16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
Drive
2
Nuevo Arenal
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Cahuita
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
8
San Jose
Drive
9
Alajuela
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): get some fabulous bargains at Mercado Municipal De Artesanias and then see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

For maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our San Jose road trip planning website.

Miami, USA to San Jose is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Miami to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Miami in August, things will get slightly colder in San Jose: highs are around 32°C and lows about 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can travel to Nuevo Arenal.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping · Museums

Nuevo Arenal

— 2 nights
To find where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Nuevo Arenal trip planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Nuevo Arenal in 4 hours. You will leave for Tamarindo on the 18th (Wed).

Things to do in Nuevo Arenal

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

Tamarindo

— 3 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
When in Tamarindo, make a side trip to see Playa Conchal in Playa Conchal, approximately Playa Conchal away. There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach, stop by Azul Profundo Boutique, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo online journey planner.

Traveling by car from Nuevo Arenal to Tamarindo takes 3 hours. On the 21st (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 1 night
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Monteverde trip itinerary maker site.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Shopping

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
On the 23rd (Mon), see MidWorld Costa Rica.

For traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip tool.

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. On the 24th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Adventure · Tours · Beaches

Cahuita

— 4 nights
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Take a break from Cahuita with a short trip to La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, about 34 minutes away. Spend the 26th (Thu) exploring nature at Cahuita National Park. There's lots more to do: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, stroll through Playa Puerto Viejo, and admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Cahuita travel route planning tool.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Cahuita in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Cahuita can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 2 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

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 29th (Sun), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Tortuguero journey builder tool.

Traveling by car from Cahuita to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In August, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

San Jose

Start off your visit on the 30th (Mon): get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum and then take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

For where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read San Jose online tour itinerary maker.

Getting from Tortuguero to San Jose by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In August, San Jose is slightly colder than Tortuguero - with highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Alajuela.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums

Alajuela

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center.

To see ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Alajuela trip itinerary builder app.

Alajuela is just a stone's throw from San Jose. You will leave for home on the 31st (Tue).

Things to do in Alajuela

Zoos & Aquariums · Parks

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.