30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica visit planner

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Route & dates

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
Drive:  1​h
1
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
7
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Nosara
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
9
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  3​h
End: San Jose

1
night
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. On the 2nd (Mon), admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Cartago using our trip planner.

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a train; or take a bus. In December in Cartago, expect temperatures between 79°F during the day and 66°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cartago

Outdoors Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan

2
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.
Spend the 4th (Wed) exploring nature at Tortuguero National Park. There's more to do: learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To find maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero day trip tool .

You can drive from Cartago to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In December in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 84°F during the day and 71°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Museums
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

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.
On the 6th (Fri), kick back and relax at Puerto Viejo Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Sat): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip simple and quick.

Drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 8th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cahuita National Park
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita ©

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.
Get outdoors at MidWorld Costa Rica and Playa Biesanz. There's more to do: get a tailor-made plan with Mulguri Adventure and gain insight at Academia D'Amore.

For traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip site .

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Academia D'Amore
Highlights from your plan
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Mulguri Adventure ©
Mulguri Adventure

7
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. And it doesn't end there: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, get a dose of the wild on Ecocentro Danaus, Head underground at Venado Caves, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder site .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

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

4
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Horseback Riding Tours. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk. There's much more to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, experience the excitement of Curi Cancha Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Monteverde vacation planner .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. December in Monteverde sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 82°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

4
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Avellana. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Conchal and Playa Hermosa. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Playas del Coco (Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts & Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco). The adventure continues: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, step aboard Kingpin Sportfishing, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo online trip builder .

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 82°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can drive to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Scuba & Snorkeling, Playa Hermosa, Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

3
nights
Nosara

Nosara ©
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Relax by the water at Samara Beach and Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones). Escape the urban bustle at Barrigona Beach and SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary. There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at Nosara Refuge for Wildlife and shop like a local with MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

For photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Nosara road trip planning site .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Nosara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Nosara are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 82°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Samara
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): kick back and relax at Playa Carmen, then take in the dramatic scenery at Montezuma Falls, and then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read Santa Teresa online trip itinerary builder .

You can drive from Nosara to Santa Teresa in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Montezuma Falls
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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