19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive
3
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Ferry
4
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
6
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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1

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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal. On the 10th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, stop by Cheboards, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana.

For where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip planner.

Zurich, Switzerland to Tamarindo is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. Traveling from Zurich to Tamarindo, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Shopping

Side Trips

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.
On the 12th (Mon), admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, step aboard Kingfisher Sportfishing, and then kick back and relax at Samara Beach.

To find photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara trip website.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Wed): stop by Tica Surf Bikinis and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Carmen.

For photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Santa Teresa day trip site.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can catch the ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Shopping

Manuel Antonio

— 5 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Biesanz and Uvita Beach. Get outdoors at River Rafting & Tubing and MidWorld Costa Rica. Step out of Manuel Antonio with an excursion to Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge in Uvita--about 1h 5 min away. There's more to do: look for gifts at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices.

For maps and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio day trip app.

Ride a ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Tue): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero planning site.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Tortuguero takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In June, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can go by car to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Vara Blanca

— 2 nights
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Wed): get to know the fascinating history of Iglesia de San Pedro de Poas and then explore the striking landscape of Poas Volcano. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: join in the after-dark buzz at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo and then take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read Vara Blanca travel planner.

Drive from Tortuguero to Vara Blanca in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature · Parks · Nightlife · Historic Sites

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 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.
Escape the urban bustle at River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano, stroll through Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, and admire the natural beauty at Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos tour itinerary maker website.

Getting from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Wildlife

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.