29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday planner

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Route & dates

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Chicago
+3
Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  9​h 45​min
1
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
Cahuita
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
4
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
taxi + bus:  3​h 30​min
5
San Jose
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
6
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
7
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  9​h
End: Chicago

5
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.
Make the 4th (Sun) an awe-inspiring day at Naturalist Michael Araya Flores. Spend the 5th (Mon) on the water with a fishing tour. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio itinerary tool .

Chicago, USA to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. In February, Manuel Antonio is much warmer than Chicago - with highs of 79°F and lows of 65°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 5:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
River Rafting & Tubing

6
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, trails, wildlife, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, witness a stunning natural landmark at Baldi Hot Springs, explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), and take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip planning website .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. On the 11th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

2
nights
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 12th (Mon), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park and then admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Cahuita road trip tool .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Cahuita in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Cahuita is 1 hour. On the 13th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a shuttle to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cahuita

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
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.
On the 14th (Wed), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To find maps, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by shuttle from Cahuita to Tortuguero takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Cahuita to Tortuguero due to the time zone difference. In March, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) to allow time to take a shuttle to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Nature, #Wildlife, #Parks
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

4
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), Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro) and La Paz Waterfall Gardens (in Vara Blanca). There's still lots to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), look for gifts at Chieton Moren, and shop like a local with Galeria Namu.

For other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip maker site .

You can take a shuttle from Tortuguero to San Jose in 3.5 hours. In March, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 81°F, while at night they dip to 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in San Jose

#Parks, #Nature, #Museums

Side Trips

La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Mar 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens

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, wildlife, nightlife, parks, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, take in the views from Santa Elena Skywalk, and look for gifts at Hummingbird Gallery.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read Monteverde itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from San Jose to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. On the 22nd (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Tours
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Area de Conservacion Guanacaste: Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja) and Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa). Spend the 24th (Sat) among the fascinating landscape of Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja.

To see where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Area de Conservacion Guanacaste trip builder site .

You can drive from Monteverde to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in 3 hours. In March, plan for daily highs up to 94°F, and evening lows to 71°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Rio Negro Hot Springs, Playa Hermosa
Find places to stay Mar 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Rio Negro Hot Springs ©
Rio Negro Hot Springs

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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Mon): get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana. On the next day, admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, then look for all kinds of wild species at Monkey Park, and then stroll through Playa Conchal.

To find more things to do, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip planner.

You can drive from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Tamarindo in 2 hours. In March, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 94°F, while nighttime lows are 71°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

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