16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Ottawa
Fly:  11 h 15 min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
2
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
3
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive:  6 h 30 min
4
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
5
Liberia
— 4 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Fly:  11 h 15 min
End: Ottawa

3
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.
Get in touch with nature at Tabacon Hot Springs and Paradise Hot Springs. Discover out-of-the-way places like Butterfly Conservatory and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Next up on the itinerary: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, trot along with Arenal Wilberth Stables, take in the exciting artwork at Wood & Art Gallery, and tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing planning website .

Ottawa, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Ottawa to La Fortuna de San Carlos due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and then explore the galleries of The Captain's Booty. Here are some ideas for day two: fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Rainmaker Park.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio day trip website .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Quepos, Rainmaker Park
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Walking tours
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park

3
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.
Visit Uvita Beach and Playa Ventanas for some beach relaxation. Escape the urban bustle at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Dolphin & Whale Watching. And it doesn't end there: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, stop by Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, and view the masterpieces at Magic Ananda.

To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Uvita online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Uvita by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Dominical, Playa Ventanas
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 26:
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Uvita Waterfall ©
Uvita Waterfall
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

3
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Escape the urban bustle at Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Scuba & Snorkeling. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and Monkey Park. There's still lots to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, stop by Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, see Off-Road Tours, and enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo road trip planning tool .

Getting from Uvita to Tamarindo by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Liberia.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Playa Flamingo
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

4
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Rincon de La Vieja National Park and River Rafting & Tubing. Explore hidden gems such as Playa Hermosa and Museo de Guanacaste. Take a break from Liberia with a short trip to Dolphin & Whale Watching in Playas del Coco, about 42 minutes away. There's still lots to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Immaculate Church of Concepcion de Maria, browse the exhibits of ArtWood Museum, and take in the exciting artwork at Costa Rica'n Art Craft.

To find out how to plan a trip to Liberia, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by bus from Tamarindo to Liberia takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. You will have some time to spend on the 2nd (Sun) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Liberia

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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