17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5

San Jose

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Wed): stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: shop like a local with Multiplaza, explore the galleries of Galeria Namu, then look for gifts at Tienda eNe, and finally see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read San Jose road trip planner.

Sydney, Australia to San Jose is an approximately 28-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to San Jose is minus 16 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Shopping · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 nights

Walaba

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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Cocles and then stroll through Playa Punta Uva. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary website.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:

Monteverde

— 2 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Head to Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery and Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverdefor some retail therapy. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, look for gifts at Souvenir Rosewood-Info Center, appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Elena Skywalk, and get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

To find other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde trip itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Monteverde takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Shopping · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:

Playa Samara

— 2 nights
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.
On the 27th (Thu), stop by Nativa Gallery, then take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, and then explore the galleries of Koss Art Gallery. Keep things going the next day: get outside with Outdoor Activities and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Garza.

To find ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Playa Samara trip planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can 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 28th (Fri) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Shopping · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:

Tamarindo

— 3 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at EK Art Jewelry and Papaya Con Leche. Head to Cheboards and Urban Eclectic Jewelryfor plenty of shopping. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, stop by Dolores Shop, and get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip app.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to go by car to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Shopping · Outdoors · Beaches · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:

Playas del Coco

— 2 nights

Coco Beach

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco, then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa, and then stop by Cata Chocolate. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then browse the exhibits of Alessandra Cola Art.

To find where to stay and more tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Playas del Coco are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.