29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica route planner

This plan was created by another inspirock user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  8​h 15​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:  4​h 45​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
8
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
9
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
10
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 3 nights
Fly:  10​h
End: Toronto

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.
Take a break from the city and head to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Poas Volcano. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Precolumbian Gold Museum and Museo de Arte Costarricense. There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), stop by Chieton Moren, don't miss a visit to Mercado Nacional de Artesanias, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our San Jose trip builder app .

Toronto, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to San Jose is minus 1 hour. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Toronto in December: high temperatures in San Jose hover around 30°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens

2
nights
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
On the 7th (Fri), tour the pleasant surroundings at Guayabo National Park and Monument.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Turrialba trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from San Jose to Turrialba takes 2 hours. December in Turrialba sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Turrialba

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip builder app .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Turrialba to Tortuguero. December in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 9:
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.
We've included these beaches for you: Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles. Take a break from the city and head to Cahuita National Park and Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at Nature Observatorio and take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca driving holiday planner.

Take a shuttle from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. Traveling from Tortuguero in December, plan for a bit warmer nights in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, with lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles

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 Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. Change things up with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo (about 42 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, trot along with a tour on horseback, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos route planning app .

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

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.
Visit Playa Manuel Antonio and Uvita Beach for some beach relaxation. Get outdoors at MidWorld Costa Rica and River Rafting & Tubing. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Manuel Antonio: Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store (in Dominical) and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge (in Uvita). There's more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To plan Manuel Antonio vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in December, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Uvita, Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun): get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Art House.

To find more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read Monteverde trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

1
night
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
On the 25th (Tue), kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Santa Teresa takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, ferry, and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Tamarindo Beach and Playa Conchal. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Avellana and Playa Ocotal. When in Tamarindo, make a side trip to see Playa Nacascolo in Gulf of Papagayo, approximately 1h 20 min away. There's much more to do: admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, and get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf.

Make your Tamarindo itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Santa Teresa to Tamarindo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. December in Tamarindo sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to travel to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Playa Ocotal, Playa Nacascolo
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

3
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
Start off your visit on the 29th (Sat): contemplate the geological forces at Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Sun): tee off at Four Seasons Golf Club and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

For where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Area de Conservacion Guanacaste trip planner .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in 2 hours. In December, daytime highs in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. On the 31st (Mon), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trip

Playa Hermosa
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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