18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica vacation planner

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Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Brussels
train + Fly:  15​h 15​min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Liberia
— 2 nights
Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: Brussels

3
nights
San Jose

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Teatro Nacional Costa Rica and Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca), Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles (in Cartago) and Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum (in Orosi). There's lots more to do: take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and don't miss a visit to Plaza Juan Mora Fernandez.

To find photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose online day trip planner .

Brussels, Belgium to San Jose is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly. The time zone changes from Central European Time (CET) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -7 hour difference. While traveling from Brussels, expect much warmer days and a bit warmer nights in San Jose, ranging from highs of 31°C to lows of 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Turrialba.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Highlights from your plan
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

1
night
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
Start off your visit on the 28th (Mon): appreciate the history behind Guayabo National Park and Monument.

For photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Turrialba itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from San Jose to Turrialba takes 2 hours. In October in Turrialba, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Turrialba

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Highlights from your plan
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©
Guayabo National Park and Monument

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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Tue): learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero route builder .

Traveling by car from Turrialba to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Traveling from Turrialba in October, expect Tortuguero to be a bit warmer, temps between 36°C and 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Museums
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

4
nights
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Onirica Art Gallery and Galeria Estudio. Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and La Fortuna Waterfall. The adventure continues: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, explore the galleries of Coco Loco Art Studio & Gallery, explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano, and view the masterpieces at Wood & Art Gallery.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your La Fortuna de San Carlos trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

You can drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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 3rd (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, and then view the masterpieces at The Captain's Booty. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Matapalo, then get interesting insight from Tours, and then walk around Parque Nahomi.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip planner .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Quepos
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Ecological Sanctuary. Do some cultural sightseeing at Chorotega Arts & Crafts and Santa Elena Skywalk. There's much more to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Frog Pond, take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, and catch some excitement at Curi Cancha Reserve.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Monteverde road trip app .

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can drive to Liberia.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

2
nights
Liberia

Liberia ©
Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
On the 8th (Fri), view the masterpieces at Costa Rica'n Art Craft, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Immaculate Church of Concepcion de Maria, and then contemplate the geological forces at Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja. Here are some ideas for day two: have unforgettable encounters with a shark diving experience and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Church of La Ermita La Agonia.

To see where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Liberia trip builder tool .

Drive from Monteverde to Liberia in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Liberia

Outdoors Trails Parks

Side Trips

Shark Diving, Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Church of La Ermita La Agonia ©
Church of La Ermita La Agonia

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