29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Playas del Coco
— 3 nights
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2
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
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3
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
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4
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
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5
San Jose
— 2 nights
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6
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
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7
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
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8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
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9
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
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10
Uvita
— 2 nights
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Playas del Coco

— 3 nights

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.
Shop till you drop at Cata Chocolate and Hidden Garden Art Gallery. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Playas del Coco: Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste), Playa Dantita (in Las Catalinas) and Horseback Riding Tours (in Liberia). It doesn't end there: meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience.

For where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco tour itinerary planning website.

La Cruz to Playas del Coco is an approximately 1.5-hour car ride. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Adventure

Side Trips

Tamarindo

— 4 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Step out of the city life by going to Off-Road Tours and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Explore hidden gems such as Playa Danta and Kayaking & Canoeing. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (Arenas Blancas & Playa Mina) and Penca Beach (in Playa Potrero). Next up on the itinerary: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and look for gifts at Buena Nena.

To see maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo online trip planner.

You can drive from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Beaches

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Tue): kick back and relax at Playa Guiones, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Garza, and then admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall. On the 13th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Samara Beach, then kick back and relax at Playa Buena Vista, and then kick back and relax at Playa Manzanillo.

To see ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Playa Samara road trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playa Samara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

Santa Teresa

— 3 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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, and finally view the masterpieces at Bri'ah Art Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: cast your line with a fishing tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia.

To see reviews, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Santa Teresa day trip tool.

Getting from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

San Jose

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sat): tour in harmony with nature at Top Travel Costa Rica and then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co.. Keep things going the next day: look for gifts at Chocolatería Sibú and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find maps and tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip planning website.

Drive from Santa Teresa to San Jose in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. May in San Jose sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Spas · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours · Scenic Drive

Side Trip

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Nature Park Walk and Luluberlu Art Gallery. Escape the urban bustle at Punta Uva Beach and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Next up on the itinerary: take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach, and have some family-friendly fun at Yesland Mini Golf.

To find photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca day trip website.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Tortuguero

— 2 nights

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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Thu): get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To find traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Tortuguero trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks · Museums

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 5 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.
For shopping fun, head to Onirica Art Gallery or Galeria Estudio. Catedral de Ciudad Quesada and ChocoMuseo La Fortuna are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with these side-trips from La Fortuna de San Carlos: Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park (in La Virgen) and Butterfly Conservatory (in El Castillo). There's much more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, stroll through Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall.

To find other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
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 28th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then walk around Parque Nahomi. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Espadilla Norte.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Adventure

Side Trip

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.
You'll get in some beach time at Playa Ventanas and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. Visiting Oro Verde Biological Reserve and Santa Lucia Falls will get you outdoors. There's more to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and stop by Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store.

For more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Uvita road trip site.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Uvita in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

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.