17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Brussels
+4
train + Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  19​h 15​min
1
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Tortuguero
— 1 night
taxi + bus:  2​h 45​min
6
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly + train:  15​h 15​min
End: Brussels

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.
Pack the 1st (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Rancho Tipico Don Juan. And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio day trip planning tool .

Brussels, Belgium to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of train, flight, and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time (CET) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 7 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Zipline
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
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 2nd (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde itinerary maker website .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Thu): kick back and relax at Playa Conchal and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, then view the masterpieces at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip planner .

Getting from Monteverde to Tamarindo by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

4
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, wildlife, parks, and trails. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, get interesting insight from Tours, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and trot along with a tour on horseback.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

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
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero route planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. July in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

3
nights
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.
Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). There's much more to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, and get impressive views of Arenal Volcano riding tour.

To see photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip maker site .

You can do a combination of taxi and bus from Tortuguero to San Jose in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from Tortuguero in July, things will get slightly colder in San Jose: highs are around 31°C and lows about 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano riding tour, Poas Volcano, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica

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