23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
2
Uvita
— 1 night
Drive
3
Sierpe
— 1 night
Drive
4
Dominical
— 1 night
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 1 day
Taxi
6
Quepos
Drive
7
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive
9
Quesada
— 3 nights
Drive
10
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 1 night
Drive
11
Quesada
— 2 nights
Drive
12
Playa Conchal
— 2 nights
Shuttle
13
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
14
Nosara
— 1 night
Drive
15
Playas del Coco
Shuttle
16
Gulf of Papagayo
— 2 nights
Drive
17
Rincon de La Vieja
— 1 day
Drive
18
Liberia
— 1 night
Fly

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San Jose

— 1 night
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 31st (Mon), learn more about the world around you at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, have fun at Butterfly Kingdom Costa Rica, then buy something for everyone on your list at Avenida Escazu, and finally stop by Chieton Moren.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose vacation planner.

Phoenix, USA to San Jose is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. When traveling from Phoenix in May, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in San Jose: temperatures range from 82°F by day to 67°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to go by car to Uvita.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Wildlife · Fun & Games · Shopping

Side Trip

Uvita

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Tue): get outside with Ultralight Tour, stroll through Oro Verde Biological Reserve, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Uvita trip maker app.

Getting from San Jose to Uvita by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Sierpe.

Things to do in Uvita

Wildlife · Parks · Spas · Outdoors
Highlights from your trip

Sierpe

— 1 night
On the 2nd (Wed), examine the collection at El Sitio Museo Finca 6, tee off at San Buenas Golf Resort and Spa, and then explore the activities along Kokopelli.

For where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Sierpe trip itinerary maker tool.

Drive from Uvita to Sierpe in an hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can go by car to Dominical.

Things to do in Sierpe

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Golf

Side Trips

Dominical

— 1 night
The laid back beachfront town of Dominical has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a surfer haunt of some repute.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): stop by Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, soothe aching muscles at Danyasa Eco-Retreat - Bamboo Yoga Play Studio, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, then stroll through Parque Reptilandia, and finally kick back and relax at Dominicalito Beach.

To find where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Dominical online itinerary builder.

You can drive from Sierpe to Dominical in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Dominical

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Manuel Antonio

— 1 day
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 4th (Fri): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio day trip website.

Getting from Dominical to Manuel Antonio by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Quepos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Spas
Highlights from your trip

Quepos

The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): soothe aching muscles at Yoga con Cyn.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Quepos trip itinerary planner.

Quepos is just a stone's throw from Manuel Antonio. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Quepos

Spas
Highlights from your trip

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.
On the 5th (Sat), play a few rounds at La Iguana Golf Course, snap pictures at Tarcoles Bridge, then admire the sheer force of Catarata Bijagual, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding, and finally look for gifts at Fruity Monkey Poop. Keep things going the next day: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then get great views at Mirador de Jaco, then take in panoramic vistas at El Miro, and finally kick back and relax at Playa Bejuco.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Jaco trip planner.

Drive from Quepos to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Parks · Adventure · Tours

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 1 night
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 7th (Mon): take in the dramatic scenery at Catarata Los Murcielagos - Monteverde Waterfall and then indulge in some personalized pampering at Monteverde Massage.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Quesada.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Nature · Spas

Quesada

— 3 nights
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Catedral de Ciudad Quesada and Iglesia de San Rafael. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Quesada: Nectandra Cloud Forest Garden (in San Ramon), Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bosque Alegre (in Tirimbina) and Parque Nacional del Agua Juan Castro Blanco (in Bajos del Toro).

To see more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Quesada trip itinerary maker tool.

Drive from Monteverde to Quesada in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In June in Quesada, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 66°F at night. You will leave for La Fortuna de San Carlos on the 10th (Thu).

Things to do in Quesada

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Wildlife

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 1 night
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.
On the 10th (Thu), witness a stunning natural landmark at Los Lagos Hot Springs and then get outside with Flow Trips.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planning tool.

Drive from Quesada to La Fortuna de San Carlos in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Quesada.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

Quesada

— 2 nights
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Sat): explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional del Agua Juan Castro Blanco.

To find traveler tips and more tourist information, you can read our Quesada travel itinerary planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Quesada by car takes about an hour. On the 13th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Playa Conchal.

Things to do in Quesada

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Playa Conchal

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 14th (Mon): meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Playa Conchal trip maker site.

Traveling by car from Quesada to Playa Conchal takes 5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Conchal

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Tamarindo

— 2 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 15th (Tue), meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, then look for gifts at Papaya Con Leche, and finally find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates. On your second day here, see Off-Road Tours.

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip planning site.

Tamarindo is just a stone's throw from Playa Conchal. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to drive to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Wildlife

Side Trip

Nosara

— 1 night
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, then get outside with Equisol Retreats CR, SRL, then stop by Nativa Gallery, and finally get outside with Nosara Sea Saw Tours.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Nosara route planning site.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Nosara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. You will leave for Playas del Coco on the 18th (Fri).

Things to do in Nosara

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Shopping

Side Trip

Playas del Coco

Coco Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Fri): stop by Cata Chocolate and then see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco journey planner.

You can drive from Nosara to Playas del Coco in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can travel to Gulf of Papagayo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Shopping

Gulf of Papagayo

— 2 nights
A concerted development project by the government given Gulf of Papagayo a growing number of luxury and all inclusive resort complexes and turned it into one of the country's leading holiday destinations.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sat): relax and rejuvenate at Beach's Massage, see what you can catch with Matt's Fishing & Tours, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Iguanita.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Gulf of Papagayo online visit planner.

Gulf of Papagayo is just a short distance from Playas del Coco. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can fly to Rincon de La Vieja.

Things to do in Gulf of Papagayo

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip

Rincon de La Vieja

— 1 day
Start off your visit on the 20th (Sun): get in on the family fun at Dino Park Blue River and then surround yourself with nature on Hotel Borinquen Mountain Resort Activites.

To see ratings, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read Rincon de La Vieja online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Gulf of Papagayo to Rincon de La Vieja takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Liberia.

Things to do in Rincon de La Vieja

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Theme Parks
Highlights from your trip

Liberia

— 1 night

White City

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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Mon): see the interesting displays at Museo de Guanacaste and then stop by Nahua.

For reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Liberia visit website.

Traveling by car from Rincon de La Vieja to Liberia takes an hour. You'll have a few hours on the 21st (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Liberia

Museums · Shopping
Highlights from your trip

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.

Arenal Volcano National Park travel guide

4.4
Hot Springs · Waterfalls · River Rafting & Tubing
Plan a tour of Arenal Volcano National Park to get in touch with nature, enjoy scenic views, and admire the majestic volcano up close. The park, established in 1991, protects a variety of ecosystems and wildlife. You can choose from four hiking trails, taking you across the rainforest and lava fields. Enjoy scenic lookout points, see a staggering variety of birds and plants, or climb the dormant Mount Chato on your trip to Arenal Volcano National Park.