30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica visit planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Nosara
— 3 nights
Shuttle
9
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive

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Cartago

— 1 night
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): get outside with Mirador de Ujarras and then get outside with Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Marta.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Cartago trip itinerary builder.

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. In February, plan for daily highs up to 79°F, and evening lows to 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cartago

Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 3 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Sea Turtle Conservancy and Caribbean Botanical Garden. Spend the 20th (Thu) exploring nature at Tortuguero National Park.

For more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip tool.

Drive from Cartago to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In February, plan for daily highs up to 84°F, and evening lows to 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

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.
On the 21st (Fri), stroll through Redfrogteam Biological Station and then admire all the interesting features of Nature Park Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas and then take in the exciting artwork at Luluberlu Art Gallery.

To find ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca day trip planning site.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

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.
Visiting Playa Espadilla Norte and Playa Ventanas will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dolphin & Whale Watching and Parasailing & Paragliding. Go for a jaunt from Manuel Antonio to Dominical to see Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store about 48 minutes away. There's more to do: get a tailor-made plan with Mulguri Adventure and head outdoors with Barraba's Surf.

For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio visit planning tool.

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 (Tue) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 7 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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna and Iglesia de San Rafael. Get outdoors at Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) and Arenal 1968 Volcano View & Trails. Explore La Fortuna de San Carlos' surroundings by going to Tenorio National Park (in Buena Vista), La Virgen (Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park & Kayaking & Canoeing) and Butterfly Conservatory (in El Castillo). There's much more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos.

To find maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 4 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and San Luis Waterfall. Get outdoors at Valle Escondido Preserve and Sustainability Demonstration Center. When in Monteverde, make a side trip to see Superman De Osa in Puntarenas, approximately Puntarenas away. The adventure continues: appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, explore by horseback at Finca el Rodeo, examine the collection at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, and view the masterpieces at Sarah's Gallery.

To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read Monteverde trip planning app.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Museums

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.
Visit Playa Danta and Playa Dantita for some beach relaxation. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Off-Road Tours and Kayaking & Canoeing. Step out of Tamarindo with an excursion to Playa Flamingo in Playa Flamingo--about 34 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Monkey Park, get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf, step aboard Kingpin Sportfishing, and head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo travel 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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to drive to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

Side Trips

Nosara

— 3 nights
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Garza and Playa Buena Vista. Discover out-of-the-way places like Puerto Carrillo and Belen Waterfall. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Nosara: Playa Samara (Werner Sauter Biological Reserve & Koss Art Gallery). The adventure continues: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

For where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Nosara travel route planning website.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Nosara in 2 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can catch the shuttle to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Santa Teresa

— 2 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 15th (Sun): head off the coast to Isla de Cabuya, browse the exhibits of Bri'ah Art Gallery, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa itinerary planning website.

Take a shuttle from Nosara to Santa Teresa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Nature · 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.