18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Stavanger
Fly:  32​h
Cartago
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
Tamarindo
— 6 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Fly:  33​h
Stavanger

4
days
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. Get in touch with nature at Tapanti National Park and El Copal Reserve. Explore Cartago's surroundings by going to House of the Dreamer - Casa Del Sonador (in Cachi) and Turrialba (Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education (CATIE), Pejibaye River, & more). It doesn't end there: take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Cartago tour planner.

Stavanger, Norway to Cartago is an approximately 32-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Time (CET) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -7 hour difference. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Stavanger in January: high temperatures in Cartago hover around 30°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Cartago

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Turrialba, El Copal Reserve, House of the Dreamer - Casa Del Sonador, Tapanti National Park
Accommodations
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Tapanti National Park ©
Tapanti National Park
River Rafting & Tubing
Jardin Botanico Lankester ©
Jardin Botanico Lankester

2
days
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Canyoning & Rappelling Tours as well as Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): witness a stunning natural landmark at Baldi Hot Springs, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and then take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos tour planner.

Traveling by car from Cartago to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Accommodations
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Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Baldi Hot Springs ©
Baldi Hot Springs

6
days
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Step out of the city life by going to Tamarindo Beach and Playa Hermosa. Visit Playa Conchal and Samara Beach for some beach relaxation. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Nosara (SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary & MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY), El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Kingfisher Sportfishing (in Playa Samara). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana, explore and take pictures at Pura Aventura, stop by Azul Profundo Boutique, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find more things to do, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Tamarindo travel itinerary creator.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in January, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Samara, Nosara, Dolphin & Whale Watching, El Viejo Wetlands, Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Wed): kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz and then stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio. Keep things going the next day: experience rural life at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices.

To find reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio vacation trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Tamarindo to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Tamarindo in January, with highs in Manuel Antonio at 30°C and lows at 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Manuel Antonio.
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Barraba's Surf ©
Barraba's Surf

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