18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica attractions planner

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

S M T W T F S
27
28
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19

Jaco

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Keep things going the next day: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Jaco trip itinerary builder website.

Madrid, Spain to Jaco is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -7 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Spas

Manuel Antonio

— 3 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Spend the 4th (Fri) on the water with a fishing tour. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, see Off-Road Tours, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find out how to plan a trip to Manuel Antonio, use our trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal). The adventure continues: stroll through Tamarindo Beach, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

For maps, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo online travel planner.

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Manuel Antonio to Tamarindo in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · 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.
On the 10th (Thu), catch some excitement at El Trapiche Tour and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Fri): indulge in some personalized pampering at Monteverde Massage Center and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde trip planner.

Getting from Tamarindo to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Adventure

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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sat): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tortuguero trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Tortuguero in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. In March, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your 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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Tarantulas Way and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip builder.

Getting from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 5 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: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, snap pictures at Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos tour builder app.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

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.