29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner

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Route & dates

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  8​h 45​min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Turrialba
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
4
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
5
Carate
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
6
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
8
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
9
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
10
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  9​h
End: Chicago

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.
Get some cultural insight at Precolumbian Gold Museum and Galeria Namu. Get outdoors at Poas Volcano and Zoo Ave. Go for a jaunt from San Jose to Vara Blanca to see La Paz Waterfall Gardens about 1h 20 min away. Next up on the itinerary: get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), don't miss a visit to Central Park (Parque Central), explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our San Jose trip planner .

Chicago, USA to San Jose is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Plan for warmer temperatures traveling from Chicago in February, with highs in San Jose at 79°F and lows at 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in San Jose

#Parks, #Nature, #Museums

Side Trips

Alajuela, Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Find places to stay Feb 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens

2
nights
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
Start off your visit on the 20th (Tue): pause for some photo ops at Guayabo National Park and Monument.

To see ratings, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Turrialba sightseeing planner .

You can drive from San Jose to Turrialba in 2 hours. February in Turrialba sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 65°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) so you can travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Turrialba

#Historic Sites, #Nature, #Parks
Find places to stay Feb 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©
Guayabo National Park and Monument

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.
On the 21st (Wed), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Tortuguero itinerary maker app .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Turrialba to Tortuguero. February in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 65°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Wildlife, #Nature, #Parks
Find places to stay Feb 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero Adventures ©
Tortuguero Adventures

3
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Fri): explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park and then look for all kinds of wild species at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Observatorio and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Puerto Viejo Beach.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by shuttle from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca due to the time zone difference. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Tortuguero in February since evenings lows in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca dip to 81°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel to Carate.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach

1
night
Carate

Carate
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sun): get outside with Escondido Trex.

To see where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Carate trip planning tool .

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Carate in 11.5 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Carate is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Carate

#Outdoors

Side Trip

Escondido Trex
Find places to stay Feb 25 — 26:

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Playa Manuel Antonio and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Step out of Manuel Antonio to go to Dominical and see Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, which is approximately 48 minutes away. Spend the 28th (Wed) on the water with a fishing tour. There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at MidWorld Costa Rica, kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and look for gifts at Meli Melo Boutique.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip tool .

You can drive from Carate to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. In February in Manuel Antonio, expect temperatures between 79°F during the day and 65°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Feb 26 — Mar 2:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica

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.
Get outdoors at River Rafting & Tubing and Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). Get out of town with these interesting La Fortuna de San Carlos side-trips: El Castillo (Butterfly Conservatory & Arenal Eco Zoo). There's much more to do: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, identify plant and animal life at Proyecto Asis, take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, and skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation app .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

2
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.
On the 8th (Thu), stop by Hummingbird Gallery and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the 9th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then get to know the fascinating history of Santa Elena Skywalk, and finally meet the residents at The Bat Jungle.

To see traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde trip itinerary maker app .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Sat) to allow time for travel to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
Visiting Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall will get you outdoors. Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa) and Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts (in Playas del Coco).

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste trip planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in 3 hours. In March, daytime highs in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste are 94°F, while nighttime lows are 71°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, Playa Hermosa, Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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.
On the 14th (Wed), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, and then get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal, then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, and then stop by Azul Profundo Boutique.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Tamarindo day trip planner.

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 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Scuba & Snorkeling

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