18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive
2
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Shuttle to Liberia, Fly to Miami

S M T W T F S
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31
1
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6

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.
Start 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: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

For where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo road trip planning tool.

Miami, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Theme Parks

Side Trips

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): stroll through Playa Islita, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and then stroll through Samara Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach and then stroll through Playa Guiones.

To see where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Playa Samara trip 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) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

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.
On the 18th (Mon), stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the next day, take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond.

For more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Monteverde online journey planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Adventure · Tours

Jaco

— 2 nights
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Wed): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then stop by Fruity Monkey Poop. Keep things going the next day: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, take some stellar pictures from Mirador de Jaco, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally snap pictures at Tarcoles Bridge.

To see ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Jaco online travel planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Jaco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) to allow time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Wildlife

Side Trips

Uvita

— 2 nights
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and then look for gifts at Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store. Here are some ideas for day two: ride a horse along Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, then stroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, and then take in the exciting artwork at Magic Ananda.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Uvita online travel planner.

Getting from Jaco to Uvita by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trip

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.
Visit Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz for some beach relaxation. Kids will enjoy Nature & Wildlife Tours and Off-Road Tours. Spend the 25th (Mon) on the water with a fishing tour. Next up on the itinerary: walk around Manuel Antonio National Park.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio journey planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side 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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like La Fortuna Waterfall and River Rafting & Tubing. Step out of the city life by going to Tabacon Hot Springs and Ecotermales Fortuna. The adventure continues: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, witness a stunning natural landmark at Baldi Hot Springs, get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, and trot along with a tour on horseback.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip site.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
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.