17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Shuttle
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Ferry
4
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive
5
San Jose
— 3 nights

S M T W T F S
5
6
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8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
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21
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23
24
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26
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31
1

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and La Fortuna Waterfall. The adventure continues: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get outside with El Salto, take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery, and stroll through Proyecto Asis.

For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 2.5-hour shuttle ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trip

2
nights
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 16th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, then stop by Papaya Con Leche, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Lydia Beech Art Boutique and then stroll through Playa Avellana.

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo vacation app.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

Side Trip

2
nights
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 18th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, then kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis.

To see where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to ride a ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

4
nights
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Playa Biesanz and Uvita Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge and River Rafting & Tubing. There's still lots to do: see MidWorld Costa Rica, get a tailor-made plan with Mulguri Adventure, and stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio route maker app.

Traveling by ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Adventure

Side Trip

3
nights
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.
Get some historical perspective at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles and Ruins of the Church of Carthage. Step out of the city life by going to Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Poas Volcano. There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, browse the exhibits of Galeria Namu, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To find ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read San Jose trip maker site.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. March in San Jose sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
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.