30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner
Make it your trip
Drive
1
Cartago
— 1 night
Bus to San José, Shuttle to Tortuguero
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Nosara
— 3 nights
Shuttle
9
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive

S M T W T F S
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Cartago — 1 night

Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. On the 9th (Thu), take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester and then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Cartago itinerary planner.

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. In March, plan for daily highs up to 81°F, and evening lows to 65°F. On the 10th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Tortuguero.
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Outdoors · Parks · Historic Sites

Tortuguero — 2 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

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 11th (Sat): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park. On your second day here, take an exotic tour of a safari tour and then get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read Tortuguero day trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and shuttle from Cartago to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 84°F, and evening lows to 70°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca — 3 nights

Walaba

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Puerto Viejo. On the next day, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

To see maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner.

Getting from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
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.
Escape the urban bustle at MidWorld Costa Rica and Mulguri Adventure. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Playa Biesanz.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip maker website.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

La Fortuna de San Carlos — 7 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 out of the city life by going to Tabacon Hot Springs and La Fortuna Waterfall. And it doesn't end there: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Proyecto Asis, Head underground at Venado Caves, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Baldi Hot Springs.

To find ratings, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip tool.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can go by car to Monteverde.
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Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors
Side Trip

Monteverde — 4 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.
Get some historical perspective at Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk. Take a break from the city and head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Horseback Riding Tours. There's much more to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, and get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

To find more things to do, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip app.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.
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Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites

Tamarindo — 4 nights

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Hermosa. Visiting Playa Conchal and Scuba & Snorkeling will get you outdoors. Explore Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Playas del Coco (Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts & Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Avellana, take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing, and get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Nosara.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trips

Nosara — 3 nights

Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Relax by the water at Samara Beach and Barrigona Beach. Get in touch with nature at Playa Guiones and Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary. It doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at International Animal Rescue Costa Rica and view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Nosara attractions planning tool.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Nosara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) to allow time to take a shuttle to Santa Teresa.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trip

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 6th (Thu), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, then admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis. On the 7th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Santa Teresa day trip planning tool.

You can take a shuttle from Nosara to Santa Teresa in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can drive back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Side Trip

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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