15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly + Drive:  29​h
1
Vara Blanca
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Tarcoles
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  29​h
End: Cape Town

1
day
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Vara Blanca vacation maker site .

Cape Town, South Africa to Vara Blanca is an approximately 29-hour flight. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -8 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens

1
night
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
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 18th (Fri), identify plant and animal life at Tortuguero National Park.

To see more things to do, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Tortuguero day trip app .

You can drive from Vara Blanca to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

4
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.
Get in touch with nature at Tabacon Hot Springs and La Fortuna Waterfall. There's much more to do: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get interesting insight from Tours, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), and witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna.

To find reviews, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary builder .

You can drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

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

2
nights
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.
On the 23rd (Wed), identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then admire the sheer force of San Luis Waterfall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To find photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde visit planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

San Luis Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio and then kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then walk around Parque Nahomi.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip maker .

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. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Tarcoles.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Parque Nahomi
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
River Rafting & Tubing

3
nights
Tarcoles

Start off your visit on the 27th (Sun): explore the striking landscape of Carara National Park and then snap pictures at Tarcoles Bridge. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic natural features at Penon de Guacalillo, identify plant and animal life at Croclandia & The American Crocodile Sanctuary, and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Tarcoles trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Tarcoles in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 29th (Tue), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Tarcoles

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Penon de Guacalillo, Carara National Park
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Carara National Park ©
Carara National Park
Penon de Guacalillo ©
Penon de Guacalillo

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