26 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

26 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

26 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
1
San Jose
— 1 night
Bus + Taxi:  2 h 45 min
2
Tortuguero
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
4
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
5
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  5 h 15 min
6
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h
7
Dominical
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
8
Sierpe
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
9
San Gerardo de Dota
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
10
Cartago
— 2 nights
Drive:  45 min
End: San Jose

1
night
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 5th (Wed): see the interesting displays 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 take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu. Keep things going the next day: capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour and then stroll around Parque La Sabana.

Before you visit San Jose, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

If you are flying in from United Arab Emirates, the closest major aiports are Tobias Bolanos International Airport, Juan Santamaria International Airport and Limon International Airport. In February, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Tours Parks
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

3
nights
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
On the 7th (Fri), take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park. Keep things going the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Caribbean Botanical Garden.

For topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero travel route app .

You can do a combination of bus and taxi from San Jose to Tortuguero in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In February in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 24°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 9th (Sun) before leaving for La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Caribbean Botanical Garden
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, and get impressive views of Arenal Volcano.

For more things to do, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary site .

You can drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

3
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Thu): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Fri): get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, kick back and relax at Playa Avellana, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

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

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 15th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Beaches

Side Trip

Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Playa Samara: Nosara (Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara, Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), &more). There's still lots to do: stroll through Samara Beach, see Off-Road Tours, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Playa Samara trip planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Nosara
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary

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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Wed): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio. Here are some ideas for day two: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park.

To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio day trip site .

Getting from Playa Samara to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and ferry; or take a bus. On the 21st (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Dominical.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

3
nights
Dominical

Dominical ©
The laid back beachfront town of Dominical has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a surfer haunt of some repute.
Dominical is known for adventure, parks, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.

For traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Dominical road trip planning tool .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Dominical by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to drive to Sierpe.

Things to do in Dominical

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Uvita
Highlights from your plan
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena

2
nights
Sierpe

Sierpe ©
Start off your visit on the 25th (Tue): examine the collection at El Sitio Museo Finca 6, meet the residents at Osa Santuario de Animales, and then stroll through Quebrada Cuervo.

To find reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, go to the Sierpe online trip builder .

You can drive from Dominical to Sierpe in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to San Gerardo de Dota.

Things to do in Sierpe

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

El Sitio Museo Finca 6, Quebrada Cuervo, Osa Santuario de Animales
Highlights from your plan
Quebrada Cuervo ©
Quebrada Cuervo
El Sitio Museo Finca 6 ©
El Sitio Museo Finca 6

2
nights
San Gerardo de Dota

San Gerardo de Dota ©
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque National Los Quetzales and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Chirripo National Park.

Make your San Gerardo de Dota itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from Sierpe to San Gerardo de Dota takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Cartago.

Things to do in San Gerardo de Dota

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Chirripo National Park
Highlights from your plan
Chirripo National Park ©
Chirripo National Park
Parque National Los Quetzales ©
Parque National Los Quetzales

2
nights
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. On the 29th (Sat), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Ruins of the Church of Carthage, then take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester, then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, and finally get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park.

You can plan Cartago trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from San Gerardo de Dota to Cartago in 2 hours. February in Cartago sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Cartago

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, Irazu Volcano National Park
Highlights from your plan
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Jardin Botanico Lankester ©
Jardin Botanico Lankester

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