18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive:  45​min
6
Montezuma
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h 30​min
7
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
8
Puerto Limon
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
End: San Jose

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sat): get a taste of the local shopping with Galeria Namu.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read San Jose trip app .

In February in San Jose, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 21°C at night. On the 2nd (Sun), you're off toMonteverde.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping Museums
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

3
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.
Visiting Tabacon Hot Springs and Proyecto Asis will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get a taste of the local shopping with Galeria Estudio, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip planner.

You can drive from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. You will leave for Monteverde on the 19th (Wed).

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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.
Visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Monteverde Frog Pond will get you outdoors. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk. There's lots more to do: enjoy some diversion at Curi Cancha Reserve, view the masterpieces at Alas y Raices, get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip itinerary planning website .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. On the 21st (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Conchal and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana.

For reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip website .

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
On the 24th (Mon), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and finally view the masterpieces at Bri'ah Art Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

For where to stay, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip itinerary builder app .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa in 4.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Montezuma.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Kayaking & Canoeing
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Spas

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Tue): relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers. On the next day, take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls and then head off the coast to Tortuga Island.

To find ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Montezuma trip maker website .

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Montezuma in an hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can catch the ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Montezuma

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve, Tortuga Island
Highlights from your plan
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls
Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve ©
Tortuga Island ©
Tortuga Island

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 28th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, stroll through Playa Biesanz, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a memorable tour with Tours, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and then fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To find ratings, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary planner.

You can ride a ferry from Montezuma to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and bus; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can go by car to Puerto Limon.

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

2
nights
Puerto Limon

Puerto Limon ©
Escape the urban bustle at Veragua Rainforest Park and Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. Take a break from Puerto Limon with a short trip to Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica in Cahuita, about 36 minutes away.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Puerto Limon trip planner .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Limon takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In March, daytime highs in Puerto Limon are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. On the 3rd (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Puerto Limon

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Cahuita
Highlights from your plan
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica ©
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica
Tortuguero Canal ©
Tortuguero Canal

Similar Plans

22 days in San Jose & Dominical BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM HUNGARY December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM CANADA October, relaxing, romantic, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, relaxing, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 36 days in Colombia, San Jose & Nicaragua BY A USER FROM MEXICO December, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 60 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in San Jose & Los Angeles BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 34 days in Nicaragua, San Jose & Colombia BY A USER FROM MEXICO December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in Colombia & San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 1 day in San Jose BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA October, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 1 day in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans