20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

This plan was created by another inspirock user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Manchester
+2
Fly + Bus + Shuttle:  20 h 30 min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Ferry:  3 h 30 min
4
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
5
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
6
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
7
Quebrada Grande
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  20 h 15 min
End: Manchester

5
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Paradise Hot Springs and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Escape the urban bustle at Tabacon Hot Springs and Rio Celeste. There's still lots to do: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, surround yourself with nature on Ecocentro Danaus, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, and head outdoors with El Salto.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing planning website.

Manchester, UK to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 21- hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi. Traveling from Manchester to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 6 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Rio Celeste, Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Nov 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Paradise Hot Springs ©
Paradise Hot Springs
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Tue): take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, and then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk.

To see maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

2
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.
On the 8th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz and then stop by Meli Melo Boutique.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. On the 10th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Meli Melo Boutique
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa
Meli Melo Boutique ©
Meli Melo Boutique

2
nights
Santa Teresa

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa, take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls, and then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis. Here are some ideas for day two: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

To find ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read Santa Teresa journey planner.

You can ride a ferry from Manuel Antonio to Santa Teresa in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Montezuma Falls
Find places to stay Nov 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Spas & Wellness
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa

2
nights
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 13th (Mon): kick back and relax at Samara Beach. On the 14th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Guiones.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara driving holiday website.

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Nosara
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Spas & Wellness
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Playa Guiones ©
Playa Guiones

3
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Take a break from the city and head to Playa Hermosa and Playa Avellana. Step off the beaten path and head to Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Spas & Wellness. Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal) and Playas del Coco (Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco & Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts). There's still lots to do: view the masterpieces at Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Tamarindo itinerary builder app.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to travel to Quebrada Grande.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Nov 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Spas & Wellness

2
nights
Quebrada Grande

Quebrada Grande ©
On the 18th (Sat), catch all the local highlights with Sea Star CR Sport Fishing and Adventure Tours.

For reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Quebrada Grande online route planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Quebrada Grande takes 3 hours. You will leave for home on the 19th (Sun).

Things to do in Quebrada Grande

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trip

Sea Star CR Sport Fishing and Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Sea Star CR Sport Fishing and Adventure Tours ©

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