24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: New York City
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  11​h 15​min
1
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
4
Quepos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Tamarindo
— 6 nights
+3
bus + shuttle + Fly + bus:  10​h 30​min
End: New York City

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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Tirimbina Biological Reserve and then take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. On the next day, take in the dramatic scenery at Los Chorros Waterfalls and then contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Vara Blanca trip itinerary planning app .

New York City, USA to Vara Blanca is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of car and flight. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Los Chorros Waterfalls, Poas Volcano, Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Find places to stay Jul 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Los Chorros Waterfalls ©
Los Chorros Waterfalls

5
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, wildlife, trails, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, push the limits with an extreme tour, identify plant and animal life at Proyecto Asis, and admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday planning site .

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 on the 8th (Mon) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jul 3 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Tortuguero National Park.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero travel route planning app .

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. July in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 85°F and lows of 73°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Quepos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jul 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

3
nights
Quepos

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Change things up with a short trip to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in Dominical (about 48 minutes away). Pack the 12th (Fri) with family-friendly diversions at Rancho Tipico Don Juan. And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Quepos travel planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Quepos in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio, Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Find places to stay Jul 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
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.
When in Monteverde, make a side trip to see Piedra de Fuego in Esparza, approximately 1h 30 min away. And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Monteverde day trip planning site .

Getting from Quepos to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can go by car to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Trails

Side Trip

Piedra de Fuego
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
Spend the 16th (Tue) among the fascinating landscape of Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste trip planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Parks Nature Trails
Find places to stay Jul 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

6
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal), Pura Veda Archery (in San Juanillo) and Samara Beach (in Playa Samara). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, stroll through Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), and shop like a local with Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip planner .

Traveling by car from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Tamarindo takes 2.5 hours. You will leave for home on the 24th (Wed).

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Pura Veda Archery, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Playa Conchal, Shark Diving
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

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