18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica attractions planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
2
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Playa Samara
— 1 night
Drive
4
Santa Teresa
— 4 nights
Ferry
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive
9
San Jose
— Few hours
Fly

S M T W T F S
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16

1
night
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.
To see where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the San Jose vacation app.

Madrid, Spain to San Jose is an approximately 15-hour flight. Traveling from Madrid to San Jose, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Madrid in December, things will get warmer in San Jose: highs are around 30°C and lows about 22°C. On the 26th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Tamarindo.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

2
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Sun): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park, and then get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura.

To see where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo itinerary planner.

Getting from San Jose to Tamarindo by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from San Jose in December since evenings lows in Tamarindo dip to 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Shopping · Parks

1
night
Playa Samara

A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara trip itinerary builder website.

Getting from Tamarindo to Playa Samara by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. December in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches

4
nights
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Tortuga Island (in Puntarenas), Playa Quesera (in Paquera) and Montezuma (Horseback Riding Tours & Montezuma Falls). Next up on the itinerary: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, explore the galleries of Bri'ah Art Gallery, and kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

To find where to stay, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

2
nights
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 can plan Manuel Antonio trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Traveling by ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. You'll set off for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on the 4th (Mon).

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

3
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Walaba

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
On the 5th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca day trip planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 7th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Monteverde.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

1
night
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.
For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read Monteverde day trip planning tool.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Monteverde in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 8th (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Fri): take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Estudio and then take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos tour website.

Getting from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. On the 10th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Spas · Parks · Nature · Adventure

few
hours
San Jose

Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sun): get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To see other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip planner.

You can take a shuttle from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums
Highlights from your trip

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
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.