21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Dunedin
Travel:  9​h 30​min
1
San Vito
— Few hours
2
San Vito
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
7
Nosara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
8
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
Fly:  32​h
End: Dunedin

few
hours
San Vito

San Vito ©
Start off your visit on the 30th (Fri): take in nature's colorful creations at Wilson Botanical Garden and then take in nature's colorful creations at Finca Cantaros.

For reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the San Vito trip generator.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Dunedin, New Zealand to San Vito. The time zone difference moving from New Zealand Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 18 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to travel to San Vito.

Things to do in San Vito

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Finca Cantaros ©
Finca Cantaros

2
nights
San Vito

San Vito ©
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sat): admire the natural beauty at Wilson Botanical Garden and then take in nature's colorful creations at Finca Cantaros.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the San Vito vacation builder.

You'll set off for Manuel Antonio National Park on the 1st (Sun).

Things to do in San Vito

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Finca Cantaros ©
Finca Cantaros

2
nights
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 2nd (Mon): kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, then hit the tides with a taste of the best surfing spots, and then look for gifts at Meli Melo Boutique. Here are some ideas for day two: get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure and then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio National Park tour planner.

Explore your travel options from San Vito to Manuel Antonio National Park with the Route module. In January, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can catch the flight to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Meli Melo Boutique
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Meli Melo Boutique ©
Meli Melo Boutique

3
nights
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Ecotermales Fortuna and Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. Visiting Lake Arenal and Proyecto Asis will get you outdoors.

For maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Manuel Antonio National Park to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Ecocentro Danaus ©
Ecocentro Danaus
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Lake Arenal ©
Lake Arenal

3
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.
Get in touch with nature at Viento Fresco Waterfall and Serpentario. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and Spas & Wellness. Go for a jaunt from Monteverde to Santa Elena to see Monteverde Orchid Garden about 32 minutes away.

To see where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip generator.

Traveling by taxi from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Viento Fresco Waterfall
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Viento Fresco Waterfall ©
Viento Fresco Waterfall
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

3
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Visiting Stand-Up Paddleboarding and River Rafting & Tubing will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Surfing and Climbing Tours.

To find ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Tamarindo sightseeing planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can take a bus to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
River Rafting & Tubing
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
Nosara

Nosara ©
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
On the 13th (Fri), admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour. On the 14th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for all kinds of wild species at Nosara Wildlife Sanctuary at Sibu, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and then see the sights as you ascend with a climbing tour.

To see where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Nosara itinerary builder.

Take a bus from Tamarindo to Nosara in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. January in Nosara sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

Spas Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Belen Waterfall
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Spas & Wellness

3
nights
Santa Teresa

A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Surfing and Finca Paraiso. Take a break from the city and head to Playa Carmen and Isla de Cabuya. Explore Santa Teresa's surroundings by going to Montezuma (Spas & Wellness & Horseback Riding Tours) and La Escuela Del Sol (in Cabuya). Next up on the itinerary: stop by Tica Surf Bikinis.

To see where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Santa Teresa vacation builder.

You can drive from Nosara to Santa Teresa in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Cabuya, Montezuma, Finca Paraiso
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Isla de Cabuya ©
Isla de Cabuya

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