21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly to Juan Santamaría International Airport, Drive to Vara Blanca
1
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
4
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Taxi to Tambor, Fly to Montreal

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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.
On the 21st (Sun), take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and then explore the striking landscape of Poas Volcano. On the next day, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then stroll through Tirimbina Biological Reserve.

To see where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Vara Blanca holiday maker site.

Montreal, Canada to Vara Blanca is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

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.
Attractions like River Rafting & Tubing and Arenal Volcano make great kid-friendly stops. The adventure continues: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, view the masterpieces at Wood & Art Gallery, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and stroll through Proyecto Asis.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary builder app.

You can drive from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

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 27th (Sat): learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero tour itinerary planner.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In June, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Museums

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 nights

Walaba

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Punta Uva Beach, admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Keep things going the next day: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca using our trip planner.

Getting from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

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.
Family-friendly places like Playa Manuel Antonio and Off-Road Tours will thrill your kids. There's much more to do: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and stop by The Captain's Booty.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio driving holiday planning tool.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

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.
Kids will enjoy Zipline and Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. There's much more to do: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, take in the exciting artwork at Alas y Raices, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and admire the sheer force of Catarata Los Murcielagos - Monteverde Waterfall.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde day trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Tours

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.
Family-friendly places like Playa Conchal and Boat Tours & Water Sports will thrill your kids. Take a break from Tamarindo with a short trip to Playa Hermosa in Playa Hermosa, about 1h 20 min away. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, and stroll through Monkey Park.

To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

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.
On the 9th (Thu), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Guiones and then kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach.

To find ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Playa Samara trip itinerary builder.

Drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

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.