21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly to San Jose, Taxi to Monteverde
1
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
3
La Virgen
— 1 night
Drive
4
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
5
Cahuita
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Fly
7
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Ferry
8
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Carate
— 1 night
Drive
10
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
11
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

Monteverde

— 2 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Valle Escondido Preserve, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. On the 23rd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and then trot along with a tour on horseback.

To see ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip planning site.

Montreal, Canada to Monteverde is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Jul 21 — 23:
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La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): ride a horse along Arenal Wilberth Stables and then head outdoors with Flow Trips. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Sat): stroll through Senderos Los Tucanes, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to drive to La Virgen.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Trails
Find places to stay Jul 23 — 25:
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La Virgen

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sun): get outside with Outdoor Activities and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park.

Plan my La Virgen trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to La Virgen by car takes about 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Virgen

Tours · Adventure · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Jul 25 — 26:
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Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

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 27th (Mon), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero road trip app.

Traveling by car from La Virgen to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. In July in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 27:
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Highlights from your trip

Cahuita

— 2 nights
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
On the 28th (Tue), kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach and then stroll through Playa Cocles. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tarantulas Way, and then admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla.

To find more things to do, reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the Cahuita online travel route planner.

Getting from Tortuguero to Cahuita by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In July in Cahuita, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 27 — 29:
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Poas Volcano National Park

— 1 night
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then get impressive views of Poas Volcano.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Poas Volcano National Park trip planning website.

You can fly from Cahuita to Poas Volcano National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 29 — 30:
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Highlights from your trip

Santa Teresa

— 2 nights
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 31st (Fri): find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then view the masterpieces at Bri'ah Art Gallery, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa. On the 1st (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Playa Carmen and then trot along with a tour on horseback.

To find maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa tour itinerary site.

Fly from Poas Volcano National Park to Santa Teresa in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can catch the ferry to Uvita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 1:
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Uvita

— 3 nights
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Relax by the water at Uvita Beach and Playa Ventanas. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Dolphin & Whale Watching. There's much more to do: ride a horse along Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and stop by Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars.

For more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Uvita journey planner.

You can ride a ferry from Santa Teresa to Uvita in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Carate.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 1 — 4:
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Carate

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): immerse yourself in nature at Ave Azul de la Osa.

Discover how to plan a Carate trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Carate takes 4.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Carate

Parks · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Aug 4 — 5:
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Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
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 6th (Thu), take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio. On the 7th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

For more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip planning website.

Drive from Carate to Manuel Antonio in 6 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 5 — 7:
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San Jose

— 3 nights
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.
On the 8th (Sat), get in on the family fun at Parque Diversiones and then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad.

To see ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose journey builder tool.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in August, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Mon) to allow time for the flight back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 7 — 10:
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Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.

Sarapiqui travel guide

4.2
Nature & Parks · Zoos · Kayaking & Canoeing

Corcovado National Park travel guide

4.5
National Parks · State Parks