16 days in Costa Rica & Bocas Town Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica & Bocas Town Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Costa Rica & Bocas Town Itinerary

Start: Zurich, Switzerland
Fly:  14​h 15​min
1
San Jose, Costa Rica
— Few hours
Drive:  30​min
2
Alajuela, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h
5
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 45​min
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive + ferry:  2​h 15​min
8
Bocas Town, Panama
— Few hours
ferry + Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— Few hours
Drive:  5​h
10
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
taxi + bus:  3​h 30​min
11
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Zurich, Switzerland

few
hours
San Jose, Costa Rica

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.
To see reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read San Jose visit planner .

Zurich, Switzerland to San Jose is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Zurich to San Jose. Plan for warmer temperatures traveling from Zurich in March, with highs in San Jose at 32°C and lows at 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to take a shuttle to Alajuela.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

1
night
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela
To find traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Alajuela online trip maker .

Alajuela is very close to San Jose. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in March, and nighttime lows around 21°C. You will leave for La Fortuna de San Carlos on the 7th (Wed).

Things to do in Alajuela

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 7:

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 7th (Wed): take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. On the 8th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs and then trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find photos, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip tool .

Traveling by car from Alajuela to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas
Find places to stay Mar 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Baldi Hot Springs ©
Baldi Hot Springs

2
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve, then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, and then meet the residents at The Bat Jungle. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Frog Pond and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

For maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde visit planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can drive to Puerto Jimenez.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Mar 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

2
nights
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): relax in the rural setting at Rancho Raices de Osa. On the 12th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then look for all kinds of wild species at Osa Wildlife Sanctuary.

For photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Puerto Jimenez trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Puerto Jimenez takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, bus, and flight; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Monteverde to Puerto Jimenez is 1 hour. In March, daytime highs in Puerto Jimenez are 39°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Jimenez

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Osa Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Osa Wildlife Sanctuary
Rancho Raices de Osa ©
Rancho Raices de Osa

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 13th (Tue), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio. Keep things going the next day: shop like a local with Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices and then get a dose of the wild on MidWorld Costa Rica.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip maker website .

Getting from Puerto Jimenez to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Puerto Jimenez in March; daily highs in Manuel Antonio reach 31°C and lows reach 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica

3
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Visit Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles for some beach relaxation. Take a break from the city and head to Cahuita National Park and Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. There's more to do: admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca tour planner .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a shuttle. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Cahuita
Find places to stay Mar 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles

few
hours
Bocas Town, Panama

Bocas Town
The colorful and relaxed Bocas Town has a welcoming atmosphere, with the modestly sized urban area showcasing typical Caribbean clapboard houses and home to a mixed community from across the world.
To find reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Bocas Town online itinerary maker .

Do a combination of car and ferry from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Bocas Town in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, car, and ferry; or take a shuttle. You will leave for Tortuguero on the 18th (Sun).

Things to do in Bocas Town

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 19:

few
hours
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
On the 18th (Sun), kick back and relax at Playa Chiquita.

To see photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online sightseeing planner .

Getting from Bocas Town to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by combination of ferry and car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry, car, and bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to take a shuttle to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Chiquita ©
Playa Chiquita

1
night
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Tortuguero trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Bocas Town to Tortuguero. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Bocas Town to Tortuguero due to the time zone difference. March in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 22°C at night. You'll set off for San Jose on the 19th (Mon).

Things to do in Tortuguero

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 19:

1
night
San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose ©
Start off your visit on the 19th (Mon): explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum and then take a stroll through Multiplaza.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our San Jose road trip planner.

You can take a shuttle from Tortuguero to San Jose in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trips

Multiplaza, Toucan Rescue Ranch
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

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