18 days in Costa Rica & Bocas Town Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica & Bocas Town Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America Trip Planner

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Route & dates

Start: Monterrey, Mexico
+3
Fly + Bus + Foot + Bus:  9 h 30 min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
3
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h
4
Nosara, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
5
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
+4
Taxi + Fly + Bus + Foot + Bus:  7 h 15 min
6
Cahuita, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  9 h 45 min
7
Bocas Town, Panama
— 1 night
Fly:  17 h 45 min
End: Monterrey, Mexico

2
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
Get outdoors at Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Tabacon Hot Springs. There's lots more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Baldi Hot Springs, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get interesting insight from Tours, and view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery.

To see reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation planning app.

Monterrey, Mexico to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 13- hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
River Rafting & Tubing
Baldi Hot Springs ©
Baldi Hot Springs

2
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde ©
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 31st (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Valle Escondido Preserve and then whizz through the canopy at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks.

For ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde road trip planning site.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. In December, daily temperatures in Monteverde can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 32°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Tours
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Valle Escondido Preserve ©
Valle Escondido Preserve
Zipline

3
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Get in touch with nature at Playa Avellana and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Relax by the water at Playa Conchal and Tamarindo Beach. There's lots more to do: look for gifts at Urban Eclectic Jewelry, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can go by car to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Scuba & Snorkeling
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

3
nights
Nosara, Costa Rica

Nosara ©
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Explore hidden gems such as Barrigona Beach and Puerto Carrillo. Escape the urban bustle at Playa Guiones and Samara Beach. When in Nosara, make a side trip to see Kingfisher Sportfishing in Playa Samara, approximately Playa Samara away. There's still lots to do: view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

For more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Nosara sightseeing website.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Nosara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Samara, Puerto Carrillo
Highlights from your plan
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Puerto Carrillo ©
Puerto Carrillo
Playa Guiones ©
Playa Guiones

3
nights
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Santa Teresa and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis. Keep things going the next day: admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

You can plan Santa Teresa trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from Nosara to Santa Teresa in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 10th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Cahuita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Montezuma Falls
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls

2
nights
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
On the 11th (Wed), look for gifts at Talamanca Family Art, then pick up some local products at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Cahuita online trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Santa Teresa to Cahuita takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. In January, daily temperatures in Cahuita can reach 33°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

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

1
night
Bocas Town, Panama

Bocas Town ©
The colorful and relaxed Bocas Town has a welcoming atmosphere, with the modestly sized urban area showcasing typical Caribbean clapboard houses and home to a mixed community from across the world.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): walk around Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Boca del Drago.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Bocas Town day trip website.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Cahuita to Bocas Town. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. Traveling from Cahuita in January, expect nights in Bocas Town to be slightly colder, around 13°C, while days are much colder, around 13°C. On the 14th (Sat), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Bocas Town

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Boca del Drago ©
Boca del Drago
Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos ©
Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos

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