18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica attractions planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Juan Santamaría International Airport, Drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 2 nights
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Playa Flamingo
— 2 nights
Drive to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, Fly to Port Elizabeth

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La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 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.
Take a break from the city and head to La Fortuna Waterfall and Bogarin Trail. Step off the beaten path and head to Paradise Hot Springs and La Fortuna Arenal Volcano Rain Forest Reserve. There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, admire the natural beauty at Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, hike along Arenal 1968 Volcano View & Trails, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online tour itinerary planner.

Port Elizabeth, South Africa to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 35.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle. The time zone difference moving from South Africa Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 8 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Manuel Antonio

— 3 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Step off the beaten path and head to Safari Adventures and Horseback Riding Tours. Escape the urban bustle at Playa Manuel Antonio and Parasailing & Paragliding. When in Manuel Antonio, make a side trip to see Rainmaker Park in Parrita, approximately Parrita away. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Espadilla Norte.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip maker website.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches

Side Trips

Uvita

— 2 nights
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Mon): admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall and then ride a horse along Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Uvita trip maker tool.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Uvita in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature

Side Trip

Jaco

— 2 nights
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Costa Rica Dreams Sportfishing and then surround yourself with nature on Jungle Crocodile Safari. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Thu): head outdoors with Outdoor Activities and then see Off-Road Tours.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Jaco trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Jaco takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Adventure

Side Trips

Santa Teresa

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): surround yourself with nature on Costa Rican Tropical Tours and then find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Playa Hermosa and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa travel tool.

Traveling by combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Flamingo.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

Playa Flamingo

— 2 nights

White Beach

The white sand beach of Playa Flamingo has become a go-to tourist getaway by the sea.
On the 2nd (Sun), explore the activities along Potrero Beach and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

Discover how to plan a Playa Flamingo trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Flamingo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Playa Flamingo

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Beaches

Side Trip

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.