23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary maker

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Route & dates

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
Drive:  4 h
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 see photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read our San Jose road trip planner.

Edmonton, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 15- hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Edmonton to San Jose, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Edmonton in February, with highs in San Jose at 30°C and lows at 21°C. On the 20th (Tue), you're off to Vara Blanca.

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park and Catedral de la Mercedes. Take a break from the city and head to Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Poas Volcano. Explore Vara Blanca's surroundings by going to Sarchi (Else Kientzler Botanical Garden & Templo Católico de Sarchí Norte). There's still lots to do: look for gifts at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo.

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the Vara Blanca online trip planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Vara Blanca in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

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

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 23rd (Fri): explore the galleries of Onirica Art Gallery, explore and take pictures at Ecological Sanctuary, and then take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Sat): admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a 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
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Mon): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then stroll through Playa Conchal.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip planner.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Dolphin & Whale Watching
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Playa Hermosa and Spas & Wellness. Escape the urban bustle at Playa Santa Teresa and Tortuga Island. Change things up with these side-trips from Santa Teresa: Montezuma Falls (in Montezuma) and Curu National Wildlife Refuge (in Nicoya). There's still lots to do: stop by Tica Surf Bikinis.

For reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read Santa Teresa holiday website.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Jaco.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Nature Beaches

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.
Get outdoors at Palo Seco Beach and Jaco Beach. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tico Pod Art House & Gifts and Catedral de Puntarenas. Step out of Jaco with an excursion to Playa Bejuco in Esterillos Este--about 34 minutes away. There's still lots to do: ride a horse along Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Neo Fauna CR, stop by Fruity Monkey Poop, and kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Jaco road trip planning website.

Traveling by combination of bus and ferry from Santa Teresa to Jaco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 7th (Wed), you'll travel 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
Palo Seco Beach ©
Palo Seco Beach
Playa Bejuco ©
Playa Bejuco
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.
Get in touch with nature at Uvita Beach and Hacienda Baru Lodge. Explore hidden gems such as El Sitio Museo Finca 6 and Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store. Spend the 10th (Sat) exploring nature at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. There's more to do: look for gifts at Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Uvita trip itinerary maker site.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Uvita takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to catch the bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Dominical, El Sitio Museo Finca 6
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), indulge your thirst for a good beer at Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co..

To find ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose travel route builder.

Take a bus from Uvita to San Jose in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can 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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