Romantic sunsets, picturesque beaches, and gorgeous weather are just a few of the things that make Costa Rica a perfect honeymoon destination. Couple that with lush rainforest and plenty of adventure, and you have the makings for a trip that you and your partner will never forget. In this honeymoon itinerary, we’ll help you pick destinations and activities that will turn up the romance all while showing you the best of what Costa Rica has to offer.
One Week Costa Rica Honeymoon Itinerary
Arriving in Costa Rica
For this itinerary, Liberia International (LIR) in northwestern Costa Rica is the most convenient airport. However, if you find that flights are less expensive into Costa Rica’s main airport in San Jose (SJO), that’s fine too. You may just need to plan on spending the night near the airport at the end of your trip since San Jose is quite far from the Guanacaste beach towns we recommend below. Tip: If you need to stay overnight, we recommend Hotel Buena Vista for a romantic night in the city. This boutique hotel is set very privately on a hill so is nice and quiet and enjoys great views of the cityscape at night.
Days 1-4: Head to La Fortuna, home of the country’s most famous hot springs.
What’s more romantic than soaking in natural hot springs surrounded by lush tropical rainforest?
The first stop for post-wedding bliss is definitely La Fortuna in the rolling hills of northern Costa Rica. This quaint town is most famous for having an active volcano called Arenal, which heats the area’s hot springs. These mineral-rich natural pools are relaxing and guaranteed to make you want to get closer to your partner. Several hotels and resorts have elaborate springs on-site, and we highly recommend staying at one of these places to get the most out of the experience. Many have luxurious, landscaped grounds complete with fountains and gardens as well as swim-up bars where you can grab a refreshing cocktail while unwinding in the steamy water. What’s great about staying at a hotel with hot springs on the premises is that you can spend as much time as you want in them, at any time of day, and aren’t limited like you would be if you just got a day pass to one of the resorts.
Tip: If you stay at one of the resorts outside the main area of town, it’s best to rent a car as attractions, activities, and restaurants in the Arenal area are more spread out. Check out our Rental Car Discount page for info on how to save on a car.
Once you’ve had your fill of R&R, grab your partner for some adrenalin-pumping adventure activities. Zip-lining, hanging bridges, hiking, canyoning (waterfall rappelling), whitewater rafting, kayaking, and mountain biking are all possible out of La Fortuna. We also highly recommend spending an hour or two at La Fortuna Waterfall just outside the downtown.
For more information about visiting La Fortuna, including recommendations on where to stay, read our post La Fortuna: What to Expect from Costa Rica’s Most Popular Destination.
Days 5-7: Hit the beach. Spend a few days soaking up the sun in Guanacaste.
Once you’ve explored the verdant hills of La Fortuna, head a few hours west to the coast. Guanacaste Province has some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and show-stopping sunsets to match. You can spend these last few days of your honeymoon doing something active during the day like catching a surf lesson or snorkel tour, then as the sun sets, strolling along the sand for the start of a romantic evening.
There are many beach towns in Guanacaste, each with a different feel. Here are a couple of our favorites as well as some resorts for those of you looking for an all-inclusive experience.
Tamarindo is the biggest town along this stretch of coast and the ideal destination for those looking for a lively beach escape. It is best known for surfing, but lots of other activities can be arranged out of Tamarindo too, like catamaran tours, wildlife boat tours of the nearby estuary, and sportfishing. The main area of town also has some decent shopping and tons of trendy bars and restaurants to choose from.
For more information about visiting Tamarindo, check out our post Tamarindo: Where Paradise Meets Convenience.
Tip: If you stay near the center of town, everything is within walking distance, including the beach, so you don’t need a rental car. A rental car is nice to have, however, if you want to explore on your own outside of organized tours. Some of the biggest attractions in this area, like Llanos de Cortez Waterfall and Rincon de la Vieja National Park, are quite a distance from Tamarindo. Or you might want one to beach hop to some of the more secluded beaches like Playa Avellanas.
If you’re looking for something more off-the-beaten path, there’s Playa Samara to the south. This cute seaside town is located in a more rural area of Costa Rica, in central Guanacaste Province, about four hours from La Fortuna.
Though many of the surrounding towns are small, Samara offers quite a few amenities for travelers. Along the main area adjacent to the beach, you’ll find a good selection of restaurants and casual bars where you can grab a drink or meal while taking in gorgeous ocean views. Popular activities in Samara include visiting the area’s awesome beaches, stand-up paddleboard, kayaking, diving and snorkeling, or hiking at the Werner Sauter Reserve.
For more information about Playa Samara, read our post Playa Samara: Guanacaste’s Most Overlooked Beach Town.
For those wanting to just relax on the beach, there are several resorts in Guanacaste to choose from. Four Seasons Resort Papagayo as well as Andaz Peninsula Papagayo both offer a luxury experience complete with lofty ocean views, elaborate pools, and tastefully decorated rooms. Keep in mind that these resorts are located more remotely on the Papagayo Peninsula, to the far north, so are farther from other beach towns and attractions. To be closer to the action, we recommend the Westin Playa Conchal to the south or JW Marriott Guanacaste near Tamarindo.
10 or 14 Day Costa Rica Honeymoon Itinerary
If you have more time to spend, you’ll get to see even more of Costa Rica’s romantic side. For a ten or 14 day itinerary, we recommend adding some more beach time and maybe even a stop in Monteverde after La Fortuna to see the cloud forest. Though it might not seem romantic at first blush, the misty cloud forest is mysterious and alluring in its own way, and the cooler temperatures are sure to make you want to snuggle up with your new bride or groom.
Monteverde and neighboring Santa Elena have lots of different accommodations to choose from, many of which are more rustic, ecolodge-style cabins. (Click here for our recommendations on where to stay.) Some activities in Monteverde that you won’t want to miss are zip-lining in the cloud forest, hiking one of the many nature reserves, and visiting a coffee plantation.
For more information about Monteverde, read our separate post Monteverde: A Forest in the Clouds.
We hope this post gives you some inspiration for an unforgettable honeymoon to Costa Rica. The experience of getting married is one of the most special moments in life and your honeymoon will be an extension of that celebration. If you ask us, there’s no better place than Costa Rica to keep the party going for a week or longer!
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