23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica vacation maker

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Route & dates

23 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: New York City
bus + Fly:  9​h
1
San Jose
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Playa Conchal
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Playa Samara
— 6 nights
Drive + bus:  4​h
6
San Jose
— 4 nights
Fly + bus:  9​h
End: New York City

4
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.
Museo de los Ninos and Galeria Namu will appeal to museum buffs. Escape the urban bustle at Top Travel Costa Rica and Playa Junquillal. Venture out of the city with trips to Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro), Cartago (Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles & Ruins of the Church of Carthage) and Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion (in Ujarras). There's still lots to do: take a peaceful walk through Rio savegre Waterfall, hike along Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the San Jose trip maker app .

New York City, USA to San Jose is an approximately 9-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from New York City in August since evenings lows in San Jose dip to 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Cartago, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, Playa Junquillal, Rio savegre Waterfall, Toucan Rescue Ranch
Highlights from your plan

2
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.
On the 26th (Mon), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and then explore the fascinating underground world of Venado Caves. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Tue): get a taste of the local shopping with Galeria Estudio, then trek along Bogarin Trail, then stroll through Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and finally get to know the resident critters at Arenal Eco Zoo.

Planning La Fortuna de San Carlos trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Drive from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Wed) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Venado Caves, Arenal Eco Zoo
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Venado Caves ©
Venado Caves

2
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Ecological Sanctuary and Finca el Rodeo. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Chorotega Arts & Crafts and Monteverde Wild Hikes. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Monteverde: Sustainability Demonstration Center (in Guacimal) and Middle Earth Thermal Springs (in Quebrada Grande). The adventure continues: look for gifts at Souvenir Rosewood-Info Center.

To find maps, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde trip itinerary builder .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Playa Conchal.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Sustainability Demonstration Center, Middle Earth Thermal Springs
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Wild Hikes ©
Monteverde Wild Hikes
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Chorotega Arts & Crafts ©
Chorotega Arts & Crafts

2
nights
Playa Conchal

Playa Conchal ©
On the 31st (Sat), tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Flamingo, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Danta, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Here are some ideas for day two: head outdoors with Arenas Blancas and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Dantita.

Plan my Playa Conchal trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Conchal takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Playa Conchal

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Las Catalinas, Playa Flamingo
Highlights from your plan
Playa Danta ©
Playa Danta
Playa Dantita ©
Playa Dantita

6
nights
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.
Attractions like Playa Corozalito and Playa Garza make great kid-friendly stops. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Koss Art Gallery and Church of San Blas. Change things up with these side-trips from Playa Samara: Playa Manzanillo (in Nicoya), Nosara (Equisol Retreats CR, SRL, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, & more) and Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Buena Vista, take in the exciting artwork at Bri'ah Art Gallery, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and head outdoors with Wild By Nature Adventures.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Playa Samara online vacation planner .

Drive from Playa Conchal to Playa Samara in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Nicoya, Playa Corozalito, Bri'ah Art Gallery, Jungle Butterfly Farm
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Playa Garza ©
Playa Garza
Playa Buena Vista ©
Playa Buena Vista

4
nights
San Jose

Guayabo National Park and Monument and Metal Church will appeal to history buffs. Bring the kids along to Bosque de la Hoja and Frogs Heaven. Change things up with a short trip to River Rafting & Tubing in Turrialba (about 1h 45 min away). Explore San Jose further: get engrossed in the history at Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum and admire the masterpieces at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose driving holiday website .

Do a combination of car and bus from Playa Samara to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Historic Sites Adventure

Side Trips

Turrialba, Frogs Heaven, Bosque de la Hoja, Metal Church, Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©

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