17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to Hotel Punta Islita
1
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
+2
Bus to San Jose, Fly to Madrid, Train to Barcelona

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Playa Samara

— 3 nights
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Explore hidden gems such as Horseback Riding Tours and Barrigona Beach. Get outdoors at Samara Beach and Dolphin & Whale Watching. The adventure continues: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, see Off-Road Tours, and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carrillo.

For reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Playa Samara trip planner.

Barcelona, Spain to Playa Samara is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. The time zone difference when traveling from Barcelona to Playa Samara is minus 7 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

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 23rd (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, get interesting insight from Tours, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Wed): push the limits with an extreme tour and then explore the activities along Potrero Beach.

For maps, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip itinerary website.

Getting from Playa Samara to Tamarindo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 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.
Explore hidden gems such as Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) and Natura Eco Park Costa Rica. Get in touch with nature at La Fortuna Waterfall and Paradise Hot Springs. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos with an excursion to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo--about 38 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos visit planning website.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sun): stroll through Tarantulas Way, then admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Here are some ideas for day two: browse the fresh offerings at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Cocles.

Before you visit Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Uvita

— 3 nights
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
You'll get in some beach time at Uvita Beach and Playa Ventanas. Discover out-of-the-way places like Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Dolphin & Whale Watching. There's much more to do: explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, get interesting insight from Tours, take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall, and relax and rejuvenate at Danyasa Eco-Retreat - Bamboo Yoga Play Studio.

For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Uvita day trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Uvita takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Fri): kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio and then stroll through Rainmaker Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Sat): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then take an exotic tour of Safari Adventures.

To see reviews, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours

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.