16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
7
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly

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Tamarindo

— 2 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 20th (Sun), wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach. On the next day, stroll through Playa Conchal and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip planning website.

Seattle, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trip

Monteverde

— 2 nights
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 22nd (Tue), indulge in some personalized pampering at Monteverde Massage Center and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Keep things going the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond, and finally admire the masterpieces at Chorotega Arts & Crafts.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Monteverde holiday planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Adventure

Jaco

— 2 nights
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 24th (Thu): see Off-Road Tours and then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour. Keep things going the next day: push the limits with an extreme tour and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Jaco trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Jaco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure

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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop, then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To find reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Manuel Antonio visit planner.

You can drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 nights
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna, look for gifts at Galeria Aguas Verdes, and contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano.

To see ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos planning app.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Tortuguero road trip site.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. July in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 85°F and lows of 73°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Highlights from your trip

San Jose

— 2 nights
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.
On the 3rd (Sat), capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, catch all the local highlights with Top Travel Costa Rica, and then relax and rejuvenate at ZENfit 506.

For ratings, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the San Jose vacation planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Tortuguero in July, things will get little chillier in San Jose: highs are around 80°F and lows about 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Sun) to allow time for the flight back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

Side Trip

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.