18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday maker
Make it your trip
Fly
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Jaco
— 2 nights
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
4
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
12
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1
2

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.
Get outdoors at Safaris and Kayaking & Canoeing. Explore hidden gems such as Bogarin Trail and ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. There's more to do: take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs and see Off-Road Tours.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary site.

Zurich, Switzerland to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You'll gain 7 hours traveling from Zurich to La Fortuna de San Carlos due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trip

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Safari Adventures and Rainmaker Park. Step off the beaten path and head to Horseback Riding Tours and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. Change things up with a short trip to Canyoning & Rappelling Tours in Uvita (about 1h 15 min away). The adventure continues: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio road trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can drive to Jaco.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure
Side Trips

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 (Tue), explore the striking landscape of Carara National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get outside with Outdoor Activities and then see Off-Road Tours.

For reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Jaco online vacation maker.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.
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Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Tours
Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): surround yourself with nature on Costa Rican Tropical Tours and then stroll through Playa Hermosa. Here are some ideas for day two: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities and then kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Santa Teresa trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.
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Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours
Side Trip

Playa Samara — 2 nights

A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Sun): get outside with Outdoor Activities and then kick back and relax at Playa Guiones.

To find other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, use the Playa Samara visit planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.
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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.
Escape the urban bustle at Scuba & Snorkeling and Potrero Beach. Explore hidden gems such as Nature & Wildlife Tours and Lydia Beech Art Boutique. There's more to do: see Off-Road Tours.

Discover how to plan a Tamarindo trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can go by car to Playas del Coco.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Nature
Side Trips

Playas del Coco — 2 nights

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
On the 30th (Thu), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the next day, take in the dramatic scenery at Cataratas Llanos de Cortes and then experience rural life at Tio Leo Coffee Tour,a real cultural experience.

To see ratings and tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco trip planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to fly back home.
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Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Wildlife
Side Trips

Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
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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