29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica route maker

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Route & dates

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Budapest
Fly:  18​h 30​min
1
San Jose
— 4 nights
bus + taxi:  2​h 45​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
7
Drake Bay
— 4 nights
Drive:  7​h
8
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  18​h 15​min
End: Budapest

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park), Else Kientzler Botanical Garden (in Sarchi) and Jardin Botanico Lankester (in Cartago). There's still lots to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, see a show at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, and take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica.

Make your San Jose itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Budapest, Hungary to San Jose is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. You'll gain 7 hours traveling from Budapest to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Budapest in December, things will get much hotter in San Jose: highs are around 30°C and lows about 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Else Kientzler Botanical Garden, Poas Volcano, Irazu Volcano National Park, Jardin Botanico Lankester
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica

1
night
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 18th (Wed), add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To find more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by combination of bus and taxi from San Jose to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In December in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 25°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

5
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, parks, trails, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, head outdoors with Salto, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Proyecto Asis.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planning website .

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

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

4
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal), Stand-Up Paddleboarding (in Playa Flamingo) and Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Llanos de Cortez Waterfall & Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Tamarindo Beach, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, get interesting insight from Tours, and find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

To see where to stay, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December in Tamarindo, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Playa Conchal, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

4
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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, nightlife, fun & games, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, catch some excitement at Curi Cancha Reserve, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

Plan my trip to Monteverde with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Manuel Antonio: Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers & Zipline) and Parasailing & Paragliding (in Dominical). And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, take a memorable tour with Tours, explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park, and cast your line with a fishing tour.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Manuel Antonio road trip tool .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Jaco, Quepos, Parasailing & Paragliding
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

4
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Take a break from Drake Bay with a short trip to Corcovado National Park in Carate, about 1h 10 min away. Spend a day of island exploring on the 6th (Mon) at Cano Island.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Drake Bay fast, fun, and easy.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and ferry; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can drive to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Corcovado National Park
Highlights from your plan
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Corcovado National Park ©
Corcovado National Park
Dolphin & Whale Watching

1
night
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): get great views at Mirador Huequecura and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Vara Blanca tour planning website .

Getting from Drake Bay to Vara Blanca by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Mirador Huequecura

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