23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Shuttle
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Puntarenas
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Orosi
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Puerto Limon
— 2 nights
Fly
9
San Jose
— 1 day
Fly

S M T W T F S
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Tue): examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally browse the exhibits of Galeria Namu.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose tour itinerary builder tool.

London, UK to San Jose is an approximately 15-hour flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -6 hour difference. Expect warmer temperatures when traveling from London in December; daily highs in San Jose reach 30°C and lows reach 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can catch the shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Shopping

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 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.
Attractions like River Rafting & Tubing and Termales Los Laureles make great kid-friendly stops. When in La Fortuna de San Carlos, make a side trip to see Arenal Eco Zoo in El Castillo, approximately El Castillo away. There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, head outdoors with El Salto, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

Take the guesswork out of planning a La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Getting from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos by shuttle takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Theme Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 3 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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like El Trapiche Tour and Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), explore the galleries of Alas y Raices, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle.

For traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde day trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Monteverde sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

Tamarindo

— 4 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Tamarindo Beach and Playa Conchal. There's lots more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park, and stop by Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa.

To find reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Tamarindo trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. In December, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Puntarenas.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Theme Parks

Side Trips

Puntarenas

— 2 nights

Pacific Pearl

A major port city with a busy fish market, for most tourists Puntarenas represents little more than the launching point for ferries heading to the pleasant beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head outdoors with Superman De Osa, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Parque Marino del Pacifico, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Puntarenas.

To find photos, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read Puntarenas travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Tamarindo to Puntarenas in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can drive to Orosi.

Things to do in Puntarenas

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Orosi

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 29th (Tue): get outside with Mirador de Ujarras, then take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum and then explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Tapanti Macizo de la Muerte.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Orosi trip maker site.

Getting from Puntarenas to Orosi by car takes about 3 hours. In December in Orosi, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) early enough to travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Orosi

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 3 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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Finca La Isla. There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park, stroll through Puerto Viejo Beach, experience rural life at Finca Tierra, and kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach.

To find ratings, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca vacation maker tool.

You can drive from Orosi to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can drive to Puerto Limon.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Puerto Limon

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): kick back and relax at Playa Bonita and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Veragua Rainforest Park.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Limon trip planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Puerto Limon in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January in Puerto Limon, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Mon) to allow time for travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Limon

Parks · Wildlife · Zoos & Aquariums · Beaches
Highlights from your trip

San Jose

— 1 day
Start off your visit on the 4th (Mon): get some fabulous bargains at Mercado Municipal De Artesanias.

Plan a trip to San Jose easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can fly from Puerto Limon to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Puerto Limon in January, with highs in San Jose at 30°C and lows at 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping
Highlights from your trip

Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
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.