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
+2
Fly + Bus + Taxi:  11 h
1
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
3
La Virgen
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
4
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Cahuita
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
6
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  2 h 15 min
7
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Taxi + Ferry:  3 h 45 min
8
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
9
Carate
— 1 night
Drive:  5 h 15 min
10
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Bus:  3 h
11
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly:  8 h 45 min
End: Montreal, Quebec

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): stroll through Valle Escondido Preserve, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Here are some ideas for day two: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and then trot along with a tour on horseback.

For other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde day trip app .

Montreal, Canada to Monteverde is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Montreal to Monteverde due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Valle Escondido Preserve ©
Valle Escondido Preserve
Horseback Riding Tours

2
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.
On the 24th (Fri), explore by horseback at Arenal Wilberth Stables and then get outside with Flow Trips. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Sat): hike along Senderos Los Tucanes, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos tour planning website .

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to drive to La Virgen.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Outdoors Tours Trails
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Arenal Wilberth Stables ©
Arenal Wilberth Stables

1
night
La Virgen

La Virgen ©
On the 26th (Sun), add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park.

To see other places to visit, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read our La Virgen route planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to La Virgen takes 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Virgen

Tours Adventure Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park ©
Kayaking & Canoeing

1
night
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see other places to visit and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from La Virgen to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in July, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Tours
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
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 28th (Tue): stroll through Punta Uva Beach and then kick back and relax at Playa Cocles. Keep things going the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, then stroll through Tarantulas Way, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Cahuita tour planning app .

Getting from Tortuguero to Cahuita by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in July, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can go by car to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

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

1
night
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Thu): stroll through La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then get impressive views of Poas Volcano.

For photos, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Poas Volcano National Park tour itinerary builder.

Drive from Cahuita to Poas Volcano National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): glide peacefully along the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area, then take in the exciting artwork at Bri'ah Art Gallery, and then stroll through Playa Hermosa. On your second day here, stroll through Playa Carmen and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

For photos and tourist information, use the Santa Teresa trip builder tool .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Poas Volcano National Park to Santa Teresa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can travel to Uvita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Tours Beaches

Side Trip

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

3
nights
Uvita

Uvita ©
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Attractions like Uvita Beach and Playa Ventanas make great kid-friendly stops. There's still lots to do: explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, stop by Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars, and admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall.

To find where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read Uvita holiday tool .

Do a combination of taxi and ferry from Santa Teresa to Uvita in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can drive to Carate.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Ventanas, Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

1
night
Carate

Carate
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): immerse yourself in nature at Ave Azul de la Osa.

For traveler tips, maps, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and other tourist information, read our Carate itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Carate takes 4.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Carate

Zoos & Aquariums Parks Nature

2
nights
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 6th (Thu): glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour and then stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio. Here are some ideas for day two: get interesting insight from Tours, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio travel planner.

Drive from Carate to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to catch the bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Parque Nahomi
Highlights from your plan
Parasailing & Paragliding
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Walking tours

3
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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): get in on the family fun at Parque Diversiones and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia La Soledad.

For topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read San Jose holiday builder site .

Traveling by bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in August, and nighttime lows around 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

Nature & Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
River Rafting & Tubing
Parque Diversiones ©
Parque Diversiones

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