21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Montreal, Quebec
Fly + Taxi:  9 h 45 min
1
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
2
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Fly + Taxi:  1 h 45 min
3
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h 45 min
4
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h
5
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
7
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
8
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Fly:  11 h
End: Montreal, Quebec

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): kick back and relax at Samara Beach, then stroll through Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project, and then kick back and relax at Playa Islita. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) and then kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach.

To find reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Playa Samara online day trip planner .

Montreal, Canada to Playa Samara is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project, Playa Islita, Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)
Find places to stay Jul 21 — 23:
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Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

3
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kids will enjoy Tamarindo Beach and Playa Avellana. Go for a jaunt from Tamarindo to Playa Hermosa to see Playa Hermosa about 1h 20 min away. There's lots more to do: get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, get interesting insight from Tours, and glide peacefully along the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo tour builder site .

Getting from Playa Samara to Tamarindo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Playa Hermosa, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Jul 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

1
night
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
On the 27th (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens, stop by Souvenir Muy Tranquilo, and then contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano.

Plan my Poas Volcano National Park trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Tamarindo to Poas Volcano National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens, Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

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 28th (Tue), enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach and then admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles.

Plan a Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from Poas Volcano National Park to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cahuita National Park
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park

1
night
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 30th (Thu), examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For maps, traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Tortuguero online tour itinerary planner .

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero in 4 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In July, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Jul 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

4
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.
Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos to go to El Castillo and see Arenal Eco Zoo, which is approximately 38 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, trot along with a tour on horseback, and head outdoors with Salto.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planning website .

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano, Arenal Eco Zoo
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 3:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Eco Zoo ©
Arenal Eco Zoo
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs

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 4th (Tue), stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle. On your second day here, experience rural life at El Trapiche Tour, then whizz through the canopy at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, and then view the masterpieces at Alas y Raices.

To find maps, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Monteverde sightseeing planning website .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle

4
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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Playa Manuel Antonio and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. Explore Manuel Antonio's surroundings by going to Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store (in Dominical) and Zipline (in Jaco). There's still lots to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, find your balance on the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area, get interesting insight from Tours, and walk around Parque Nahomi.

To see photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip website .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. On the 9th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Adventure Tours

Side Trips

Quepos, Zipline, Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Zipline

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