17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: London
+3
Fly + Bus + Foot + Bus:  18 h 45 min
1
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
2
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h 15 min
3
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
5
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Bus:  3 h 30 min
6
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h
7
Bagaces
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  17 h 45 min
End: London

3
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.
Visiting Playa Manuel Antonio and River Rafting & Tubing will get you outdoors. You'll get in some beach time at Playa Ventanas and Playa Espadilla Norte. Step out of Manuel Antonio with an excursion to Parasailing & Paragliding in Dominical--about 50 minutes away. There's much more to do: get interesting insight from Tours, stroll around Parque Nahomi, take in the exciting artwork at The Captain's Booty, and glide peacefully along the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area.

For more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker site.

London, UK to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 19- hour combination of flight and bus. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and taxi. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -6 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Adventure Tours

Side Trips

Quepos, Playa Ventanas, Parasailing & Paragliding
Find places to stay Mar 1 — 4:
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Playa Espadilla Norte ©
Playa Espadilla Norte

1
night
Jaco

A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
On the 5th (Thu), identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and then view the masterpieces at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Jaco road trip site .

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours Outdoors Shopping

Side Trip

Nature & Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 5:
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Nature & Wildlife Tours
Off-Road Tours
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Playa Dantita and Playa Danta. Step out of the city life by going to Off-Road Tours and Scuba & Snorkeling. Next up on the itinerary: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, stop by Papaya Con Leche, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park, and find your balance on the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area.

For where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Tamarindo takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Las Catalinas, Off-Road Tours, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Off-Road Tours
Kayaking & Canoeing
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Butterfly Conservatory and ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. Visiting Tabacon Hot Springs and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Estudio, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, and explore the galleries of Onirica Art Gallery.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trips

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Mar 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

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.
On the 12th (Thu), stroll through Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, then pick up some local products at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita, and then kick back and relax at Playa Cocles. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Nature Observatorio and then enjoy the sand and surf at Punta Uva Beach.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca driving holiday app .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sat): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Refugio Animal de Costa Rica, get curious at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, then get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, and finally explore the galleries of Galeria Namu.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our San Jose road trip planning site.

Take a bus from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In March, daytime highs in San Jose are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Bagaces.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Refugio Animal de Costa Rica
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle ©
Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle

1
night
Bagaces

Bagaces ©
You've now added Rio Perdido to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Immaculate Church of Concepcion de Maria, then view the masterpieces at Costa Rica'n Art Craft, then meet the residents at Centro de Rescate Las Pumas, and finally witness a stunning natural landmark at Middle Earth Thermal Springs. On your second day here, head outdoors with Rio Perdido.

To see more things to do, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Bagaces trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Bagaces in 3 hours. On the 16th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Bagaces

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Liberia, Centro de Rescate Las Pumas, Middle Earth Thermal Springs
Find places to stay Mar 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Centro de Rescate Las Pumas ©
Centro de Rescate Las Pumas
Rio Perdido ©
Rio Perdido

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