17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: La Fortuna de San Carlos
Drive:  4 h 45 min
1
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  4 h 30 min
2
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
3
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
4
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  2 h 30 min
5
San Jose
— 2 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
6
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 15 min
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
End: La Fortuna de San Carlos

1
night
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
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 2nd (Wed): kick back and relax at Puerto Viejo Beach. On the 3rd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Talamanca Family Art and then stroll through Playa Chiquita.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca travel planner.

La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an approximately 5-hour car. You can also take a bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca due to the time zone difference. In November, daytime highs in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to do a combination of to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Talamanca Family Art
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita ©
Talamanca Family Art ©
Talamanca Family Art

3
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
Do some cultural sightseeing at Llanos de Cortez Waterfall and Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja. Explore Area de Conservacion Guanacaste's surroundings by going to Hotel La Flor de Itabo Resort & Casino (in Playas del Coco), Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa) and Africa Safari (in Liberia).

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste holiday planner.

Traveling by combination of from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste takes 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in November, plan for somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste: temperatures range from 36°C by day to 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to do a combination of to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Hotel La Flor de Itabo Resort & Casino, Playa Hermosa
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Conchal, then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then stop by Lydia Beech Art. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Monkey 'N Croc and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Tamarindo in 2.5 hours. In November, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

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

2
nights
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.
On the 9th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, then stroll through Playa Santa Teresa, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis.

To see where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to San Jose.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

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

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.
On the 10th (Thu), explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles), make a trip to Mercado Nacional de Artesanias, then admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, and finally stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom.

To see reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the San Jose vacation planner.

Fly from Santa Teresa to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in November, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

1
night
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.
On the 12th (Sat), tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Biesanz, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then stop by Super Joseth. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire all the interesting features of Academia de Espanol D'Amore and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio National Park travel itinerary planner.

Getting from San Jose to Manuel Antonio National Park by flight takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In November, daily temperatures in Manuel Antonio National Park can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) so you can catch the flight to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
River Rafting & Tubing
Super Joseth ©
Super Joseth

5
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.
On the 14th (Mon), spend a day exploring the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs. Spend the 17th (Thu) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

For reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online itinerary creator.

Traveling by flight from Manuel Antonio National Park to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to do a combination of back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

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

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