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: Porto
Fly:  20 h 45 min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
San Jose
— 1 night
Bus:  1 h 30 min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Ferry:  3 h 30 min
4
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 45 min
5
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
6
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
7
Monteverde
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Bus + Fly:  21 h 45 min
End: Porto

4
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
Spend the 7th (Tue) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

For other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday planner.

Porto, Portugal to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 21-hour combination of car and flight. The time zone changes from Western European Time (WET) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -6 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): hunt for treasures at Central Market (Mercado Central), then stop by Chocolatería Sibú, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and finally steep yourself in history at Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Parque La Sabana and then get some fabulous bargains at Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose holiday planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive. In March, daytime highs in San Jose are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Chocolatería Sibú, Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Chocolatería Sibú ©
Chocolatería Sibú

2
nights
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): stroll through Playa Biesanz and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio National Park trip planner.

Getting from San Jose to Manuel Antonio National Park by combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or drive. March in Manuel Antonio National Park sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa and then stroll through Playa Santa Teresa.

To see reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio National Park to Santa Teresa by combination of ferry and taxi takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach and then stroll through Samara Beach.

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

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. March in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 40°C and lows of 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to take a bus to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

1
night
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): stroll through Playa Conchal, kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then stop by Papaya Con Leche. Keep things going the next day: stop by Lydia Beech Art and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana.

To see maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo vacation planner.

Take a bus from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 40°C in March, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then look for gifts at Hummingbird Gallery. On your second day here, get to know the fascinating history of Santa Elena Skywalk and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery ©
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery

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