38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary planner

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Route & dates

38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 4 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
2
Quepos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Monteverde
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Playas del Coco
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
8
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
End: San Jose

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca), Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Jardin Botanico Lankester (in Cartago). The adventure continues: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad, cruise along Top Travel Costa Rica, and view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the San Jose sightseeing planner.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to San Jose. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in May, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Quepos.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Irazu Volcano National Park, Poas Volcano, Jardin Botanico Lankester, Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Find places to stay May 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
River Rafting & Tubing
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

4
nights
Quepos

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Spend the 21st (Tue) on the water with a fishing tour. Pack the 22nd (Wed) with family-friendly diversions at Rancho Tipico Don Juan. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, look for gifts at Jungle Avenue, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read Quepos route planning website .

Take a bus from San Jose to Quepos in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Manuel Antonio
Find places to stay May 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
River Rafting & Tubing

5
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.
Go for a jaunt from Monteverde to Los Tornos to see Life Monteverde about 44 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas).

To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip planner .

Traveling by car from Quepos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Life Monteverde
Find places to stay May 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Spas

5
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Playa Corozalito (in Bejuco), Nosara (SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, Nativa Gallery, & more) and Playa Islita (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Carrillo, view the masterpieces at Koss Art Gallery, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Samara online attractions planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Playa Corozalito, Playa Islita, Puerto Carrillo
Find places to stay May 27 — Jun 1:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

5
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal) and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Avellana, tee off at Hacienda Pinilla Golf Club, and get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

For more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo trip itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Find places to stay Jun 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

3
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Playas del Coco: Llanos de Cortez Waterfall (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Costa Rica'n Art Craft (in Liberia). And it doesn't end there: get impressive views of Rincon de La Vieja National Park, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and get a taste of the local shopping with Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts.

To see more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Playas del Coco trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Costa Rica'n Art Craft, Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Playa Hermosa, Playa Nacascolo
Find places to stay Jun 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Nacascolo ©
Playa Nacascolo

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, wildlife, parks, and trails. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Proyecto Asis, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip maker .

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. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Jun 9 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

4
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.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is known for beaches, spas, adventure, wildlife, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park, get your game on at Yesland Mini Golf, explore and take pictures at Chocorart, and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Cocles.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary builder app .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to take a bus back home.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Jun 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach

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