30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

30 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
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Playas del Coco
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
6
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
7
Uvita
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
8
San Jose
— 5 nights
Fly:  13​h 45​min
End: Rio de Janeiro

3
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and El Trapiche Tour. Let the collections at Chorotega Arts & Crafts and Alas y Raices capture your imagination. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read Monteverde trip itinerary builder app .

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 your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

3
nights
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Horseback Riding Tours and Barrigona Beach. Visiting Dolphin & Whale Watching and SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary will get you outdoors. Step out of Playa Samara to go to Nosara and see MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, which is approximately 58 minutes away. There's much more to do: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, and enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach.

To see maps, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Playa Samara trip planning app .

Getting from Monteverde to Playa Samara by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Nosara
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
Get outdoors at Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Explore hidden gems such as Scuba & Snorkeling and Fishing Charters & Tours. Next up on the itinerary: see Off-Road Tours, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, and stop by Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo attractions planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Playa Flamingo
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Scuba & Snorkeling
Fishing Charters & Tours

3
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Rincon de La Vieja National Park and River Rafting & Tubing. Visiting Llanos de Cortez Waterfall and Fishing Charters & Tours will get you outdoors. Take a break from Playas del Coco with a short trip to Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, about 56 minutes away. There's more to do: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour and view the masterpieces at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Playas del Coco trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Tabacon Hot Springs and Butterfly Conservatory. Discover out-of-the-way places like Paradise Hot Springs and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). There's much more to do: hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online tour 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. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

3
nights
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 Playa Manuel Antonio and Parasailing & Paragliding. Museum-lovers will get to explore Tico Pod Art House & Gifts and Bambu. Change things up with these side-trips from Manuel Antonio: Rainmaker Park (in Parrita) and Off-Road Tours (in Jaco). There's still lots to do: take in the local highlights with Walking tours, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and walk around Parque Nahomi.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Manuel Antonio attractions planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Jaco, Quepos, Rainmaker Park
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park

3
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Uvita Beach and Playa Ventanas. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall, stop by Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Uvita journey planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Uvita takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to take a bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Dominical, Playa Ventanas
Highlights from your plan
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. Do some cultural sightseeing at Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion and Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum. Get out of town with these interesting San Jose side-trips: Guayabo National Park and Monument (in Turrialba) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). There's still lots to do: explore the galleries of Galeria Namu, get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the San Jose itinerary planner .

You can take a bus from Uvita to San Jose in 3.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In February, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Guayabo National Park and Monument, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
Highlights from your plan

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