19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  13​h 15​min
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Playa Hermosa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
taxi + ferry:  3​h
6
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
8
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  13​h 15​min
End: Vancouver

2
nights
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 26th (Mon): take a memorable tour with Top Travel Costa Rica and then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co.. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles) and then get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional).

For photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the San Jose online driving holiday planner .

Vancouver, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Vancouver to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Vancouver in March, with highs in San Jose at 32°C and lows at 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

#Breweries, #Wildlife, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles)
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan

2
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.
To find ratings and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos route planning app .

Drive from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to drive to Playa Hermosa.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Adventure, #Outdoors, #Tours
Find places to stay Mar 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Souvenir Leo ©
Souvenir Leo

2
nights
Playa Hermosa

Start off your visit on the 29th (Thu): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa. On the 30th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: view the masterpieces at Hidden Garden Art Gallery, then view the masterpieces at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, then get outside with Crazy Alex CR, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco.

For maps, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Playa Hermosa trip maker tool .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Playa Hermosa in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In March, daytime highs in Playa Hermosa are 40°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Hidden Garden Art Gallery
Find places to stay Mar 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco ©

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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sat): kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, stop by Diamante Boutique, then look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, then take in the exciting artwork at La Galeria Centro de Arte, and finally look for gifts at EK Art Jewelry. Here are some ideas for day two: do sightseeing your way with Private Tours and then take a memorable tour with Costa Rica Sailing Center.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Playa Hermosa to Tamarindo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 40°C, and evening lows to 25°C. On the 2nd (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Tours

Side Trips

Costa Rica Sailing Center, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Mar 31 — Apr 2:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Costa Rica Sailing Center ©
Costa Rica Sailing Center

2
nights
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): take in the exciting artwork at Koss Art Gallery. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach and then kick back and relax at Samara Beach.

For photos and tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playa Samara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. April in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 41°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Jaco.

Things to do in Playa Samara

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trip

Nosara
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Koss Art Gallery ©
Koss Art Gallery

1
night
Jaco

Jaco ©
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Neo Fauna, then enjoy the sand and surf at Jaco Beach, and then stop by The Costa Rica Coffee Experience.

To see photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Jaco itinerary planner.

Do a combination of taxi and ferry from Playa Samara to Jaco in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

#Parks, #Beaches, #Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Jaco Beach ©
Jaco Beach
Neo Fauna ©
Neo Fauna
The Costa Rica Coffee Experience ©

4
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.
Family-friendly places like Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Espadilla Norte will thrill your kids. Get in touch with nature at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices and Playa Biesanz. When in Manuel Antonio, make a side trip to see Parque Reptilandia in Dominical, approximately 56 minutes away. The adventure continues: take in breathtaking views at MidWorld Costa Rica.

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

Traveling by car from Jaco to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Parque Reptilandia, Playa Espadilla Norte
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Parque Reptilandia ©
Parque Reptilandia

2
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
On the 9th (Mon), admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, then tee off at Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral. On the 10th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: revel in the low prices at Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Metal Church, and then look for gifts at Chocolatería Sibú.

For more things to do, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our San Jose attractions planner.

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Golf

Side Trips

Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours, Metal Church, Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral, Chocolatería Sibú, Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro
Find places to stay Apr 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro ©
Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro
Chocolatería Sibú ©
Chocolatería Sibú
Metal Church ©
Metal Church

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