15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica route builder

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Route & dates

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Ottawa
+2
train + bus + Fly:  10​h 15​min
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
+3
bus + foot + shuttle + Fly:  9​h 15​min
End: Ottawa


2
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
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.
On your second day here, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles).

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read San Jose trip planner .

Ottawa, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; 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 warmer temperatures traveling from Ottawa in April, with highs in San Jose at 32°C and lows at 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles)
Find places to stay Apr 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
Tamarindo

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 24th (Tue), stroll through Playa Conchal and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Wed): look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, then look for gifts at Diamante Boutique, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

For photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo tour itinerary site .

You can fly from San Jose to Tamarindo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or drive. In April, Tamarindo is a bit warmer than San Jose - with highs of 41°C and lows of 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Apr 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

4
nights
Monteverde

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Santa Elena Skywalk and Ecological Sanctuary. Get outdoors at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Zipline. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve, admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and stop by Hummingbird Gallery.

To find out how to plan a trip to Monteverde, use our trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

4
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
Visiting Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing will get you outdoors. Change things up with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo (about 42 minutes away). There's lots more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery, witness a stunning natural landmark at Baldi Hot Springs, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Arenal.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online itinerary planner .

Drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 3:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

2
nights
Manuel Antonio

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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz and then stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio.

To find more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio day trip planning app .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In May, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 23°C. You will have some time to spend on the 5th (Sat) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay May 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa

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