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: Montreal
+3
Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  9​h 15​min
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Turrialba
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  8​h
End: Montreal

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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz. Step out of the city life by going to MidWorld Costa Rica and Kids Saving the Rain Forest. Next up on the itinerary: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For photos, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio road trip planning tool .

Montreal, Canada to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Montreal to Manuel Antonio due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Montreal in September, expect Manuel Antonio to be a bit warmer, temps between 31°C and 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trip

Kids Saving the Rain Forest
Accommodations
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

5
nights
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.
Take a break from the city and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). The adventure continues: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, explore the activities along Lake Arenal, and take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall.

For photos, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

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

2
nights
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 5th (Fri): whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond. Here are some ideas for day two: meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, then stop by Hummingbird Gallery, and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

For maps, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde tour itinerary planner .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites
Accommodations
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Zipline
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

1
night
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
On the 8th (Mon), stop by Souvenir Muy Tranquilo and then get impressive views of Poas Volcano.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Poas Volcano National Park road trip website .

Drive from Monteverde to Poas Volcano National Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 31°C in October, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

#Nature, #Parks, #Shopping

Side Trip

Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Accommodations
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Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

2
nights
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
On the 9th (Tue), delve into the distant past at Guayabo National Park and Monument.

To see reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read Turrialba travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Poas Volcano National Park to Turrialba by car takes about 3 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Turrialba can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Turrialba

#Nature, #Historic Sites, #Parks
Accommodations
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Guayabo National Park and Monument ©

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Tortuguero National Park.

For ratings, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read Tortuguero trip itinerary planning tool .

Explore your travel options from Turrialba to Tortuguero with the Route module. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in October, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Tortuguero

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

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 11th (Thu), identify plant and animal life at Monkey Park and then have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore and take pictures at Pura Aventura and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Conchal.

To see traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo trip itinerary builder app .

Getting from Tortuguero to Tamarindo by combination of shuttle and flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle, taxi, flight, and bus. Traveling from Tortuguero in October, things will get a bit warmer in Tamarindo: highs are around 36°C and lows about 26°C. On the 13th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura

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