17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

New York City
Fly:  11​h
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
Carate
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
Cahuita
— 2 nights
shuttle:  5​h
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
shuttle + foot + bus:  5​h 45​min
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Fly:  11​h 30​min
New York City

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Wed): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Frog Pond, stroll through Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, and finally meet the residents at The Bat Jungle.

To see more things to do, ratings, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde travel planner.

New York City, USA to Monteverde is an approximately 11-hour combination of bus, flight, and car. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from New York City to Monteverde, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Adventure
Accommodations
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Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

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.
Escape the urban bustle at River Rafting & Tubing and Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, take a memorable tour with Tours, and enjoy some diversion at Perdido Springs.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos online holiday planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

2
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.
On the 27th (Tue), get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then look for all kinds of wild species at MidWorld Costa Rica. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head outdoors with Barraba's Surf, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Biesanz, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For reviews and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio online road trip planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In February, daytime highs in Manuel Antonio are 79°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. On the 1st (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Carate.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Beaches
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
River Rafting & Tubing

0
days
Carate

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

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Carate by car takes about 5.5 hours. You will leave for Cahuita on the 2nd (Fri).

Things to do in Carate

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Wildlife
Accommodations
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2
days
Cahuita

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
On the 3rd (Sat), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Cahuita trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Carate to Cahuita takes 11.5 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Carate to Cahuita. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Sun) to allow time for the shuttle ride to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cahuita

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Nature Observatorio
Accommodations
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1
day
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Mon): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Tortuguero trip itinerary site .

Take a shuttle from Cahuita to Tortuguero in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. In March, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 80°F, while nighttime lows are 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Nature
Accommodations
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Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

2
days
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca ©
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
On the 6th (Tue), explore the striking landscape of Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cerro Dantas. On the 7th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo, explore the striking landscape of Poas Volcano, and then admire the sheer force of La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Vara Blanca tour planner.

Do a combination of shuttle and bus from Tortuguero to Vara Blanca in 6 hours. In March, plan for daily highs up to 85°F, and evening lows to 65°F. You'll set off for home on the 8th (Thu).

Things to do in Vara Blanca

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Souvenir Muy Tranquilo, Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cerro Dantas, Poas Volcano
Accommodations
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La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

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