18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica visit planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive
2
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive to Juan Santamaria International Airport, Fly to Miami International Airport

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Tamarindo

— 1 night
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 14th (Thu): relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then look for gifts at Buena Nena.

To find maps, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo itinerary planner.

Miami, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Miami to Tamarindo is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Samara

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sat): take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Guiones, and then stroll through Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach.

To find photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Playa Samara online tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, get to know the fascinating history of Santa Elena Skywalk, and look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde visit planning tool.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Adventure · Tours

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.
Explore Manuel Antonio's surroundings by going to Jaco (Zipline & Adrenaline & Extreme Tours). And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, get interesting insight from Tours, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, and find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

For where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio travel planning tool.

Drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Adventure

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Tortuguero itinerary planning app.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Tortuguero by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In January, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 70°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Highlights from your trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 5 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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, trot along with a tour on horseback, and tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall.

For where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Poas Volcano National Park

— 2 nights
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
On the 30th (Sat), admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and then take in the dramatic scenery at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Poas Volcano National Park tour itinerary planner.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Poas Volcano National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. On the 31st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trip

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.