18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica journey planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly to San Jose, Shuttle to Manuel Antonio
1
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Taxi to Atenas, Fly to London Gatwick

S M T W T F S
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30
31
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4
5
6
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10
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13
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19

3
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 find plenty of places to visit near Manuel Antonio: Jaco (Canyoning & Rappelling Tours & Mirador de Jaco). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, kick your exploration up a notch at Zip Coaster, and find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio holiday planner.

London, UK to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 19-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You'll gain 6 hours traveling from London to Manuel Antonio due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks

Side Trips

1
night
Tortuguero

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.
On the 31st (Mon), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find out how to plan a trip to Tortuguero, use our trip itinerary maker.

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 in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Highlights from your trip

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Arenal.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

2
nights
Poas Volcano National Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): get a taste of local nightlife at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. On your second day here, get impressive views of Poas Volcano and then get the lay of the land with Doka Estate Coffee Tour.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Poas Volcano National Park online trip maker.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Poas Volcano National Park by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks · Nature · Tours · Nightlife

Side Trips

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 8th (Tue): get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

Find out how to plan Tamarindo trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

You can fly from Poas Volcano National Park to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Theme Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

1
night
Playa Samara

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.
On the 10th (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach and then stroll through Samara Beach.

To find photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read our Playa Samara vacation planning tool.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks
Highlights from your trip

3
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Fri): stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Sat): take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond.

For more things to do, maps, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Adventure · Tours

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.