23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
Drive
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Montezuma
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 3 nights
8
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive
10
Quepos
— 1 night
Drive
11
Manuel Antonio
— 1 day
Drive
12
Sierpe
— 1 night
Drive
13
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive
14
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Drive to Juan Santamaría International Airport, Fly to Barcelona

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San Jose

A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the San Jose online attractions planner.

Barcelona, Spain to San Jose is an approximately 17-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Central European Standard Time (CET) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 7 hours. Expect a bit cooler evenings in San Jose when traveling from Barcelona in August, with lows around 66°F. On the 21st (Sat), you'll travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 3 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.
On the 22nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Playa Puerto Viejo.

To see reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca road trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · 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 24th (Tue): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a dose of the wild on Jungle Tom Safaris Day Tours.

Discover how to plan a Tortuguero trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 86°F, and evening lows to 73°F. On the 25th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife
Highlights from your trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs. Keep things going the next day: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary tool.

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Outdoors · Tours · Spas · Nature

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 28th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On your second day here, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

To see reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo online trip itinerary builder.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to drive to Montezuma.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

Montezuma

— 2 nights
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): trot along with a tour on horseback and then take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Tue): find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area and then kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa.

For more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Montezuma trip builder website.

Getting from Tamarindo to Montezuma by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Montezuma

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): stroll through Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and then take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden. On the 2nd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas) and then get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde online tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Montezuma to Monteverde in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Wildlife

Monteverde

— 2 nights
On the 3rd (Fri), stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the 4th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip website.

Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Adventure · Tours

Jaco

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Mon): get outside with Outdoor Activities and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Jaco travel route planning site.

You can drive from Monteverde to Jaco in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Quepos.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure

Quepos

— 1 night
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Quepos trip itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Jaco to Quepos in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Quepos

Adventure · Outdoors · Spas · Tours
Highlights from your trip

Manuel Antonio

— 1 day
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio online route planner.

Manuel Antonio is just a short distance from Quepos. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to drive to Sierpe.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

Sierpe

— 1 night
To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Sierpe sightseeing planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Sierpe by car takes about 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to travel to Cartago.

Things to do in Sierpe

Golf · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Cartago

— 1 night
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. On the 10th (Fri), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles and then take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester.

To see reviews, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Cartago trip planner.

Traveling by car from Sierpe to Cartago takes 4.5 hours. In September, daytime highs in Cartago are 81°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Cartago

Historic Sites · Parks

Poas Volcano National Park

— 1 night
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Poas Volcano National Park online tour itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Cartago to Poas Volcano National Park takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. You will leave for home on the 11th (Sat).

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Nature

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.