30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 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

S M T W T F S
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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 (Mon): admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

To see maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Cartago trip itinerary planning tool.

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. In November, plan for daily highs up to 79°F, and evening lows to 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cartago

Outdoors · Parks · Historic Sites

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 18th (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park. Keep things going the next day: get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

For reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Tortuguero driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Cartago to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Traveling from Cartago in November, expect Tortuguero to be somewhat warmer, temps between 85°F and 72°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Museums

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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): kick back and relax at Puerto Viejo Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Sat): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

To see where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary app.

Drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 22nd (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

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 MidWorld Costa Rica and Playa Biesanz will get you outdoors. There's more to do: surround yourself with nature on Mulguri Adventure.

To see maps, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip tool.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and Ecotermales Fortuna. The adventure continues: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, stroll through La Fortuna Waterfall, take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, and trek along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

Discover how to plan a La Fortuna de San Carlos trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trip

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.
Get some historical perspective at Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk. Visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Zipline will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, and trot along with a tour on horseback.

For more things to do, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde online trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December in Monteverde, expect temperatures between 82°F during the day and 82°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Conchal. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Avellana and Playa Hermosa. Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Playas del Coco (Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts & Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco). And it doesn't end there: wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. In December, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 82°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can go by car to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Nosara

— 3 nights
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Get in touch with nature at Samara Beach and International Animal Rescue Costa Rica. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Barrigona Beach and Playa Guiones. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary and view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Nosara online tour itinerary builder.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Nosara in 2 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Nosara can reach 82°F, while at night they dip to 82°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

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.
On the 14th (Mon), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, then take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls, and then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

Plan my Santa Teresa trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by shuttle from Nosara to Santa Teresa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

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.