16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Taxi to Naranjo, Fly to Zurich

S M T W T F S
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28
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30
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15

San Jose

— 2 nights
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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Jose's Crocodile River Tour. Take a break from the city and head to Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Top Travel Costa Rica. Head to Galeria Namu and Chocolatería Sibúfor some retail therapy. Change things up with a short trip to Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro in Sarchi (about 54 minutes away). There's still lots to do: browse the different shops at Avenida Escazu and take an in-depth tour of Museo Dr. Rafael Calderon Guardia.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our San Jose online holiday planner.

Zurich, Switzerland to San Jose is an approximately 15-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Zurich to San Jose is minus 7 hours. Traveling from Zurich in April, expect San Jose to be warmer, temps between 33°C and 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping · Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz, and then look for gifts at Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop. On your second day here, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and then glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

To find reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio road trip planning tool.

You can drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 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.
On the 29th (Thu), stop by Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. On the 30th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park.

To see reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online trip itinerary builder.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Nature · Parks · Shopping · Wildlife

Side Trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 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.
Take a break from the city and head to La Fortuna Waterfall and Tabacon Hot Springs. Head to Wood & Art Gallery and Galeria Estudiofor plenty of shopping. There's still lots to do: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna, tour the pleasant surroundings at Bogarin Trail, and stop by Galeria Aguas Verdes.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trip

Tamarindo

— 2 nights
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 5th (Wed): look for gifts at Papaya Con Leche and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planning tool.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Keep things going the next day: view the masterpieces at Sarah's Gallery, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip itinerary planning site.

Getting from Tamarindo to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Shopping · Museums

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.