44 days in Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

44 days in Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

44 days in Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Lisbon, Portugal
Fly:  16​h
1
Boquete, Panama
— 5 nights
Drive + Bus:  3​h 30​min
2
Uvita, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
7
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
9
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
10
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive + Fly:  3​h
11
Panama City, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly:  13​h
End: Lisbon, Portugal

5
nights
Boquete, Panama

Boquete ©
Now known internationally for its fresh mountain air, year-round pleasant temperatures, and large community of North American expats, Boquete has changed rapidly since the start of the century, changing from a humble mountain town, into a humble mountain surrounded by gated communities and estates.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Isla Zapatillas and Spas. There's lots more to do: experience rural life at Boquete Bees, get impressive views of Volcan Baru National Park, trek along Pipeline Trail, and explore the striking landscape at Los Ladrillos.

For other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Boquete route planner.

Lisbon, Portugal to Boquete is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus. The time zone difference moving from Western European Time to Eastern Standard Time is minus 5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Uvita.

Things to do in Boquete

Parks Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Isla Zapatillas
Find places to stay Oct 23 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Isla Zapatillas ©
Isla Zapatillas
Spas
The Lost Waterfalls-Boquete ©
The Lost Waterfalls-Boquete

3
nights
Uvita, Costa Rica

Uvita ©
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Step off the beaten path and head to Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall, look for gifts at Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, and get interesting insight from Tours.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Uvita road trip planning site .

You can do a combination of car and bus from Boquete to Uvita in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Boquete to Uvita is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store
Find places to stay Oct 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach

4
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Horseback Riding Tours and Spas. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Manuel Antonio: Jaco (Off-Road Tours, Mirador de Jaco, &more). There's still lots to do: stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, and relax in the rural setting at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices.

To see ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio tour itinerary maker website .

Traveling by car from Uvita to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Jaco, Quepos
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 4:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Off-Road Tours
Horseback Riding Tours

4
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like El Trapiche Tour and Horseback Riding Tours. Step out of Monteverde to go to Puntarenas and see Guacimal River Bridge 2, which is approximately 42 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, browse the exhibits of Alas y Raices, and look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

To find ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde trip builder website .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Guacimal River Bridge 2
Find places to stay Nov 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

4
nights
Playa Samara, Costa Rica

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to dondeJavitours and Nosara Refuge for Wildlife. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Nosara (Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara, SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, &more) and Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project (in Punta Islita). Next up on the itinerary: see Off-Road Tours, trot along with a tour on horseback, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Playa Samara road trip planning app .

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trips

Nosara, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Horseback Riding Tours

5
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore hidden gems such as Pura Aventura and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Next up on the itinerary: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf, and look for gifts at Papaya Con Leche.

For traveler tips and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo online trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Kayaking & Canoeing, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

3
nights
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Explore Playas del Coco's surroundings by going to Liberia (Costa Rica'n Art Craft & Souvenirs La gran Nicoya). And it doesn't end there: take a memorable tour with Tours, explore the galleries of Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For maps, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco online sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Liberia, Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Playa Hermosa, Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park and Coffee & Tea Tours. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos with an excursion to Poas Volcano in Poas Volcano National Park--about 1h 55 min away. There's much more to do: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, explore by horseback at Arenal Wilberth Stables, and stroll through Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To see ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos online travel route planner .

Getting from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Poas Volcano, Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park
Find places to stay Nov 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park ©
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park

1
night
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

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 26th (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park and then get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To find maps, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero day trip site .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In November, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Nov 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

4
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Nature Observatorio and Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Punta Uva Beach, take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and savor the flavors at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online journey planner .

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles

4
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ancon Hill and Iglesia de San José. Take a break from Panama City with a short trip to Gatun Locks in Colon, about 1h 40 min away. And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Panama Canal, learn about all things military at Centro de Interpretacion de Ciudad del Saber, get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo, and see the interesting displays at Biomuseo.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Panama City trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Panama City takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, ferry, and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Panama City. In November in Panama City, expect temperatures between 35°C during the day and 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Gatun Locks
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 4:
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Ancon Hill ©
Ancon Hill
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo

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