17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
+3
Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  8​h 30​min
1
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 45​min
6
San Jose
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + bus + subway:  8​h 15​min
End: Washington DC


3
nights
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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz. For shopping fun, head to Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices or Beso Loco Boutique de Playa. There's much more to do: stop by Super Joseth, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, surround yourself with nature on MidWorld Costa Rica, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio visit planning website .

Washington DC, USA to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of train, flight, and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Washington DC in April, expect Manuel Antonio to be a bit warmer, temps between 82°F and 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Apr 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Spas & Wellness

5
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, trails, wildlife, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

For ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos attractions website .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Find places to stay Apr 28 — May 3:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Ecotermales Fortuna ©
Ecotermales Fortuna
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Frog Pond, then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, and then stop by Hummingbird Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Fri): admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To find ratings, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Monteverde trip planner .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

2
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 6th (Sun), tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Avellana, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach, and then look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Mon): kick back and relax at Playa Conchal.

To see ratings, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo online road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 93°F in May, and nighttime lows around 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

2
nights
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Tue): stroll through Playa Hermosa, then stroll through Playa Santa Teresa, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis.

To find more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the Santa Teresa trip itinerary maker app .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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.
On the 9th (Wed), admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and then look for gifts at Chocolatería Sibú. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Chieton Moren, then get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and finally hunt for treasures at Central Market (Mercado Central).

Plan my day in San Jose using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Santa Teresa to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In May in San Jose, expect temperatures between 82°F during the day and 67°F at night. On the 11th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping

Side Trips

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Chocolatería Sibú
Find places to stay May 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

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