18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
12
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15
16
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18
19
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22
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24
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31
1

Tamarindo

— 3 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
When in Tamarindo, make a side trip to see Playa Conchal in Playa Conchal, approximately Playa Conchal away. The adventure continues: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, and find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo day trip planner.

Tel Aviv, Israel to Tamarindo is an approximately 23-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 8 hours traveling from Tel Aviv to Tamarindo. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Tel Aviv in December: highs in Tamarindo hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 2 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Fri): stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Here are some ideas for day two: catch some excitement at El Trapiche Tour and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde sightseeing planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. In December, daytime highs in Monteverde are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure

Jaco

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sun): see Off-Road Tours and then get outside with Outdoor Activities. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: push the limits with an extreme tour and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Jaco online journey planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Jaco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): take an exotic tour of Safari Adventures and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

Find out how to plan Manuel Antonio trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

You can drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. On the 22nd (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Adventure · Tours · Beaches

Side Trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 nights

Walaba

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park. On the 24th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For more things to do, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Tortuguero travel planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Highlights from your trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 nights
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, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

For maps and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos journey maker.

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.