15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica journey builder

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
+2
subway + bus + Fly:  8​h 15​min
1
San Jose
— Few hours
Drive:  30​min
2
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
San Isidro del General
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
4
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
San Ramon
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
7
Tambor
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
8
Jaco
— 1 night
ferry + bus:  2​h 30​min
9
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
10
Punta Islita
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
11
Nosara
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 15​min
12
Gulf of Papagayo
— 1 night
bus:  1​h
13
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
+2
bus + foot + Fly:  11​h 30​min
End: Washington DC

few
hours
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.
For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the San Jose trip builder .

Washington DC, USA to San Jose is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Washington DC to San Jose. Traveling from Washington DC in December, things will get much warmer in San Jose: highs are around 79°F and lows about 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Cartago.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping Museums
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

1
night
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. Start off your visit on the 16th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles), then make a trip to Ruinas Sanatorio Carlos Duran, then admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Ruins of the Church of Carthage.

For reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Cartago online journey planner .

Cartago is very close to San Jose. In December in Cartago, expect temperatures between 79°F during the day and 66°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) to allow time to travel to San Isidro del General.

Things to do in Cartago

Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Jardin Botanico Lankester ©
Jardin Botanico Lankester
Ruins of the Church of Carthage ©
Ruins of the Church of Carthage

1
night
San Isidro del General

San Isidro del General ©
Start off your visit on the 17th (Mon): admire the sheer force of Eco Chontales Waterfall and then identify plant and animal life at Los Cusingos Neotropical Bird Sanctuary.

To see other places to visit and other tourist information, read our San Isidro del General online tour planner .

Traveling by car from Cartago to San Isidro del General takes 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Isidro del General

Parks Wildlife Nature
Highlights from your plan
Eco Chontales Waterfall ©
Eco Chontales Waterfall

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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Tue): kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio and then stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

For other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from San Isidro del General to Manuel Antonio takes 2 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio

2
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
Amphibia has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 19th (Wed): let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery, then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Estudio, and finally get a taste of local nightlife at Amphibia. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Thu): admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for La Fortuna de San Carlos using our trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to San Ramon.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Tours
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

1
night
San Ramon

San Ramon ©
San Ramón is a city in the canton of San Ramón in Alajuela Province in Costa Rica. On the 21st (Fri), get engrossed in the history at Museo de San Ramon (Museum of San Ramon) and then identify plant and animal life at El Silencio de Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve.

For where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our San Ramon online trip planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Ramon takes 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 82°F in December, and nighttime lows around 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel to Tambor.

Things to do in San Ramon

Wildlife Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Tambor

Tambor
To plan Tambor vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by car from San Ramon to Tambor takes an hour. In December in Tambor, expect temperatures between 82°F during the day and 65°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to travel to Jaco.

Things to do in Tambor

Parks Nature

Side Trips

Los Chorros Waterfalls, Poas Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Los Chorros Waterfalls ©
Los Chorros Waterfalls

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour and then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To plan Jaco vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can drive from Tambor to Jaco in 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

1
night
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, stroll through Playa Santa Teresa, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa trip website .

You can do a combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa in 2.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Punta Islita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

1
night
Punta Islita

Punta Islita ©
On the 25th (Tue), look for all kinds of wild species at Jungle Butterfly Farm and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carrillo.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Punta Islita online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Punta Islita takes 3 hours. In December in Punta Islita, expect temperatures between 82°F during the day and 82°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to travel to Nosara.

Things to do in Punta Islita

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Jungle Butterfly Farm, Playa Carrillo
Highlights from your plan
Jungle Butterfly Farm ©
Jungle Butterfly Farm
Playa Carrillo ©
Playa Carrillo

1
night
Nosara

Nosara ©
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, then kick back and relax at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), then view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, and finally putt your heart out at Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Nosara sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Punta Islita to Nosara takes 2 hours. December in Nosara sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 82°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Gulf of Papagayo.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)
Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara ©
Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara

1
night
Gulf of Papagayo

A concerted development project by the government given Gulf of Papagayo a growing number of luxury and all inclusive resort complexes and turned it into one of the country's leading holiday destinations.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Shark Diving as well as Costa Rica Best Trips. Start off your visit on the 27th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Nacascolo, then let the river carry you with Costa Rica Best Trips, and then meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Gulf of Papagayo online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by flight from Nosara to Gulf of Papagayo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of car and flight. In December in Gulf of Papagayo, expect temperatures between 82°F during the day and 82°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) to allow time to fly to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Gulf of Papagayo

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Shark Diving
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Playa Nacascolo ©
Playa Nacascolo

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.
You've now added El Garito to your itinerary. On the 28th (Fri), explore and take pictures at Pura Aventura, then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, then get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf, and finally join in the after-dark buzz at El Garito.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip planning site .

Traveling by flight from Gulf of Papagayo to Tamarindo takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Tamarindo sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 82°F at night. You'll have a few hours on the 29th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Nightlife Beaches Parks
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
El Garito ©
El Garito

Similar Plans

16 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 9 days in Tamarindo BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Tamarindo BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 36 days in Santa Teresa BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA July, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM MEXICO June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Central America & Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 13 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA July, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced
View more plans