29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

29 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Rio de Janeiro
+2
Fly + bus + taxi:  15​h 15​min
1
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h 15​min
8
Dominical
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 45​min
9
San Jose
— 5 nights
Fly:  13​h 45​min
End: Rio de Janeiro

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena. Take a break from the city and head to Viento Fresco Waterfall and Ecological Sanctuary. There's still lots to do: trot along with a tour on horseback, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde travel planner .

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Monteverde is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Monteverde, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Viento Fresco Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Viento Fresco Waterfall ©
Viento Fresco Waterfall
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project and dondeJavitours. Get outdoors at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Horseback Riding Tours. Change things up with these side-trips from Playa Samara: Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife & SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary). And it doesn't end there: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, get interesting insight from Tours, take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Playa Samara trip planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Nosara, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling

5
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Step off the beaten path and head to Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Scuba & Snorkeling. Visiting Fishing Charters & Tours and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours will get you outdoors. Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Potrero Beach (in Playa Potrero) and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, stroll through Monkey Park, and see Off-Road Tours.

To see reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo journey planning website .

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Potrero Beach, Kayaking & Canoeing, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Fishing Charters & Tours

2
nights
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 3rd (Tue): get interesting insight from Tours, then stop by Lis Umana Beachwear, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On the next day, take in the exciting artwork at Alessandra Cola Art, cast your line with a fishing tour, and then stroll through Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands.

To see ratings, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Playas del Coco day trip site .

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 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Fishing Charters & Tours

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park and Butterfly Conservatory. Get in touch with nature at Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Paradise Hot Springs. And it doesn't end there: see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, get impressive views of Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), Head underground at Venado Caves, and trek along Bogarin Trail.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday planner .

Drive from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Highlights from your plan
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Safaris
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Sun): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy, and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. December in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 25°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy
Kayaking & Canoeing
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National 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.
Get outdoors at Punta Uva Beach and La Ceiba. Step off the beaten path and head to Nature Observatorio and Veragua Rainforest Park. Step out of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca with an excursion to Nature & Wildlife Tours in Puerto Limon--about 1h 10 min away. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Tarantulas Way, kick back and relax at Playa Cocles, admire the sheer force of Cataratas Bribri Talamanca, and admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla.

For more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip tool .

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Dominical.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Puerto Limon, Cahuita, Cataratas Bribri Talamanca, Nature Observatorio
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
Dominical

The laid back beachfront town of Dominical has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a surfer haunt of some repute.
Step off the beaten path and head to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Kayaking & Canoeing. Escape the urban bustle at Walking tours and Uvita Waterfall. When in Dominical, make a side trip to see Parasailing & Paragliding in Manuel Antonio, approximately 46 minutes away. There's lots more to do: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, admire the sheer force of Nauyaca Waterfalls, stop by Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, and kick back and relax at Playa Ventanas.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Dominical online attractions planner .

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Dominical by car takes about 7.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can take a bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Dominical

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Uvita, Manuel Antonio, Playa Ventanas
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
nights
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.
Visit Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion and Guayabo National Park and Monument for their historical value. Get some cultural insight at Museo de los Ninos and Galeria Namu. Venture out of the city with trips to Nature & Wildlife Tours (in Tarcoles), Jaco (Tico Pod Art House & Gifts & Off-Road Tours) and Cartago (Jardin Botanico Lankester, Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, & more). There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, take in the spiritual surroundings of Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana), and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum.

To see ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our San Jose tour itinerary site .

You can take a bus from Dominical to San Jose in 3 hours. Another option is to drive. In December in San Jose, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Cartago, Jaco, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, Guayabo National Park and Monument
Highlights from your plan

Similar Plans

30 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 31 days in Central America & Mexico BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Central America BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 43 days in Central America & South America BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 17 days in Miami & Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA January, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 7 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM INDIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, teens, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, teens, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans