22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
2
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive
3
Uvita
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Quepos
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Zarcero
— 1 night
Drive
8
San Jose
— 5 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Fri): relax and rejuvenate at ZENfit 506, stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, then cruise along Top Travel Costa Rica, and finally walk around Parque La Sabana.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip builder site.

Los Angeles, USA to San Jose is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Los Angeles to San Jose. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in August, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Cartago.
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Tours · Parks · Wildlife · Scenic Drive
Side Trips

Cartago — 1 night

Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. On the 13th (Sat), pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester, then hunt for treasures at Cartago Central Market, and finally contemplate the long history of Ruins of the Church of Carthage.

For traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Cartago road trip planning tool.

Drive from San Jose to Cartago in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. August in Cartago sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Uvita.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping

Uvita — 5 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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Parque Nacional Marino Ballena and Uvita Beach. Explore Uvita's surroundings by going to Kokopelli (in Sierpe) and Horseback Riding Tours (in Dominical). The adventure continues: explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, view the masterpieces at Magic Ananda, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and stroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Uvita trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Cartago to Uvita takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can go by car to Quepos.
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Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Nature
Side Trips

Quepos — 2 nights

The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby Manuel Antonio National Park.
On your second day here, stroll around Parque Nahomi, kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, and then stop by Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop.

To see traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Quepos online visit planner.

You can drive from Uvita to Quepos in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.
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Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Shopping

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 21st (Sun), take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, catch some excitement at El Trapiche Tour, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond.

Start your trip to Monteverde by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

You can drive from Quepos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure

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.
Bring the kids along to River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. Next up on the itinerary: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arenal Volcano.

Plan my day in La Fortuna de San Carlos using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Zarcero.
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Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors
Side Trip

Zarcero — 1 night

Zarcero is the capital city of the canton of Zarcero in the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica. Start off your visit on the 26th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Iglesia de San Rafael and then stroll around Costa Rica's Senor Scissorhands Topiary.

For photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Zarcero trip maker site.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Zarcero in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 27th (Sat), you're off to San Jose.
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Parks · Historic Sites
Highlights from your trip

San Jose — 5 nights

You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Photography Tours and Museo de Arte Costarricense. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Alajuela (Teatro Municipal, Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center, &more) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). Enjoy San Jose some more: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, get outside with Outdoor Activities, get some fabulous bargains at Mercado Municipal De Artesanias, and have fun and explore at Museo de los Ninos.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the San Jose itinerary site.

Drive from Zarcero to San Jose in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. You'll have a few hours on the 1st (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling home.
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Museums · Tours · Parks · Shopping
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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