17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Zurich
Fly:  14​h 15​min
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
Manzanillo
— 3 nights
Drive:  9​h 15​min
Nuevo Arenal
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Zurich

1
night
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 2nd (Fri): shop like a local with Galeria Namu.

To find photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read San Jose trip itinerary planner

Zurich, Switzerland to San Jose is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You'll gain 7 hours traveling from Zurich to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Expect warmer temperatures when traveling from Zurich in February; daily highs in San Jose reach 30°C and lows reach 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can go by car to Manzanillo.

Things to do in San Jose

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure

Side Trip

Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Accommodations
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River Rafting & Tubing
Tirimbina Biological Reserve ©
Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

3
nights
Manzanillo

Manzanillo ©
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and then look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Observatorio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Talamanca Family Art and then kick back and relax at Playa Cocles.

Plan my Manzanillo trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from San Jose to Manzanillo by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from San Jose to Manzanillo is 1 hour. Traveling from San Jose in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Manzanillo, with lows of 32°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can travel to Nuevo Arenal.

Things to do in Manzanillo

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Shopping

Side Trips

Talamanca Family Art, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Playa Cocles
Accommodations
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Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge ©
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Talamanca Family Art ©
Talamanca Family Art

3
nights
Nuevo Arenal

Nuevo Arenal ©
Nuevo Arenal is a town and district in Tilarán Canton in the Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. Get in touch with nature at Llanos de Cortez Waterfall and Horseback Riding Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Nuevo Arenal side-trips: Miravalles Volcano (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Rio Celeste (in Tenorio Volcano National Park).

To find maps, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Nuevo Arenal online trip maker

Traveling by car from Manzanillo to Nuevo Arenal takes 6 hours. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. When traveling from Manzanillo in February, plan for somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Nuevo Arenal: temperatures range from 39°C by day to 25°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Nuevo Arenal

#Nature, #Parks

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Rio Celeste
Accommodations
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Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Rio Celeste ©
Rio Celeste
Miravalles Volcano ©
Miravalles Volcano

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 10th (Sat): look for gifts at Hummingbird Gallery and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the 11th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden and then look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve.

For traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip website

Traveling by car from Nuevo Arenal to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Shopping
Accommodations
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Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Monteverde Orchid Garden ©
Monteverde Orchid Garden

5
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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Avellana. Escape the urban bustle at Playa Conchal and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa) and Playa Samara (Kingfisher Sportfishing & Samara Beach). There's much more to do: find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, look for gifts at Organik Costa Rica, admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo online road trip planner

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of shuttle and bus. In February, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Samara, Playa Hermosa, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Playa Conchal, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Accommodations
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Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

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