20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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

Route & dates

Start: Lisbon
Fly + Shuttle:  22 h
1
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
2
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
3
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Ferry:  3 h 30 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  6 h
5
Nuevo Arenal
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
6
Quebrada Grande
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  21 h 30 min
End: Lisbon

4
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco and Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Spas & Wellness and Diamante Boutique. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo), Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa) and Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal). Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo trip planning app.

Lisbon, Portugal to Tamarindo is an approximately 21- hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also fly. The time zone changes from Western European Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -6 hour difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Beaches

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Playa Flamingo, Playa Hermosa, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay May 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Spas & Wellness
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco ©
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco

5
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Barrigona Beach and Koss Art Gallery. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Samara Beach and Playa Guiones. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Nosara (Nativa Gallery, Spas & Wellness, &more). The adventure continues: take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Samara trip builder app.

Drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Nosara
Find places to stay May 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Spas & Wellness
Koss Art Gallery ©
Koss Art Gallery

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): stroll through Playa Santa Teresa and then take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls. On your second day here, get interesting insight from Tours, then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip builder site.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to catch the ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

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

3
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Playa Biesanz and Super Joseth. Spend the 14th (Sun) on the water with a fishing tour. There's still lots to do: look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio online route planner.

You can ride a ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. On the 15th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Nuevo Arenal.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay May 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa

2
nights
Nuevo Arenal

Nuevo Arenal ©
On the 16th (Tue), explore the activities along Rio Celeste and then take in the natural beauty of Rio Chollin. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

To find reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Nuevo Arenal online day trip planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Nuevo Arenal in 4.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) early enough to travel to Quebrada Grande.

Things to do in Nuevo Arenal

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Rio Celeste
Find places to stay May 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Rio Celeste ©
Rio Celeste
Paradise Hot Springs ©
Paradise Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

2
nights
Quebrada Grande

Quebrada Grande ©
On the 19th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: add some fun to your beach time Sea Star CR Sport Fishing and Adventure Tours.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Quebrada Grande vacation planning tool.

Getting from Nuevo Arenal to Quebrada Grande by car takes about an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Quebrada Grande

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

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

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