16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  11​h
1
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
6
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
7
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Toronto

2
nights
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 2nd (Sun), stroll through Playa Avellana, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach. On your second day here, push the limits with an extreme tour, then stroll through Playa Conchal, then identify plant and animal life at Monkey Park, and finally shop like a local with Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip website .

Toronto, Canada to Tamarindo is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to Tamarindo is minus 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Playa Samara

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.
On the 4th (Tue), tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, then enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach, and finally view the masterpieces at Koss Art Gallery. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, then enjoy the sand and surf at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), then look for all kinds of wild species at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, and finally view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

To see more things to do, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the Playa Samara trip maker site .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playa Samara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Nosara
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then look for all kinds of wild species at Ecological Sanctuary, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then take in the views from Santa Elena Skywalk, then experience the excitement of Curi Cancha Reserve, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Alas y Raices.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde day trip planning site .

Getting from Playa Samara to Monteverde by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, and then stop by The Captain's Booty. On the 9th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

For other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip planner .

Drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Quepos
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Fishing Charters & Tours
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

3
nights
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.
Wood & Art Gallery and Onirica Art Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visiting Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano will get you outdoors. And it doesn't end there: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna, identify plant and animal life at Proyecto Asis, and take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Estudio.

To find photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary website .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

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

1
night
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
On the 13th (Thu), get outside with Costa Rica Experience and then delve into the distant past at Guayabo National Park and Monument.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Turrialba trip maker .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Turrialba takes 4 hours. In February, daytime highs in Turrialba are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Turrialba

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Highlights from your plan
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©
Guayabo National Park and Monument

3
nights
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Museo Nacional De Costa Rica and Jade Museum. Escape the urban bustle at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Poas Volcano. Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Souvenir Museum (in Alajuela), Cartago (Ruins of the Church of Carthage & Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles) and Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion (in Ujarras). There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense.

To see more things to do, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose trip planner.

Traveling by car from Turrialba to San Jose takes 2 hours. In February, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Cartago, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Souvenir Museum, Poas Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

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