20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Barcelona
+3
Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  21​h 15​min
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly + shuttle:  6​h
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
Barcelona

3
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.
Get in touch with nature at Playa Manuel Antonio and River Rafting & Tubing. Shop till you drop at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices and Beso Loco Boutique de Playa. There's much more to do: explore the stunning scenery at MidWorld Costa Rica, stop by Super Joseth, and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz.

To see other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip maker site .

Barcelona, Spain to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 21.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and taxi; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Barcelona to Manuel Antonio is minus 7 hours. While traveling from Barcelona, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Manuel Antonio, ranging from highs of 30°C to lows of 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trip

Jaime Peligro Book & CD Shop
Accommodations
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

5
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.
Take a break from the city and head to River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. The adventure continues: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, shop like a local with Onirica Art Gallery, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Arenal.

To find maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder website .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos by combination of taxi and flight takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

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.
Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk will appeal to history buffs. Head to Hummingbird Gallery and Art Housefor some retail therapy. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

To see photos, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read Monteverde journey builder tool .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites
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 13th (Fri): stop by Azul Profundo Boutique, look for gifts at Papaya Con Leche, and then stroll through Tamarindo Beach. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

For ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Tamarindo trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. In July, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

1
day
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
On the 16th (Mon), stroll through Tortuguero National Park.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Tortuguero trip simple and quick.

Do a combination of flight and shuttle from Tamarindo to Tortuguero in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of bus, flight, taxi, and shuttle. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Tamarindo in July; daily highs in Tortuguero reach 30°C and lows reach 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife
Accommodations
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Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

1
day
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
On the 17th (Tue), explore the ancient world of Guayabo National Park and Monument.

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Turrialba itinerary planner .

Explore your travel options from Tortuguero to Turrialba with the Route module. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in July, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Turrialba

#Parks, #Nature, #Historic Sites
Accommodations
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Guayabo National Park and Monument ©
Guayabo National Park and Monument

2
days
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 18th (Wed): stop by Chieton Moren, then get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Galeria Namu. On your second day here, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, then admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cocos Island National Park.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose online road trip planner .

You can drive from Turrialba to San Jose in 2 hours. In July, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums, #Parks, #Nature

Side Trip

Cocos Island National Park
Accommodations
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Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Precolumbian Gold Museum ©
Precolumbian Gold Museum
National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)

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