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:  4​h
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Nicoya
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Heredia
— 2 nights
Drive:  15​min
San Jose

1
day
Alajuela

Alajuela ©
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sat): get the lay of the land with Walking tours, then look for gifts at Souvenir Museum, and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Zoo Ave.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Alajuela trip itinerary builder.

San Jose to Alajuela is an approximately half hour shuttle ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 31°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Alajuela

#Outdoors, #Zoos & Aquariums, #Parks
Accommodations
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Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave
Souvenir Museum ©
Souvenir Museum

3
days
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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): head outdoors with Salto and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. Keep things going the next day: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs and then trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

For photos, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Nature
Accommodations
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River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

2
days
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Tamarindo Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. October in Tamarindo sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can travel to Nicoya.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Dolphin & Whale Watching, Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

few
hours
Nicoya

Nicoya ©
On the 27th (Fri), kick back and relax at Puerto Carrillo.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Nicoya trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Nicoya takes 1.5 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Nicoya can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Nicoya

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
Accommodations
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Puerto Carrillo ©
Puerto Carrillo

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): stop by Hummingbird Gallery and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Nicoya to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Shopping
Accommodations
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Hummingbird Gallery ©
Hummingbird Gallery

3
days
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.
Get in touch with nature at Playa Manuel Antonio and River Rafting & Tubing.

To see photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in October, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to travel to Heredia.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
Accommodations
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

3
days
Heredia

Heredia ©
Heredia is a city in the Heredia province of Costa Rica, of which it is the capital; it is 10 kilometers to the north of the country's capital, San José.The city is home to one of the largest colleges in Costa Rica, the National University of Costa Rica, which accepts many international students. Escape the urban bustle at Tirimbina Biological Reserve and Frogs Heaven. Go for a jaunt from Heredia to Guapiles to see Rain Forest Aerial Trams about 1h 05 min away. Next up on the itinerary: delve into the lush surroundings at Bosque de la Hoja, see the interesting displays at INBioparque, and head outdoors with Monte de la Cruz.

For other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Heredia vacation builder.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Manuel Antonio to Heredia takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in November, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can go by car back home.

Things to do in Heredia

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, INBioparque
Accommodations
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Frogs Heaven ©
Frogs Heaven
Monte de la Cruz ©
Monte de la Cruz
INBioparque ©
INBioparque

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