18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Bangkok
train + Fly:  30​h
San Jose
— 2 nights
bus + Fly + taxi:  1​h 15​min
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Uvita
— 1 night
bus + taxi + Fly:  3​h 15​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Monteverde
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly + bus:  31​h
Bangkok

1
day
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 10th (Sat): explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), and finally take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu.

To see photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose trip maker .

Bangkok, Thailand to San Jose is an approximately 30-hour combination of train and flight. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus. You'll gain 13 hours traveling from Bangkok to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Bangkok in March, with highs in San Jose at 31°C and lows at 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums
Accommodations
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Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and then shop like a local with Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices. On the 12th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Biesanz.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary planner .

Do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. March in Manuel Antonio sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks
Accommodations
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
days
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 13th (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Hacienda Baru and then enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Wed): take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall and then identify plant and animal life at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Uvita travel route planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Uvita in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Uvita

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Dominical
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Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Hacienda Baru ©
Hacienda Baru

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.
Get in touch with nature at Butterfly Conservatory and River Rafting & Tubing. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ecocentro Danaus and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). And it doesn't end there: soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs, witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs, take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

To find where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos travel itinerary planner.

Do a combination of bus and flight from Uvita to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can go by car to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Butterfly Conservatory, Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
River Rafting & Tubing

2
days
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Mon): get interesting insight from Tours and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa. On the next day, get a tailor-made plan with Private Tours.

To see maps, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Playas del Coco trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Playas del Coco takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In March in Playas del Coco, expect temperatures between 40°C during the day and 25°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trips

Zipline, Playa Hermosa
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Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Zipline
Shark Diving

2
days
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Wed): relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, then explore and take pictures at Kingpin Sportfishing, and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach. On the next day, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

To find ratings, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 40°C in March, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Beaches

Side Trip

Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Accommodations
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Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Spas & Wellness

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Fri): view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Sat): admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, then look for all kinds of wild species at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde road trip planning site .

Getting from Tamarindo to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Tours
Accommodations
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Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Zipline

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