19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive
2
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Playas del Coco
— 1 night
Drive
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
10
San Jose
Fly

S M T W T F S
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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 16th (Tue): get outside with Outdoor Activities and then trot along with a tour on horseback. Keep things going the next day: get up close to creatures of the deep with Costa Rica Dreams Sportfishing, then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find reviews, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, use the Jaco trip itinerary planning website.

Barcelona, Spain to Jaco is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. You'll gain 7 hours traveling from Barcelona to Jaco due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife
Side Trips

Uvita — 2 nights

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 18th (Thu): scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then see Off-Road Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then kick back and relax at Uvita Beach.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Uvita trip builder website.

You can drive from Jaco to Uvita in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trip

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.
On the 20th (Sat), tour the pleasant surroundings at Rainmaker Park and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio. Here are some ideas for day two: get outside with Jackpot Sport Fishing and then take an exotic tour of Safari Adventures.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) so you can drive to Monteverde.
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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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, and then stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond. Here are some ideas for day two: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stroll through Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde visit planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) so you can drive to Playa Samara.
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Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

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.
On the 24th (Wed), kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach, trot along with a tour on horseback, and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get outside with Outdoor Activities, tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carrillo.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Playa Samara trip tool.

Getting from Monteverde to Playa Samara by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.
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Side Trip

Tamarindo — 2 nights

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Potrero Beach and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities. On the 27th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see Off-Road Tours, view the masterpieces at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

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

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Playas del Coco.
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Side Trip

Playas del Coco — 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then head outdoors with Crazy Alex CR.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Playas del Coco trip tool.

Getting from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks
Side Trip

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.
Visiting Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing will get you outdoors. Explore hidden gems such as Bogarin Trail and Venado Caves. There's lots more to do: see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, get outside with Outdoor Activities, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary maker tool.

Getting from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
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Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature
Side Trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca — 2 nights

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Thu): stroll through Tarantulas Way, take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally stop by Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Nature Observatorio, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Punta Uva, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles.

For other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca driving holiday planning site.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Jose.
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Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches
Side Trips

San Jose

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.
To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose road trip planner.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In September, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 21°C. On the 2nd (Fri), you'll travel back home.
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

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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