22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  20​h
Heredia
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
Mal Pais
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  5​h
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
San Jose
— 1 night
+2
bus + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Jaco
— 2 nights
+3
bus + foot + bus + Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Vancouver

1
night
Heredia

Heredia ©
Heredia is a city in the Heredia province of Costa Rica, of which it is the capital; it is 10 kilometers to the north of the country's capital, San José.The city is home to one of the largest colleges in Costa Rica, the National University of Costa Rica, which accepts many international students. To find maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Heredia custom trip planner.

Vancouver, Canada to Heredia is an approximately 20-hour flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Traveling from Vancouver in November, expect Heredia to be much warmer, temps between 30°C and 22°C. On the 3rd (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Mal Pais.

Things to do in Heredia

#Parks, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Toucan Rescue Ranch
Accommodations
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Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch

3
nights
Mal Pais

Mal Pais
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia and Sunrise Ranch. Family-friendly places like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Dolphin & Whale Watching will thrill your kids.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Mal Pais holiday planner.

You can drive from Heredia to Mal Pais in 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Mal Pais

#Parks, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia
Accommodations
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2
nights
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
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.
On the 7th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then take in the exciting artwork at Koss Art Gallery.

For where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Samara custom trip planner.

Getting from Mal Pais to Playa Samara by car takes about 4 hours. In November in Playa Samara, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 25°C at night. On the 8th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playa Samara

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Shopping
Accommodations
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Werner Sauter Biological Reserve ©
Werner Sauter Biological Reserve
Koss Art Gallery ©
Koss Art Gallery

5
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Butterfly Conservatory and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). Step off the beaten path and head to Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Paradise Hot Springs. When in La Fortuna de San Carlos, make a side trip to see Arenal Eco Zoo in El Castillo, approximately 38 minutes away. Spend the 10th (Fri) exploring nature at Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos travel planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, El Castillo
Accommodations
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Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Paradise Hot Springs ©
Paradise Hot Springs

4
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like La Ceiba and River Rafting & Tubing. Kids will enjoy Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve and Costa Rica Wildlife Sanctuary. There's much more to do: experience rural life at Chocorart, have some family-friendly fun at Yesland Mini Golf, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Park Walk.

To see reviews, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca tour planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is 1 hour. In November, daily temperatures in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 30°C. On the 17th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites

Side Trips

Costa Rica Wildlife Sanctuary, Nature Park Walk, Yesland Mini Golf
Accommodations
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Chocorart ©
Chocorart

1
night
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.
To see photos, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read San Jose vacation trip planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in November since evenings lows in San Jose dip to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

#Shopping
Accommodations
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2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Naturalist Michael Araya Flores. Keep things going the next day: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and then take in the dramatic scenery at Mulguri Adventure.

For maps, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio tour planner.

Do a combination of flight and taxi from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. In November in Manuel Antonio, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Nature, #Parks, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Naturalist Michael Araya Flores
Accommodations
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Mulguri Adventure ©
Mulguri Adventure
Spas & Wellness

2
nights
Jaco

Jaco ©
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
On the 20th (Mon), relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then stroll through Playa Bejuco. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Up in the Cloud Forest.

To find photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Jaco itinerary planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or take a bus. On the 22nd (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Jaco

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Bridge Over Rio Tarcoles, Dantica Gallery, Playa Bejuco, Up in the Cloud Forest
Accommodations
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Playa Bejuco ©
Playa Bejuco
Spas & Wellness
The Costa Rica Coffee Experience ©
The Costa Rica Coffee Experience

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