15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Montreal, Quebec
Fly:  14 h 45 min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
4
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
5
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Fly:  15 h
End: Montreal, Quebec

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Onirica Art Gallery.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation planner.

Montreal, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 15-hour combination of car and flight. Traveling from Montreal to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

2
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
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 2nd (Mon): admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, then take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and finally get a sense of history and politics at Correos de Costa Rica.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, use the San Jose itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive. In January, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Museo de Arte Costarricense ©
Museo de Arte Costarricense
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica

2
nights
Monteverde

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Curi Cancha Reserve. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Sarah's Gallery and Arte Jaguar Gallery. Step out of Monteverde with an excursion to Catedral de Puntarenas in Punta Arenas--about 1:25 hours away.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Monteverde vacation builder.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Shopping

Side Trip

Catedral de Puntarenas
Highlights from your plan
Arte Jaguar Gallery ©
Arte Jaguar Gallery
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

3
nights
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY and Koss Art Gallery. Visit Samara Beach and Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) for some beach relaxation. Go for a jaunt from Playa Samara to Nosara to see Nosara Refuge for Wildlife about 56 minutes away. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and identify plant and animal life at Werner Sauter Biological Reserve.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara travel planner.

Getting from Monteverde to Playa Samara by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and bus. In January in Playa Samara, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a bus to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Nosara
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Playa Guiones ©
Playa Guiones

3
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore hidden gems such as El Viejo Wetlands and Tamarindo Beach. Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco and Four Seasons Golf Club are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Playa Avellana (in Playa Avellanas) and Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal).

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Tamarindo travel itinerary planner.

Take a bus from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in January, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco, Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

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