21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip builder
Make it your trip
Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Cahuita
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
4
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Jaco
— 2 nights
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
6
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Playas del Coco
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5

La Fortuna de San Carlos — 4 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Natura Eco Park Costa Rica and Onirica Art Gallery. Get outdoors at Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano. When in La Fortuna de San Carlos, make a side trip to see Catedral de Ciudad Quesada in Quesada, approximately Quesada away. The adventure continues: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

To find maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Montreal, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Montreal to La Fortuna de San Carlos due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can go by car to Cahuita.
Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors
Side Trips

Cahuita — 2 nights

With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Puerto Viejo. Keep things going the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

To see maps, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Cahuita trip tool.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Cahuita takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. January in Cahuita sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 70°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Beso Loco Boutique de Playa and Jaime Peligro Book & CD Shop. There's more to do: see MidWorld Costa Rica.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Manuel Antonio trip simple and quick.

Getting from Cahuita to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. On the 19th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Jose.
Tours · Adventure · Outdoors · Shopping
Side Trip

San Jose — 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and then stroll through Toucan Rescue Ranch. On the 20th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co..

To see maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the San Jose travel route builder.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to San Jose by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. January in San Jose sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 65°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.
Museums · Breweries & Distilleries · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Bejuco and then kick back and relax at Palo Seco Beach. Keep things going the next day: explore by horseback at Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then take in the views from Tarcoles Bridge.

To see ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Jaco trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Jaco takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Adventure
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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and then find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa online visit planner.

Getting from Jaco to Santa Teresa by combination of ferry and bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive. On the 25th (Tue), you're off to Playas del Coco.
Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Adventure

Playas del Coco — 4 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.
Escape the urban bustle at Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands and Playa Conchal. Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco and Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with these side-trips from Playas del Coco: Potrero Beach (in Playa Potrero), Playa Avellana (in Playa Avellanas) and San Juanillo Beach (in San Juanillo). It doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Playas del Coco road trip website.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playas del Coco takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · 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.