21 days in Province of Puntarenas, San Jose & Carara Itinerary

21 days in Province of Puntarenas, San Jose & Carara Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Province of Puntarenas, San Jose & Carara Itinerary

Start: Alicante
Fly:  23​h 30​min
1
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Punta Arenas
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Paquera
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Montezuma
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
5
Mal Pais
— 1 day
Drive:  30​min
6
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 30​min
7
San Jose
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 30​min
8
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
9
Quepos
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
10
Esterillos Este
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
11
Carara
— 2 nights
Fly:  22​h 45​min
End: Alicante

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. On the 1st (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To find where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde vacation builder.

Alicante, Spain to Monteverde is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Alicante to Monteverde. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Punta Arenas.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Adventure
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 1:
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Zipline

2
nights
Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas
A major port city with a busy fish market, for most tourists Puntarenas represents little more than the launching point for ferries heading to the pleasant beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): trek along Sky Mountain Canopy and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Punta Arenas itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Punta Arenas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel to Paquera.

Things to do in Punta Arenas

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Trails
Find places to stay Nov 1 — 3:

few
hours
Paquera

Paquera
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Curu.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Paquera trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Punta Arenas to Paquera takes 3.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Montezuma.

Things to do in Paquera

#Nature, #Parks
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 4:

2
nights
Montezuma

Montezuma ©
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): trot along with a tour on horseback and then head off the coast to Isla de Cabuya.

To find photos, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Montezuma trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Paquera to Montezuma takes an hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to travel to Mal Pais.

Things to do in Montezuma

#Nature, #Parks, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Isla de Cabuya ©
Isla de Cabuya
Horseback Riding Tours

1
day
Mal Pais

Mal Pais
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): take a memorable tour with Tours and then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Mal Pais online itinerary creator.

You can drive from Montezuma to Mal Pais in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Mal Pais

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 6:

3
nights
Santa Teresa

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Playa Hermosa and Horseback Riding Tours. Step out of the city life by going to Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve and Playa Carmen. The adventure continues: stop by Tica Surf Bikinis.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Santa Teresa itinerary maker.

Santa Teresa is just a stone's throw from Mal Pais. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo, then meet the residents at Zoo Ave, and then look for gifts at J.LANG Atelier & Showroom. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles) and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose online itinerary creator.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Santa Teresa to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In November in San Jose, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 22°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Uvita.

Things to do in San Jose

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Adventure

Side Trips

Zoo Ave, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles)
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave
Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo ©
Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo
River Rafting & Tubing

3
nights
Uvita

Uvita ©
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Uvita Waterfall. Take a break from the city and head to Uvita Beach and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge.

For more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Uvita trip planner.

Traveling by bus from San Jose to Uvita takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Quepos.

Things to do in Uvita

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trip

Dominical
Find places to stay Nov 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Uvita Waterfall ©
Uvita Waterfall
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

2
nights
Quepos

The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour. Keep things going the next day: stop by Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

To find more things to do, maps, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Quepos trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Uvita to Quepos by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In November, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can travel to Esterillos Este.

Things to do in Quepos

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure

Side Trip

Manuel Antonio
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Parasailing & Paragliding
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
Esterillos Este

Esterillos Este ©
Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Bejuco.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Esterillos Este online itinerary creator.

Getting from Quepos to Esterillos Este by car takes about an hour. In November, daily temperatures in Esterillos Este can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to travel to Carara.

Things to do in Esterillos Este

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Bejuco ©
Playa Bejuco
Horseback Riding Tours

2
nights
Carara

On the 17th (Fri), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Carara National Park.

To find more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Carara trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Esterillos Este to Carara takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Carara

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Nature

Side Trips

Nature & Wildlife Tours, Zipline
Find places to stay Nov 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Carara National Park ©
Carara National Park
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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