30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Cincinnati
Fly + Drive:  11​h 15​min
1
Playa Hermosa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h
6
San Jose
— 4 nights
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
8
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Fly:  10​h 30​min
End: Cincinnati

2
nights
Playa Hermosa

Start off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Nacascolo. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Playa Hermosa, view the masterpieces at Costa Rica'n Art Craft, then view the masterpieces at Hidden Garden Art Gallery, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Ocotal.

To find maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Playa Hermosa travel planner.

Cincinnati, USA to Playa Hermosa is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Liberia, Playa Ocotal, Playa Nacascolo
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Nacascolo ©
Playa Nacascolo

4
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.
Visiting Playa Conchal and Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) will get you outdoors. MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY and Koss Art Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tamarindo: Playa Samara (Samara Farmers Market, Samara Beach, & more) and Casa de Arte Curime de Nicoya (in Nicoya). There's more to do: stroll through Tamarindo Beach and kick back and relax at Playa Avellana.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo route maker .

You can drive from Playa Hermosa to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Playa Samara, Nosara, Casa de Arte Curime de Nicoya, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Sep 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

3
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
Church of La Ermita La Agonia and Galeria 1824 Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get outdoors at Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Area de Conservacion Guanacaste: Liberia (Nahua & Costa Rica Wild Art).

Plan a Area de Conservacion Guanacaste trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Drive from Tamarindo to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Liberia
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

4
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.
Get outdoors at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Ecological Sanctuary. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Chorotega Arts & Crafts and Art House. Step out of Monteverde to go to Esparza and see Piedra de Fuego, which is approximately 1h 30 min away. There's still lots to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take in the exciting artwork at Sarah's Gallery, look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, and shop like a local with Arte Jaguar Gallery.

To see traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip planner .

Traveling by car from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Shopping

Side Trip

Piedra de Fuego
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Playa Manuel Antonio and River Rafting & Tubing. There's still lots to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, look for gifts at Jungle Avenue, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip maker .

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. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

4
nights
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica and Jade Museum. Take a break from the city and head to Guayabo National Park and Monument and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Jose: Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles (in Cartago) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and look for gifts at Biesanz Woodworks.

Plan my San Jose trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In September, daytime highs in San Jose are 81°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Guayabo National Park and Monument, Biesanz Woodworks, Poas Volcano, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©
Guayabo National Park and Monument
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica

3
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.
Do your shopping at Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate and Luluberlu Art Gallery. Visiting Cahuita National Park and Punta Uva Beach will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: stroll through Puerto Viejo Beach and browse the fresh offerings at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca itinerary maker website .

Getting from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by bus takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Cahuita National Park
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip builder .

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 86°F in September, and nighttime lows around 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

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.
Get outdoors at Tabacon Hot Springs and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Get a sense of the local culture at Onirica Art Gallery and Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos. Next up on the itinerary: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, view the masterpieces at Galeria Estudio, get a taste of the local shopping with Coco Loco Art Studio & Gallery, and identify plant and animal life at La Fortuna Arenal Volcano Rain Forest Reserve.

Plan my day in La Fortuna de San Carlos using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. You'll set off for home on the 30th (Mon).

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

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