32 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

32 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday planner

Make it your trip
Fly
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
— 7 nights
Shuttle
9
Santa Teresa
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 3rd (Tue): browse the eclectic array of goods at Cartago Central Market, take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester, and then steep yourself in history at Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Cartago attractions planning app.

Liberia to Cartago is an approximately 2.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. In August in Cartago, expect temperatures between 81°F during the day and 66°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cartago

Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

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 5th (Thu), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park. On your second day here, see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Tortuguero attractions tool.

Getting from Cartago to Tortuguero by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Tortuguero when traveling from Cartago in August, with lows around 73°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks · 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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Puerto Viejo. Keep things going the next day: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online itinerary planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 9th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · 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.
Step out of the city life by going to Playa Biesanz and Mulguri Adventure. There's more to do: see MidWorld Costa Rica.

For photos, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio day trip planning site.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to go by car 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.
Escape the urban bustle at Tabacon Hot Springs and Ecotermales Fortuna. There's lots more to do: get outside with Outdoor Activities, explore the fascinating underground world of Venado Caves, hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, and push the limits with an extreme tour.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planning website.

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 19th (Thu) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas · Outdoors

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Zipline and Curi Cancha Reserve. Get some historical perspective at Ecological Sanctuary and Santa Elena Skywalk. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To see maps, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde itinerary builder app.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough 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 Playa Avellana. Get in touch with nature at Tamarindo Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Playas del Coco (Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts & Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco) and Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa). There's still lots to do: wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura and take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing.

To see other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip builder app.

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Nosara

— 7 nights
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Samara Beach and Playa Guiones. Step out of the city life by going to Barrigona Beach and Playa Garza. Get out of town with these interesting Nosara side-trips: San Juanillo Beach (in San Juanillo), Playa Samara (Off-Road Tours, Scuba & Snorkeling, &more) and Playa Carrillo (in Playa Carrillo). There's still lots to do: stroll through Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary, do sightseeing your way with Nosara Riversafari - Tours, and take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

To see ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the Nosara visit planner.

Getting from Tamarindo to Nosara by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to take a shuttle to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

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.
On the 3rd (Fri), kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa.

To see where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa online visit planner.

Getting from Nosara to Santa Teresa by shuttle takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Beaches · Outdoors · Parks
Highlights from your 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.