16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Montevideo
Fly:  11​h 30​min
1
San Jose
— Few hours
Drive:  4​h
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Tenorio Volcano National Park
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h
6
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Playa Hermosa
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
8
Playa Flamingo
— Few hours
Drive:  30​min
9
Tamarindo
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 30​min
10
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
11
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
12
Poas Volcano National Park
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 30​min
13
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly:  13​h
End: Montevideo

few
hours
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.
To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose road trip planner .

Montevideo, Uruguay to San Jose is an approximately 13-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight. The time zone changes from Uruguay Time (UYT) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. In January, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. You will leave for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on the 19th (Sun).

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

4
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Puerto Viejo Beach, Playa Cocles, Scuba & Snorkeling, and other attractions you added. There's more to do: stop by Choco.

Discover how to plan a Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. You'll have a few hours on the 23rd (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Cahuita National Park
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Caribe Horse Riding Club ©
Caribe Horse Riding Club

2
nights
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.
To find ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Tortuguero day trip tool .

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In January in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

1
night
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Tabacon Hot Springs, La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Volcano. Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano, then admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing planner.

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can drive to Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature Parks Spas

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

1
day
Tenorio Volcano National Park

Tenorio Volcano National Park ©
On the 26th (Sun), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tenorio National Park and then explore the activities along Rio Celeste.

To find traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Tenorio Volcano National Park trip maker .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tenorio Volcano National Park in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tenorio Volcano National Park

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Tenorio National Park
Highlights from your plan
Rio Celeste ©
Rio Celeste
Tenorio National Park ©
Tenorio National Park

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.
You've now added Zipline to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde online day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Tenorio Volcano National Park to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can drive to Playa Hermosa.

Things to do in Monteverde

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

2
nights
Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa ©
Start off your visit on the 28th (Tue): stroll through Playa Hermosa, enjoy the sand and surf at Playas del coco, and then meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience.

To see more things to do, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Playa Hermosa trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Hermosa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Flamingo.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playas del coco, Shark Diving
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Shark Diving
Playas del coco ©
Playas del coco

few
hours
Playa Flamingo

Playa Flamingo ©
The white sand beach of Playa Flamingo has become a go-to tourist getaway by the sea.
On the 29th (Wed), kick back and relax at Playa Conchal.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Playa Flamingo trip planner.

You can drive from Playa Hermosa to Playa Flamingo in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Flamingo

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

few
hours
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 29th (Wed), kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip itinerary planning tool .

Tamarindo is just a short distance from Playa Flamingo. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): head off the coast to Tortuga Island.

Before you visit Jaco, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Jaco in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Tortuga Island
Highlights from your plan
Tortuga Island ©
Tortuga Island

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.
On the 31st (Fri), explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park.

To find more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio travel route planning website .

You can drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

few
hours
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sat): get impressive views of Poas Volcano.

To find photos and other tourist information, use the Poas Volcano National Park road trip planning tool .

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Manuel Antonio to Poas Volcano National Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. On the 1st (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

1
night
San Jose

San Jose
To see traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our San Jose tour builder app .

Getting from Poas Volcano National Park to San Jose by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. You will leave for home on the 2nd (Sun).

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

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