22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  14​h 45​min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Liberia
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 30​min
6
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
8
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
+3
bus + foot + bus + Fly:  18​h 45​min
End: London

3
nights
San Jose

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.
Get in touch with nature at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Poas Volcano. Do some cultural sightseeing at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica and Jade Museum. Get out of town with these interesting San Jose side-trips: Souvenir Museum (in Alajuela) and Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles (in Cartago). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense.

To see reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose attractions planner.

London, UK to San Jose is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -6 hour difference. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from London in September, with highs in San Jose at 32°C and lows at 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can go by car to Turrialba.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Nature Parks

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, Souvenir Museum, Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

1
night
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
On the 29th (Sun), explore the ancient world of Guayabo National Park and Monument.

For maps and more tourist information, read Turrialba trip itinerary website .

Traveling by car from San Jose to Turrialba takes 2 hours. In September in Turrialba, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Turrialba

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©
Guayabo National Park and Monument

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Tortuguero using our trip planner.

Traveling by car from Turrialba to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Tortuguero when traveling from Turrialba in September, with lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

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

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.
Get outdoors at Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Onirica Art Gallery and Galeria Estudio. There's lots more to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, shop like a local with Coco Loco Art Studio & Gallery, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip tool .

You can drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Liberia.

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

2
nights
Liberia

Liberia ©
Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
On the 5th (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Church of La Ermita La Agonia and then contemplate the geological forces at Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, then meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, and then view the masterpieces at Costa Rica'n Art Craft.

To find photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Liberia visit planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Liberia takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can catcht the bus to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Liberia

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, Playa Hermosa, Shark Diving
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Mon): kick back and relax at Playa Conchal, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Paul's by the Sea, and then get a taste of the local shopping with Lydia Beech Art Boutique. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas and then enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

For more things to do, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip itinerary planning app .

Getting from Liberia to Tamarindo by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

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

3
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.
Visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Monteverde Frog Pond will get you outdoors. Ecological Sanctuary and Chorotega Arts & Crafts are good opportunities to explore the local culture. The adventure continues: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take in the exciting artwork at Sarah's Gallery, shop like a local with Arte Jaguar Gallery, and get to know the fascinating history of Santa Elena Skywalk.

Before you visit Monteverde, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts and The Captain's Booty. Get in touch with nature at Playa Manuel Antonio and Fishing Charters & Tours. Take a break from Manuel Antonio with a short trip to Zipline in Jaco, about 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, stroll around Parque Nahomi, get interesting insight from Tours, and kick back and relax at La Playita.

To find ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read Manuel Antonio vacation planner.

Drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Fishing Charters & Tours

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