15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

San Jose
Drive:  30​min
Alajuela
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly + taxi:  1​h 45​min
Montezuma
— 3 nights
ferry + foot + shuttle:  3​h 30​min
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Sarchi
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
San Jose

1
day
Alajuela

Alajuela ©
Alajuela is the third-largest city in Costa Rica after the capital, San José, and Desamparados. You've now added La Paz Waterfall Gardens to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Alajuela sightseeing planner.

San Jose to Alajuela is an approximately half hour shuttle ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Alajuela

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Nature

Side Trip

La Paz Waterfall Gardens
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La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens

2
days
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Proyecto Asis, Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal and La Fortuna Waterfall. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Proyecto Asis, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Alajuela to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife
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La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall
Proyecto Asis ©
Proyecto Asis
Paradise Hot Springs ©
Paradise Hot Springs

4
days
Playa Samara

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.
Visiting Tamarindo Beach and Samara Beach will get you outdoors. Relax by the water at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) and Playa Avellana. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Tamarindo (Spas & Wellness & Scuba & Snorkeling), SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary (in Nosara) and Pura Aventura (in El Guapote). The adventure continues: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and take in the exciting artwork at Koss Art Gallery.

For where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara itinerary maker.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Playa Samara in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. Expect a daytime high around 41°C in April, and nighttime lows around 26°C. On the 28th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Montezuma.

Things to do in Playa Samara

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Tamarindo, Nosara, Pura Aventura, Playa Avellana
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Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

3
days
Montezuma

Montezuma ©
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
Take a break from the city and head to Playa Santa Teresa and Tortuga Island. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Montezuma: Tortuga Island (in Punta Arenas), Zipline (in Mal Pais) and Playa Hermosa (in Santa Teresa). There's still lots to do: admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Montezuma itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Montezuma takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Montezuma

#Parks, #Nature, #Beaches

Side Trips

Santa Teresa, Tortuga Island, Tortuga Island
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Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls

3
days
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and La Amistad International Park.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Montezuma to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can travel to Sarchi.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trip

La Amistad International Park
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La Amistad International Park ©
La Amistad International Park
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

1
day
Sarchi

Sarchi ©
Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): revel in the low prices at Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro, pause for some serene contemplation at Metal Church, then delve into the lush surroundings at Reserva Forestal Grecia Sector Bosque del Nino, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Feria Del Agricultor.

For where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read Sarchi travel planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Sarchi in 2.5 hours. In May, daily temperatures in Sarchi can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Sarchi

#Trails, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Grecia
Accommodations
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Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro ©
Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro
Metal Church ©
Metal Church
Feria Del Agricultor ©
Feria Del Agricultor

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