16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary builder

Make it your trip
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
2
El Castillo
— 1 night
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 1 night
Drive
4
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Puerto Limon
— 6 nights
Drive
6
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Bus to San Jose Gran Terminal del Caribe, Fly to Manchester

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San Jose

— 1 night
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 24th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Museo Dr. Rafael Calderon Guardia, stroll through Spirogyra Butterfly Garden, then catch some excitement at Butterfly Kingdom Costa Rica, and finally contemplate the long history of Cruz de Alajuelita.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip itinerary website.

If you are flying in from United Kingdom, the closest major aiports are Tobias Bolanos International Airport, Juan Santamaria International Airport and Limon International Airport. September in San Jose sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can drive to El Castillo.

Things to do in San Jose

Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites · Fun & Games

Side Trip

El Castillo

— 1 night
On the 25th (Sat), contemplate the geological forces at Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), then get to know the resident critters at Arenal Eco Zoo, and then stroll through Butterfly Conservatory.

To see traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the El Castillo trip builder.

Getting from San Jose to El Castillo by car takes about 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in El Castillo

Parks · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums · Wildlife

Side Trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, trek along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, stroll through Bogarin Trail, then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Estudio, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip maker.

Traveling by car from El Castillo to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes an hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Museums

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.
On the 27th (Mon), examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see exotic creatures in open habitats at Jungle Tom Safaris Day Tours.

To see photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tortuguero day trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In September, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Puerto Limon.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Museums
Highlights from your trip

Puerto Limon

— 6 nights
Do some cultural sightseeing at Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus and Explore Limon. Step off the beaten path and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Zipline. Step out of Puerto Limon to go to Cartago and see Pacuare River, which is approximately 2 hours away.

For other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Puerto Limon trip planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Limon in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in September, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Puerto Limon

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve, get outside with Nature Riders, then stroll through Tarantulas Way, and finally view the masterpieces at Luluberlu Art Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through La Ceiba, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manzanillo, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Nature Park Walk, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.

For where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary website.

Traveling by car from Puerto Limon to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

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.

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.