal to each tourist.

Day 4

Visit the Caribbean Coast’s Tortuguero National Park

Visiting the Tortuguero National Park on the fourth day will be a great choice. Tortuguero National Park has a varied terrain that includes beaches along the Caribbean Coast and jungle-covered canals that are just begging to be explored. The park can only be reached by boat or aircraft. You can watch turtles on the beach during your evening in the park.

You can watch the turtle on the beach during your evening in the parks. A boat ride is also part of the itinerary, and it’s the best way to get out on the water and try to spot some of the magnificent wildlife that calls this park home, such as manatees, jaguars, and caimans.

In addition to being the location of the world-famous Tortuguero National Park, this region features an intricate canal system, lagoons, rivers, beaches, and a lush tropical rainforest. This is one of the wettest sections of Costa Rica, which helps to maintain the country’s impressively diverse ecosystem. Canoeing, kayaking, boating along these canals, and keeping an eye out for local species are great ways to enjoy nature’s tranquility and relaxation.

Relax on One of the Beautiful Beaches

This massive stretch of undeveloped coastline lies next to the national park. Tortuguero Beach is not suitable for swimming, but it is lovely to stroll along and view the sea turtles that live there. Strong currents may be found in this body of water, which is also home to several sharks and crocodiles.

Tortuguero Beach is situated on a sandbar covered by vegetation, making it one of the most attractive beaches in the Caribbean. A pleasant stroll may be had along the beach’s length since the sand is so soft. Visit this spot at sunset for a view that is just breathtaking! Tortuguero Beach is also where you can witness the hatching of young turtles, so keep a watch out for them there.

Take in the Lush Rainforest If You Visit During the Rainy Season

If you traveled to Costa Rica, maybe seeing the rainforest was one of your most important goals and aspirations. The rainy season causes the rainforests and jungles to be filled with entirely new trees because the rain has rejuvenated them. Instantly, everything takes on a stunningly lush and vibrant green color.

The vegetation in the jungle improves, more flowers blossom, and there is noticeably less dust. You must visit the lush rainforest and take a minute to explore the beauty.

As the clouds part above you, you should be able to get a sense of calm that it brings along with it. So put on your boots and rain gear, and head out into the precipitation. It doesn’t matter if it’s pouring down rain or if it’s just drizzling with the mist rolling about. The rainforest is what you eventually come to see and enjoy the view.

It Won’t Rain You Out

But if you have arrived in Costa Rica, where it is now pouring, first of all, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone because the rainy season typically lasts from May through November. There is a good chance that you may have some cloudy and wet days. And secondly, there is no need for you to be concerned since there are still an endless number of activities that you may do to keep yourself occupied.

You are losing out on so much more if you believe the perfect way to spend the day is at the beach daily. The rain restores Costa Rica’s natural splendor and makes the country more beautiful. The rainforests and jungles spring to life, bursting with all the many shades of green; the environment is verdant and spectacular. It is undoubtedly one of the most lovely times of year to travel around the nation.

The rain may be a blessing in disguise by forcing you to engage in certain activities you might not have done under other circumstances.

Day 5

Find the Best Views in the Monteverde Cloud Forest

On the last day of your fantastic tour to Costa Rica, visit Monteverde. The name Monteverde refers to “Green Mountain” in Spanish, and after you see this verdant area of Costa Rica, you’ll understand why it’s called that. This region’s abundance of green hills and dense woods set this region apart from others.

Touring the cloud forests is one of the most incredible things to do in Monteverde. This is also the primary attraction for most travelers.

These one-of-a-kind spots can be found anywhere inside a tropical rainforest with low-lying cloud cover and mist, just as their names imply. These unique ecosystems are among the world’s most endangered and are home to some of the world’s most unique plant and animal life.

Even while the cloud forests are the primary draw, visitors to Monteverde, Costa Rica, won’t miss out on any of the other incredible experiences the area offers. Monteverde is a town brimming with exciting opportunities, from partaking in the local tradition of sipping excellent craft beer to braving the darkness in search of rare and perhaps hazardous species.

This is a fantastic area to spend some time in and one of Monteverde’s most popular tourist destinations. You can stroll through the low-hanging clouds and mist in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, a rainforest that has invited the sky down into it.

This region was designated a protected area in 1972 when the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was established. Today, the reserve encompasses more than 35,000 acres. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. It also includes more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, and 1,200 types of amphibians and reptiles.

Try Horseback Riding on a Trail

There are six primary routes in this area, and together they form a network approximately 8 miles long. There are little paths that will only take about ten minutes to walk.

Longer routes run for a couple of km and pass through marshes and alongside waterfalls. Both types of trails provide unique experiences. However, it is highly recommended that you hike the Sendero Camino Trail. Which will bring you to a suspension bridge that offers a breathtaking view of the top of the forest canopy.

Discover the Monteverde Cloud Forest from the back of a horse. This is a fun way to take a break from walking and exercise simultaneously! On this horseback riding trip of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, you will go through the countryside and surrounding environment in Monteverde.

Keep your eyes open when you’re out in the countryside of Costa Rica, away from any people or transportation. Various animals, such as birds, parrots, and monkeys, are often spotted!

The tours are given at three different times each day. The day’s first tour begins at 8:00 am (the best one for birdwatching). The day’s second tour starts at 11:00 am (typically the best for clear views). And the third tour of the day begins at 3:00 pm (provides beautiful scenery).

Go Birdwatching

Those who enjoy viewing birds will find Costa Rica an excellent destination. For such a small country, there are more than 900 different species of birds that call this location home. That’s a lot of birds!

About 50 different types of birds may be found in this region. They range from little hummingbirds to giant toucans and scarlet macaws.

It is possible to enjoy birdwatching in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Santa Elena Cloud Forest, and the Curi-Cancha Reserve. However, the latter offers a superior experience. You may go on a guided tour or explore the natural pathways at this private wildlife park.

Book a Canopy Tour

To enjoy the last day of the trip, you must book a canopy tour to enjoy the zipline in Monteverde. Ziplining is a stimulating activity that allows participants to take in breathtaking views while also providing a rush of excitement. Paying a visit to 100% Aventura Park is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling activities you can do while in Monteverde.

Because of its handy location just outside Santa Elena, 100% Aventura Park is easily accessible by car or taxi. Therefore, you may choose either option. Once you get there, excursions are available daily, taking you to a broad selection of exciting sights.

The three-hour trip will take you through Aventura’s most popular attractions, including the Superman zipline. 

If you consider going ziplining while in Costa Rica, Monteverde is the place to go. 

There is no other place quite like Costa Rica. And it is possible to receive significant exposure to all the city has to offer, even if you only have five days to explore it.

Now you have the perfect guide to spend the five days on a tour to Costa Rica. It is always great to book a tour guide to save time and explore the best things to the fullest.

How to Spend the Best 5 Days In Costa Rica In 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *