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: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fly:  11​h 15​min
1
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Fly:  9​h
End: San Juan, Puerto Rico

2
nights
Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco ©
A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Thu): head outdoors with Crazy Alex CR, take in the exciting artwork at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, and then kick back and relax at Playa Dantita. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Fri): play a few rounds at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica Golf Course, then tee off at Four Seasons Golf Club, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco.

To see more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Playas del Coco trip planning site .

San Juan, Puerto Rico to Playas del Coco is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight and taxi. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from San Juan to Playas del Coco due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Golf Historic Sites

Side Trips

Four Seasons Golf Club, Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica Golf Course, Playa Dantita
Highlights from your plan
Playa Dantita ©
Playa Dantita
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco ©
Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts ©

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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): take a memorable tour with Tours, have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Flamingo, then see Off-Road Tours, and finally stop by Buena Nena.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Off-Road Tours
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Off-Road Tours
Kayaking & Canoeing

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 13th (Mon), admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, view the masterpieces at Koss Art Gallery, then kick back and relax at Playa Buena Vista, and finally browse the exhibits of MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY. On the next day, cast your line with a fishing tour and then stroll through Puerto Carrillo.

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and tourist information, use the Playa Samara tour planner .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playa Samara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Puerto Carrillo, MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY
Highlights from your plan
Playa Buena Vista ©
Playa Buena Vista
Puerto Carrillo ©
Puerto Carrillo
Fishing Charters & Tours

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.
On the 15th (Wed), learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Valle Escondido Preserve, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Wild Hikes. Keep things going the next day: stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Sustainability Demonstration Center.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde travel route planner.

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 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trip

Sustainability Demonstration Center
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Monteverde Wild Hikes ©
Monteverde Wild Hikes
Sustainability Demonstration Center ©

2
nights
Uvita

Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
On the 17th (Fri), take in the dramatic scenery at Santa Lucia Falls, kick back and relax at Playa Matapalo, and then glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get outside with Cascada Pavon - Waterfall in Costa Rica, stroll through Oro Verde Biological Reserve, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read Uvita online trip planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to Uvita in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Matapalo, Cascada Pavon - Waterfall in Costa Rica, Parasailing & Paragliding
Highlights from your plan
Parasailing & Paragliding
Playa Matapalo ©
Playa Matapalo
Santa Lucia Falls ©
Santa Lucia Falls

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Espadilla Norte, get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Playas Gemelas, make a trip to Marina Pez Vela, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Quepos
Highlights from your plan
Playa Espadilla Norte ©
Playa Espadilla Norte
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Spas

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.
On the 21st (Tue), get impressive views of Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), then stroll through Butterfly Conservatory, and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs. Here are some ideas for day two: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, explore by horseback at Arenal Wilberth Stables, and then hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

For where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 23rd (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), Butterfly Conservatory
Highlights from your plan
Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) ©
Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

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