18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 3 nights
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
5
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive
6
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6

4
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Paradise Hot Springs and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Take a break from the city and head to La Fortuna Waterfall and Tabacon Hot Springs. There's still lots to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the natural beauty of Rio Chollin, and get impressive views of Arenal Volcano.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planning site.

Seattle, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Seattle to La Fortuna de San Carlos is 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors

Side Trip

2
nights
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.
On the 21st (Thu), admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Elena Skywalk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde and then take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve.

To see photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde route planning site.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Monteverde sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 82°F at night. On the 22nd (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices and Playa Biesanz. It doesn't end there: see MidWorld Costa Rica.

To find other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder tool.

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks

3
nights
Jaco

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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Jaco Beach, then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then look for gifts at Dantica Gallery. On your second day here, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Jaco using our trip planner.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks

Side Trip

1
night
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 28th (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Santa Teresa and then stroll through Playa Hermosa.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa trip maker tool.

You can do a combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary and then stroll through Playa Guiones. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Sat): kick back and relax at Samara Beach.

For other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Playa Samara road trip tool.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Playa Samara can reach 82°F, while at night they dip to 82°F. On the 30th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Sun): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal, and then look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique. On the next day, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip planner.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Tamarindo sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 82°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
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.