30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Uvita
— 1 night
Drive
3
Quepos
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 10 nights
Drive
5
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
9
San Jose
Fly

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San Jose

— 3 nights
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica and Galeria Namu. Visit Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles and Ruins of the Church of Carthage for their historical value. There's much more to do: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, stop by Va de nuevo, take in the spiritual surroundings of Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana), and get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum.

To find photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose online tour itinerary planner.

San Francisco, USA to San Jose is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also drive. Traveling from San Francisco to San Jose, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from San Francisco in July; daily highs in San Jose reach 80°F and lows reach 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Historic Sites · Adventure · Outdoors

Side Trip

Uvita

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Uvita trip builder app.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Uvita takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Quepos.

Things to do in Uvita

Beaches · Wildlife · Nature · Parks

Quepos

— 3 nights
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Get in touch with nature at Playa Manuel Antonio and Nature & Wildlife Tours. There's much more to do: see what you can catch with a fishing tour, get outside with Outdoor Activities, look for gifts at The Captain's Booty, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Quepos trip website.

You can drive from Uvita to Quepos in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Jaco

— 10 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.
Escape the urban bustle at Zipline and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Venture out of the city with trips to Sky Mountain Canopy (in Puntarenas) and Playa Bejuco (in Esterillos Este). Spend the 5th (Thu) exploring nature at Carara National Park. And it doesn't end there: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, see majestic marine mammals with Costa Rica Dreams Sportfishing, and explore the galleries of Tico Pod Art House & Gifts.

To find traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Jaco tour itinerary builder site.

You can drive from Quepos to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 4 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.
Santa Elena Skywalk and Ecological Sanctuary are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond, get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

For other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Monteverde road trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Adventure

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 2 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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna and Onirica Art Gallery. Step out of the city life by going to Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. There's lots more to do: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, take in the exciting artwork at Wood & Art Gallery, explore the galleries of Galeria Estudio, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna.

To find other places to visit and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Tortuguero

— 2 nights

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 20th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

Plan my day in Tortuguero using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In August, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 86°F, while nighttime lows are 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 3 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.
Take a break from the city and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Cahuita National Park. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Playa Puerto Viejo, stroll through Playa Punta Uva, and take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary 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 your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

San Jose

Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): soothe aching muscles at ZENfit 506.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our San Jose day trip planning site.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. You'll have a few hours on the 24th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in San Jose

Spas

Side Trip

Highlights from your 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.

Arenal Volcano National Park travel guide

4.4
Hot Springs · Waterfalls · River Rafting & Tubing
Plan a tour of Arenal Volcano National Park to get in touch with nature, enjoy scenic views, and admire the majestic volcano up close. The park, established in 1991, protects a variety of ecosystems and wildlife. You can choose from four hiking trails, taking you across the rainforest and lava fields. Enjoy scenic lookout points, see a staggering variety of birds and plants, or climb the dormant Mount Chato on your trip to Arenal Volcano National Park.