42 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

42 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica journey maker
Make it your trip
Fly
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Jaco
— 5 nights
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
6
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Playas del Coco
— 6 nights
Fly

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La Fortuna de San Carlos — 6 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Butterfly Conservatory and Safaris. Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and Flow Trips. The adventure continues: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, stroll around Bogarin Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, and take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip planner.

Ottawa, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Ottawa to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours
Side Trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca — 4 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'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Punta Uva and Playa Puerto Viejo. Get in touch with nature at The Biologist from Cahuita and Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve. Next up on the itinerary: head outdoors with Nature Riders, tour the pleasant surroundings at Redfrogteam Biological Station, and kick back and relax at Playa Manzanillo.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca journey tool.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Uvita.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trips

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Uvita Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Go for a jaunt from Uvita to Dominical to see Horseback Riding Tours about 50 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: ride a horse along Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Uvita trip maker app.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Uvita takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.
Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Wildlife
Side Trip

Manuel Antonio — 5 nights

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Horseback Riding Tours and Parque Nahomi. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Espadilla Norte. Go for a jaunt from Manuel Antonio to Parrita to see Rainmaker Park about 46 minutes away. There's more to do: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour and get the lay of the land with Walking tours.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio road trip planner.

Getting from Uvita to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.
Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches
Side Trips

Jaco — 5 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.
Visit Palo Seco Beach and Playa Linda for some beach relaxation. Discover out-of-the-way places like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Carara National Park. There's much more to do: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, see Off-Road Tours, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and stroll through Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding.

For photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Jaco journey planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Jaco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.
Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks
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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sat): stroll through Playa Hermosa and then stroll through Playa Santa Teresa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Sun): get outside with Taboo Beach Club and then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

For traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa trip planner.

Traveling by combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.
Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Wildlife
Side Trip

Playa Samara — 4 nights

A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Take a break from the city and head to Horseback Riding Tours and Off-Road Tours. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Samara Beach and Playa Buena Vista. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Nosara Riversafari - Tours (in Nosara) and Playa Garza (in Garza). There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Playa Samara online itinerary builder.

Getting from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.
Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trips

Tamarindo — 5 nights

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Step out of the city life by going to Off-Road Tours and Fishing Charters & Tours. Step off the beaten path and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. The adventure continues: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Playas del Coco.
Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure
Side Trips

Playas del Coco — 6 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.
Get in touch with nature at Fishing Charters & Tours and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Dantita and Playa Nacascolo. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Playas del Coco: Borinquen Thermal Resort Activites (in Rincon de La Vieja), Hidden Garden Art Gallery (in Liberia) and Penca Beach (in Playa Potrero). There's more to do: play a few rounds at Four Seasons Golf Club and head outdoors with Crazy Alex CR.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Playas del Coco day trip planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. You'll set off for home on the 29th (Mon).
Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks
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.