15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  5​h
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 45​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
ferry:  4​h 30​min
4
Montezuma
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
+2
shuttle + bus + Fly:  12​h 15​min
End: Toronto

1
night
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Doka Estate Coffee Tour. Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sun): take in the local highlights with Doka Estate Coffee Tour, then don't miss a visit to Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez, and then contemplate the long history of Teatro Nacional Costa Rica.

To see reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose itinerary site .

Toronto, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to San Jose is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Toronto in February, expect San Jose to be much warmer, temps between 30°C and 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can take a bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Historic Sites Nightlife

Side Trip

Doka Estate Coffee Tour
Find places to stay Feb 29 — Mar 1:
Highlights from your plan
Doka Estate Coffee Tour ©
Doka Estate Coffee Tour
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica
Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez ©
Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez

2
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Jaguar Rescue Center. On the 2nd (Mon), identify plant and animal life at Jaguar Rescue Center, then enjoy the sand and surf at Punta Uva Beach, and then take a memorable tour with Tours. Keep things going the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens and then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

To find more things to do, photos, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca journey planning app .

Take a bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay Mar 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Jaguar Rescue Center ©
Jaguar Rescue Center

1
night
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.
On the 4th (Wed), explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Espadilla Norte.

To see traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Manuel Antonio road trip app .

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) to allow time to ride a ferry to Montezuma.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Mar 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Espadilla Norte ©
Playa Espadilla Norte
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

1
night
Montezuma

Montezuma ©
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and then kick back and relax at Playa Carmen.

To find where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Montezuma route maker tool .

Traveling by ferry from Manuel Antonio to Montezuma takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Montezuma

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Carmen
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Spas

1
night
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.
For other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara trip planner .

You can drive from Montezuma to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. On the 6th (Fri), you're off toTamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 6:

2
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Kayaking & Canoeing and Playa Avellana. Take a break from the city and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Las Catalinas (Playa Dantita & Playa Danta). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, stroll through Monkey Park, and stop by Buena Nena.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Las Catalinas, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Mar 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Kayaking & Canoeing
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Mon): get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, stroll through Valle Escondido Preserve, and then explore the world behind art at Chorotega Arts & Crafts. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Sustainability Demonstration Center, look for gifts at Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle.

For reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde trip planner .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trip

Sustainability Demonstration Center
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Sustainability Demonstration Center ©

2
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos and Onirica Art Gallery. Step out of the city life by going to River Rafting & Tubing and Butterfly Conservatory. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, hike along Bogarin Trail, and view the masterpieces at Wood & Art Gallery.

For traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing planning app .

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

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