20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary planner
Make it your trip
Shuttle
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Bus to Jacó, Ferry to Montezuma
3
Montezuma
— 1 night
Ferry to Jacó, Bus to San Jose
4
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
Ferry
6
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Puntarenas
— 2 nights
Drive

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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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Bogarin Trail and Paradise Hot Springs. Visiting Los Lagos Hot Springs and Cerro Chato ANC Park & Gardens will get you outdoors. Change things up with a short trip to Catedral de Ciudad Quesada in Quesada (about 58 minutes away). The adventure continues: stroll through Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner.

San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 2.5-hour shuttle ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.
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Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Trails
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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): take a tour by water with Fishing Costa Rica with Big Eye Charters, then view the masterpieces at El O'scars Galleria, and then kick back and relax at La Playita. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Thu): kick back and relax at Playas Gemelas, then kick back and relax at Playa Espadilla Norte, then look for gifts at The Captain's Booty, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip website.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can travel to Montezuma.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Side Trip

Montezuma — 1 night

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 10th (Fri): get outside with Sun Trails Tours, then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then head off the coast to Isla de Cabuya, and finally stroll through Wild Sun Rescue Center. Here are some ideas for day two: try your luck at Horse Spirit Healing, take in nature's colorful creations at Mariposario Butterfly Garden, and then kick back and relax at Playa Montezuma.

For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Montezuma online road trip planner.

You can do a combination of bus and ferry from Manuel Antonio to Montezuma in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to San Jose.
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Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

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.
On the 12th (Sun), look for gifts at J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, head outdoors with Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours, then learn more about the world around you at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, and finally indulge in some culinary diversions at Get a Local Friend.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose online trip builder.

Traveling by combination of ferry and bus from Montezuma to San Jose takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. February in San Jose sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can drive to Uvita.
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Tours · Outdoors · Childrens Museums · Museums
Side Trip

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): play a few rounds at San Buenas Golf Resort and Spa, hike along Locos por el Bosque, then admire the sheer force of Cascada El Pavon, and finally stop by Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars. On the 14th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Oro Verde Biological Reserve, work off some steam at Health/Fitness Clubs & Gyms, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Uvita online trip itinerary planner.

Drive from San Jose to Uvita in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to ride a ferry to Santa Teresa.
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Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Golf
Side Trips

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.
On the 15th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, head outdoors with Taboo Beach Club, then take in the exciting artwork at Bri'ah Art Gallery, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, see majestic marine mammals with Tico Brothers Sports Fishing, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis.

To find photos, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Santa Teresa day trip planner.

Traveling by ferry from Uvita to Santa Teresa takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to drive to Playa Samara.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Fri): take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY and then trot along with Casagua Horses Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Carrillo, tour the pleasant surroundings at Werner Sauter Biological Reserve, and then view the masterpieces at Koss Art Gallery.

For where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Playa Samara online itinerary planner.

Drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.
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Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Shopping
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 19th (Sun), admire the natural beauty at Jardin de Orquideas San Bosco, then stroll through Valle Escondido Nature Reserve, then get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary, and finally get a dose of the wild on Monteverde Nature Guided Tours. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic scenery at San Luis Waterfall, view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery, then take in the dramatic scenery at Catarata Los Murcielagos - Monteverde Waterfall, and finally soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Puntarenas.
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Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Spas
Side Trip

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 21st (Tue), see majestic marine mammals with Coco's Tours, then head outdoors with San Lucas Beach Club, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Penon de Guacalillo. On the 22nd (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Dona Ana, then head outdoors with Superman De Osa, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Puntarenas.

To plan Puntarenas vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can drive from Monteverde to Puntarenas in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive back home.
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Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Historic Sites
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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