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 Francisco
+4
subway + Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  13​h
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
taxi + ferry:  3​h 45​min
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
Monteverde
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

2
nights
Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco ©
A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
On the 3rd (Sat), view the masterpieces at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Sun): kick back and relax at Playa Nacascolo and then look for all kinds of wild species at El Viejo Wetlands.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Playas del Coco online driving holiday planner .

San Francisco, USA to Playas del Coco is an approximately 13-hour flight. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from San Francisco to Playas del Coco due to the time zone difference. Plan for warmer temperatures traveling from San Francisco in March, with highs in Playas del Coco at 94°F and lows at 71°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands, Playa Nacascolo, Playa Hermosa
Accommodations
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Playa Nacascolo ©
Playa Nacascolo
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

2
nights
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 (Tue), relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then get interesting insight from Tours. On your second day here, get interesting insight from Tours.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo road trip planning app .

You can drive from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 94°F in March, and nighttime lows around 71°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Tours, #Outdoors, #Spas

Side Trip

Playa Flamingo
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Tamarindo.
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Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Fishing Charters & Tours
Spas & Wellness

1
night
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.
On the 8th (Thu), look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis and then stroll through Playa Carmen.

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

Getting from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa by combination of taxi and flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to travel to Uvita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

#Beaches, #Outdoors, #Parks
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Santa Teresa.
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Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get outside with Parque Nacional Marino Bahia Ballena and then enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Uvita day trip planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and ferry from Santa Teresa to Uvita takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks

Side Trips

Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, Parque Nacional Marino Bahia Ballena
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Uvita.
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Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena

2
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.
On the 11th (Sun), look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz.

For ratings and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio attractions planner .

You can drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 80°F in March, and nighttime lows around 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Wildlife
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Manuel Antonio.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Mon): meet the residents at Arenal Eco Zoo, identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Conservatory, and then trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Tue): take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery, then contemplate the geological forces at Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planning website .

You can 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 by early afternoon on the 14th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trips

El Castillo, Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Paradise Hot Springs ©
Paradise Hot Springs
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

2
nights
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.
On the 15th (Thu), take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla, stroll through Playa Chiquita, and then experience rural life at Chocorart.

For maps, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca road trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Playa Chiquita ©
Playa Chiquita
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Chocorart ©
Chocorart

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Sat): delve into the lush surroundings at Children's Eternal Rain Forest, stop by Hummingbird Gallery, and then admire the sheer force of San Luis Waterfall.

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Monteverde in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Monteverde due to the time zone difference. On the 18th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Nature, #Parks, #Tours
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Monteverde.
Find places to stay »
Highlights from your plan
Children's Eternal Rain Forest ©
Children's Eternal Rain Forest
Hummingbird Gallery ©
Hummingbird Gallery
Souvenir Rosewood ©
Souvenir Rosewood

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