18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Zurich
Fly + Drive:  18 h 30 min
1
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
4
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
5
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
6
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
7
Nicoya
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  19 h 15 min
End: Zurich

3
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles. Visiting Cahuita National Park and Playa Chiquita will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: stop by Talamanca Family Art.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca vacation builder.

Zurich, Switzerland to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 6 hours traveling from Zurich to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Zurich in November; daily highs in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca reach 30°C and lows reach 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Talamanca Family Art, Cahuita National Park
Highlights from your plan
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita ©

2
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.
Get in touch with nature at River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. Step off the beaten path and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and Baldi Hot Springs.

To find maps, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos custom trip planner.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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.
On the 23rd (Wed), explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, then look for gifts at Meli Melo Boutique, and then look for gifts at Super Joseth. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

For photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio National Park online itinerary creator.

You can fly from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio National Park in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In November, daily temperatures in Manuel Antonio National Park can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to fly to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Meli Melo Boutique
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa

2
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Playa Avellana and Playa Conchal. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Hermosa. When in Tamarindo, make a side trip to see Zipline in Playa Flamingo, approximately 30 minutes away.

To see photos and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo sightseeing planner.

You can fly from Manuel Antonio National Park to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Manuel Antonio National Park in November, you will find days in Tamarindo are somewhat warmer (36°C), and nights are about the same (25°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) early enough to catcht the bus to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Hermosa, Scuba & Snorkeling, Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Scuba & Snorkeling
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Mon): stroll through Samara Beach and then kick back and relax at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones). Here are some ideas for day two: view the masterpieces at Koss Art Gallery and then stroll through Barrigona Beach.

To find reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Playa Samara vacation trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Tamarindo to Playa Samara takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In November, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Guiones
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Playa Guiones ©
Playa Guiones

2
nights
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
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.
On the 30th (Wed), stroll through Playa Santa Teresa, then stroll through Playa Carmen, and then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis. Here are some ideas for day two: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa itinerary builder.

Getting from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa by taxi takes about 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) early enough to do a combination of to Nicoya.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen

2
nights
Nicoya

Nicoya ©
Nicoya, a city on the Nicoya Peninsula of the Guanacaste province, Costa Rica, is one of the country's most important tourist zones; it serves as a transport hub to Guanacaste's beaches and national parks. On the 2nd (Fri), explore the striking landscape at Nicoya Peninsula. On the 3rd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Puerto Carrillo, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manzanillo, and then stop by Casa de Arte, Curime.

For traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Nicoya custom trip planner.

Getting from Santa Teresa to Nicoya by combination of takes about 2.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Nicoya

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Carrillo ©
Puerto Carrillo
Playa Manzanillo ©
Playa Manzanillo

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