22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Montreal, Quebec
Fly:  8 h 45 min
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 15 min
2
San Gerardo de Dota
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
3
Uvita
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h
4
Quepos
— 1 night
Bus:  1 h
5
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
6
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
7
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
9
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
10
Cahuita
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
11
San Jose
— 1 night
Fly:  8 h 45 min
End: Montreal, Quebec

1
night
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.
On the 21st (Tue), stroll around Parque La Sabana, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, then get to know the resident critters at Zoo Ave, and finally look for gifts at J.LANG Atelier & Showroom. On the 22nd (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum and then see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

For reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose online road trip planner .

Montreal, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Montreal to San Jose is minus 1 hour. In July, plan for daily highs up to 31°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can drive to San Gerardo de Dota.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Zoo Ave
Highlights from your plan
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

1
night
San Gerardo de Dota

San Gerardo de Dota ©
To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read San Gerardo de Dota trip builder.

Traveling by car from San Jose to San Gerardo de Dota takes 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in San Gerardo de Dota

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Parque National Los Quetzales ©
Parque National Los Quetzales
Batsu Gardens ©
Batsu Gardens

1
night
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.
To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Uvita trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from San Gerardo de Dota to Uvita in 2.5 hours. You will leave for Quepos on the 24th (Fri).

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

1
night
Quepos

The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): see what you can catch with a fishing tour, then walk around Parque Nahomi, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Here are some ideas for day two: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Quepos trip website .

Getting from Uvita to Quepos by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Jaco.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Fishing Charters & Tours
Spas

1
night
Jaco

Jaco ©
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.
On the 26th (Sun), take in the exciting artwork at Bambu, then get outside with Costa Rica SUP'ers, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Jaco Beach.

To see photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Jaco journey maker.

You can take a bus from Quepos to Jaco in an hour. Another option is to drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Jaco Beach ©
Jaco Beach

4
nights
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
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.
Kids will enjoy Samara Beach and Barrigona Beach. Step out of Playa Samara with an excursion to MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY in Nosara--about 58 minutes away. There's lots more to do: trot along with a tour on horseback, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara trip planner.

Traveling by combination of ferry and taxi from Jaco to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Playa Buena Vista ©
Playa Buena Vista

3
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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, catch some excitement at Curi Cancha Reserve, relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas).

For photos, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Monteverde visit planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Monteverde in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle

3
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.
Bring the kids along to Arenal Eco Zoo and Kalambu Hot Springs. There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, browse the exhibits of Wood & Art Gallery, and take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

For traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

Arenal Eco Zoo
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Kalambu Hot Springs ©
Kalambu Hot Springs
Arenal Eco Zoo ©
Arenal Eco Zoo

2
nights
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.
On the 5th (Wed), get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy. On your second day here, get interesting insight from Tours and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero online day trip planner .

You can 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. August in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles. Take a break from Cahuita with a short trip to Punta Uva Beach in Punta Uva, about 34 minutes away. There's more to do: admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla and stroll through Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica.

For reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Cahuita trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Cahuita takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

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

1
night
San Jose

San Jose ©
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Mon): see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read San Jose trip planning app .

You can drive from Cahuita to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, San Jose is slightly colder than Cahuita - with highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums
Highlights from your plan
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

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