17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary maker

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
2
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Nuevo Arenal
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
End: San Jose

1
night
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 18th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Toucan Rescue Ranch and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Mon): explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum, then shop like a local with Multiplaza, and then meet the residents at Zoo Ave.

For where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip builder app .

If you are flying in from Portugal, the closest major airports are Tobias Bolanos International Airport, Juan Santamaria International Airport and Limon International Airport. In March, plan for daily highs up to 31°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in San Jose

Outdoors Parks Adventure

Side Trips

Zoo Ave, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Multiplaza
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave
River Rafting & Tubing

3
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.
Kids will enjoy Playa Santa Teresa and Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve. Relax by the water at Playa Hermosa and Playa Carmen. Venture out of the city with trips to Montezuma Falls (in Montezuma) and Curu National Wildlife Refuge (in Nicoya). There's more to do: look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Santa Teresa itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from San Jose to Santa Teresa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Nicoya, Montezuma Falls
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Curu National Wildlife Refuge ©
Curu National Wildlife Refuge

4
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
We've included these beaches for you: Playa Conchal and Playa Avellana. Kids will enjoy Samara Beach and Playa Hermosa. And it doesn't end there: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, stop by Diamante Boutique, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf.

Before you visit Tamarindo, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Santa Teresa to Tamarindo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 40°C in March, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Nuevo Arenal.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Dolphin & Whale Watching, Playa Conchal, Samara Beach, Playa Hermosa
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

3
nights
Nuevo Arenal

Nuevo Arenal ©
Nuevo Arenal is a town and district in Tilarán Canton in the Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. On the 28th (Wed), identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Conservatory and then Head underground at Venado Caves. Keep things going the next day: explore the activities along Rio Celeste and then admire the sheer force of Llanos de Cortez Waterfall.

To see traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Nuevo Arenal day trip tool .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Nuevo Arenal in 3 hours. In March in Nuevo Arenal, expect temperatures between 40°C during the day and 25°C at night. You will leave for Manuel Antonio on the 30th (Fri).

Things to do in Nuevo Arenal

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Venado Caves, Butterfly Conservatory, Rio Celeste, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Rio Celeste ©
Rio Celeste

4
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.
Family-friendly places like Playa Manuel Antonio and Rainmaker Park will thrill your kids. Step out of Manuel Antonio to go to Guapil and see Hacienda Baru, which is approximately 54 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take in breathtaking views at MidWorld Costa Rica, kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and experience rural life at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio day trip planning tool .

Getting from Nuevo Arenal to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4.5 hours. Traveling from Nuevo Arenal in March, things will get slightly colder in Manuel Antonio: highs are around 31°C and lows about 22°C. On the 3rd (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Hacienda Baru, Rainmaker Park
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 3:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park

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