21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Tambor, Taxi to Playa Samara
1
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
— 1 night
Drive
5
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
6
Cahuita
— 3 nights
Drive
7
San Jose
— 5 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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27
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31
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15

Playa Samara

— 4 nights
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.
Bring the kids along to Tamarindo Beach and Playa Hermosa. Take a break from the city and head to Samara Beach and Playa Guiones. Venture out of the city with trips to Tamarindo (Azul Profundo Boutique & Monkey Park) and Playa Avellana (in Playa Avellanas). Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Buena Vista.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Playa Samara vacation planner.

Montreal, Canada to Playa Samara is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Montreal to Playa Samara. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 21 — 25:

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.
On the 26th (Sun), tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and then take in the exciting artwork at Alas y Raices. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Mon): stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve.

To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Monteverde tour itinerary planner.

Drive from Playa Samara to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure
Find places to stay Jul 25 — 27:

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and Horseback Riding Tours. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano, witness a stunning natural landmark at Baldi Hot Springs, tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, and take in nature's colorful creations at Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

To find ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos travel planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 27 — 31:

Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): stroll through Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Frogs Heaven.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui trip itinerary maker tool.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui in 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 1:

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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Tortuguero driving holiday planning app.

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui to Tortuguero by car takes about 2.5 hours. In August, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) to allow time to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Aug 1 — 2:
Highlights from your trip

Cahuita

— 3 nights
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Family-friendly places like Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles will thrill your kids. Visiting Cahuita National Park and Nature Observatorio will get you outdoors. When in Cahuita, make a side trip to see Punta Uva Beach in Punta Uva, approximately Punta Uva away. There's more to do: admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Cahuita tour planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Cahuita takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In August, daily temperatures in Cahuita can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 2 — 5:

San Jose

— 5 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.
Kids will enjoy Zipline and J.LANG Atelier & Showroom. Step out of the city life by going to Poas Volcano and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro) and Mirador de Jaco (in Jaco). The adventure continues: head outdoors with Top Travel Costa Rica, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the San Jose online journey builder.

Traveling by car from Cahuita to San Jose takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, San Jose is a bit cooler than Cahuita - with highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C. On the 10th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 5 — 10:

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.

Arenal Volcano National Park travel guide

4.4
Hot Springs · Waterfalls · River Rafting & Tubing
Plan a tour of Arenal Volcano National Park to get in touch with nature, enjoy scenic views, and admire the majestic volcano up close. The park, established in 1991, protects a variety of ecosystems and wildlife. You can choose from four hiking trails, taking you across the rainforest and lava fields. Enjoy scenic lookout points, see a staggering variety of birds and plants, or climb the dormant Mount Chato on your trip to Arenal Volcano National Park.

Sarapiqui travel guide

4.2
Nature & Parks · Zoos · Kayaking & Canoeing