17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Jaco
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
19
20
21
22
23
24
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26
27
28
29
30
31
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2
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8

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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion and Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana). Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles and Jade Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of San Jose to go to Vara Blanca and see Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, which is approximately 1h 20 min away.

For reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, use the San Jose road trip website.

Toronto, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Toronto to San Jose. Traveling from Toronto in December, expect San Jose to be warmer, temps between 30°C and 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

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 23rd (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and then kick back and relax at Playa Cocles. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio and then kick back and relax at Playa Punta Uva.

To see reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip maker website.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

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.
Escape the urban bustle at La Fortuna Waterfall and Tabacon Hot Springs. Discover out-of-the-way places like Bogarin Trail and La Fortuna Arenal Volcano Rain Forest Reserve. And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and take an exotic tour of a safari tour.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation planning website.

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours

Monteverde

— 3 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.
Step out of the city life by going to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena. Explore hidden gems such as El Trapiche Tour and Nature & Wildlife Tours. There's more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary and indulge in some personalized pampering at Monteverde Massage Center.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde trip builder.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Fun & Games

Manuel Antonio

— 3 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Take a break from the city and head to Playa Manuel Antonio and Safari Adventures. Discover out-of-the-way places like Uvita Waterfall and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. When in Manuel Antonio, make a side trip to see Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in Dominical, approximately Dominical away.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Manuel Antonio sightseeing planner.

Getting from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Jaco

— 2 nights
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): get outside with Outdoor Activities and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Here are some ideas for day two: trot along with a tour on horseback.

To see reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Jaco trip maker site.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Jaco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
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.