23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Moncton
Fly + Drive:  14​h 30​min
1
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 day
Drive:  4​h
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Bus:  3​h 30​min
4
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  2​h 45​min
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
8
Playas del Coco
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
9
Liberia
— 5 nights
Fly:  16​h 45​min
End: Moncton

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Tue): admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), then take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Alas y Raices. On the next day, examine the collection at Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts, look for all kinds of wild species at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, and then snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk.

To find traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip planner.

Moncton, Canada to Monteverde is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Atlantic Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -2 hour difference. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Moncton in December, with highs in Monteverde at 32°C and lows at 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Museums
Highlights from your plan
Chorotega Arts & Crafts ©
Chorotega Arts & Crafts
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

1
day
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 (Thu): tour the water at your own pace with Tortuguero Adventures and then see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

For ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tortuguero takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Monteverde in December since evenings lows in Tortuguero dip to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Wildlife Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero Adventures ©
Tortuguero Adventures
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

2
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
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 28th (Fri): experience rural life at Chocorart, then kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach, and then stroll through Playa Cocles. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, kick back and relax at Playa Chiquita, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to catcht the bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita ©

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles), then steep yourself in history at Ruinas de Ujarras, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Maria Auxiliadora. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana), then stop by Chieton Moren, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and finally explore the engaging exhibits at Museo de los Ninos.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose day trip planner .

You can take a bus from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. In December, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in San Jose

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Cartago, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
Santa Teresa

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Carmen, and then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tokpela, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

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

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from San Jose to Santa Teresa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Tokpela
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Garza, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Buena Vista, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Koss Art Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback and then kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Playa Samara holiday site .

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

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

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 5th (Sat): get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, then glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and then identify plant and animal life at Monkey Park. Keep things going the next day: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Tamarindo Church, admire all the interesting features of Pura Aventura, then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, and finally look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa.

For maps, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo online trip itinerary maker .

Drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Playa Flamingo
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Church ©
Tamarindo Church
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura

3
nights
Playas del Coco

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco and Alessandra Cola Art are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visit Playas del coco and Playa Dantita for some beach relaxation. There's lots more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get a taste of the local shopping with Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Playas del Coco trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to drive to Liberia.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Dantita, Playas del coco
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Playas del coco ©
Playas del coco
Playa Dantita ©
Playa Dantita

5
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Zipline and Palo Verde National Park. Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic scenery at Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, stop by Souvenir Ocarina, get in on the family fun at Ponderosa Adventure Park, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Liberia trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to Liberia takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Liberia

Parks Nature Theme Parks

Side Trips

Province of Guanacaste, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
River Rafting & Tubing
Palo Verde National Park ©
Palo Verde National Park

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