15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Santiago
Fly:  12​h
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  15​min
3
Playa Hermosa
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
ferry:  4​h
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive:  9​h
6
Playa Matapalo
— 2 nights
Drive:  45​min
7
Pavones
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  20​h 30​min
End: Santiago

2
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Toucan Rescue Ranch and Top Travel Costa Rica. Explore hidden gems such as Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum and Galeria Namu. Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Alajuela (Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral & Teatro Municipal). There's much more to do: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, explore the engaging exhibits at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, and take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose online tour itinerary planner .

Santiago, Chile to San Jose is an approximately 12-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Santiago to San Jose is minus 2 hours. In September, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Alajuela, Toucan Rescue Ranch
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch

1
night
Jaco

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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Tue): cast your line with a fishing tour, then stroll through Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding, and then view the masterpieces at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Jaco trip builder .

Traveling by car from San Jose to Jaco takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Hermosa.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding
Highlights from your plan
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

1
night
Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa ©
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge, kick back and relax at Playa Bejuco, and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

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

Playa Hermosa is very close to Jaco. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Esterillos Este
Highlights from your plan
Playa Bejuco ©
Playa Bejuco
Horseback Riding Tours
Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge ©
Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge

3
nights
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Playa Manuel Antonio and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Waterskiing & Jetskiing and Parasailing & Paragliding. There's much more to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park.

To see ratings, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio online trip builder .

Traveling by car from Playa Hermosa to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to catch the ferry to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Parasailing & Paragliding, Manuel Antonio National Park, Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Parasailing & Paragliding

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, and then view the masterpieces at Bri'ah Art Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Santa Teresa by ferry takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. On the 16th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Playa Matapalo.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Kayaking & Canoeing, Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia
Highlights from your plan
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen

2
nights
Playa Matapalo

Playa Matapalo
Start off your visit on the 17th (Tue): get to know the resident critters at Ave Azul de la Osa.

For more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Playa Matapalo sightseeing tool .

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playa Matapalo takes 9.5 hours. You will leave for Pavones on the 18th (Wed).

Things to do in Playa Matapalo

Nature Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Ave Azul de la Osa

2
nights
Pavones

Pavones ©
On the 18th (Wed), kick back and relax at Playa Pavones.

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the Pavones road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Playa Matapalo to Pavones takes 4 hours. On the 20th (Fri), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Pavones

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Highlights from your plan
Playa Pavones ©
Playa Pavones

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