17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
4
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 day
Drive:  8​h
5
Uvita
— 1 night
6
Montezuma
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
7
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
8
Liberia
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
9
Tilaran
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
End: San Jose

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Costa Rica Experience, Poas Volcano, Cerro de la Muerte (Peak of Death), and other attractions you added. Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Ruins of the Church of Carthage and then take in the awesome beauty at Cerro de la Muerte (Peak of Death).

To see maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose online trip itinerary builder .

If you are flying in from Canada, the closest major airports are Tobias Bolanos International Airport, Juan Santamaria International Airport and Limon International Airport. In March, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. On the 18th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Cerro de la Muerte (Peak of Death), Toucan Rescue Ranch, Costa Rica Experience, Ruins of the Church of Carthage, Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Ruins of the Church of Carthage ©
Ruins of the Church of Carthage

3
nights
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 list of things to see and do now includes Ecoterra Costa Rica, Butterfly Conservatory, Free Spirit Costa Rica, and other attractions. Get outdoors at Paradise Hot Springs and Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

For maps, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online tour planner .

Drive from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

2
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Forest Alive, Pasion Costa Rica, Oscar Perez Naturalist Guide, and other attractions you added. On the 22nd (Fri), stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, look for all kinds of wild species at Nasua Tours, tour the pleasant surroundings at Coffee'N Jungle Night Tour, then meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, then identify plant and animal life at Oscar Perez Naturalist Guide, and finally join in the after-dark buzz at Breathing Nature Costa Rica. Keep things going the next day: squeeze the most out of the city with Pasion Costa Rica, then catch all the local highlights with Forest Alive, and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To see maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde travel planner .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Nasua Tours ©
Nasua Tours
Coffee'N Jungle Night Tour ©
Coffee'N Jungle Night Tour

1
day
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

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.
To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca itinerary site .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to Uvita.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
Uvita

Uvita ©
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Costa Rica Te Enamora. On the 25th (Mon), stroll through Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, then admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Costa Rica Te Enamora.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Uvita vacation builder website .

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Uvita takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can ride a ferry to Montezuma.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Uvita Waterfall ©
Uvita Waterfall
Costa Rica Te Enamora ©
Costa Rica Te Enamora

2
nights
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.
You've added Tortuga Island, La Escuela Del Sol, Isla de Cabuya, and other attractions to your itinerary. On the 25th (Mon), take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, then step off the mainland to explore Isla de Cabuya, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Montezuma travel route planner.

Getting from Uvita to Montezuma by ferry takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to ride a ferry to Jaco.

Things to do in Montezuma

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Santa Teresa, Tortuga Island, Parque Nacional Curu
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Isla de Cabuya ©
Isla de Cabuya
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa

1
night
Jaco

Jaco ©
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Catarata Bijagual as well as Rainmaker Park. Kick off your visit on the 28th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Rainmaker Park, then admire the sheer force of Catarata Bijagual, and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

For traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our Jaco travel itinerary planner .

Getting from Montezuma to Jaco by ferry takes about an hour. Other options: drive. On the 29th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Liberia.

Things to do in Jaco

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Rainmaker Park, Tarcoles Bridge
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park
Zipline
Catarata Bijagual ©
Catarata Bijagual

2
nights
Liberia

Liberia ©
Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Ricozz Tours Costa Rica, Rio Celeste, Costa Rica Northwest, and other attractions. Kick off your visit on the 29th (Fri): catch a ride with Ricozz Tours Costa Rica. On the 30th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: do sightseeing your way with Costa Rica Northwest, admire the sheer force of Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, and then explore the activities along Rio Celeste.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Liberia sightseeing planner.

Drive from Jaco to Liberia in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Tilaran.

Things to do in Liberia

Tours Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, Rio Celeste
Find places to stay Mar 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Natural Discovery Costa Rica ©
Natural Discovery Costa Rica
Rio Celeste ©
Rio Celeste

1
night
Tilaran

Tilaran ©
Tilarán is a small town in the Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Waterfall la Piedra del Indio.

For traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tilaran trip planner.

Drive from Liberia to Tilaran in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tilaran

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Mar 31 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Viento Fresco Waterfall ©
Viento Fresco Waterfall
La Reserva Forest Reserve ©
La Reserva Forest Reserve
Waterfall la Piedra del Indio ©
Waterfall la Piedra del Indio

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