14 days in Costa Rica & Cabo San Lucas Itinerary

14 days in Costa Rica & Cabo San Lucas Itinerary

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Route & dates

14 days in Costa Rica & Cabo San Lucas Itinerary

Start: New York City, United States
+3
bus + Fly + shuttle + bus:  10​h 15​min
1
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
3
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 1 night
bus + ferry:  2​h 30​min
4
Jaco, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Fly:  11​h 45​min
7
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
— 3 nights
+3
bus + taxi + Fly + bus:  8​h 45​min
End: New York City, United States

2
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 17th (Mon), get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal, and then look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then look for gifts at Diamante Boutique, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip builder tool .

New York City, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from New York City in December, with highs in Tamarindo at 90°F and lows at 70°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Dolphin & Whale Watching

1
night
Playa Samara, Costa Rica

Playa Samara ©
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach and then stroll through Samara Beach.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Playa Samara vacation site .

Drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 90°F in December, and nighttime lows around 70°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

1
night
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa ©
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Thu): stroll through Playa Hermosa and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Santa Teresa.

To find maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa online journey planner .

You can drive from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can travel to Jaco.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

2
nights
Jaco, Costa Rica

Jaco ©
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 21st (Fri), get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, then view the masterpieces at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts, and then stroll through Jaco Beach.

For ratings, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Jaco tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and ferry from Santa Teresa to Jaco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Tours Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Jaco Beach ©
Jaco Beach
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

2
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
On the 22nd (Sat), kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz. On the 23rd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a memorable tour with Tours and then take in breathtaking views at MidWorld Costa Rica.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio itinerary builder tool .

You can drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Manuel Antonio sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 66°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
River Rafting & Tubing

2
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs, hike along Ecocentro Danaus, and then take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Tue): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Rio Chollin, and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

To find photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online day trip planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can travel to Cabo San Lucas.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Ecocentro Danaus ©
Ecocentro Danaus

3
nights
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas ©
One of Mexico's premier vacation spots, Cabo San Lucas lures pleasure seekers with its trendy restaurant scene, raucous nightlife, and, of course, picture-perfect beaches.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): choose your vessel at Cabo Sailing Ocean Adventures, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at San Jose del Cabo Church, and then kick back and relax at Santa Maria Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape at El Arco de Cabo San Lucas (Lands End), then explore the activities along Bay of Cabo San Lucas, and then take in the exciting artwork at La Turquesa Jewelry and Art.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Cabo San Lucas online trip maker .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Cabo San Lucas. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Cabo San Lucas. In December, daytime highs in Cabo San Lucas are 77°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. On the 29th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cabo San Lucas

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Cuadra San Francisco, San Jose del Cabo Church
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Cabo Sailing Ocean Adventures ©
Cabo Sailing Ocean Adventures
Santa Maria Beach ©
Santa Maria Beach
Bay of Cabo San Lucas ©
Bay of Cabo San Lucas

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