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: Milan
+2
Fly + Bus + Taxi:  20 h
1
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  6 h 45 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
Ferry + Taxi:  3 h 45 min
6
Santa Teresa
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
7
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
8
Tamarindo
— Few hours
Drive:  1 h 15 min
9
Playas del Coco
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 30 min
10
La Cruz
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  19 h 30 min
End: Milan

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Ecological Sanctuary and Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa. Visiting Nature & Wildlife Tours and Middle Earth Thermal Springs will get you outdoors. Get out of town with these interesting Monteverde side-trips: Superman De Osa (in Puntarenas), Sustainability Demonstration Center (in Guacimal) and Playa Dona Ana (in Barranca). The adventure continues: take in the dramatic scenery at San Luis Waterfall, admire the masterpieces at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, and browse the exhibits of Alas y Raices.

To plan Monteverde vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Milan, Italy to Monteverde is an approximately 20- hour combination of flight, bus, and taxi. You can also do a combination of train, flight, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Milan to Monteverde is minus 7 hours. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Milan in December; daily highs in Monteverde reach 32°C and lows reach 32°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Puntarenas, Sustainability Demonstration Center, San Luis Waterfall, Playa Dona Ana, Middle Earth Thermal Springs
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa ©
Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Bogarin Trail and Butterfly Conservatory. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) and Paradise Hot Springs. And it doesn't end there: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Los Lagos Hot Springs.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday builder app.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Highlights from your plan
Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) ©
Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
Safaris
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

3
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.
We've included these beaches for you: Punta Uva Beach and Playa Cocles. Step off the beaten path and head to Veragua Rainforest Park and La Ceiba. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio, take in the dramatic scenery at Cataratas Bribri Talamanca, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and pick up some local products at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita.

Start your trip to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, Nature Observatorio, Veragua Rainforest Park, Cataratas Bribri Talamanca
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles

3
nights
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Get outdoors at Rainmaker Park and Walking tours. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Palo Seco Beach and Playa Espadilla Norte. Go for a jaunt from Manuel Antonio to Jaco to see Off-Road Tours about 1h 25 min away. There's lots more to do: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, trot along with a tour on horseback, browse the exhibits of The Captain's Booty, and get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

Plan my Manuel Antonio trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Parrita, Off-Road Tours
Highlights from your plan
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park
Walking tours
Palo Seco Beach ©
Palo Seco Beach

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): admire the sheer force of Nauyaca Waterfalls, stroll through Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, and finally stop by Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Uvita Beach, then take a memorable tour with Tours, then take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Uvita trip website .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Uvita in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Dominical
Highlights from your plan
Nauyaca Waterfalls ©
Nauyaca Waterfalls
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa, then see Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Carmen, and finally stroll through Wild Sun Rescue Center.

To find ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa itinerary maker app .

Traveling by combination of ferry and taxi from Uvita to Santa Teresa takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Wild Sun Rescue Center
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

3
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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Garza and Playa Buena Vista. Take a break from the city and head to Fishing Charters & Tours and Wild By Nature Adventures. Go for a jaunt from Playa Samara to Nandayure to see Jungle Butterfly Farm about 1h 05 min away. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Werner Sauter Biological Reserve, hunt for treasures at Samara Farmers Market, take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, and view the masterpieces at Koss Art Gallery.

To see maps, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Playa Samara online trip maker.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December in Playa Samara, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Playa Garza, Jungle Butterfly Farm, Wild By Nature Adventures
Highlights from your plan
dondeJavitours ©
dondeJavitours
Playa Garza ©
Playa Garza
Playa Buena Vista ©
Playa Buena Vista

few
hours
Tamarindo

Tamarindo
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Step out of the city life by going to Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and Scuba & Snorkeling. There's much more to do: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, stop by Papaya Con Leche, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, and have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf.

Discover how to plan a Tamarindo trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Getting from Playa Samara to Tamarindo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Tours Outdoors Adventure

1
night
Playas del Coco

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): get outside with Crazy Alex CR, then view the masterpieces at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Ocotal, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco.

To see reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco trip builder .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. December in Playas del Coco sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Playa Ocotal
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco ©
Playa Ocotal ©
Playa Ocotal
Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts ©
Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts

2
nights
La Cruz

La Cruz ©
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Playa Copal. On the 2nd (Thu), kick back and relax at Playa Copal, stroll through Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge, and then sample the tasty concoctions at Maderos Brewery.

To see ratings, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read our La Cruz trip itinerary planning tool .

Getting from Playas del Coco to La Cruz by car takes about 1.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in La Cruz

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Liberia, Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge ©
Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge
Maderos Brewery ©
Maderos Brewery

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