18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday planner

Make it your trip
Fly to San Jose, Bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
1
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 1 night
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): kick back and relax at Playa Cocles, then kick back and relax at Playa Punta Uva, and then stroll through Nature Observatorio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Tarantulas Way, then admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find more things to do, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca route maker site.

Lisbon, Portugal to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an approximately 21-hour combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Lisbon to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, you'll gain 6 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

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 24th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Ventanas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Thu): get a dose of the wild on Ultralight Tour, admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, then stroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, and finally explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge.

For ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Uvita journey planner.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Uvita takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
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 26th (Fri), let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and then take an exotic tour of Safari Adventures. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Playa Espadilla Norte, then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip app.

Drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Wildlife

Side Trip

Jaco

— 1 night
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 28th (Sun): get outside with Outdoor Activities, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and then see Off-Road Tours.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Jaco route builder website.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Spas

Santa Teresa

— 2 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.
On the 29th (Mon), get a dose of the wild on Costa Rican Tropical Tours, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, and then glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Tue): kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For photos, maps, and tourist information, read Santa Teresa trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Jaco to Santa Teresa by combination of ferry and bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trip

Playa Samara

— 1 night
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 1st (Wed): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Playa Samara trip itinerary maker website.

Drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Spas

Tamarindo

— 2 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Keep things going the next day: look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then explore the activities along Potrero Beach.

For more things to do, photos, maps, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo vacation planning app.

Drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Nature

Side Trips

Playas del Coco

— 2 nights

Coco Beach

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Sun): take in the dramatic scenery at Cataratas Llanos de Cortes and then stroll through Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands.

Discover how to plan a Playas del Coco trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Playas del Coco are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 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.
On the 6th (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at Bogarin Trail, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs, and finally admire the natural beauty at Natura Eco Park Costa Rica. On your second day here, take an exotic tour of a safari tour and then stroll through Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge.

To find ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Drive from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

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.