20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Newcastle
Fly + Drive:  36​h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
San Jose
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 30​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
ferry:  3​h 30​min
5
Santa Teresa
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  34​h
End: Newcastle

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.
Get outdoors at Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. Spend the 29th (Thu) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

For other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary maker.

Newcastle, Australia to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 36-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 16 hours traveling from Newcastle to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

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.
Get some historical perspective at Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk. Take a break from the city and head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Viento Fresco Waterfall.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde trip builder.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 2 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Viento Fresco Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles), and finally look for gifts at J.LANG Atelier & Showroom. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Thu): admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally enjoy the scholastic atmosphere at Universidad de Costa Rica.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our San Jose travel itinerary creator.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to San Jose takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In July, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
Highlights from your plan
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

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.
Get in touch with nature at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz.

To find photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio National Park vacation builder.

Do a combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi from San Jose to Manuel Antonio National Park in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. July in Manuel Antonio National Park sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 23°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa

few
hours
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.
To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Teresa online itinerary creator.

You can do a combination of ferry and taxi from Manuel Antonio National Park to Santa Teresa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Playa Samara vacation planner.

Drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 2 hours. In July, daytime highs in Playa Samara are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Belen Waterfall ©
Belen Waterfall

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal and then head outdoors with Guanacaste Adventure & Travel. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Playa Avellana, stop by Diamante Boutique, then look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, and finally kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo custom trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In July, daily temperatures in Tamarindo can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Guanacaste Adventure & Travel
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

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