23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America travel planner
Make it your trip
Fly to Juan Santamaría International Airport, Drive to Vara Blanca
1
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Jaco
— 1 night
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
6
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
9
El Castillo
Drive
10
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Shuttle to Playa Panamá, Fly to Amsterdam

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Vara Blanca — 2 nights

A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
For traveler tips and tourist information, use the Vara Blanca trip builder tool.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Vara Blanca is an approximately 17-hour combination of flight and car. Traveling from Amsterdam to Vara Blanca, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. You will have some time to spend on the 5th (Fri) before leaving for Tortuguero.
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Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Tortuguero — 2 nights

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Tortuguero route maker website.

Getting from Vara Blanca to Tortuguero by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in August, and nighttime lows around 26°C. You will have some time to spend on the 7th (Sun) before leaving for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
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Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca — 3 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.
You've now added Jaguar Rescue Center to your itinerary. Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Punta Uva, kick back and relax at Playa Cocles, and admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens.

To find reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches
Side Trip

Uvita — 3 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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Uvita: Manuel Antonio (Walking tours & Stand-Up Paddleboarding) and Off-Road Tours (in Jaco). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, and admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Uvita trip planner.

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Uvita by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Jaco.
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Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature
Side Trips

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.
For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Jaco trip planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Jaco takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. On the 14th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Santa Teresa.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

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.
You've now added Tica Surf Bikinis to your itinerary. There's more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa and find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

For other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa online trip maker.

Do a combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to Tamarindo.
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Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Shopping

Tamarindo — 3 nights

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Go for a jaunt from Tamarindo to Playa Conchal to see Playa Conchal about 38 minutes away. There's lots more to do: stroll through Tamarindo Beach, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, and stop by Azul Profundo Boutique.

To see more things to do, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo travel planner.

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Tamarindo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.
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Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours
Side Trip

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.
For more things to do, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde day trip planner.

Getting from Tamarindo to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) to allow time to drive to El Castillo.
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Wildlife · Parks · Adventure · Tours

El Castillo

Start off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): get impressive views of Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano).

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the El Castillo trip itinerary maker app.

Getting from Monteverde to El Castillo by car takes about 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Nature · Parks
Side Trip
Highlights from your trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos — 2 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.
Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall and then relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To find more things to do, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos trip website.

Traveling by car from El Castillo to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes an hour. You will have some time to spend on the 24th (Wed) before leaving for home.
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Nature · Parks · Spas · Wildlife

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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Arenal Volcano National Park travel guide

4.4
Hot Springs · Waterfalls · River Rafting & Tubing
Plan a tour of Arenal Volcano National Park to get in touch with nature, enjoy scenic views, and admire the majestic volcano up close. The park, established in 1991, protects a variety of ecosystems and wildlife. You can choose from four hiking trails, taking you across the rainforest and lava fields. Enjoy scenic lookout points, see a staggering variety of birds and plants, or climb the dormant Mount Chato on your trip to Arenal Volcano National Park.
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