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: Baden-Baden
+3
train + Fly + bus + shuttle:  26​h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  8​h 45​min
3
Drake Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  1​h 45​min
8
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  25​h
End: Baden-Baden

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. Next up on the itinerary: look for all kinds of wild species at La Fortuna Waterfall, take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano.

For more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder .

Baden-Baden, Germany to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 26-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time (CET) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 7 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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 26th (Sat): learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Tortuguero vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

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 September, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Museums
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

2
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Get outdoors at Corcovado National Park and Cano Island. Make the 27th (Sun) an awe-inspiring day at Naturaseekers.

For reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Drake Bay trip planner .

You can drive from Tortuguero to Drake Bay in 9 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Corcovado National Park
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado National Park ©
Corcovado National Park
Cano Island ©
Cano Island

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Wed): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Thu): stroll through Playa Biesanz, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and then stop by Jungle Avenue.

To see more things to do, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio online sightseeing planner .

You can drive from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Beaches

Side Trip

Jungle Avenue
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
River Rafting & Tubing

2
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.
On the 2nd (Fri), look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Curi Cancha Reserve, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To see maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

2
nights
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste ©
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sun): contemplate the geological forces at Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of Llanos de Cortez Waterfall and then look for all kinds of wild species at Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands.

For traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Area de Conservacion Guanacaste online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Monteverde to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

2
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.
On the 6th (Tue), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Wed): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, and then look for gifts at Dolores Shop.

For where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo online road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Tamarindo takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) early enough to travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. On your second day here, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Poas Volcano.

For maps, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read Poas Volcano National Park vacation maker .

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Tamarindo to Poas Volcano National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

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