20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Jaco
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
3
Montezuma
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
4
Mal Pais
— 3 nights
Drive:  30​min
5
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
8
Playa Hermosa
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
9
Tenorio Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
10
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
11
San Jose
— 1 night
End: San Jose

1
night
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 10th (Sun): soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu.

To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose travel planner.

Use the Route module to see travel options from your home to San Jose. Expect a daytime high around 31°C in September, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

2
nights
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.
On the 11th (Mon), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then take in the exciting artwork at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Tue): kick back and relax at Playa Bejuco and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Jaco trip itinerary maker.

Drive from San Jose to Jaco in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to ride a ferry to Montezuma.

Things to do in Jaco

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Tours

Side Trip

Playa Bejuco
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Bejuco ©
Playa Bejuco
Spas & Wellness
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

2
nights
Montezuma

Montezuma ©
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Wed): take in nature's colorful creations at Mariposario Butterfly Garden and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia and then identify plant and animal life at Curu National Wildlife Refuge.

To find traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Montezuma travel planner.

Traveling by ferry from Jaco to Montezuma takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can travel to Mal Pais.

Things to do in Montezuma

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Spas

Side Trip

Curu National Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Curu National Wildlife Refuge ©
Curu National Wildlife Refuge
Spas & Wellness

3
nights
Mal Pais

Get outdoors at Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve and Horseback Riding Tours. Discover out-of-the-way places like Kayaking & Canoeing and Zipline.

For ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Mal Pais tour planner.

Traveling by car from Montezuma to Mal Pais takes an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Mal Pais

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Nature

Side Trip

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours

1
night
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.
On the 18th (Mon), soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip builder.

Santa Teresa is very close to Mal Pais. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

#Spas
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Spas & Wellness

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.
On the 19th (Tue), stroll through Puerto Carrillo and then look for all kinds of wild species at Werner Sauter Biological Reserve. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then hunt for treasures at Samara Farmers Market, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Koss Art Gallery.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Playa Samara holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara takes 2 hours. In September, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Puerto Carrillo
Find places to stay Sep 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Carrillo ©
Puerto Carrillo
Werner Sauter Biological Reserve ©
Werner Sauter Biological Reserve
Koss Art Gallery ©
Koss Art Gallery

1
night
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 21st (Thu): paddle through the water with Costa Rica Sailing Center, then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then stop by Papaya Con Leche, and finally look for gifts at Lydia Beech Art. Here are some ideas for day two: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Playa Samara to Tamarindo by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. In September, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time for travel to Playa Hermosa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Tours

Side Trip

Costa Rica Sailing Center
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Costa Rica Sailing Center ©
Costa Rica Sailing Center
River Rafting & Tubing
Lydia Beech Art ©
Lydia Beech Art

2
nights
Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa ©
On the 22nd (Fri), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head outdoors with Crazy Alex CR and then stroll through Playa Nacascolo.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Playa Hermosa trip generator.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Tamarindo to Playa Hermosa takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in September, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Playa Nacascolo
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Nacascolo ©
Playa Nacascolo
Spas & Wellness
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco ©

2
nights
Tenorio Volcano National Park

Tenorio Volcano National Park
Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape of Tenorio National Park.

For photos and other tourist information, read Tenorio Volcano National Park travel planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Playa Hermosa to Tenorio Volcano National Park. In September in Tenorio Volcano National Park, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 26°C at night. On the 26th (Tue), you'll travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tenorio Volcano National Park

#Nature, #Parks

Side Trip

Tenorio National Park
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 26:

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 26th (Tue): view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery. On the 27th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, identify plant and animal life at Valle Escondido Preserve, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Tenorio Volcano National Park to Monteverde. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to San Jose.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Spas & Wellness
Valle Escondido Preserve ©
Valle Escondido Preserve

1
night
San Jose

San Jose ©
For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the San Jose itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

#Neighborhoods, #Shopping, #Museums

Side Trips

Multiplaza, Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum
Find places to stay Sep 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan

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