39 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

39 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive
4
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Tamarindo
— 10 nights
Drive
6
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive
7
San Jose
— 9 nights
Fly

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San Jose

— 5 nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens and Bosque de la Hoja. Venture out of the city with trips to Museo de Cultura Popular (in Heredia) and Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral (in Alajuela). There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, browse the exhibits of Galeria Namu, tour the pleasant surroundings at Spirogyra Butterfly Garden, and take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum.

To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read San Jose travel itinerary planner.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands to San Jose is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. Traveling from Amsterdam to San Jose, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Amsterdam in May, things will get a bit warmer in San Jose: highs are around 32°C and lows about 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Shopping

Side Trips

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): take an exotic tour of Jungle Tom Safaris Day Tours and then learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy. Keep things going the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from San Jose in May, Tortuguero is a bit warmer at night with lows of 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Bogarin Trail and Los Lagos Hot Springs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around La Fortuna de San Carlos: El Castillo (Butterfly Conservatory & Arenal Eco Zoo) and La Virgen (Snake Garden, Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, &more). Next up on the itinerary: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, trek along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs, and contemplate the geological forces at Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano).

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Monteverde

— 3 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at San Luis Waterfall and Monteverde Massage. Take a break from Monteverde with a short trip to Life Monteverde in Los Tornos, about 44 minutes away. Spend the 9th (Wed) exploring nature at Up in the Cloud Forest. There's lots more to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, relax in the rural setting at Hidden Valley Permaculture Farm, view the masterpieces at Sarah's Gallery, and stop by Souvenir Rosewood-Info Center.

For photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Nature · Shopping · Museums

Side Trips

Tamarindo

— 10 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Papaya Con Leche and Shark Diving. Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal), Potrero Beach (in Playa Potrero) and Playa Danta (in Las Catalinas). Saddle up on the 12th (Sat) and explore with a tour on horseback. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through International Animal Rescue Costa Rica, find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, take in the dramatic scenery at Cataratas Llanos de Cortes, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Jaco

— 1 night
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Mon): get interesting insight from Tours and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Jaco trip itinerary app.

Getting from Tamarindo to Jaco by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Wildlife

San Jose

— 9 nights
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Universidad de Costa Rica and Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Los Campesinos Reserve (in Quepos), La Danta Salvaje (in Guapiles) and Cartago (Iglesia Maria Auxiliadora, Ruins of the Church of Carthage, &more). See some other sides of San Jose: hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, cruise along Top Travel Costa Rica, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and indulge your thirst for a good beer at Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co..

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read our San Jose day trip app.

Traveling by car from Jaco to San Jose takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 1st (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

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.