20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
Ferry
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Shuttle to Playa Panamá, Fly to Athens

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Tamarindo

— 4 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Pura Aventura and Lydia Beech Art Boutique. Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal) and Playas del Coco (Lis Umana Beachwear & Scuba & Snorkeling). Next up on the itinerary: relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, stroll through Playa Avellana, and look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique.

For more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo online trip builder.

Athens, Greece to Tamarindo is an approximately 19-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern European Standard Time (EET) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 8 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Spas & Wellness and Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Playa Samara: Nosara (Nativa Gallery & Playa Guiones). There's more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach.

For ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Samara trip builder site.

Drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trip

Santa Teresa

— 3 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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, then stroll through Playa Hermosa, and then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Santa Teresa journey planner.

Getting from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can ride a ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Beso Loco Boutique de Playa and Meli Melo Boutique. Next up on the itinerary: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and cast your line with a fishing tour.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Manuel Antonio journey planner.

Traveling by ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trip

Monteverde

— 3 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like The Bat Jungle and Souvenir Rosewood-Info Center. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, take in the views from Santa Elena Skywalk, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

To find photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

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 17th (Wed), witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs and then hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica. Here are some ideas for day two: witness a stunning natural landmark at Rio Chollin, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online journey planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will leave for home on the 19th (Fri).

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors

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.