18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Shuttle
3
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
+2
Shuttle to Jaco Beach Condos, Jacó, Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
6
Santa Teresa
— 5 nights
Fly
7
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27

San Jose

— 1 night
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.
On the 9th (Tue), get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia La Soledad.

To find photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read San Jose sightseeing planner.

London, UK to San Jose is an approximately 15-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 6 hours. In March, San Jose is much warmer than London - with highs of 32°C and lows of 21°C. On the 10th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Historic Sites

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 3 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.
On the 10th (Wed), stroll through Playa Manzanillo. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Punta Uva Beach, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca travel route planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Tortuguero

— 2 nights

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 13th (Sat), examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy. On the 14th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero itinerary planner.

Traveling by shuttle from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks · Museums

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Mon): witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs and then stroll through Bogarin Trail. On the 16th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally trek along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

To find ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours

Monteverde

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Wed): see the top attractions with Rafael Elizondo Nature Tours. On your second day here, browse the exhibits of Arte Jaguar Gallery, relax and rejuvenate at Monteverde Massage, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, and finally explore the world behind art at Chorotega Arts & Crafts.

To see more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde tour itinerary builder tool.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Santa Teresa

— 5 nights
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.
We've included these beaches for you: Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Quesera. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Costa Rican Tropical Tours and Kayaking & Canoeing. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Santa Teresa: Montezuma (Montezuma Falls & Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia) and Isla de Cabuya (in Cabuya). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, trot along with Tokpela, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take in the exciting artwork at Bri'ah Art Gallery.

To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Santa Teresa road trip planner.

Do a combination of shuttle, ferry, and bus from Monteverde to Santa Teresa in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

San Jose

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Wed): cruise along Top Travel Costa Rica and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On the 25th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: play a few rounds at Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours, see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and then take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Santa Teresa to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Outdoors · Museums · 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.

Arenal Volcano National Park travel guide

4.4
Hot Springs · Waterfalls · River Rafting & Tubing
Plan a tour of Arenal Volcano National Park to get in touch with nature, enjoy scenic views, and admire the majestic volcano up close. The park, established in 1991, protects a variety of ecosystems and wildlife. You can choose from four hiking trails, taking you across the rainforest and lava fields. Enjoy scenic lookout points, see a staggering variety of birds and plants, or climb the dormant Mount Chato on your trip to Arenal Volcano National Park.