18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Prague
Fly:  18​h 45​min
1
San Jose
— 1 day
Bus + Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Cahuita
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly:  18​h 30​min
End: Prague

1
day
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 6th (Sat): take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana), then steep yourself in history at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, and finally don't miss a visit to Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the San Jose trip planner.

Prague, Czech Republic to San Jose is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Prague to San Jose is minus 7 hours. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Prague in June, with highs in San Jose at 32°C and lows at 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Playa Samara.

Things to do in San Jose

Historic Sites Wildlife Scenic Drive
Find places to stay Jun 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica

5
nights
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 22nd (Fri): kick back and relax at Samara Beach, admire nature's wide array of creatures at La Selva Wildlife Refuge & Zoo, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Buena Vista, then explore the galleries of Koss Art Gallery, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Samara Farmers Market.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara online vacation planner .

You can do a combination of bus and car from San Jose to Playa Samara in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can drive to Nosara.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

La Selva Wildlife Refuge & Zoo, Playa Corozalito
Find places to stay Jun 6 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Horseback Riding Tours
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

2
nights
Monteverde

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.
On the 11th (Thu), take in the natural beauty of Middle Earth Thermal Springs, then take an in-depth tour of Chorotega Arts & Crafts, and then experience rural life at Hidden Valley Permaculture Farm. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Up in the Cloud Forest, and then stop by Foresta.

To find more things to do, photos, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde vacation planner.

Getting from Playa Samara to Monteverde by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. On the 13th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Middle Earth Thermal Springs
Find places to stay Jun 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Chorotega Arts & Crafts ©
Chorotega Arts & Crafts

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Venado Caves and Butterfly Conservatory. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos to go to La Virgen and see Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, which is approximately 1h 10 min away. There's much more to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, pick up some new knowledge with ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, and head outdoors with Flow Trips.

To find photos, maps, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos journey planner.

Getting from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, Venado Caves, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Jun 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Venado Caves ©
Venado Caves

2
nights
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Zipline and Kayaking & Canoeing. Explore Tortuguero's surroundings by going to Caribbean Botanical Garden (in Guacimo) and Blue Day Family Club (in Guapiles). It doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park and examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero online road trip planner .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. June in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 27°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Theme Parks Nature

Side Trips

Blue Day Family Club, Zipline, Caribbean Botanical Garden
Find places to stay Jun 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

3
nights
Cahuita

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Explore hidden gems such as Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens and Redfrogteam Biological Station. Get out of town with these interesting Cahuita side-trips: Puerto Limon (Explore Limon, Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, &more). There's still lots to do: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park, get your game on at Yesland Mini Golf, kick back and relax at Playa Negra, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Cahuita using our trip planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Cahuita in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In June, daytime highs in Cahuita are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) so you can go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Puerto Limon, Redfrogteam Biological Station
Find places to stay Jun 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica ©
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica

1
night
San Jose

San Jose ©
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and then see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read San Jose online trip builder .

Traveling by car from Cahuita to San Jose takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Cahuita in June, with highs in San Jose at 32°C and lows at 22°C. On the 22nd (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

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