31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly + bus:  26​h
1
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Monteverde
— 3 nights
shuttle:  2​h 15​min
4
Jaco
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h
6
San Jose
— 3 nights
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  27​h
End: Brisbane

2
nights
Playas del Coco

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.
Get in touch with nature at Rincon de La Vieja National Park and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall. You'll get in some beach time at Playa Hermosa and Playa Nacascolo. Step out of Playas del Coco to go to Rincon de La Vieja and see Rio Negro Hot Springs, which is approximately 1h 20 min away. There's much more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and view the masterpieces at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Playas del Coco trip itinerary maker site .

Brisbane, Australia to Playas del Coco is an approximately 26-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 16 hours traveling from Brisbane to Playas del Coco. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Playa Nacascolo, Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, Playa Hermosa, Rio Negro Hot Springs
Find places to stay Jul 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Shark Diving
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

3
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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Avellana. Take a break from the city and head to Playa Conchal and Scuba & Snorkeling. Explore Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Garra de Leon Golf Course (in Playa Conchal) and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo). It doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Monkey Park and look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo travel planning site .

Drive from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Find places to stay Jul 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
Visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Curi Cancha Reserve will get you outdoors. There's lots more to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Frog Pond.

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Monteverde online tour itinerary planner .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

San Luis Waterfall
Find places to stay Jul 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
nights
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Horseback Riding Tours and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. There's still lots to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, tee off at Tee Times Costa Rica, take a memorable tour with Tours, and head outdoors with Costa Rica SUP'ers.

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Jaco trip planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Jaco takes 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Tee Times Costa Rica
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Zipline
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Playa Manuel Antonio and Fishing Charters & Tours. The adventure continues: take a memorable tour with Tours, kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip planner .

Traveling by car from Jaco to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Fishing Charters & Tours
River Rafting & Tubing

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Poas Volcano. Step out of San Jose with an excursion to Toucan Rescue Ranch in San Isidro--about 32 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, have fun at Tropical Bungee, and explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose online tour itinerary planner .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In July, daytime highs in San Jose are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Toucan Rescue Ranch, Poas Volcano, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Find places to stay Jul 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Cahuita National Park and Puerto Viejo Beach. There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Observatorio, have some family-friendly fun at Yesland Mini Golf, and take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca road trip planner.

You can take a bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Cahuita, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach

7
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 in touch with nature at River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and identify plant and animal life at Proyecto Asis.

For reviews, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary app .

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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