30 days in Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America travel planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Newark, United States
Fly + Taxi:  6 h 15 min
1
Vara Blanca, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  5 h 45 min
2
Panama City, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly + Bus:  6 h 30 min
3
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  5 h 30 min
4
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
6
Cano Negro, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
7
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
8
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
9
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
10
Liberia, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Fly:  9 h
End: Newark, United States

1
night
Vara Blanca, Costa Rica

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
To find reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Vara Blanca trip itinerary planning tool.

Newark, USA to Vara Blanca is an approximately 6.5- hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and taxi; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) to allow time to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Poas Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

4
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Go for a jaunt from Panama City to Colon to see Aguas Clara Locks Visitor Center about 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: make a trip to Panama Canal, take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, contemplate the waterfront views at Gatun Lake, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Casco Viejo.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Panama City day trip planning website.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Vara Blanca to Panama City. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Vara Blanca to Panama City due to the time zone difference. In February in Panama City, expect temperatures between 89°F during the day and 76°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Panama City

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Aguas Clara Locks Visitor Center
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) ©
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador)

3
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Manuel Antonio: Dominical (Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary & Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store) and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge (in Uvita). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, and find your balance on the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio online trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Panama City to Manuel Antonio in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Panama City to Manuel Antonio. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Dominical, Quepos, Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
night
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero ©
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 10th (Wed): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park, and then learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

For maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero online road trip planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Tortuguero by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In February, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 84°F, while at night they dip to 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

4
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, get outside with El Salto, get interesting insight from Tours, and experience rural life at Finca Loma Verde.

To see reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation builder site.

You can 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. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Cano Negro.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

1
night
Cano Negro, Costa Rica

Cano Negro ©
On the 15th (Mon), stroll through Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge.

To find ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Cano Negro trip itinerary builder tool.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Cano Negro by car takes about 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 93°F in February, and nighttime lows around 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Cano Negro

Wildlife Parks
Highlights from your plan
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge ©
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

4
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks.

For ratings and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip planning site.

You can drive from Cano Negro to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Zipline
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

3
nights
Playa Samara, Costa Rica

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 find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, Playa Guiones, &more) and Barra Honda National Park (in Nicoya). And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, and take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Samara driving holiday website.

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Nosara, Barra Honda National Park
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach

3
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal). There's lots more to do: get interesting insight from Tours, stop by Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, and enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

For maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo online sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to take a bus to Liberia.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

4
nights
Liberia, Costa Rica

Liberia ©
Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
Get out of town with these interesting Liberia side-trips: Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands & Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja) and Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja). The adventure continues: explore the striking landscape of Rincon de La Vieja National Park, relax in the rural setting at Tio Leo Coffee Tour, and stop by Nahua.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Liberia trip itinerary builder site.

You can take a bus from Tamarindo to Liberia in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 1st (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Liberia

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Province of Guanacaste, Rio Negro Hot Springs
Highlights from your plan
Tio Leo Coffee Tour ©
Tio Leo Coffee Tour
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

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