18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 day
Drive
2
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Cahuita
— 3 nights
Drive
7
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly

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San Jose

— 1 day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Sat): admire all the interesting features of Top Travel Costa Rica, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana), then enjoy some music at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, and finally don't miss a visit to Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez.

To find reviews, photos, and tourist information, read our San Jose tour planning tool.

Prague, Czech Republic to San Jose is an approximately 19-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Prague to San Jose is minus 7 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Prague in June, with highs in San Jose at 32°C and lows at 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in San Jose

Historic Sites · Scenic Drive · Tours · Outdoors

Playa Samara

— 5 nights
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Horseback Riding Tours and Barrigona Beach. Step out of Playa Samara with an excursion to Playa Corozalito in Bejuco--about 48 minutes away. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, kick back and relax at Playa Buena Vista, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and browse the exhibits of Koss Art Gallery.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Playa Samara day trip planning website.

Getting from San Jose to Playa Samara by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. You will leave for Monteverde on the 11th (Thu).

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 2 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Thu): take in the natural beauty of Middle Earth Thermal Springs, admire the masterpieces at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, and then relax in the rural setting at Hidden Valley Permaculture Farm. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then explore the striking landscape of Up in the Cloud Forest.

To see reviews, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde route planner.

Getting from Playa Samara to Monteverde by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 13th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park and Coffee & Tea Tours. Change things up with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo (about 38 minutes away). There's still lots to do: head outdoors with Flow Trips, Head underground at Venado Caves, get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, and take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Tortuguero

— 2 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Sea Turtle Conservancy and Blue Day Family Club. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tortuguero: Zipline (in Puerto Limon) and Caribbean Botanical Garden (in Guacimo). Next up on the itinerary: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Tortuguero trip app.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In June, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Theme Parks · Adventure

Side Trips

Cahuita

— 3 nights
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens and Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. Explore Cahuita's surroundings by going to Puerto Limon (Explore Limon, Playa Bonita, &more). There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park, stroll through Redfrogteam Biological Station, kick back and relax at Playa Negra, and get your game on at Yesland Mini Golf.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Cahuita route planning website.

Getting from Tortuguero to Cahuita by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. June in Cahuita sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

San Jose

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and then examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

To see where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose tour builder.

Getting from Cahuita to San Jose by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Cahuita in June: high temperatures in San Jose hover around 32°C and lows are around 22°C. On the 22nd (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Shopping

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.