13 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

13 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Willemstad, Curacao
+3
Fly + bus + foot + bus:  12​h 30​min
1
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
bus:  3​h
6
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h
End: Willemstad, Curacao

1
night
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
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 14th (Tue): kick back and relax at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita, then stop by Talamanca Family Art, and then take in the exciting artwork at Luluberlu Art Gallery.

To find other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca road trip planning website .

Willemstad, Curacao to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Willemstad to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Shopping Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Talamanca Family Art
Highlights from your plan
Talamanca Family Art ©
Talamanca Family Art
La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita ©

3
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.
Head to Souvenir Leo and Onirica Art Galleryfor some retail therapy. There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get interesting insight from Tours, and get a taste of the local shopping with Galeria Estudio.

For where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos visit planning website .

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Tours
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

2
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Monkey Park, wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach, and finally stop by EK Art Jewelry. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Playa Avellana and then kick back and relax at Playa Conchal.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Tamarindo travel route planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Tue): take in the exciting artwork at Sarah's Gallery and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde travel route planner.

Getting from Tamarindo to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery ©
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery

1
night
Manuel Antonio

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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): look for gifts at Jungle Avenue, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio route builder .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can catcht the bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Jungle Avenue
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Jungle Avenue ©
Jungle Avenue
Parasailing & Paragliding

3
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): look for gifts at Biesanz Woodworks, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and then browse the different shops at Lincoln Plaza. Keep things going the next day: browse the different shops at Avenida Escazu and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our San Jose trip itinerary builder site .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to San Jose by bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. In July, daytime highs in San Jose are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping Parks Nature

Side Trips

Escazu, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro
Highlights from your plan
Biesanz Woodworks ©
Biesanz Woodworks
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Avenida Escazu ©
Avenida Escazu

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