35 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

35 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route planner

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Route & dates

35 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Amsterdam
Fly + Drive:  14​h 45​min
1
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h
2
Drake Bay
— 4 nights
3
Quepos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
8
Tortuguero
— 1 night
taxi + bus:  2​h 45​min
9
San Jose
— 5 nights
Fly:  13​h
End: Amsterdam

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.
On the 10th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Tirimbina Biological Reserve and then take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To see more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Vara Blanca road trip planning tool .

Amsterdam, Holland to Vara Blanca is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Central European Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -7 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, Tirimbina Biological Reserve, Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Find places to stay Jul 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

4
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
When in Drake Bay, make a side trip to see Parque Nacional Marino Ballena in Uvita, approximately 2 hours away. Spend a day of island exploring on the 12th (Fri) at Cano Island. Spend the 14th (Sun) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Drake Bay online trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to Drake Bay takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can drive to Quepos.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena

4
nights
Quepos

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
When in Quepos, make a side trip to see Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in Dominical, approximately 48 minutes away. Spend the 18th (Thu) exploring nature at Manuel Antonio National Park. Pack the 19th (Fri) with family-friendly diversions at Rancho Tipico Don Juan. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Quepos trip planning app .

Drive from Drake Bay to Quepos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can 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 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

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.
When in Monteverde, make a side trip to see Guacimal River Bridge 2 in Puntarenas, approximately 42 minutes away. There's lots more to do: identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), and explore the world behind art at Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Monteverde trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

You can drive from Quepos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Guacimal River Bridge 2
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

4
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
Step out of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to go to Liberia and see Church of La Ermita La Agonia, which is approximately 44 minutes away. Spend the 25th (Thu) among the fascinating landscape of Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste trip website .

Drive from Monteverde to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Church of La Ermita La Agonia
Find places to stay Jul 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Miravalles Volcano ©
Miravalles Volcano

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Samara Beach (in Playa Samara), Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal) and Nosara (Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) & MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY). There's still lots to do: stroll through Tamarindo Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see reviews, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo day trip planning website .

Traveling by car from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Tamarindo takes 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Nosara, Playa Conchal, Samara Beach
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

6
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: soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, and look for all kinds of wild species at Proyecto Asis.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos driving holiday planning site .

You can drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 6:
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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Tortuguero National Park.

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Tortuguero travel route planner .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. August in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

5
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.
Get out of town with these interesting San Jose side-trips: Zoo Ave (in Alajuela), Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro) and Cartago (Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles & Jardin Botanico Lankester). The adventure continues: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get a taste of the local shopping with Galeria Namu, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, read San Jose trip builder site .

Do a combination of taxi and bus from Tortuguero to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Tortuguero in August: high temperatures in San Jose hover around 32°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Cartago, Zoo Ave, Toucan Rescue Ranch, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch

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