26 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

26 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Brussels
Fly + bus + shuttle:  21​h
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h
Cahuita
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
Bribri
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
+3
shuttle + taxi + Fly + taxi:  5​h
Drake Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
San Gerardo de Dota
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h
Rincon de La Vieja
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 2 nights
Fly:  20​h 45​min
Brussels

4
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ecocentro Danaus and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Get outdoors at Paradise Hot Springs and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). When in La Fortuna de San Carlos, make a side trip to see Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo, approximately 42 minutes away.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary builder.

Brussels, Belgium to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 21-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Brussels to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 7 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Spas

Side Trips

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), Butterfly Conservatory
Accommodations
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Ecocentro Danaus ©
Ecocentro Danaus
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

3
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Spas & Wellness and Zipline. Escape the urban bustle at Reserva Biologica Isla del Cano and Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa.

To find ratings, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read Monteverde custom trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa, Reserva Biologica Isla del Cano
Accommodations
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Souvenir Rosewood ©
Souvenir Rosewood
Spas & Wellness
Arte Jaguar Gallery ©
Arte Jaguar Gallery

2
days
Cahuita

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
On the 19th (Sun), let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, then identify plant and animal life at Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve, and then kick back and relax at Playa Cocles. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Costa Rica Wildlife Sanctuary, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, and then look for all kinds of wild species at The Jungle Breeze.

To see reviews, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Cahuita trip builder.

Drive from Monteverde to Cahuita in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Monteverde to Cahuita. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in February, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to travel to Bribri.

Things to do in Cahuita

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Puerto Limon, Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve, Playa Cocles
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Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus ©
Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

2
days
Bribri

Bribri
On the 21st (Tue), soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and then take in the dramatic scenery at Voilo Waterfall. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Widecast Sea Turtle Conservation and then look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Observatorio.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Bribri trip itinerary builder.

Bribri is just a short distance from Cahuita. February in Bribri sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Bribri

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trip

Manzanillo
Accommodations
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2
days
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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park. On the 24th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a tour by water with Tortuguero Adventures and then see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Tortuguero custom trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Bribri to Tortuguero. Traveling from Bribri to Tortuguero, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Bribri in February, expect slightly colder with lows of 21°C in Tortuguero. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to travel to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Nature
Accommodations
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Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero Adventures ©
Tortuguero Adventures
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

2
days
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then cast your line with a fishing tour. On the 26th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Corcovado National Park.

For photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Drake Bay sightseeing planner.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Tortuguero to Drake Bay in 5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of flight, bus, and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel to San Gerardo de Dota.

Things to do in Drake Bay

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Corcovado National Park
Accommodations
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Corcovado National Park ©
Corcovado National Park

2
days
San Gerardo de Dota

San Gerardo de Dota ©
On the 27th (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Los Cusingos Neotropical Bird Sanctuary and then look for all kinds of wild species at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Savegre Reserve, then look for gifts at Dantica Gallery, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For reviews, maps, and tourist information, use the San Gerardo de Dota online itinerary creator.

You can drive from Drake Bay to San Gerardo de Dota in 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in San Gerardo de Dota

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Shopping

Side Trips

Savegre Reserve, Los Cusingos Neotropical Bird Sanctuary, Cloudbridge Nature Reserve
Accommodations
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Cloudbridge Nature Reserve ©
Cloudbridge Nature Reserve

4
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Naturalist Michael Araya Flores and Playa Matapalo. Escape the urban bustle at Mulguri Adventure and Palo Seco Beach.

For more things to do, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio National Park online itinerary creator.

Getting from San Gerardo de Dota to Manuel Antonio National Park by car takes about 3 hours. February in Manuel Antonio National Park sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to Rincon de La Vieja.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trips

Quepos, Palo Seco Beach
Accommodations
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Palo Seco Beach ©
Palo Seco Beach
Playa Matapalo ©
Playa Matapalo
Mulguri Adventure ©
Mulguri Adventure

1
day
Rincon de La Vieja

Rincon de La Vieja ©
On the 5th (Sun), indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour and then take in the natural beauty of Rio Negro Hot Springs.

To see where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read Rincon de La Vieja trip builder.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio National Park to Rincon de La Vieja in 5 hours. When traveling from Manuel Antonio National Park in March, plan for a bit warmer days in Rincon de La Vieja, with highs around 40°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Mon) to allow time for travel to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Rincon de La Vieja

#Parks, #Nature

Side Trip

Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Accommodations
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Rio Negro Hot Springs ©
Rio Negro Hot Springs
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©

1
day
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Area de Conservacion Guanacaste tour planner.

You can drive from Rincon de La Vieja to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in 1.5 hours. In March, daily temperatures in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste can reach 40°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. You will leave for home on the 8th (Wed).

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Rajada
Accommodations
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Playa Rajada ©
Playa Rajada

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