24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Boston
Fly:  10​h
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h
2
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
7
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  11​h 15​min
End: Boston

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.
You'll get in some beach time at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Irazu Volcano National Park. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Poas Volcano and Souvenir El Coco. Go for a jaunt from San Jose to Sarchi to see Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro about 54 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, admire the masterpieces at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, and browse the different shops at Avenida Escazu.

To find other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose trip itinerary app .

Boston, USA to San Jose is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also drive. Traveling from Boston to San Jose, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In May, San Jose is a bit warmer than Boston - with highs of 82°F and lows of 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) to allow time to take a bus to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Shopping

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Poas Volcano, Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro, Avenida Escazu, Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay May 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

4
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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Playa Manuel Antonio and Nature & Wildlife Tours. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at River Rafting & Tubing and Fishing Charters & Tours. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Manuel Antonio: Uvita (Parque Nacional Marino Ballena & Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars) and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary (in Dominical).

For ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip builder app .

You can take a bus from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Uvita, Fishing Charters & Tours, Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Find places to stay May 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
River Rafting & Tubing

1
day
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 31st (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Tortuguero takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In May, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 86°F, while at night they dip to 73°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay May 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

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.
You'll get in some beach time at River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. Escape the urban bustle at Tabacon Hot Springs and Ecotermales Fortuna. The adventure continues: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Estudio, stroll through Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and shop like a local with Wood & Art Gallery.

For where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 5:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

3
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.
Head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Ziplinefor some retail therapy. Step out of the city life by going to Curi Cancha Reserve and The Bat Jungle. There's much more to do: stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, shop like a local with Sarah's Gallery, ride a horse along Finca el Rodeo, and view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery.

To see more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde trip tool .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

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 9th (Sun), stroll through Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), look for gifts at Nativa Gallery, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Curu National Wildlife Refuge, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Islita.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Playa Samara trip planner .

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 10th (Mon) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Curu National Wildlife Refuge, Playa Islita
Find places to stay Jun 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)
Playa Islita ©
Playa Islita

5
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.
Visit Tamarindo Beach and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall for some beach relaxation. Do your shopping at Playa Conchal and Playa Avellana. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa) and Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts (in Playas del Coco). Next up on the itinerary: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and look for all kinds of wild species at Monkey Park.

To see maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo holiday planning website .

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. You will leave for home on the 15th (Sat).

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, Playa Hermosa, Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Jun 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

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