59 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

59 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

59 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Mendoza
Fly:  14​h 45​min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 9 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Taxi + Bus:  2​h 45​min
3
San Jose
— 7 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
4
Drake Bay
— 5 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 7 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
6
Playa Samara
— 6 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
7
Tamarindo
— 7 nights
Bus:  1​h 30​min
8
Liberia
— 7 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
Monteverde
— 8 nights
+2
Taxi + Bus + Fly:  15​h 15​min
End: Mendoza

9
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 Tabacon Hot Springs and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Do some cultural sightseeing at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna and Wood & Art Gallery. Get out of town with these interesting La Fortuna de San Carlos side-trips: Rio Celeste (in Tenorio Volcano National Park) and Butterfly Conservatory (in El Castillo). There's still lots to do: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and explore the fascinating underground world of Venado Caves.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder website .

Mendoza, Argentina to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or do a combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Argentine Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -3 hour difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory, Rio Celeste
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

2
nights
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 22nd (Wed): see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy. On your second day here, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero route builder app .

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 January, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 33°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

7
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.
Visiting Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Poas Volcano will get you outdoors. Get some cultural insight at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica and Jade Museum. Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion (in Ujarras), Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum (in Orosi) and Cartago (Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Iglesia Maria Auxiliadora, & more). Next up on the itinerary: get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, have fun and explore at Museo de los Ninos, take in the exciting artwork at Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings, and see the interesting displays at Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum.

To find traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, read San Jose trip builder .

Traveling by combination of taxi and bus from Tortuguero to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Tortuguero in January; daily highs in San Jose reach 30°C and lows reach 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Cartago, Irazu Volcano National Park, Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings, Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

5
nights
Drake Bay

Escape the urban bustle at Corcovado National Park and Naturaseekers. Spend a day of island exploring on the 2nd (Sun) at Cano Island.

To see reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our Drake Bay trip app .

Traveling by car from San Jose to Drake Bay takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Corcovado National Park
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 4:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Corcovado National Park ©
Corcovado National Park
Cano Island ©
Cano Island

7
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Playa Manuel Antonio and Uvita Beach. Step out of the city life by going to Zipline and Nature & Wildlife Tours. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Manuel Antonio: Parque Nacional Marino Ballena (in Uvita), Parasailing & Paragliding (in Dominical) and Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers & Canyoning & Rappelling Tours). There's still lots to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, see Off-Road Tours, get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, and see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip planner .

You can drive from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Jaco, Quepos, Uvita, Parasailing & Paragliding
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

6
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY and Koss Art Gallery. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Samara Beach and Playa Garza. Change things up with these side-trips from Playa Samara: Nosara (Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara, Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), & more), Barra Honda National Park (in Nicoya) and Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Playa Islita, trot along with a tour on horseback, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Corozalito, and take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read Playa Samara day trip website .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Playa Samara by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Barra Honda National Park, Playa Islita, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project, Playa Carrillo
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

7
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll get in some beach time at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Mina. Take a break from the city and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal) and Penca Beach (in Playa Potrero). The adventure continues: stroll through Playa Avellana, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip maker website .

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to catcht the bus to Liberia.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Playa Flamingo, Kayaking & Canoeing, Penca Beach, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

7
nights
Liberia

Liberia ©
Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
Get a sense of the local culture at Church of La Ermita La Agonia and Immaculate Church of Concepcion de Maria. You'll get in some beach time at Playa Hermosa and Playa Nacascolo. Explore Liberia's surroundings by going to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands, Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, & more), Playas del Coco (Shark Diving & Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts) and Playa Copal (in La Cruz). There's much more to do: admire the sheer force of Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, look for gifts at Nahua, take in the exciting artwork at Hidden Garden Art Gallery, and indulge your thirst for a good beer at Maderos Brewery.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Liberia travel route planner.

Traveling by bus from Tamarindo to Liberia takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Liberia

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Province of Guanacaste, Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, Playa Copal
Find places to stay Feb 24 — Mar 2:
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

8
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Ecological Sanctuary. Santa Elena Skywalk and Arte Jaguar Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Monteverde: Playa Dona Ana (in Barranca), Guacimal River Bridge 2 (in Puntarenas) and Piedra de Fuego (in Esparza). And it doesn't end there: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, examine the collection at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, and view the masterpieces at Sarah's Gallery.

For ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip itinerary maker app .

You can drive from Liberia to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Piedra de Fuego, Guacimal River Bridge 2, Playa Dona Ana
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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