23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route maker

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

Route & dates

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Bus:  3 h
2
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
3
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
4
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
5
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h
7
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
8
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h
9
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Bus:  3 h 30 min
End: San Jose

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.
Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park), monument of Tomas Guardia (in Alajuela) and Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro). There's much more to do: take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, and examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip maker app.

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to San Jose. In April, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Museums Parks

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, monument of Tomas Guardia, Toucan Rescue Ranch
Find places to stay Apr 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica

3
nights
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Jaco (Mirador de Jaco & Canyoning & Rappelling Tours). And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, stroll around Parque Nahomi, explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park, and find your balance on the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area.

For more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio online trip builder.

You can take a bus from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
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 adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, whizz through the canopy at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, browse the exhibits of Alas y Raices, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas).

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Monteverde fast, fun, and easy.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach, kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach, and then admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall. Keep things going the next day: try for a hole-in-one at Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Guiones, and then stroll through Nosara Refuge for Wildlife.

To see reviews, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Playa Samara route tool.

Drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Nosara
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Playa Guiones ©
Playa Guiones

3
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal) and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's much more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, stroll through Tamarindo Beach, and find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

Discover how to plan a Tamarindo trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Apr 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Boat Tours & Water Sports
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

5
nights
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, trot along with a tour on horseback, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Arenal, and indulge in some personalized pampering at Tabacon Hot Springs.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip website.

Drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Apr 16 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs

1
night
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

For more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Vara Blanca online trip planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Vara Blanca by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 21 — 22:

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 (Thu): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park, and then learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Tortuguero trip planning app.

You can drive from Vara Blanca to Tortuguero in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In April, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Adventure
Find places to stay Apr 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Fri): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla, and then stroll through Tarantulas Way. On the 25th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park and then admire the natural beauty at Alma Verde - Cahuita Healing Garden.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary maker tool.

Drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus back home.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Cahuita
Find places to stay Apr 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park

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