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: Manchester
+3
train + subway + train + Fly:  17​h
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Nosara
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Montezuma
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
7
San Jose
— 1 night
+3
Fly + train + subway + train:  17​h
End: Manchester

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sun): take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then stop by Holalola Souvenir Shop. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and finally walk around Parque La Sabana.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read San Jose tour itinerary builder tool .

Manchester, UK to San Jose is an approximately 17-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Manchester to San Jose is minus 6 hours. Traveling from Manchester in June, things will get somewhat warmer in San Jose: highs are around 32°C and lows about 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Adventure Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

2
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 18th (Tue), admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To find more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder tool .

You can drive from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Spas Nature
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

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.
On the 19th (Wed), look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Thu): stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, and finally identify plant and animal life at Curi Cancha Reserve.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde trip planning website .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

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

3
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal), Llanos de Cortez Waterfall (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and identify plant and animal life at Monkey Park.

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo road trip app .

Getting from Monteverde to Tamarindo by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to drive to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

2
nights
Nosara

Nosara ©
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones).

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Nosara tour itinerary builder app .

Getting from Tamarindo to Nosara by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can go by car to Montezuma.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

4
nights
Montezuma

Montezuma ©
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Montezuma: Santa Teresa (Spas & Wellness, Playa Santa Teresa, & more), Tortuga Island (in Puntarenas) and Jaco (Mirador de Jaco & Zipline). Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls, look for all kinds of wild species at Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia, stop by Tica Surf Bikinis, and take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Montezuma online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Nosara to Montezuma takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 30th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Montezuma

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Santa Teresa, Jaco, Tortuga Island
Highlights from your plan
Tortuga Island ©
Tortuga Island
Zipline
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls

1
night
San Jose

San Jose ©
For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the San Jose trip itinerary planner.

Fly from Montezuma to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or drive. You'll have a few hours on the 1st (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping

Side Trip

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Highlights from your plan
J.LANG Atelier & Showroom ©
J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Mercado Nacional de Artesanias ©
Mercado Nacional de Artesanias

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