Costa Rica Vacation Itineraries

A Tropical Christmas Itinerary

Manuel Antonio National Park, where the rainforest meets the ocean. Photo: Andrés Madrigal

Christmas in the tropics? I know it’s summer right now, but before you know it the trees will drop their leaves, you’ll be donning stocking hats, and Old Man Winter will be blowing down your neck. This year, leave the snow, rain, and gloom behind during the Christmas season. In this custom package, we take you to two of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations – and offer plenty of time for you to explore the country as you wish.

Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna. Photo: Andrés Madrigal

We start out in the Arenal Volcano area, near La Fortuna. You’ll stay right at the base of the volcano at luxurious Tabacón Resort. Sure, the accommodations at Tabacón are impeccable, but the grounds are even more amazing: they have the most beautiful thermal hot springs in the country (in our opinion). It’s a spa unlike anything you’ve seen before.

From there you’ll head to the central Pacific coast to Manuel Antonio. Here verdant jungle, emerald seas, white sand, and ocean views are the norm. At La Mansión Inn you’ll have unmatched views of the coastline (think of the sunsets!).

Take advantage of the in-room spa services or pop in the onsite Bat Cave Bar. Spend a day in the national park, plan a ziplining tour, or go kayaking in the mangroves. Can you think of a better Christmas present?

Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica! Now relax in some hot springs.

Welcome to Christmas in the tropics! You’ll arrive in San José, where one of our representatives will meet you and show you to your private transfer. Your introduction to our country will be sweeping views of the lush countryside as you travel to the Arenal Volcano area. There you’ll get set up at Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort, featuring an award-winning luxury spa.

Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort at Arenal La Fortuna. Photos courtesy of Tabacón Resort.

Days 2 & 3: Hot springs, tropical gardens, and adventures.

There is enough to do at Tabacon that you don’t have to leave the grounds – although we recommend you do. At your hotel you can relax in hot springs and mineral pools and take in the beautiful tropical scenery around you. Indulge in a mud wrap or relaxing massage. Eat a gourmet meal. For some action, head out on the Lost Canyon Adventure and Rafting Combo tour. Rappel, climb, and raft a classic whitewater river that cuts through the jungle. This 2-in-1 tour will give you a taste of why adventurers love Arenal.

Photos courtesy of Costa Rica Vacations.

Day 4: Beach time! Arenal to Manuel Antonio.

Take a private transfer to Manuel Antonio where you will stay at La Mansion Inn Boutique Hotel & Spa. You’ll pass through different types of tropical rainforest, palm oil plantations, small towns, and as you descend to the coast and hug the Pacific Ocean all the way to Quepos.  

La Mansión Inn Boutique Hotel & Spa at Manuel Antonio.
Photos courtesy of La Mansión Inn.

Days 5, 6 & 7: Is this paradise? Make the most out of your stay in Manuel Antonio.

Manuel Antonio is known for its eponymous national park, stunning beaches, untouched rainforest, and its many ways of exploring the countryside. You can go whitewater rafting, ziplining in the treetops, race ATVs through plantations, dip below the surface and scuba dive. Take a sunset cruise on a catamaran. Whatever you’re interested in, we’ll help you set it up.

This area is more than outdoor activities. Even though Quepos is a small town, it has a vibrant nightlife scene and dining options for all palettes. Whether you’re looking for rocking live music, a quiet candlelight dinner, or a thumping disco and Latin dancing, you’ll find it in town.

“Locals” and tourists alike get to enjoy Manuel Antonio. Photos: Andrés Madrigal

Day 8: Head home and start planning your next trip!

A private transfer will take you to San Jose, where you will catch your flight back home.

Notes: Of course, you can change out any activity of lodging option; these are just our suggestions. Let us know what you want and we’ll make it happen.

Costa Rica Traveler does not receive a commission if you book one of these tours. Due to popular demand, our writers are putting together a series of itineraries for all kinds of travelers. We have selected Costa Rica Vacations as our partner travel agency because we know their business and love their service and tours.

Package Includes:

  • Airport Meet and Greet—we’re there as you get off the plane so you have a stress-free arrival
  • Private transfer to the Tabacon Resort with an English-speaking driver
  • 3 nights lodging at the Tabacon Resort—including breakfast daily
  • Lost Canyon Adventure tour
  • Private transfer to Manuel Antonio with an English-speaking driver
  • 4 nights lodging at the La Mansion Inn—including breakfast daily
  • Catamaran Island Adventure tour
  • Private transfer to the San José airport

Rate per adult from $2,389


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