18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Ottawa
+3
train + bus + Fly + taxi:  9​h 15​min
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly:  10​h 15​min
Ottawa

4
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.
Visit Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz for some beach relaxation. Get in touch with nature at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices and River Rafting & Tubing. The adventure continues: take in breathtaking views at MidWorld Costa Rica, look for gifts at Meli Melo Boutique, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip maker website .

Ottawa, Canada to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of train, flight, and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect much hotter temperatures when traveling from Ottawa in March; daily highs in Manuel Antonio reach 31°C and lows reach 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sat) to allow time to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure

Side Trip

Meli Melo Boutique
Accommodations
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
River Rafting & Tubing

6
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 River Rafting & Tubing and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. When in La Fortuna de San Carlos, make a side trip to see Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo, approximately 42 minutes away. The adventure continues: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), look for gifts at Souvenir Leo, and view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery.

To find traveler tips, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner .

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. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Tours

Side Trips

Butterfly Conservatory, Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

3
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Curi Cancha Reserve. Next up on the itinerary: stop by Hummingbird Gallery, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and tour the pleasant surroundings at The Bat Jungle.

To find other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Monteverde trip builder website .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Tours
Accommodations
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Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

2
days
Tamarindo

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 10th (Tue): stop by Azul Profundo Boutique, get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach. Keep things going the next day: explore and take pictures at Pura Aventura and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo tour planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. In April, plan for daily highs up to 41°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Beaches, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura

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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): stop by Chieton Moren, then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and then browse the eclectic array of goods at Central Market (Mercado Central).

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our San Jose online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by flight from Tamarindo to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or drive. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Tamarindo in April; daily highs in San Jose reach 32°C and lows reach 22°C. You will have some time to spend on the 13th (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in San Jose

#Shopping, #Museums

Side Trip

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Accommodations
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Chieton Moren ©
Chieton Moren
Central Market (Mercado Central) ©
Central Market (Mercado Central)
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

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