21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Parrita
— 1 night
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
9
Cahuita
— 1 night
Drive
10
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive
11
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
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 22nd (Wed): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For photos, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read Manuel Antonio journey planning site.

Montreal, Canada to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Montreal to Manuel Antonio due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Parrita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Parrita

— 1 night
On the 24th (Fri), enjoy the sand and surf at Palo Seco Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Bejuco.

To see reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Parrita trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Parrita takes an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Parrita

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Monteverde

— 2 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Sun): stroll through Ecological Sanctuary, then take in the views from Santa Elena Skywalk, and then examine the collection at Chorotega Arts & Crafts.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Parrita to Monteverde in 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums

Playa Samara

— 2 nights
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 27th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach, then stroll through Playa Guiones, and then browse the exhibits of MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Barrigona Beach, explore the galleries of Koss Art Gallery, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

Plan my day in Playa Samara using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Museums

Side Trip

Tamarindo

— 2 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then view the masterpieces at Lydia Beech Art Boutique. On your second day here, find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Museums

Side Trips

Playas del Coco

— 2 nights

Coco Beach

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Fri): meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, then view the masterpieces at Costa Rica'n Art Craft, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church of La Ermita La Agonia. Keep things going the next day: browse the exhibits of Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, take in the exciting artwork at Hidden Garden Art Gallery, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco.

For more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Playas del Coco trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors · Historic Sites · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 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.
ChocoMuseo La Fortuna and Coco Loco Art Studio & Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Kids will appreciate attractions like River Rafting & Tubing and La Fortuna Waterfall. And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the exciting artwork at Wood & Art Gallery, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, and explore the galleries of Galeria Estudio.

For maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder.

Getting from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Spas · Museums

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

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 5th (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park and then learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Tortuguero planning tool.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In August, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can go by car to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks · Museums

Cahuita

— 1 night
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
On the 6th (Thu), kick back and relax at Playa Puerto Viejo and then have some family-friendly fun at Yesland Mini Golf.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Cahuita travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Tortuguero to Cahuita by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in August, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to drive to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Cahuita

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Fun & Games

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Vara Blanca

— 1 night
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Fri): admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

For maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Vara Blanca trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Cahuita to Vara Blanca by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

San Jose

— 3 nights
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 8th (Sat): explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and finally view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Sun): contemplate the long history of Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, and then explore the galleries of Riish and Toosh Afro Costa Rican Paintings.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read San Jose journey app.

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to San Jose takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In August, daytime highs in San Jose are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Mon) to allow time for the flight back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums · Shopping

Side Trips

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.