21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Montreal, Quebec
Fly:  10 h 45 min
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
2
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
3
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Ferry:  4 h
4
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
5
Drake Bay
— 1 night
Drive:  8 h
6
Cahuita
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
7
San Jose
— 5 nights
Fly:  8 h 45 min
End: Montreal, Quebec

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Venado Caves and Paradise Hot Springs. And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

For other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip maker website .

Montreal, Canada to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Montreal to La Fortuna de San Carlos due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature Parks Spas

Side Trip

Venado Caves
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Venado Caves ©
Venado Caves

3
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates and Off-Road Tours. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo) and Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa). There's more to do: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo sightseeing planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Theme Parks

Side Trips

Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Playa Hermosa, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura

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 28th (Tue), stroll through Playa Carmen and then trot along with a tour on horseback. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, then browse the exhibits of Bri'ah Art Gallery, and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Santa Teresa travel route planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can ride a ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Horseback Riding Tours
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

4
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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Uvita Beach and Playa Manuel Antonio. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Horseback Riding Tours. Step out of Manuel Antonio to go to Dominical and see Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, which is approximately 1h 05 min away. There's still lots to do: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, stop by Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop, take a memorable tour with Tours, and walk around Parque Nahomi.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip planner.

You can ride a ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, Uvita Beach
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

1
night
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): head off the coast to Cano Island.

For where to stay, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Drake Bay online itinerary planner .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Nature Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Cano Island ©
Cano Island

1
night
Cahuita

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): stroll through Tarantulas Way and then take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. On the 5th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles and then kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach.

To see photos, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Cahuita tour planner.

Traveling by car from Drake Bay to Cahuita takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. August in Cahuita sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 26°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles

5
nights
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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Parque Diversiones and Zoo Ave. Discover out-of-the-way places like Photography Tours and Top Travel Costa Rica. There's much more to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the spiritual surroundings of Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad, and view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the San Jose travel route builder site .

Drive from Cahuita to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, San Jose is little chillier than Cahuita - with highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trip

Zoo Ave
Highlights from your plan
Photography Tours
Parque Diversiones ©
Parque Diversiones
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave

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