17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

San Jose
San Jose
— 2 nights
bus + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Nicoya
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
San Jose

2
days
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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Fri): admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles). Here are some ideas for day two: explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read San Jose travel itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to see travel options from your home to San Jose. In September, daytime highs in San Jose are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums, #Adventure, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles)
Accommodations
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National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)
River Rafting & Tubing
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz.

For where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio holiday planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. September in Manuel Antonio sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Tours
Accommodations
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then get to know the fascinating history of Santa Elena Skywalk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve.

To find ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde travel planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites
Accommodations
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Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

4
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.
Visiting Tabacon Hot Springs and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours will get you outdoors. Change things up with a short trip to Catedral de Ciudad Quesada in Quesada (about 1h 10 min away). Spend the 11th (Mon) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary maker.

Drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. On the 13th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Nicoya.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), Catedral de Ciudad Quesada
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

1
day
Nicoya

Nicoya ©
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Barra Honda National Park.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Nicoya trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Nicoya takes 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in September, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Nicoya

#Parks, #Nature
Accommodations
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Barra Honda National Park ©
Barra Honda National Park

3
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.
Relax by the water at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Avellana. Get outdoors at Playa Conchal and Scuba & Snorkeling.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Tamarindo itinerary maker.

You can drive from Nicoya to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in September, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

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