15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Fly
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Taxi to Atenas, Fly to London Gatwick

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San Jose

— 2 nights
A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
Change things up with a short trip to Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz in Vara Blanca (about 1h 20 min away). And it doesn't end there: explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, browse the exhibits of Galeria Namu, and get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum.

To find maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose day trip planning app.

London, UK to San Jose is an approximately 15-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time to Central Standard Time is minus 6 hours. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from London in May: highs in San Jose hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Nature · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 2 — 4:

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
On the 5th (Wed), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see reviews, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tortuguero itinerary builder site.

You can drive from San Jose to Tortuguero in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Tortuguero when traveling from San Jose in May, with lows around 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Find places to stay May 4 — 5:
Highlights from your trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 nights
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, get interesting insight from Tours, and browse the exhibits of Onirica Art Gallery.

To see ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip site.

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 5 — 9:

Poas Volcano National Park

— 1 night
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Mon): contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano and then take in the dramatic scenery at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens.

To find photos, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Poas Volcano National Park itinerary maker site.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Poas Volcano National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Nature · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 9 — 10:
Highlights from your trip

Manuel Antonio

— 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 11th (Tue): stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Wed): see Off-Road Tours, take a memorable tour with Tours, and then relax and rejuvenate at Yoga con Cyn.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Poas Volcano National Park to Manuel Antonio by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 10 — 12:

Jaco

— 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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Thu): get interesting insight from Tours and then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Jaco journey planning tool.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Jaco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Jaco

Find places to stay May 12 — 13:

Monteverde

— 3 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Fri): stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Here are some ideas for day two: take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin de Orquideas San Bosco, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then experience rural life at El Trapiche Tour, and finally admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle.

To find more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure
Find places to stay May 13 — 16:

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.