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10 Day Costa Rica Road Trip

SUV on Sandy Costa Rica BeachThis pandemic won’t last forever; why not start planning your dream vacation now? 10 Days on the road in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is generous in its abundance of natural diversity from sandy beaches to stunning mountain views. Once you land and pick up your rental car you can set out on a 10 day Costa Rica road trip that will offer you more diversity and culture in 10 hours of driving than most countries can.

Things to consider for your Costa Rica road trip:

Download Waze or Google Maps navigation apps. Most people in Costa Rica use Waze. Sometimes Google Maps can get a little funky. Have a co-pilot help navigate or plug in your destination before driving. The roads in Costa Rica can be windy and unforgiving.

Download the AirBnB app to conveniently find places to stay along the way. You can find some great discounts and reasonable but spectacular accommodations in the most remote areas in Costa Rica.

Rent an SUV in Costa Rica. You never know where the pavement ends and the dirt road begins. 

Suggested 10 Day Itinerary

Approximate Distance: 815 miles

Approximate Driving Time: 10 hrs.

San Jose to La Paz Waterfall Gardens

La Paz (peace) Waterfall is about an hour Northeast from the airport. It is one of the most sought after destinations for its stunning waterfalls and gardens. Pamper yourself with an unforgettable stay at the Peace Lodge. It is worth every penny and can be easily offset by AirBnB accommodations during the rest of your stay.

La Paz Waterfall to Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas

Drive two and a half hours southwest to one of the most sought after beaches in Costa Rica. Internationally known for its great surfing waves, Playa Hermosa also boasts great hiking trails and stunning shaded areas to relax on the sand.

Playa Hermosa to Manual Antonio

A little over an hour south you will encounter what Forbes rated as one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Walk trails, go on a guided tour and relax in the parks crystal clear waters to cool off.

A mere 45 minutes south of Manual Antonio is Dominical, filled with rafting, nature hikes, kayaking, surfing, amazing beaches and breathtaking mountain views. Then, a short 15 minute drive south to Uvita will bring you a stunning beach in the shape of a whale tale and renowned musical festivities.

Uvita to San Isidro de El General

Wind through the breathtaking Talamanca mountains on route 243 to San Isidro de El General, and depending on the time of year, catch one of the indigenous festivals of the region.

San Isidro de El General to Cartago

Take highway 2 through Cartago, famous for its thermal waters and cathedral of the black virgin. You can reach SJO in under two hours, giving you the option of staying in the area before heading home. Make sure that if you are returning to SJO from Cartago you factor in traffic.

Let go of your expectation that Costa Rica only has amazing beaches; it does have amazing shorelines, but with this 10-day road trip, you will be able to experience mountains, jungles, waterfalls, and oceans all in the same vacation.

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