21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour itinerary builder

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

Route & dates

Start: Brussels
Train + Fly:  15 h 15 min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h 30 min
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  5 h 30 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h
6
Rincon de La Vieja
— 3 nights
Taxi + Bus:  3 h
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
+4
Shuttle + Foot + Shuttle + Fly + Train:  17 h 45 min
End: Brussels

3
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.
Get outdoors at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Poas Volcano. Change things up with a short trip to Toucan Rescue Ranch in San Isidro (about 32 minutes away). The adventure continues: contemplate the geological forces at Irazu Volcano National Park, take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, and take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum.

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the San Jose trip itinerary maker app.

Brussels, Belgium to San Jose is an approximately 16- hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Brussels to San Jose. Traveling from Brussels in September, expect San Jose to be a bit warmer, temps between 32°C and 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to take a bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Poas Volcano, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

3
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
You'll get in some beach time at Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles. Take a break from the city and head to Cahuita National Park and Nature Observatorio. There's more to do: admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Cahuita National Park, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Sep 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park

1
night
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): take a memorable tour with Tours and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Tours
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

3
nights
Manuel Antonio

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.
Get outdoors at Playa Manuel Antonio and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. There's still lots to do: explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park, take a memorable tour with Tours, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and see Off-Road Tours.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Quepos, Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena

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.
On the 27th (Sun), stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Frog Pond. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, whizz through the canopy at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, and then take an in-depth tour of Chorotega Arts & Crafts.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Monteverde online trip planner.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Rincon de La Vieja.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Tours
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
nights
Rincon de La Vieja

Rincon de La Vieja ©
Escape the urban bustle at Rincon de La Vieja National Park and Sensoria Land of Senses. Step out of Rincon de La Vieja to go to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste and see Miravalles Volcano, which is approximately 46 minutes away.

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Rincon de La Vieja road trip website.

Drive from Monteverde to Rincon de La Vieja in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Rincon de La Vieja

Nature Parks Trails

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Find places to stay Sep 28 — Oct 1:
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Miravalles Volcano ©
Miravalles Volcano
Rio Negro Hot Springs ©
Rio Negro Hot Springs

4
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.
Visiting La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Volcano will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

For photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos tour itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and bus from Rincon de La Vieja to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Another option is to drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

Similar Plans

25 days in Costa Rica & Panama BY A USER FROM CANADA April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 22 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM CHILE July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 24 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM CANADA March, popular sights Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 23 days in United States, South America & Central America BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 20 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, teens, popular sights Preferences: August, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 19 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM FRANCE February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 29 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA March, popular sights Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 11 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights Preferences: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Slow & easy 37 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM GERMANY February, romantic, hidden gems Preferences: February, romantic Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 26 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM SPAIN August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 34 days in San Jose & Montreal BY A USER FROM CANADA December, popular sights Preferences: December Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 1 day in San Jose BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA February, teens, culture, museums, popular sights Preferences: February, teens, culture, museums Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
See more plans