24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  31 h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
3
San Jose
— 3 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Ferry:  3 h 30 min
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
6
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
7
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Fly:  30 h
End: Sydney

4
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Butterfly Conservatory and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Get in touch with nature at Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). Get out of town with these interesting La Fortuna de San Carlos side-trips: El Castillo (Arenal Eco Zoo & Food Tours).

To find more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary maker.

Sydney, Australia to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 31-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 16 hours traveling from Sydney to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

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

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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Thu): whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, get a taste of the local shopping with Arte Jaguar Gallery, and then admire the sheer force of San Luis Waterfall. On the next day, get to know the fascinating history of Ecological Sanctuary and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find where to stay, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 2 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Tours Historic Sites

Side Trip

San Luis Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
San Luis Waterfall ©
San Luis Waterfall
Walking tours

3
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 23rd (Sat): let little ones run wild at Bosque de la Hoja, identify plant and animal life at Toucan Rescue Ranch, and then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get engrossed in the history at Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral, and then identify plant and animal life at Tirimbina Biological Reserve.

To see other places to visit, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the San Jose sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in San Jose

Wildlife Parks Museums

Side Trips

Alajuela, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Bosque de la Hoja, Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Tirimbina Biological Reserve ©
Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Bosque de la Hoja ©
Bosque de la Hoja

4
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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Palo Seco Beach and Playa Espadilla Norte. Explore hidden gems such as Naturalist Michael Araya Flores and Mulguri Adventure. Pack the 28th (Thu) with family-friendly diversions at Rancho Tipico Don Juan.

To see photos, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio National Park vacation trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from San Jose to Manuel Antonio National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Manuel Antonio National Park are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Quepos, Palo Seco Beach
Highlights from your plan
Palo Seco Beach ©
Palo Seco Beach
Rancho Tipico Don Juan ©
Rancho Tipico Don Juan
Playa Espadilla Norte ©
Playa Espadilla Norte

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.
On the 29th (Fri), kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of ferry and taxi from Manuel Antonio National Park to Santa Teresa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa

4
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Koss Art Gallery and MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY. Step out of the city life by going to San Juanillo Beach and Kayaking & Canoeing. Venture out of the city with trips to Coffee & Tea Tours (in Hojancha) and Nicoya (Casa de Arte, Curime & Puerto Carrillo). There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at dondeJavitours and take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

To find maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Playa Samara travel itinerary creator.

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 2 hours. December in Playa Samara sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Nicoya, Nosara, San Juanillo Beach
Highlights from your plan
San Juanillo Beach ©
San Juanillo Beach
dondeJavitours ©
dondeJavitours
Puerto Carrillo ©
Puerto Carrillo

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Fri): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then identify plant and animal life at El Viejo Wetlands. On the 6th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Potrero Beach.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Playas del Coco vacation trip planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Playas del Coco in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In January in Playas del Coco, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 25°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Potrero Beach, Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands, Playa Hermosa
Highlights from your plan
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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