31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Juan Santamaría International Airport, Drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
San Jose
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Jaco
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, Fly to Newark

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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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs, and tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Newark, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Newark to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 1 night

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 9th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see ratings, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero journey builder tool.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In July, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 85°F, while at night they dip to 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Highlights from your trip

San Jose

— 4 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.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: ZENfit 506 (in San Rafael de Escazu), Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Jardin Botanico Lankester (in Cartago). There's much more to do: see Carpe Chepe, capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, and take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our San Jose road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Tortuguero in July, expect San Jose to be little chillier, temps between 80°F and 67°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio

— 5 nights
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 (Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store & Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary), Isla Damas (in Puntarenas) and Kokopelli (in Sierpe). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz.

To find photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip site.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Jaco

— 3 nights
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 21st (Wed) exploring nature at Carara National Park. There's still lots to do: skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, stop by Dantica Gallery, and see Off-Road Tours.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Jaco trip itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 3 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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, catch some excitement at El Trapiche Tour, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Jaco to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Fun & Games

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.
On the 25th (Sun), kick back and relax at Samara Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carrillo. Here are some ideas for day two: trot along with a tour on horseback and then kick back and relax at Playa Guiones.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Playa Samara trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Tamarindo

— 5 nights
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 Nacascolo (in Gulf of Papagayo), Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal) and Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts (in Playas del Coco). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and stop by Tamarindo Jaime Peligro Book Store.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Tamarindo vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 31st (Sat), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

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.