30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary builder

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

Start: Rio de Janeiro
Fly:  15 h 15 min
1
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
2
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
3
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Playas del Coco
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
6
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
7
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive:  6 h
8
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h
9
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
10
San Jose
— 4 nights
Fly:  13 h 45 min
End: Rio de Janeiro

3
nights
Monteverde

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Ecological Sanctuary and Chorotega Arts & Crafts. Discover out-of-the-way places like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, take in the exciting artwork at Alas y Raices, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde trip itinerary site.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Monteverde is an approximately 16-hour flight. The time zone changes from Brasilia Standard Time (BRT) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Nov 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Horseback Riding Tours and Scuba & Snorkeling. Step off the beaten path and head to Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Playa Samara: Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, &more). Next up on the itinerary: see Off-Road Tours, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and tour the pleasant surroundings at dondeJavitours.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Playa Samara online trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Nosara, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and Fishing Charters & Tours. Visiting Scuba & Snorkeling and Nature & Wildlife Tours will get you outdoors. And it doesn't end there: find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, see Off-Road Tours, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park.

For maps, ratings, and tourist information, read our Tamarindo online journey planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Playa Flamingo
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
Playas del Coco

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Step off the beaten path and head to Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands and Fishing Charters & Tours. Get in touch with nature at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Rio Negro Hot Springs. Get out of town with these interesting Playas del Coco side-trips: Liberia (Immaculate Church of Concepcion de Maria & Costa Rica'n Art Craft). There's lots more to do: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get impressive views of Rincon de La Vieja National Park, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Playas del Coco road trip planning site.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Liberia, Rio Negro Hot Springs, Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Fishing Charters & Tours

4
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Los Lagos Hot Springs. Step out of the city life by going to Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge and Tabacon Hot Springs. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos to go to El Castillo and see Butterfly Conservatory, which is approximately 38 minutes away. There's lots more to do: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, take a memorable tour with Tours, and take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

To see where to stay, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs

3
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Horseback Riding Tours and Walking tours. Visiting Rainmaker Park and Playa Manuel Antonio will get you outdoors. Explore Manuel Antonio's surroundings by going to Jaco (Off-Road Tours & Tico Pod Art House & Gifts). There's lots more to do: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, stroll around Parque Nahomi, and zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio vacation planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco, Rainmaker Park
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Walking tours
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park

3
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 Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Uvita Waterfall. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Nauyaca Waterfalls. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Uvita Beach, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, look for gifts at Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Uvita trip planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Uvita in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Dominical
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

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 13th (Fri): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, thenlearn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy, and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Tortuguero online trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Uvita to Tortuguero in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Tours
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, thenhave some family-friendly fun at Yesland Mini Golf, thenkick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio. On the next day, explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles.

To find photos, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach

4
nights
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.
You'll explore and learn at Museo de Arte Costarricense and Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings. Get some historical perspective at Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion and Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum. Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca), Nature & Wildlife Tours (in Tarcoles) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, listen to music at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, engage your brain at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, and steep yourself in history at Ruins of the Church of Carthage.

For traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our San Jose trip planner.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In December, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Cartago, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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