20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip builder

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

Route & dates

Start: Santiago
Fly + Bus:  11 h 30 min
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h
3
Playa Samara
— 6 nights
Drive:  3 h
4
Montezuma
— 2 nights
Drive:  6 h 15 min
5
Ballena
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
6
San Jose
— 1 night
Bus + Fly:  11 h 30 min
End: Santiago

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 27th (Mon), take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, then examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and then stroll around Parque La Sabana.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the San Jose travel itinerary planner.

Santiago, Chile to San Jose is an approximately 12.5- hour combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Santiago to San Jose. In January in San Jose, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 21°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
Parque La Sabana ©
Parque La Sabana

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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde.

To see maps, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip builder site.

You can drive from San Jose to Monteverde in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

6
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.
Attractions like Samara Beach and Playa Avellana make great kid-friendly stops. Get out of town with these interesting Playa Samara side-trips: Nosara (MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY & Playa Guiones), Kayaking & Canoeing (in Playa Grande) and Tamarindo Beach (in Tamarindo). And it doesn't end there: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, have some family-friendly fun at Pura Veda Archery, and get interesting insight from Tours.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Playa Samara vacation planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Montezuma.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Nosara, Tamarindo, Kayaking & Canoeing, Pura Veda Archery
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 5:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

2
nights
Montezuma

With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
On the 6th (Thu), view the masterpieces at Bri'ah Art Gallery, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Montezuma online route maker.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Montezuma in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to travel to Ballena.

Things to do in Montezuma

Outdoors Tours Nature

Side Trip

Bri'ah Art Gallery
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls

5
nights
Ballena

Ballena ©
Kids will appreciate attractions like Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Ventanas. Get out of town with these interesting Ballena side-trips: Cano Island (in Drake Bay), Manuel Antonio (Manuel Antonio National Park & Stand-Up Paddleboarding) and Quepos (River Rafting & Tubing, Waterskiing & Jetskiing, &more).

For more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Ballena trip planner.

Traveling by car from Montezuma to Ballena takes 6.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Ballena

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Dominical, Cano Island
Find places to stay Feb 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

1
night
San Jose

San Jose ©
On the 13th (Thu), stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and then take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To see ratings, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip planner.

Drive from Ballena to San Jose in 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping

Side Trip

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Find places to stay Feb 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Museo de Arte Costarricense ©
Museo de Arte Costarricense
J.LANG Atelier & Showroom ©
J.LANG Atelier & Showroom

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