23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Edmonton
Fly:  20​h 15​min
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
2
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
4
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
bus + ferry:  1​h 30​min
6
Jaco
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Uvita
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
8
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly:  20​h 15​min
End: Edmonton

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.
To find maps, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the San Jose online route planner .

Edmonton, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 20.5-hour flight. Traveling from Edmonton to San Jose, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Edmonton in February, things will get warmer in San Jose: highs are around 30°C and lows about 21°C. You will leave for Vara Blanca on the 20th (Tue).

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 19 — 20:

2
nights
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca ©
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park and Souvenir Muy Tranquilo. Take a break from the city and head to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Poas Volcano. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Vara Blanca: Catedral de la Mercedes (in Grecia) and Sarchi (Else Kientzler Botanical Garden & Templo Católico de Sarchí Norte).

To find ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Vara Blanca trip builder app .

Drive from San Jose to Vara Blanca in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In February in Vara Blanca, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 21°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Sarchi, Souvenir Muy Tranquilo, Catedral de la Mercedes, Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park ©
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Catedral de la Mercedes ©
Catedral de la Mercedes

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.
On the 23rd (Fri), take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery, then get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, and then view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then identify plant and animal life at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos driving holiday planner .

Getting from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos by combination of taxi and flight takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Monteverde
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

3
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Keep things going the next day: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then stroll through Playa Conchal.

To see traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary site .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. February in Tamarindo sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 25°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Dolphin & Whale Watching, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Feb 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

3
nights
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Visiting Playa Hermosa and Tortuga Island will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Playa Santa Teresa and Spas & Wellness. Explore Santa Teresa's surroundings by going to Montezuma Falls (in Montezuma) and Curu National Wildlife Refuge (in Nicoya). Next up on the itinerary: stop by Tica Surf Bikinis.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa route maker app .

Drive from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Jaco.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Montezuma, Tortuga Island, Curu National Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 3:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Spas & Wellness
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa

4
nights
Jaco

Jaco ©
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Palo Seco Beach and Playa Bejuco. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tico Pod Art House & Gifts and Catedral de Puntarenas. Spend the 7th (Wed) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: explore by horseback at Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding, look for all kinds of wild species at Neo Fauna, kick back and relax at Jaco Beach, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Jaco trip itinerary maker site .

Getting from Santa Teresa to Jaco by combination of taxi and ferry takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Palo Seco Beach, Catedral de Puntarenas, Playa Bejuco, Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding
Find places to stay Mar 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Bejuco ©
Playa Bejuco
Palo Seco Beach ©
Palo Seco Beach
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

4
nights
Uvita

Uvita ©
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
We've included these beaches for you: Uvita Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hacienda Baru and Parque Nacional Marino Bahia Ballena. Take a break from Uvita with a short trip to El Sitio Museo Finca 6 in Palmar Norte, about 44 minutes away. There's still lots to do: look for gifts at Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Uvita attractions planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Uvita takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can take a bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Dominical, El Sitio Museo Finca 6, Parque Nacional Marino Bahia Ballena
Find places to stay Mar 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Hacienda Baru Lodge ©
Hacienda Baru Lodge
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena

1
night
San Jose

San Jose ©
On the 11th (Sun), sample the tasty concoctions at Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co..

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the San Jose online vacation planner .

Traveling by bus from Uvita to San Jose takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Mar 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co. ©
Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co.

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