42 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

42 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary planner

Make it your trip
+2
Drive to Newark Liberty International Airport, Fly to Juan Santamaria International Airport, Drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
Drive
4
San Jose
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Playas del Coco
— 6 nights
+2
Drive to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, Fly to Newark Liberty International Airport, Drive to Newark

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1

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 6 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 plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, Head underground at Venado Caves, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall.

To see ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder app.

Newark, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of car and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Newark to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

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 27th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero travel planner.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In December in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 84°F during the day and 71°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 4 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.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is known for wildlife, beaches, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio, relax in the rural setting at Finca Tierra, and kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca holiday planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trips

San Jose

— 5 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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park), Cartago (Jardin Botanico Lankester & Ruins of the Church of Carthage) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape of Irazu Volcano National Park, catch a live performance at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, admire all the interesting features of Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center, and get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip tool.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. December in San Jose sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 66°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Nature · Museums · Wildlife

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 Horseback Riding Tours (in Esterillos Este) and Jaco (Zipline & Canyoning & Rappelling Tours). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio day trip planning website.

You can drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 5 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 plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, admire all the interesting features of Ecological Sanctuary, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

To see photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde sightseeing planning tool.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Playa Samara

— 4 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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Barra Honda National Park (in Nicoya), Nosara (Playa Guiones, Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary, &more) and Playa Islita (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach and take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Playa Samara trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Wildlife

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 Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal) and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo). And it doesn't end there: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Tamarindo sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Playas del Coco

— 6 nights

Coco Beach

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playas del Coco: Liberia (Souvenirs La gran Nicoya & Costa Rica'n Art Craft) and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). Spend the 26th (Sun) exploring nature at Palo Verde National Park. There's still lots to do: get impressive views of Rincon de La Vieja National Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, tee off at Four Seasons Golf Club, and meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience.

To see maps, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco route builder tool.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
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.