36 days in Montevideo & Costa Rica Itinerary

36 days in Montevideo & Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in Montevideo & Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: London, United Kingdom
Fly:  18​h 45​min
1
Montevideo, Uruguay
— 5 nights
Fly:  12​h 45​min
2
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
bus + taxi:  3​h 30​min
3
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
4
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 7 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
8
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
9
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
10
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: London, United Kingdom

5
nights
Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo ©
With a rich cultural scene and plenty of developed beaches, Montevideo vacations appeal to a growing number of visitors from around the world.
Get some cultural insight at Pocitos and Museo - Taller de Casapueblo. Step out of Montevideo to go to Canelones and see Pizzorno Family Estates, which is approximately 42 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Ciudad Vieja, admire the striking features of Palacio Salvo, step into the grandiose world of Pittamiglio"s Castle, and explore the world behind art at Palacio Taranco.

To find ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Montevideo trip planner.

London, UK to Montevideo is an approximately 19-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and ferry; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Montevideo is minus 3 hours. Traveling from London in January, expect Montevideo to be warmer, temps between 33°C and 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Montevideo

Shopping Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trips

Museo - Taller de Casapueblo, Pizzorno Family Estates
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Pocitos ©
Pocitos
Ciudad Vieja ©
Ciudad Vieja
Museo - Taller de Casapueblo ©
Museo - Taller de Casapueblo

4
nights
San Jose, Costa Rica

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Galeria Namu and Museo de Arte Costarricense. Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park), Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles) (in Cartago) and La Paz Waterfall Gardens (in Vara Blanca). There's still lots to do: take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), admire nature's wide array of creatures at Zoo Ave, stop by Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings, and explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum.

Before you visit San Jose, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can fly from Montevideo to San Jose in 13 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Uruguay Time (UYT) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 3 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Montevideo in January: highs in San Jose hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to catch the shuttle to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings, Poas Volcano, Zoo Ave, Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles), La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Tortuguero National Park.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read Tortuguero trip maker app .

Getting from San Jose to Tortuguero by shuttle takes about 3.5 hours. January in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) to allow time to take a shuttle to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Wildlife Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

3
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles. There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Playa Chiquita, look for all kinds of wild species at Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla, and view the masterpieces at Luluberlu Art Gallery.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner .

Getting from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by shuttle takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is 1 hour. Expect colder weather when traveling from Tortuguero in January: highs in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca hover around 10°C, while lows dip to 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 1:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge ©
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles

7
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
Take a break from La Fortuna de San Carlos with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo, about 42 minutes away. Spend the 4th (Sun) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). Spend the 8th (Thu) exploring nature at Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal. And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Arenal, trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna.

To find ratings, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to drive to Playa Hermosa.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Ecotermales Fortuna ©
Ecotermales Fortuna

1
night
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Playa Hermosa ©
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): kick back and relax at Playa Ocotal and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the Playa Hermosa trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Playa Hermosa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. February in Playa Hermosa sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Playa Ocotal
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Ocotal ©
Playa Ocotal

3
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

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 Playa Conchal and Playa Avellana. Spend the 12th (Mon) exploring nature at Las Baulas National Marine Park. There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, and admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura.

For more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Tamarindo online visit planner .

You can drive from Playa Hermosa to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In February, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Las Baulas National Marine Park, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Feb 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

2
nights
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen and then admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa visit planner .

Getting from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa by combination of taxi and flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Montezuma Falls
Find places to stay Feb 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Thu): kick back and relax at Samara Beach and then kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach. On the next day, try for a hole-in-one at Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara, then view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, then identify plant and animal life at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones).

To find ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Playa Samara trip itinerary website .

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. February in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Nosara
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

3
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.
Get some cultural insight at Santa Elena Skywalk and Art House. The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, stop by Souvenir Rosewood, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Monteverde trip simple and quick.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena

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