30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

San Jose
Drive:  2​h 30​min
Cartago
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
shuttle:  3​h 30​min
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly + taxi:  4​h 30​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive:  2​h
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Nosara
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  1​h
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 30​min
San Jose

1
day
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. On the 23rd (Tue), admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles).

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Cartago holiday planner.

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 2.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of bus and taxi. In January, daily temperatures in Cartago can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cartago

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Historic Sites
Accommodations
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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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Tortuguero attractions tool .

You can do a combination of car and flight from Cartago to Tortuguero in 3 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

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

2
days
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.
On the 27th (Sat), kick back and relax at Puerto Viejo Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Sun): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

For where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary app .

Getting from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by combination of flight, taxi, and bus takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Tortuguero in January, plan for cooler days and a bit cooler nights in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca: temperatures range from 10°C by day to 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trip

Cahuita National Park
Accommodations
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Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Playa Chiquita ©
Playa Chiquita

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.
Get in touch with nature at MidWorld Costa Rica and Playa Biesanz. Spend the 1st (Thu) on the water with a fishing tour. It doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and relax in the rural setting at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices.

To see maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder site .

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio. Traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in January, expect nights in Manuel Antonio to be a bit warmer, around 22°C, while days are warmer, around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure

Side Trip

Fishing Charters & Tours
Accommodations
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MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
River Rafting & Tubing

7
days
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.
Step out of the city life by going to River Rafting & Tubing and Tabacon Hot Springs. Spend the 4th (Sun) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, Head underground at Venado Caves, cool off at Termales Los Laureles, and look for all kinds of wild species at Proyecto Asis.

To find more things to do, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos travel route tool .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and taxi; or do a combination of bus and 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, #Spas

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

4
days
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Ecological Sanctuary. The adventure continues: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle.

To find ratings, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip itinerary planning website .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Tours
Accommodations
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Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

4
days
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Avellana. Escape the urban bustle at Playa Conchal and Playa Hermosa. The adventure continues: explore the striking landscape of Las Baulas National Marine Park, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, look for gifts at Papaya Con Leche, and explore and take pictures at Pura Aventura.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. In February in Tamarindo, expect temperatures between 39°C during the day and 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) early enough to take a bus to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Playa Hermosa, Las Baulas National Marine Park
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Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

3
days
Nosara

Nosara ©
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Visiting Samara Beach and Barrigona Beach will get you outdoors. Change things up with these side-trips from Nosara: Playa Samara (Horseback Riding Tours & Kingfisher Sportfishing). There's still lots to do: stroll through Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, look for all kinds of wild species at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Nosara tour itinerary site .

You can take a bus from Tamarindo to Nosara in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in February, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trip

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

2
days
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 20th (Tue), take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Playa Santa Teresa, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa online travel route planner .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Nosara to Santa Teresa in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trip

Montezuma Falls
Accommodations
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Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls

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