21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Train to Frankfurt, Fly to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Drake Bay
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Fly to Amsterdam Schiphol, Train to Dusseldorf

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La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, stroll through Proyecto Asis, and contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary builder.

Dusseldorf, Germany to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 16-hour combination of train and flight. Traveling from Dusseldorf to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature

Side Trip

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 23rd (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip itinerary builder site.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In July, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Highlights from your trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 nights

Walaba

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sat): stroll through La Ceiba, tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Puerto Viejo and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca journey planner.

Getting from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Drake Bay

— 2 nights
On the 26th (Mon), stroll through Naturaseekers, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Cano Island.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read our Drake Bay road trip website.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Drake Bay in 7.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife · Parks · Nature · Tours

Manuel Antonio

— 3 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Venture out of the city with trips to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary (in Dominical) and Uvita (Parque Nacional Marino Ballena & Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars). Spend the 29th (Thu) on the water with a fishing tour. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and see Off-Road Tours.

To see traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio vacation planner.

Drive from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Jaco

— 2 nights
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sat): head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, then get up close to creatures of the deep with Costa Rica Dreams Sportfishing, and finally head outdoors with Outdoor Activities. On your second day here, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Jaco Beach.

For maps, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, go to the Jaco trip planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side 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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, and then explore and take pictures at Ecological Sanctuary. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then get a dose of the wild on Guia Naturalista Olman Gonzalez.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read Monteverde trip itinerary website.

You can drive from Jaco to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Tamarindo

— 3 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal), Tio Leo Coffee Tour,a real cultural experience (in Liberia) and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Tamarindo road trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

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.