17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner
Make it your trip
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
6
San Jose
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive

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1

La Fortuna de San Carlos — 3 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: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get outside with Outdoor Activities, explore the fascinating underground world of Venado Caves, and see Off-Road Tours.

For more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary planner.

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.
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Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors
Side Trip

Tamarindo — 1 night

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sun): head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, then stop by Urban Eclectic Jewelry, and then wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura.

To see photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Tamarindo online road trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can go by car to Monteverde.
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Tours · Outdoors · Shopping

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 19th (Mon): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin de Orquideas San Bosco, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and finally stop by Foresta.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Monteverde fast, fun, and easy.

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. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Jaco.
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Parks · Wildlife · Adventure · Tours

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.
On the 21st (Wed), 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. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu): stroll through Royal Butterflies, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Jaco trip builder website.

Drive from Monteverde to Jaco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.
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Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Spas

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Fri): stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Keep things going the next day: take in the local highlights with Walking tours, glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and then take in the natural beauty of Manuel Antonio Hot Springs.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio vacation planning tool.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) so you can drive to San Jose.
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Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Rescue Center Costa Rica (in Alajuela). The adventure continues: hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, walk around Parque La Sabana, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and don't miss a visit to Banco Central de Costa Rica.

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

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
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Parks · Nature · Tours · Wildlife
Side Trips

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.
On the 28th (Wed), stroll through Nature Observatorio and then get outside with Outdoor Activities. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.
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Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors
Side Trips

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 30th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) so you can go by car back home.
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Parks · Nature
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.
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