30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica vacation planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Nosara
— 3 nights
Shuttle
9
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive

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Cartago

— 1 night
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. Kick off your visit on the 1st (Thu): admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester and then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our Cartago trip itinerary builder website.

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 80°F in July, and nighttime lows around 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cartago

Outdoors · Parks · Historic Sites

Tortuguero

— 2 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

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 3rd (Sat), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park. Keep things going the next day: learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip planner.

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. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Tortuguero when traveling from Cartago in July, with lows around 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Museums

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 3 nights

Walaba

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 5th (Mon), stroll through Puerto Viejo Beach. On the next day, explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park.

To find photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca day trip site.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Manuel Antonio

— 3 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Visiting Playa Biesanz and MidWorld Costa Rica will get you outdoors. It doesn't end there: get a tailor-made plan with Mulguri Adventure.

To find where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker website.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 7 nights
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano. And it doesn't end there: take a memorable tour with Tours, push the limits with an extreme tour, Head underground at Venado Caves, and take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trip

Monteverde

— 4 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Step out of the city life by going to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Zipline. Popular historic sites such as Santa Elena Skywalk and Ecological Sanctuary are in your itinerary. Next up on the itinerary: delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To see ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde itinerary planner.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites

Tamarindo

— 4 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Conchal and Tamarindo Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Playa Avellana and Playa Hermosa. Explore Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Playas del Coco (Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts & Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco). And it doesn't end there: wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Tamarindo tour planning app.

Getting from Monteverde to Tamarindo by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Nosara

— 3 nights
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Get outdoors at Samara Beach and Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary. Relax by the water at Playa Guiones and Barrigona Beach. There's more to do: stroll through International Animal Rescue Costa Rica and view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Nosara visit planner.

Getting from Tamarindo to Nosara by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Wed) so you can catch the shuttle to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Santa Teresa

— 2 nights
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 29th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Carmen, admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls, and then stop by Tica Surf Bikinis. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip planner.

Traveling by shuttle from Nosara to Santa Teresa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.