15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday maker

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Route & dates

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Cardiff
Fly + Drive:  20​h
1
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
3
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
Manuel Antonio
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
6
Santa Cruz
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Montezuma
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  20​h 30​min
End: Cardiff

1
night
Monteverde

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Fri): view the masterpieces at Art House and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond, get to know the fascinating history of Santa Elena Skywalk, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally meet the residents at The Bat Jungle.

For reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde trip planner .

Cardiff, UK to Monteverde is an approximately 20-hour flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -6 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

1
night
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 2nd (Sun): get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, then admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, and finally stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the San Jose day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Monteverde in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in San Jose, with lows of 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping

Side Trip

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

1
night
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): delve into the distant past at Guayabo National Park and Monument.

To find ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Turrialba vacation maker site .

Drive from San Jose to Turrialba in 2 hours. In December, daytime highs in Turrialba are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Turrialba

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Highlights from your plan
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©

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.
You've now added Manuel Antonio National Park to your itinerary. On the 4th (Tue), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, and finally look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

To find photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip tool .

Drive from Turrialba to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

3
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.
Get in touch with nature at Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). There's lots more to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, and take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip app .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
You've now added Ostional National Wildlife Refuge to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): stop by Casa de Arte, Curime and then identify plant and animal life at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Cruz vacation app .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Santa Cruz in 3.5 hours. In December, daytime highs in Santa Cruz are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks Wildlife Shopping

Side Trips

Casa de Arte Curime de Nicoya, Pura Aventura
Highlights from your plan
Ostional National Wildlife Refuge ©
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura

3
nights
Montezuma

Montezuma ©
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
On your second day here, kick back and relax at Playa Carmen, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, and then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis.

Plan a trip to Montezuma easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Montezuma takes 3.5 hours. On the 12th (Wed), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Montezuma

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Santa Teresa
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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