51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour builder

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

Route & dates

Start: Amsterdam
+3
Fly + Shuttle + Foot + Shuttle:  16 h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
3
San Jose
— 5 nights
Bus + Taxi:  2 h 45 min
4
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h
5
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 5 nights
Drive:  7 h 45 min
6
Drake Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
7
Uvita
— 5 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
8
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
9
Monteverde
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h
10
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
11
Tamarindo
— 6 nights
Shuttle + Fly:  15 h 30 min
End: Amsterdam

7
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: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery, explore the activities along Lake Arenal, and take in the views from Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park.

To find other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos attractions planner.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 16.5- hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Amsterdam to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Ecotermales Fortuna ©
Ecotermales Fortuna

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 19th (Sat): admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and then explore the striking landscape of Poas Volcano. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Sun): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tirimbina Biological Reserve.

To see other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Vara Blanca road trip site.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Vara Blanca in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Adventure

Side Trips

La Virgen, Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Tirimbina Biological Reserve ©
Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Kayaking & Canoeing

5
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro), Zoo Ave (in Alajuela) and Cartago (Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles & Jardin Botanico Lankester). The adventure continues: contemplate the geological forces at Irazu Volcano National Park, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum.

Discover how to plan a San Jose trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to San Jose takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. September in San Jose sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Tours

Side Trips

Cartago, Irazu Volcano National Park, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Zoo Ave, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica

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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sat): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read Tortuguero road trip planner.

You can do a combination of bus and taxi from San Jose to Tortuguero in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from San Jose in September, expect a bit warmer with lows of 26°C in Tortuguero. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Adventure
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

5
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 Puerto Viejo Beach, get your game on at Yesland Mini Golf, and take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can go by car to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Sep 26 — Oct 1:
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach

3
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Step out of Drake Bay to go to Carate and see Corcovado National Park, which is approximately 2h 45 min away. Spend a day of island exploring on the 4th (Sun) at Cano Island.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Drake Bay trip itinerary maker website.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Drake Bay takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Corcovado National Park
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado National Park ©
Corcovado National Park
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
nights
Uvita

Uvita ©
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Uvita: Kokopelli (in Sierpe) and Ciudad Cortes (San Buenas Golf Course and Condos & Osa Santuario de Animales). Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, stroll through Oro Verde Biological Reserve, and admire the sheer force of Nauyaca Waterfalls.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Uvita trip builder app.

You can drive from Drake Bay to Uvita in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Dominical, Ciudad Cortes, Kokopelli
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge ©
Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

5
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 the numerous day-trip ideas around Manuel Antonio: Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours, &more). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, walk around Parque Nahomi, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio tour builder website.

You can drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Jaco, Quepos
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Mirador de Jaco ©
Mirador de Jaco

5
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Guacimal River Bridge 2 (in Puntarenas) and Piedra de Fuego (in Esparza). And it doesn't end there: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, explore and take pictures at Ecological Sanctuary, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde trip maker website.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Guacimal River Bridge 2, Piedra de Fuego
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Monteverde Orchid Garden ©
Monteverde Orchid Garden
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

5
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 Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, &more), Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure) and Playa Islita (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Samara Beach, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Barra Honda National Park, hunt for treasures at Samara Farmers Market, and admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall.

To see maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Playa Samara travel planning site.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Barra Honda National Park, Jungle Butterfly Farm, Playa Islita
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Playa Guiones ©
Playa Guiones
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

6
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal), Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Four Seasons Golf Club & Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands) and Playa Nacascolo (in Gulf of Papagayo). There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach, wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

To find reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Playa Hermosa, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Playa Nacascolo
Find places to stay Oct 25 — 31:
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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