18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Quebec City, Quebec
+3
Bus + Fly + Bus + Shuttle:  18 h 15 min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— Few hours
Drive:  2 h
2
San Jose
— 6 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
3
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
4
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
+3
Bus + Foot + Fly + Bus:  17 h 15 min
End: Quebec City, Quebec

few
hours
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Quebec City, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 18.5-hour combination of car and flight. Traveling from Quebec City to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. On the 12th (Sun), you're off toSan Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

6
nights
San Jose

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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Guayabo National Park and Monument and Ruinas de Ujarras. Explore hidden gems such as Precolumbian Gold Museum and Multiplaza Shopping Mall Centro. Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Cartago (Cartago Central Market & Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles)), La Paz Waterfall Gardens (in Vara Blanca) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). The adventure continues: take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, have fun and explore at Museo de los Ninos, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see more things to do, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip generator.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive. In February, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Cartago, Poas Volcano, Guayabo National Monument, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Highlights from your plan

3
nights
Monteverde

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.
Get some cultural insight at Catedral de Puntarenas and Santa Elena Skywalk. Discover out-of-the-way places like Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and The Bat Jungle.

To find ratings, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde holiday planner.

Drive from San Jose to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Catedral de Puntarenas, Reserva Biologica Isla del Cano
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Reserva Biologica Isla del Cano ©
Reserva Biologica Isla del Cano

5
nights
Playa Samara

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) and Barrigona Beach. Get a sense of the local culture at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY and Koss Art Gallery. Venture out of the city with trips to Nosara (Nativa Gallery, Spas & Wellness, & more). And it doesn't end there: stroll through Samara Beach, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, explore and take pictures at Kingfisher Sportfishing, and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Playa Samara vacation builder.

Drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. February in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) to allow time to take a bus to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Nosara
Highlights from your plan
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary

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.
Get outdoors at Playa Avellana and Playa Conchal. Step off the beaten path and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Change things up with a short trip to Playa Hermosa in Playa Hermosa (about 1:15 hours away).

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo travel planner.

You can take a bus from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or drive. In February in Tamarindo, expect temperatures between 39°C during the day and 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, Playa Hermosa
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

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