9 days in Costa Rica & Panama City Itinerary

9 days in Costa Rica & Panama City Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America journey planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive
3
Jaco, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Panama City, Panama
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

— 1 night

Coco Beach

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa and then meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience.

For more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, use the Playas del Coco trip itinerary maker app.

Detroit, USA to Playas del Coco is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Detroit to Playas del Coco. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

— 1 night
Set against the backdrop of the imposing Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos offers visitors a chance to explore diverse natural landscapes and sample some delicious local produce.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall and then soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder.

You can drive from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Spas · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:

Jaco, Costa Rica

— 1 night
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
On the 7th (Fri), take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see reviews, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Jaco trip planner.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Jaco in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz and then do sightseeing your way with Private Tours. On the 9th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

For ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio journey maker tool.

You can drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Panama City.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:

Panama City, Panama

— 3 nights

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Mon): wander the streets of Casco Viejo, then wander the streets of Cinta Costera, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia del Carmen. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Biomuseo, then take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, and then contemplate the long history of Iglesia de San José.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Panama City driving holiday tool.

Traveling by flight from Manuel Antonio to Panama City takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Manuel Antonio to Panama City is 1 hour. January in Panama City sees daily highs of 88°F and lows of 76°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.