20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner
Make it your trip
Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Mal Pais
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Montezuma
— 1 night
Drive
5
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Puntarenas
— 1 night
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
8
San Jose
Fly

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La Fortuna de San Carlos — 5 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.
Kids will enjoy Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) and Venado Caves. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Paradise Hot Springs and Cerro Chato ANC Park & Gardens. Explore La Fortuna de San Carlos' surroundings by going to Catedral de Ciudad Quesada (in Quesada) and Butterfly Conservatory - Arenal (in El Castillo). The adventure continues: take in the natural beauty of Los Lagos Hot Springs, indulge in some personalized pampering at Tabacon Hot Springs, and trek along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

To see other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos travel route builder.

Montreal, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Montreal to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. You will leave for Manuel Antonio on the 15th (Wed).
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Parks · Nature · Spas · Trails
Side Trips

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.
Here are some ideas for day two: get a dose of the wild on Mike’s Nature Tours.

To find photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio day trip planning tool.

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. On the 18th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Mal Pais.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trips

Mal Pais — 3 nights

Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the Mal Pais road trip site.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Mal Pais in 6 hours. On the 21st (Tue), you'll travel to Montezuma.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife
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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Costa Rica Color.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Montezuma online tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Mal Pais to Montezuma in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can drive to Santa Teresa.
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Parks · Wildlife

Santa Teresa — 3 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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu): stroll through Playa Carmen and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

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

You can drive from Montezuma to Santa Teresa in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can drive to Puntarenas.
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Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

Puntarenas — 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): stroll through Reserva Biologica Isla del Cano, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Puntarenas, and then stop by Jungle Avenue. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at La Amistad International Park.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Puntarenas trip builder website.

Getting from Santa Teresa to Puntarenas by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to drive to Monteverde.
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Parks · Nature · Beaches · Outdoors
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 27th (Mon), explore and take pictures at Ecological Sanctuary. On your second day here, take in the exciting artwork at Art House, stroll through Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, then take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, and finally admire the sheer force of San Luis Waterfall.

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde road trip website.

You can drive from Puntarenas to Monteverde in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Jose.
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Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Shopping
Side Trip

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 find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Monteverde to San Jose by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in February, and nighttime lows around 65°F. On the 28th (Tue), you'll travel back home.
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

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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