16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Bangkok
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  33​h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
4
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Monteverde
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  31​h
End: Bangkok

3
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, wildlife, parks, and trails. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: indulge in some personalized pampering at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, explore the activities along Lake Arenal, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planning website .

Bangkok, Thailand to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 33-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight and car. Traveling from Bangkok to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 13 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero route planning site .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in December, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

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 22nd (Sun), tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Biesanz, and then take in the exciting artwork at The Captain's Booty. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a memorable tour with Tours, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

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

You can drive from Tortuguero to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): stroll through Samara Beach, then stroll through Barrigona Beach, and then view the masterpieces at Koss Art Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, then kick back and relax at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), and then stop by Nativa Gallery.

Plan my trip to Playa Samara with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Playa Samara in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and taxi; or take a bus. In December in Playa Samara, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Nosara
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach, stop by Dolores Shop, and then get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Playa Conchal and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo online journey planner .

Drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Curi Cancha Reserve, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then admire the masterpieces at Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

For ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde online journey planner .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a shuttle. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

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