17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Dallas
+2
Fly + shuttle + bus:  9​h 45​min
1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
5
Tortuguero
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  9​h
End: Dallas

1
night
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 1st (Wed), stroll through Tamarindo Beach, then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu): stroll through Playa Conchal and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana.

To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip itinerary planning tool .

Dallas, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach and then kick back and relax at Samara Beach. On your second day here, look for all kinds of wild species at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, look for gifts at Nativa Gallery, and then stroll through Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones).

Plan my trip to Playa Samara with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playa Samara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) 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.
On the 5th (Sun), look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then take in the dramatic scenery at San Luis Waterfall. Here are some ideas for day two: 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 identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Frog Pond.

For ratings, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip maker website .

You can drive from Playa Samara to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

San Luis Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Playa Manuel Antonio and River Rafting & Tubing. Change things up with a short trip to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in Dominical (about 1h 05 min away). Make the 8th (Wed) an awe-inspiring day at Naturalist Michael Araya Flores. There's still lots to do: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and walk around Parque Nahomi.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio road trip site .

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Quepos, Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
Nature & Wildlife Tours

1
day
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 (Fri): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tortuguero online trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Tortuguero takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. January in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 70°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

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

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.
Take a break from the city and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). There's much more to do: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

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

2
nights
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Poas Volcano.

To see other places to visit, maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Poas Volcano National Park trip planner .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Poas Volcano National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

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