21 days in Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

Start: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fly:  14​h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Cahuita, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Poas Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Taxi + Fly:  1​h 45​min
5
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
8
Panama City, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly:  11​h 15​min
End: Buenos Aires, Argentina

4
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, tour the pleasant surroundings at Proyecto Asis, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and get impressive views of Arenal Volcano.

To see traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip website .

Buenos Aires, Argentina to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or do a combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Argentine Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -3 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 10:
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

1
night
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Tue): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For reviews, maps, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, use the Tortuguero 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. In February, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Adventure
Find places to stay Feb 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

1
night
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park and then admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla.

Plan a Cahuita trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Getting from Tortuguero to Cahuita by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Cahuita are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks Nature

Side Trip

Finca La Isla
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park

1
night
Poas Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Poas Volcano National Park
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Thu): contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano, then look for gifts at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo, and then relax in the rural setting at Finca Organica.

To see reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Poas Volcano National Park trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Cahuita to Poas Volcano National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Nature Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Finca Organica, Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Find places to stay Feb 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Finca  Organica ©
Finca Organica
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

3
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal) and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's much more to do: kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo attractions planning site .

Getting from Poas Volcano National Park to Tamarindo by combination of taxi and flight takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Find places to stay Feb 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

2
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Frog Pond. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, then kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, then relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and finally admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Feb 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

3
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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.
Manuel Antonio is known for beaches, adventure, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park, and walk around Parque Nahomi.

For where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio holiday builder site .

Getting from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Feb 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Nature & Wildlife Tours

4
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Panama City is known for historic sites, shopping, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Panama Canal, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Metropolitan National Park, delve into the distant past at Panama La Vieja, and brush up on your military savvy at Centro de Interpretacion de Ciudad del Saber.

For traveler tips, where to stay, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and tourist information, use the Panama City trip planning website .

Fly from Manuel Antonio to Panama City in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. In February in Panama City, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Panama City

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Feb 21 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) ©
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador)

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