22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Ottawa
Fly:  22​h 15​min
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Nicoya
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
Chirripo National Park
— 4 nights
Fly:  23​h 45​min
Ottawa

2
days
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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Tue): view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum, then get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Parque La Sabana.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read San Jose trip itinerary builder.

Ottawa, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Ottawa in August, San Jose is a bit warmer at night with lows of 22°C. You'll have a few hours on the 17th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums, #Parks, #Shopping
Accommodations
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National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)
Precolumbian Gold Museum ©
Precolumbian Gold Museum
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

1
day
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Poas Volcano.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Poas Volcano National Park itinerary planner.

Getting from San Jose to Poas Volcano National Park by car takes about 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in August, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

#Parks, #Nature
Accommodations
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Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

3
days
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 20th (Sun) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

To see ratings, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation builder.

Getting from Poas Volcano National Park to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 2.5 hours. You'll have a few hours on the 21st (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

4
days
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.
Monteverde is known for wildlife areas, adventure, parks, nature, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, take in the exciting artwork at Art House, and look for gifts at Souvenir Rosewood.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Monteverde trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Zoos & Aquariums
Accommodations
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Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

1
day
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Fri): admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, then stop by Diamante Boutique, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

To find maps, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip generator.

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to travel to Nicoya.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Spas & Wellness

2
days
Nicoya

Nicoya ©
Nicoya, a city on the Nicoya Peninsula of the Guanacaste province, Costa Rica, is one of the country's most important tourist zones; it serves as a transport hub to Guanacaste's beaches and national parks. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sat): kick back and relax at Puerto Carrillo and then identify plant and animal life at El Viejo Wetlands. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Barra Honda National Park.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Nicoya itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Nicoya takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in August, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in Nicoya

#Parks, #Nature, #Beaches

Side Trip

El Viejo Wetlands
Accommodations
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Barra Honda National Park ©
Barra Honda National Park
Puerto Carrillo ©
Puerto Carrillo

3
days
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.
Manuel Antonio National Park is known for nature, adventure, beaches, outdoors, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, push the limits with an extreme tour, explore the stunning scenery at MidWorld Costa Rica, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Manuel Antonio National Park itinerary planner.

Getting from Nicoya to Manuel Antonio National Park by car takes about 4.5 hours. Traveling from Nicoya in August, expect Manuel Antonio National Park to be little chillier, temps between 31°C and 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) early enough to travel to Chirripo National Park.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Nature
Accommodations
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MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Spas & Wellness

4
days
Chirripo National Park

Chirripo National Park ©
Get out of town with these interesting Chirripo National Park side-trips: Dantica Gallery (in San Gerardo de Dota), Los Cusingos Neotropical Bird Sanctuary (in San Isidro de El General) and Savegre Reserve (in Cartago).

To see maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Chirripo National Park itinerary planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Manuel Antonio National Park to Chirripo National Park. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Chirripo National Park

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trips

Savegre Reserve, Dantica Gallery, Los Cusingos Neotropical Bird Sanctuary, Chirripo National Park, Pacuare River
Accommodations
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Cloudbridge Nature Reserve ©
Cloudbridge Nature Reserve
Dantica Gallery ©
Dantica Gallery

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