32 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

32 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica journey planner

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

Route & dates

32 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  8​h 45​min
1
San Jose
— 4 nights
bus:  4​h
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 10 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Quepos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  9​h
End: Chicago

4
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.
Head to Galeria Namu and Central Market (Mercado Central)for plenty of shopping. Escape the urban bustle at La Paz Waterfall Gardens and River Rafting & Tubing. Get out of town with these interesting San Jose side-trips: Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park), Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro) and Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles) (in Cartago). There's much more to do: admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, look for gifts at J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, and take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum.

To find maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the San Jose route planning tool .

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 somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Chicago in May, with highs in San Jose at 81°F and lows at 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

#Parks, #Nature, #Museums

Side Trips

La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Poas Volcano, Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles), J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Find places to stay May 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens

4
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.
Attractions like Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Chiquita make great kid-friendly stops. Get outdoors at 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 appreciate the extensive heritage of Nature Park Walk.

For photos, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary builder tool .

You can drive from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a shuttle. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca when traveling from San Jose in May, with lows around 82°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Beaches

Side Trips

Cahuita, Manzanillo, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay May 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Playa Chiquita ©
Playa Chiquita

10
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.
Escape the urban bustle at River Rafting & Tubing and Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). Family-friendly places like Proyecto Asis and Arenal Natura Ecological Park will thrill your kids. Change things up with these side-trips from La Fortuna de San Carlos: El Castillo (Arenal Eco Zoo & Butterfly Conservatory). And it doesn't end there: soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs, look for gifts at Souvenir Leo, witness a stunning natural landmark at Eco Termales Hot Springs, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel to Quepos.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, El Castillo
Find places to stay May 14 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing

3
nights
Quepos

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Visiting Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz will get you outdoors. Attractions like MidWorld Costa Rica and Kids Saving the Rain Forest make great kid-friendly stops. The adventure continues: experience rural life at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices, look for gifts at Super Joseth, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For maps, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Quepos trip maker tool .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Quepos in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Quepos can reach 81°F, while at night they dip to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Quepos

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trip

Manuel Antonio
Find places to stay May 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica

3
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.
Get in touch with nature at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena. Popular historic sites such as Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk are in your itinerary. The adventure continues: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, stop by Hummingbird Gallery, meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, and admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas).

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde tour itinerary maker app .

Traveling by combination of bus and shuttle from Quepos to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

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.
Get outdoors at Samara Beach and Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones). Bring the kids along to Barrigona Beach and Puerto Carrillo. Get out of town with these interesting Playa Samara side-trips: Casa de Arte, Curime (in Nicoya) and Nosara (Horseback Riding Tours & SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary). It doesn't end there: explore and take pictures at Kingfisher Sportfishing.

For maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Playa Samara trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. May in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 93°F and lows of 73°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Nicoya
Find places to stay May 30 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

4
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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Tamarindo Beach and Playa Avellana. Step out of the city life by going to Playa Conchal and El Viejo Wetlands. Go for a jaunt from Tamarindo to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to see Llanos de Cortez Waterfall about 2 hours away. Next up on the itinerary: find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, stop by Azul Profundo Boutique, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Tamarindo trip maker .

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 90°F in June, and nighttime lows around 74°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

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