20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner

Make it your trip
+2
Bus to Vienna, Fly to San Jose, Shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Playas del Coco
— 1 night
Drive
3
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi to Naranjo, Fly to Vienna, Bus to Bratislava

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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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Flow Trips and Butterfly Conservatory. Get out of town with these interesting La Fortuna de San Carlos side-trips: Arenal Eco Zoo (in El Castillo), La Virgen (Kayaking & Canoeing, Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, &more) and Frogs Heaven (in Horquetas). There's still lots to do: skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, indulge in your favorite hot beverage with a coffee and tea tour, get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, and explore by horseback at Arenal Wilberth Stables.

For maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder tool.

Bratislava, Slovakia to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 20-hour combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. You'll gain 7 hours traveling from Bratislava to La Fortuna de San Carlos due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Playas del Coco

— 1 night

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.
On the 6th (Fri), head outdoors with Crazy Alex CR, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Nacascolo, and finally play a few rounds at Four Seasons Golf Club.

To find maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Playas del Coco online trip planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Playas del Coco takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Tamarindo

— 3 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 explore the less-touristy side of things at San Juanillo Beach and Shark Diving. You'll get in some beach time at Potrero Beach and Tamarindo Beach. Explore Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Brasilito Beach (in Brasilito), Playa Conchal (Playa Mina & Playa Conchal) and Ostional National Wildlife Refuge (in Santa Cruz). There's lots more to do: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, look for gifts at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, enjoy the sand and surf at Prieta Beach, and stroll through Playa Avellana.

To see photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary website.

Getting from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Jaco

— 2 nights
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 10th (Tue): kick back and relax at Jaco Beach, enjoy breathtaking views from El Miro, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Bejuco, then kick back and relax at Palo Seco Beach, and finally get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Blanca, kick back and relax at Playa Mantas, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding, then see Off-Road Tours, and finally skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Jaco tour itinerary planning app.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Jaco in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · 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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, then stroll through Uvita Beach, and then stop by Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars. On the next day, stroll through Oro Verde Biological Reserve, get outside with Cascada Pavon - Waterfall in Costa Rica, explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, then admire the sheer force of Santa Lucia Falls, then get a new perspective on things with Ballena Aventura, and finally soothe aching muscles at Danyasa Eco-Retreat - Bamboo Yoga Play Studio.

To see photos, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read Uvita holiday maker website.

You can drive from Jaco to Uvita in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio

— 4 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Marina Pez Vela and Horseback Riding Tours. You'll get in some beach time at Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz. Change things up with these side-trips from Manuel Antonio: Quepos (Los Campesinos Reserve & Eco Termales) and Playa Linda (in Playa Matapalo). There's much more to do: zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, take in the natural beauty of Manuel Antonio Hot Springs, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find maps, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio online trip itinerary planner.

You can 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 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Up in the Cloud Forest. On the 19th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire the sheer force of San Luis Waterfall, look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, get a dose of the wild on monteverde nature guided tours, then stroll through Valle Escondido Preserve, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at Monteverde Massage.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

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.