35 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

35 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner

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

Route & dates

Start: Montevideo
Fly:  13 h
1
San Jose
— 4 nights
Bus + Taxi:  2 h 45 min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  7 h 45 min
4
Drake Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
6
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
7
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
8
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
9
Liberia
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
10
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
+3
Bus + Foot + Bus + Fly:  13 h
End: Montevideo

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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Jose: Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca), Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Jardin Botanico Lankester (in Cartago). And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape of Irazu Volcano National Park, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to San Jose fast, fun, and easy.

Montevideo, Uruguay to San Jose is an approximately 13- hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry, shuttle, and flight. The time zone difference moving from Uruguay Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 3 hours. In December, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Poas Volcano, Irazu Volcano National Park, Jardin Botanico Lankester
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano 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.
On the 2nd (Sat), add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park, and then see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip builder.

Traveling by combination of bus and taxi from San Jose to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In January, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy
Kayaking & Canoeing

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.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is known for wildlife, beaches, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park, stroll through Nature Observatorio, admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge ©
Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

2
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Spend a day of island exploring on the 7th (Thu) at Cano Island.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Drake Bay day trip website.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Drake Bay in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Manuel Antonio side-trips: Horseback Riding Tours (in Esterillos Este) and Jaco (Mirador de Jaco, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours, &more). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and get interesting insight from Tours.

Find out how to plan Manuel Antonio trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Getting from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco, Horseback Riding Tours
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Mirador de Jaco ©
Mirador de Jaco
Parque Nahomi ©
Parque Nahomi

4
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, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, and look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip itinerary planning tool.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

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.
Explore Playa Samara's surroundings by going to Playa Islita (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste), Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure) and Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, Playa Guiones, &more). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, and take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Playa Samara trip itinerary builder app.

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Nosara, Playa Islita, Jungle Butterfly Farm
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

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 Tamarindo with an excursion to Playa Conchal in Playa Conchal--about 38 minutes away. There's much more to do: kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, stroll through Playa Avellana, get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, and stop by Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa.

For where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip itinerary maker site.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Liberia.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

3
nights
Liberia

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.
Explore Liberia's surroundings by going to Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa), Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands & Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja) and Shark Diving (in Playas del Coco). There's lots more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Rincon de La Vieja National Park, explore the galleries of Costa Rica'n Art Craft, and sample the tasty concoctions at Maderos Brewery.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Liberia attractions planning site.

Traveling by bus from Tamarindo to Liberia takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Liberia

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Playa Hermosa, Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Shark Diving
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

5
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery, get interesting insight from Tours, and snap pictures at Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planning site.

Getting from Liberia to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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