23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly to San Jose, Taxi to Monteverde
1
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
Ferry
6
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive
7
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— Few hours
Drive
9
Playas del Coco
— 1 night
Drive
10
La Cruz
— 2 nights
Drive to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, Fly to Malpensa International Airport

S M T W T F S
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4

3
nights
Monteverde

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Ecological Sanctuary and Playa Dona Ana. Visiting Nature & Wildlife Tours and San Luis Waterfall will get you outdoors. Get out of town with these interesting Monteverde side-trips: Sustainability Demonstration Center (in Guacimal), Middle Earth Thermal Springs (in Quebrada Grande) and Puntarenas (Superman De Osa & Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa). The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery, and browse the exhibits of Alas y Raices.

To find maps, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip planner.

Milan, Italy to Monteverde is an approximately 20-hour combination of flight and taxi. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Milan to Monteverde. Traveling from Milan in December, things will get much hotter in Monteverde: highs are around 32°C and lows about 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Bogarin Trail and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Paradise Hot Springs and Venado Caves. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos with an excursion to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo--about 38 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take an exotic tour of a safari tour, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, stroll through Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, and hike along Arenal 1968 Trail.

To find reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary app.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

3
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Punta Uva Beach and Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. Visit Playa Cocles and La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita for some beach relaxation. When in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, make a side trip to see Veragua Rainforest Park in Puerto Limon, approximately Puerto Limon away. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio, admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take in the dramatic scenery at Cataratas Bribri Talamanca.

To see maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca road trip planning site.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

3
nights
Manuel Antonio

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Relax by the water at Playa Espadilla Norte and Palo Seco Beach. Get in touch with nature at Rainmaker Park and Off-Road Tours. Next up on the itinerary: take in the local highlights with Walking tours, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio online journey builder.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can go by car to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

2
nights
Uvita

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 26th (Thu): explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, then stroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, and then look for gifts at Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, and finally soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Uvita trip maker.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Uvita by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can ride a ferry to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trips

1
night
Santa Teresa

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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa, find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then stroll through Playa Carmen, and finally stroll through Wild Sun Rescue Center.

To find photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Santa Teresa holiday planner.

Getting from Uvita to Santa Teresa by ferry takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trip

3
nights
Playa Samara

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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Garza and Playa Buena Vista. Take a break from the city and head to Werner Sauter Biological Reserve and Wild By Nature Adventures. Go for a jaunt from Playa Samara to Nandayure to see Jungle Butterfly Farm about 1h 5 min away. And it doesn't end there: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, explore the galleries of Koss Art Gallery, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and tour the pleasant surroundings at dondeJavitours.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Playa Samara holiday planning website.

Drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

few
hours
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
To see reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo online holiday maker.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 32°C. You will leave for Playas del Coco on the 31st (Tue).

Things to do in Tamarindo

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Adventure

1
night
Playas del Coco

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): head outdoors with Crazy Alex CR, then take in the exciting artwork at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, then stop by Playa Ocotal, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Playas del Coco trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. December in Playas del Coco sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to drive to La Cruz.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors · Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

2
nights
La Cruz

You've now added Playa Copal to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): kick back and relax at Playa Copal, tour the pleasant surroundings at Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge, and then sample the tasty concoctions at Maderos Brewery.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our La Cruz holiday builder website.

You can drive from Playas del Coco to La Cruz in 1.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in La Cruz can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. On the 3rd (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in La Cruz

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
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.