31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly to San Jose, Shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Cahuita
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Drake Bay
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Jaco
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Fly

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5
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Proyecto Asis, and explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder.

New York City, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

2
nights
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.
On the 19th (Tue), admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On the next day, contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tirimbina Biological Reserve.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Vara Blanca tour website.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Vara Blanca in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks · Nature · Adventure · Outdoors

Side Trips

2
nights
Tortuguero

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park. Keep things going the next day: surround yourself with nature on Jungle Tom Safaris Day Tours and then get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Tortuguero trip planner.

Drive from Vara Blanca to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry. In January in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 70°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can go by car to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

2
nights
Cahuita

With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
On the 23rd (Sat), explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park. On the 24th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Tarantulas Way and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Cahuita vacation builder website.

Drive from Tortuguero to Cahuita in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. January in Cahuita sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 70°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

3
nights
Drake Bay

Change things up with a short trip to Corcovado National Park in Carate (about 1h 10 min away). Spend a day of island exploring on the 26th (Tue) at Cano Island.

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Drake Bay trip planner.

Traveling by car from Cahuita to Drake Bay takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife · Parks · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trip

4
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.
Explore Manuel Antonio's surroundings by going to Dominical (Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary & Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store) and Uvita (Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge & Parque Nacional Marino Ballena). And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, walk around Parque Nahomi, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Birding Spots Manuel Antonio.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio online route builder.

You can drive from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

3
nights
Jaco

A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Spend the 3rd (Wed) exploring nature at Carara National Park. There's still lots to do: get interesting insight from Tours, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, see Off-Road Tours, and snap pictures at Tarcoles Bridge.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Jaco journey builder site.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Jaco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, and stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

To see maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Monteverde road trip planning website.

Drive from Jaco to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Adventure · Tours

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Islita, then admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and then stroll through Samara Beach. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach and then kick back and relax at Playa Guiones.

To find photos, maps, and other tourist information, read Playa Samara online tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

4
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal), Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa) and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's still lots to do: stroll through Tamarindo Beach, stop by Cheboards, wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, and find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

For other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo route app.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

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.