19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica vacation planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Bus:  2 h 30 min
2
Quepos
— 3 nights
Drive:  30 min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
6
Playas del Coco
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
8
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h
9
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h 30 min
End: San Jose

1
night
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.
On the 2nd (Mon), take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, then see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and finally explore the world behind art at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design.

For maps and more tourist information, read our San Jose trip builder site.

If you are flying in from Argentina, the closest major aiports are Tobias Bolanos International Airport, Juan Santamaria International Airport and Limon International Airport. In March, daytime highs in San Jose are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can take a bus to Quepos.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Wildlife Scenic Drive
Find places to stay Mar 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

3
nights
Quepos

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Palo Seco Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at La Playita and then stroll through Playa Espadilla Norte.

To find maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Quepos road trip planning site.

You can take a bus from San Jose to Quepos in 2.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Palo Seco Beach
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Palo Seco Beach ©
Palo Seco Beach
Playa Espadilla Norte ©
Playa Espadilla Norte
Waterskiing & Jetskiing

2
nights
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 5th (Thu), kick back and relax at Playas Gemelas and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park and then get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

To find other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker site.

Manuel Antonio is very close to Quepos. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Playas Gemelas ©
Playas Gemelas

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.
On the 7th (Sat), take in the dramatic scenery at San Luis Waterfall, then get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, and then explore the world behind art at Chorotega Arts & Crafts. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, then ride a horse along Finca el Rodeo, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Alas y Raices.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

San Luis Waterfall
Find places to stay Mar 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
San Luis Waterfall ©
San Luis Waterfall
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

2
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Mon): get interesting insight from Tours, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Danta, and then head outdoors with Arenas Blancas. Here are some ideas for day two: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach, and then take in the exciting artwork at Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

For more things to do, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo route planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Adventure Tours

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Playa Danta, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Mar 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Off-Road Tours
Kayaking & Canoeing
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

1
night
Playas del Coco

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the exciting artwork at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco.

To find maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Playas del Coco driving holiday planning tool.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco ©
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco
Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts ©
Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Butterfly Conservatory, then take in the natural beauty of Los Lagos Hot Springs, and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs. On the 13th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, take a memorable tour with Tours, then stroll through Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, and finally get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip maker app.

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
On the 14th (Sat), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Sun): get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then get interesting insight from Tours.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In March, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Adventure
Find places to stay Mar 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

3
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Playa Cocles and Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve. Take a break from the city and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Scuba & Snorkeling. When in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, make a side trip to see Costa Rica Wildlife Sanctuary in Puerto Limon, approximately Puerto Limon away. There's lots more to do: view the masterpieces at Luluberlu Art Gallery, head outdoors with Nature Riders, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Negra.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 19th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus back home.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Costa Rica Wildlife Sanctuary, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling

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