28 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

28 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

28 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Amsterdam
Fly:  9​h 30​min
San Jose
— Few hours
shuttle:  3​h 30​min
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
shuttle:  5​h
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
Drive:  30​min
Bribri
— 1 night
Drive:  30​min
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  8​h 45​min
Nuevo Arenal
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
Rincon de La Vieja
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
Sierpe
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  13​h
Amsterdam

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): browse the eclectic array of goods at Central Market (Mercado Central), admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose tour planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Etten-Leur, The Netherlands to San Jose. Traveling from Etten-Leur to San Jose, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. In July, San Jose is somewhat warmer than Etten-Leur - with highs of 30°C and lows of 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) to allow time to fly to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

#Shopping, #Museums
Accommodations
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Central Market (Mercado Central) ©
Central Market (Mercado Central)
Precolumbian Gold Museum ©
Precolumbian Gold Museum

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Tue): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Tortuguero National Park.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Tortuguero travel itinerary creator.

Fly from San Jose to Tortuguero in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. July in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 23°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

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

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Thu): take in the exciting artwork at Luluberlu Art Gallery, kick back and relax at Playa Chiquita, then look for gifts at Talamanca Family Art, and finally let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour.

For maps, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of bus and car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Tortuguero in July since evenings lows in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca dip to 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to travel to Bribri.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trip

Talamanca Family Art
Accommodations
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Playa Chiquita ©
Playa Chiquita
Talamanca Family Art ©
Talamanca Family Art

few
hours
Bribri

Bribri
On the 21st (Fri), look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Park Walk.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Bribri itinerary maker.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Bribri. In July, daily temperatures in Bribri can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 30°C. On the 21st (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Bribri

#Parks, #Historic Sites, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Nature Park Walk
Accommodations
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1
day
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): view the masterpieces at Luluberlu Art Gallery, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Chiquita, then stop by Talamanca Family Art, and finally let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica (Aviarios del Caribe).

To see other places to visit, maps, ratings, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip generator.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Bribri to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. On the 23rd (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Nuevo Arenal.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Talamanca Family Art, Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica
Accommodations
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Playa Chiquita ©
Playa Chiquita
Talamanca Family Art ©
Talamanca Family Art
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica ©
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica

3
days
Nuevo Arenal

Nuevo Arenal
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park and Venado Caves. Step out of the city life by going to Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal) and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). Change things up with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo (about 1:05 hours away).

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, use the Nuevo Arenal trip itinerery planner.

Explore your travel options from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Nuevo Arenal with the Route module. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Nuevo Arenal. While traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Nuevo Arenal, ranging from highs of 38°C to lows of 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Rincon de La Vieja.

Things to do in Nuevo Arenal

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Accommodations
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Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Venado Caves ©
Venado Caves

2
days
Rincon de La Vieja

Rincon de La Vieja ©
Start off your visit on the 27th (Thu): contemplate the geological forces at Miravalles Volcano. Here are some ideas for day two: get impressive views of Rincon de La Vieja National Park.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Rincon de La Vieja trip itinerery planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Nuevo Arenal to Rincon de La Vieja. In July in Rincon de La Vieja, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 27°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Rincon de La Vieja

#Parks, #Nature

Side Trips

Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Miravalles Volcano
Accommodations
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Miravalles Volcano ©
Miravalles Volcano
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park

2
days
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Samara Beach and Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones). Step out of the city life by going to Surfing and Belen Waterfall. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Nosara (Nativa Gallery, MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, & more). There's still lots to do: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find photos, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Samara itinerary maker.

Explore your travel options from Rincon de La Vieja to Playa Samara with the Route module. July in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 27°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trip

Nosara
Accommodations
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Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Zipline. Catedral de Puntarenas and Santa Elena Skywalk will appeal to history buffs.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Shopping

Side Trip

Catedral de Puntarenas
Accommodations
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Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Zipline

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.
Do your shopping at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices and Farmers Fair (Ferias del Agricultor). Get in touch with nature at Playa Biesanz and Surfing.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio National Park trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio National Park takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, daytime highs in Manuel Antonio National Park are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Sierpe.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Shopping

Side Trip

Farmers Fair (Ferias del Agricultor)
Accommodations
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Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Farmers Fair (Ferias del Agricultor) ©

3
days
Sierpe

Sierpe ©
Get outdoors at Uvita Beach and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Step off the beaten path and head to Uvita Waterfall and Osa Santuario de Animales. Take a break from Sierpe with a short trip to Scuba & Snorkeling in Uvita, about 52 minutes away.

To see ratings, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Sierpe trip builder.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Manuel Antonio National Park to Sierpe. On the 10th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Sierpe

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Uvita, El Sitio Museo Finca 6
Accommodations
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Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Uvita Waterfall ©
Uvita Waterfall
El Sitio Museo Finca 6 ©
El Sitio Museo Finca 6

2
days
San Jose

San Jose ©
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Fri): browse the eclectic array of goods at Central Market (Mercado Central), then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. On the 12th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum, stop by Chocolatería Sibú, and then get some fabulous bargains at Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the San Jose sightseeing planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Sierpe to San Jose. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

#Shopping, #Outdoors, #Adventure

Side Trips

Chocolatería Sibú, Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro
Accommodations
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Central Market (Mercado Central) ©
Central Market (Mercado Central)
River Rafting & Tubing
Precolumbian Gold Museum ©
Precolumbian Gold Museum

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