20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Juan Santamaria International Airport, Drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive
4
Jaco
— 3 nights
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, Fly to Thunder Bay Airport

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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.
Bring the kids along to Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) and Venado Caves. Visiting Paradise Hot Springs and Rio Chollin will get you outdoors. Change things up with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo (about 38 minutes away). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery, and contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano.

Planning La Fortuna de San Carlos trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

Thunder Bay, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Thunder Bay to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and then take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde journey tool.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Zoos & Aquariums · Nature

Manuel Antonio

— 1 night
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Fri): get a tailor-made plan with Mulguri Adventure.

To find where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours
Highlights from your trip

Jaco

— 3 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.
Bring the kids along to Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding and Tico Pod Art House & Gifts. Get in touch with nature at Palo Seco Beach and Playa Bejuco. Next up on the itinerary: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, get to know the resident critters at Neo Fauna CR, and stop by Jimmy T's Provisions.

To see photos, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Jaco travel planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

Side Trips

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa. On your second day here, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa and then get a taste of life in the country at Sunrise Ranch.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa holiday planner.

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 18th (Thu) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Beaches · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Samara

— 3 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 out of the city life by going to dondeJavitours and Werner Sauter Biological Reserve. Bring the kids along to Fishing Charters & Tours and Belen Waterfall. Step out of Playa Samara to go to Nandayure and see Jungle Butterfly Farm, which is approximately 1h 5 min away. There's more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read Playa Samara trip builder.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

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.
On the 21st (Sun), choose your vessel at Costa Rica Sailing Center and then contemplate the waterfront views at Potrero Beach. On the 22nd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Playa Avellana.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planning website.

Drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

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.