30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday planner

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

Route & dates

Start: Chicago
Fly + Drive:  11 h 45 min
1
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
2
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
3
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
4
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
6
Drake Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  7 h 45 min
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h
8
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h
10
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  11 h 15 min
End: Chicago

3
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
When in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, make a side trip to see Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge in Cuajiniquil, approximately Cuajiniquil away. Spend the 7th (Sun) among the fascinating landscape of Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja.

For reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Area de Conservacion Guanacaste online travel planner.

Chicago, USA to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste is an approximately 11.5- hour combination of flight and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Jun 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Miravalles Volcano ©
Miravalles Volcano
Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge ©
Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal), Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa) and Playa Nacascolo (in Gulf of Papagayo). And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, and see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Tamarindo attractions planner.

You can drive from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Tamarindo in 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Dolphin & Whale Watching, Playa Conchal, Playa Hermosa, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Playa Nacascolo
Find places to stay Jun 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching

3
nights
Playa Samara

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Playa Samara: Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, Playa Guiones, &more), Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project (in Punta Islita) and Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Samara online journey builder.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project, Jungle Butterfly Farm
Find places to stay Jun 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

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, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, admire the masterpieces at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

To find photos, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip itinerary website.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Jun 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

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.
Explore Manuel Antonio's surroundings by going to Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers, Zipline, &more). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get interesting insight from Tours, and explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park.

To see reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Jaco, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Jun 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Spend a day of island exploring on the 23rd (Tue) at Cano Island.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Drake Bay road trip planning site.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Jun 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
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 26th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Tarantulas Way and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park and then have some family-friendly fun at Yesland Mini Golf.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner.

Getting from Drake Bay to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Cahuita
Find places to stay Jun 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park

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 28th (Sun): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park, and then learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero visit planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero in 4 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. June in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 86°F and lows of 74°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Adventure
Find places to stay Jun 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

5
nights
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, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get interesting insight from Tours, get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna, and tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary app.

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. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can go by car to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jun 28 — Jul 3:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
nights
Vara Blanca

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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): explore the striking landscape of Poas Volcano and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Vara Blanca journey app.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Vara Blanca takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. You'll set off for home on the 5th (Sun).

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature

Side Trip

Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Jul 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

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