22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
2
Drake Bay
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Mal Pais
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Montezuma
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Puntarenas
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Shuttle to Playa Panamá, Fly to Montreal

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1

San Jose

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, tee off at Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours, and then soothe aching muscles at ZENfit 506.

Plan a trip to San Jose easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Montreal, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive. Traveling from Montreal to San Jose, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from Montreal in December: high temperatures in San Jose hover around 30°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can go by car to Drake Bay.

Things to do in San Jose

Golf · Outdoors · Tours · Spas

Side Trips

Drake Bay

— 2 nights
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): get close to the beloved marine mammals with The Divine Dolphin and then stroll through Playa San Josecito. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Naturaseekers.

For ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Drake Bay visit planning tool.

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. On the 13th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours

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.
Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Espadilla Norte, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and then take in the exciting artwork at The Captain's Booty.

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

Traveling by car from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. On the 16th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Mal Pais.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Mal Pais

— 2 nights
On your second day here, trot along with a tour on horseback and then wander the wide-open spaces of Sunrise Ranch.

To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Mal Pais trip builder site.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Mal Pais by car takes about 6 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Mal Pais

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

Santa Teresa

— 2 nights
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Here are some ideas for day two: cast your line with Sapoa Adventures, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Carmen, and then get outside with Taboo Beach Club.

To find more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip planner.

Santa Teresa is very close to Mal Pais. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Montezuma.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

Montezuma

— 2 nights
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): stroll through Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and then stroll through Playa Montezuma. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Wild Sun Rescue Center and then stroll through Costa Rica Color.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Montezuma trip itinerary builder tool.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Montezuma takes an hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Puntarenas.

Things to do in Montezuma

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

Puntarenas

— 2 nights

Pacific Pearl

A major port city with a busy fish market, for most tourists Puntarenas represents little more than the launching point for ferries heading to the pleasant beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula.
On the 23rd (Thu), stroll through Playa Dona Ana and then get great views at Penon de Guacalillo. On the 24th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Parque Marino del Pacifico, get outside with Superman De Osa, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Puntarenas.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Puntarenas road trip planning website.

You can drive from Montezuma to Puntarenas in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Puntarenas

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Historic Sites

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 25th (Sat), tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond, then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Nature Guided Tours, then indulge in some personalized pampering at Monteverde Massage Center, and finally admire all the interesting features of Ecological Sanctuary. Here are some ideas for day two: relax in the rural setting at Finca El Paraiso and then ride a horse along Finca el Rodeo.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde visit planner.

Traveling by car from Puntarenas to Monteverde takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Trails

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Bogarin Trail and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). Escape the urban bustle at Paradise Hot Springs and Los Lagos Hot Springs. There's much more to do: head outdoors with Flow Trips, stroll through La Fortuna Arenal Volcano Rain Forest Reserve, stroll around Cerro Chato ANC Park & Gardens, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cabalgata Don Tobias.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 31st (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

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.