30 days in Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America travel planner

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

Route & dates

Start: Newark, United States
Fly + Taxi:  6 h 15 min
1
Vara Blanca, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  5 h 45 min
2
Panama City, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly + Bus:  6 h 30 min
3
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  5 h 30 min
4
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
6
Cano Negro, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
7
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
8
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
9
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
10
Liberia, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Fly:  9 h
End: Newark, United States

1
night
Vara Blanca, Costa Rica

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
To find reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Vara Blanca trip itinerary planning tool.

Newark, USA to Vara Blanca is an approximately 6.5- hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and taxi; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) to allow time to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 1:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

4
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Go for a jaunt from Panama City to Colon to see Aguas Clara Locks Visitor Center about 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: make a trip to Panama Canal, explore the striking landscape of Metropolitan National Park, delve into the distant past at Panama La Vieja, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Casco Viejo.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Panama City day trip planning website.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Vara Blanca to Panama City. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Vara Blanca to Panama City due to the time zone difference. In February in Panama City, expect temperatures between 89°F during the day and 76°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Panama City

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Aguas Clara Locks Visitor Center
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) ©
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador)

3
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Manuel Antonio: Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge (in Uvita) and Dominical (Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary & Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and find your balance on the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio online trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Panama City to Manuel Antonio in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Panama City to Manuel Antonio. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Quepos, Dominical, Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

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 10th (Wed): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park, and then learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

For maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero online road trip planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Tortuguero by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In February, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 84°F, while at night they dip to 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Tours
Find places to stay Feb 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

4
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, get outside with El Salto, stroll through La Fortuna Waterfall, and experience rural life at Finca Loma Verde.

To see reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation builder site.

You can drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Cano Negro.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Feb 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs

1
night
Cano Negro, Costa Rica

Cano Negro ©
On the 15th (Mon), stroll through Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge.

To find ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Cano Negro trip itinerary builder tool.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Cano Negro by car takes about 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 93°F in February, and nighttime lows around 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Cano Negro

Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge ©
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

4
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

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, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Elena Skywalk, and take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Cano Negro to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

3
nights
Playa Samara, Costa Rica

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 find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Barra Honda National Park (in Nicoya) and Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, Playa Guiones, &more). And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach, and take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Samara driving holiday website.

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Nosara, Barra Honda National Park
Find places to stay Feb 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

3
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal). And it doesn't end there: get interesting insight from Tours, look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, and get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura.

To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Tamarindo road trip planning app.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to catch the bus to Liberia.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

4
nights
Liberia, Costa Rica

Liberia ©
Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
Get out of town with these interesting Liberia side-trips: Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands & Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja) and Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja). The adventure continues: explore the striking landscape of Rincon de La Vieja National Park, relax in the rural setting at Tio Leo Coffee Tour, and stop by Nahua.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Liberia trip itinerary builder site.

You can take a bus from Tamarindo to Liberia in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 1st (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Liberia

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Province of Guanacaste, Rio Negro Hot Springs
Find places to stay Feb 25 — Mar 1:
Highlights from your plan
Tio Leo Coffee Tour ©
Tio Leo Coffee Tour
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Palo Verde National Park ©
Palo Verde National Park

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