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: 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 3rd (Mon), take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester and then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

To see reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Cartago road trip app .

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a train; or take a bus. February in Cartago sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 65°F at night. On the 4th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive 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 5th (Wed) exploring nature at Tortuguero National Park. There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

You can plan Tortuguero trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

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 February, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 84°F, while nighttime lows are 69°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (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 7th (Fri), enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach. Keep things going the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca journey maker website .

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sun) to allow enough time to 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.
Take a break from the city and head to MidWorld Costa Rica and Mulguri Adventure. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Playa Biesanz and gain insight at Academia D'Amore.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio day trip tool .

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

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. There's much more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano, identify plant and animal life at Ecocentro Danaus, witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

For ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner .

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to 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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk. Visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Curi Cancha Reserve will get you outdoors. And it doesn't end there: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde day trip planning tool .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

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.
Get in touch with nature at Tamarindo Beach and Playa Hermosa. Visit Playa Conchal and Playa Avellana for some beach relaxation. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Playas del Coco (Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts & Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco). Next up on the itinerary: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing.

To see ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Tamarindo trip planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can go by car to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playas del Coco, Playa Conchal, Playa Hermosa, Scuba & Snorkeling
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.
Visiting Samara Beach and Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) will get you outdoors. Change things up with a short trip to Barrigona Beach in Playa Samara (about 44 minutes away). Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary and get a taste of the local shopping with MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

To find reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Nosara road trip site .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Nosara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to go by car 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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen, admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa.

To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Santa Teresa tour itinerary builder .

You can drive from Nosara to Santa Teresa in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough 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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