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
Bus to San José, Shuttle to Tortuguero
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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15
16
17
18
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23
24
25
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28
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18

Cartago — 1 night

Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. On the 14th (Tue), 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 find where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Cartago trip itinerary planner.

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 30°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Tortuguero.
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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.
On the 16th (Thu), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park. On the next day, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities and then see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and shuttle from Cartago to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In February, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): stroll through Playa Puerto Viejo. On the next day, explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park.

To find where to stay, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Manuel Antonio.
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Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · 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.
Get in touch with nature at MidWorld Costa Rica and Mulguri Adventure. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz.

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio road trip planning app.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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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.
Get in touch with nature at La Fortuna Waterfall and Ecotermales Fortuna. There's lots more to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, and push the limits with an extreme tour.

To find ratings, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos online tour planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.
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Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors
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 in touch with nature at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Curi Cancha Reserve. Get some historical perspective at Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk. The adventure continues: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, trot along with a tour on horseback, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle.

To see ratings, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde trip planner.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can drive to Tamarindo.
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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.
Step out of the city life by going to Tamarindo Beach and Playa Hermosa. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Conchal and Playa Avellana. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playas del Coco (Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts & Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco). The adventure continues: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing.

To find more things to do, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip itinerary maker tool.

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can go by car to Nosara.
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Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · 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.
Visiting Samara Beach and Playa Guiones will get you outdoors. Take a break from Nosara with a short trip to Barrigona Beach in Playa Samara, about 44 minutes away. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at International Animal Rescue Costa Rica and take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

To see other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Nosara day trip planning website.

Drive from Tamarindo to Nosara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can catch the shuttle to Santa Teresa.
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Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · 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 (Tue), kick back and relax at Playa Carmen, then admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis. On the 15th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

To see maps, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa trip maker.

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 15th (Wed) early enough to drive back home.
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Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · 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.
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