21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica planner

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Route & dates

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
San Jose
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Cahuita
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Playas del Coco
— 3 nights
+3
bus + foot + shuttle + Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: London

4
nights
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and La Paz Waterfall Gardens (in Vara Blanca). And it doesn't end there: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, stop by Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings, and admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum.

To see reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose online tour planner .

London, UK to San Jose is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time to Central Standard Time is minus 6 hours. In January, San Jose is much hotter than London - with highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in San Jose

#Nature, #Parks, #Museums

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
River Rafting & Tubing

3
nights
Cahuita

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sun): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park. On the 29th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens and then stroll through Puerto Viejo Beach.

Find out how to plan Cahuita trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Cahuita takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from San Jose to Cahuita, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from San Jose in January, you will find days in Cahuita are cooler (10°C), and nights are slightly colder (10°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Cahuita

#Parks, #Nature, #Beaches

Side Trip

Puerto Viejo Beach
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach

6
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.
Spend the 1st (Thu) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). Spend the 4th (Sun) exploring nature at Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal. There's much more to do: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, view the masterpieces at Wood and Art Gallery, admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and trek along Ecocentro Danaus.

Plan my La Fortuna de San Carlos trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from Cahuita to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 5:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

3
nights
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.
Monteverde is known for parks, adventure, nightlife, zoos & aquariums, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, stop by Souvenir Rosewood, and meet the residents at The Bat Jungle.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde online vacation planner .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Adventure
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
nights
Playas del Coco

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Venture out of the city with trips to Pura Aventura (in El Guapote), Tamarindo (Lydia Beech Art, Tamarindo Beach, & more) and Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal). There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read Playas del Coco attractions planner .

Getting from Monteverde to Playas del Coco by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and bus. February in Playas del Coco sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks

Side Trips

Tamarindo, Playa Conchal, Pura Aventura, Playa Hermosa
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

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