30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America journey maker

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Route & dates

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Sydney
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  27​h
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Quepos
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
5
San Jose
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h
6
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
7
Drake Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  9​h 15​min
8
Cano Negro
— 2 nights
Drive:  8​h
9
Ballena
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
10
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
+2
shuttle + bus + Fly:  29​h
End: Sydney


Learn more about your trip

1
night
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Conchal and then stroll through Playa Avellana. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get interesting insight from Tours and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip itinerary planner .

Sydney, Australia to Tamarindo is an approximately 27-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus. You'll gain 16 hours traveling from Sydney to Tamarindo due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal) and Tabacon Hot Springs. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Onirica Art Gallery and Wood & Art Gallery. Change things up with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo (about 38 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, and look for all kinds of wild species at Proyecto Asis.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
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.
On the 7th (Fri), look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then take an in-depth tour of Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts. On the 8th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, then identify plant and animal life at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde road trip app .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can drive to Quepos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

2
nights
Quepos

The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): see what you can catch with a fishing tour. On the 10th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then trot along with a tour on horseback.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Quepos online visit planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Quepos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can catcht the bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Horseback Riding Tours
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Fishing Charters & Tours
Horseback Riding Tours

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.
Get some cultural insight at Guayabo National Park and Monument and Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. Get outdoors at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Toucan Rescue Ranch. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Cartago (Ruins of the Church of Carthage & Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). There's more to do: take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To see where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by bus from Quepos to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. February in San Jose sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Cartago, Poas Volcano, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Guayabo National Park and Monument, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Find places to stay Feb 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch

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.
On the 15th (Sat), kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Keep things going the next day: explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park.

For maps, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder .

Take a bus from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

3
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Cano Island.

For photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Drake Bay online travel planner .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Thu) to allow time for travel to Cano Negro.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Dolphin & Whale Watching

2
nights
Cano Negro

Cano Negro ©
On the 21st (Fri), look for all kinds of wild species at Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge and then take in nature's colorful creations at Laberinto de Katira.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Cano Negro road trip website .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Drake Bay to Cano Negro. In February, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Ballena.

Things to do in Cano Negro

Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Chocolate Sibaeli, Laberinto de Katira
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge ©
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
Laberinto de Katira ©
Laberinto de Katira

2
nights
Ballena

On the 23rd (Sun), take a memorable tour with Tours and then identify plant and animal life at Kokopelli.

To find reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Ballena itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Cano Negro to Ballena takes 6 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Mon) to allow time for travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Ballena

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Kokopelli
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

On the 25th (Tue), take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then shop like a local with Coco Loco Art Studio & Gallery. On your second day here, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Ballena to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5.5 hours. On the 27th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Spas Parks Nature
Find places to stay Feb 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Ecotermales Fortuna ©
Ecotermales Fortuna
Baldi Hot Springs ©
Baldi Hot Springs

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