38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Shuttle
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive
3
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Jaco
— 3 nights
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
6
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Shuttle
7
Nosara
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Playa Hermosa
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Monteverde
— 7 nights
Drive
11
San Jose
Fly

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San Jose

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Mon): get a new perspective on nature at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, soothe aching muscles at Yoga Massage Therapy, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Tue): take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Refugio Animal de Costa Rica, and then get in on the family fun at Parque Diversiones.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose online trip itinerary builder.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to San Jose is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Miguel de Allende in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in San Jose, with lows of 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to take a shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Scenic Drive · Tours · Theme Parks

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 6 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.
Explore hidden gems such as Bogarin Trail and Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge. Change things up with these side-trips from La Fortuna de San Carlos: El Castillo (Butterfly Conservatory & Arenal Eco Zoo), Frogs Heaven (in Horquetas) and Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park (in La Virgen). There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Wilberth Stables, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, and indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink.

To see other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing planner.

Traveling by shuttle from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can drive to Uvita.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Uvita

— 3 nights
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Playa Ventanas. Change things up with a short trip to San Buenas Golf Resort and Spa in Ciudad Cortes (about 32 minutes away). There's lots more to do: fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, admire the sheer force of Santa Lucia Falls, look for gifts at Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars, and relax and rejuvenate at Danyasa Eco-Retreat - Bamboo Yoga Play Studio.

To find ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Uvita trip planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Uvita takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Golf

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio

— 4 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Marina Pez Vela and Parque Nahomi. There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, tour the pleasant surroundings at La Playita, view the masterpieces at The Captain's Booty, and stroll around La Selvita.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker site.

You can drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Tours

Side Trip

Jaco

— 3 nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Off-Road Tours and Horseback Riding Tours. Step out of Jaco to go to Esterillos Este and see Playa Bejuco, which is approximately 34 minutes away. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and snap pictures at Tarcoles Bridge.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Jaco day trip website.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Jaco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

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 14th (Fri): kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and then find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area. Keep things going the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Bri'ah Art Gallery, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Carmen, and then get outside with Taboo Beach Club.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa attractions planner.

You can do a combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa in 3 hours. Another option is to drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) to allow time to take a shuttle to Nosara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Nosara

— 3 nights
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Belen Waterfall and Equisol Retreats CR, SRL. Change things up with these side-trips from Nosara: Playa Samara (Samara Beach & Playa Buena Vista). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Guiones, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Garza, explore the galleries of MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, and look for gifts at Nativa Gallery.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Nosara trip itinerary builder site.

Traveling by shuttle from Santa Teresa to Nosara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Nosara

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping

Side Trips

Tamarindo

— 5 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Off-Road Tours and Papaya Con Leche. Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Pesca Deportiva (in Playa Flamingo), Playa Danta (in Las Catalinas) and Potrero Beach (in Playa Potrero). There's still lots to do: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, and kick back and relax at Playa Conchal.

For where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo online trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Nosara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to drive to Playa Hermosa.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Hermosa

— 2 nights
Playa Hermosa, located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica, is a popular beach and beach-front resort town.People who visit Playa Hermosa can indulge in swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving, sport fishing or sailing.Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste Province is not to be confused with Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas Province. On the 24th (Mon), indulge in some personalized pampering at Beach's Massage and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa. On the 25th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the exciting artwork at Costa Rica'n Art Craft, relax in the rural setting at Tio Leo Coffee Tour,a real cultural experience, and then stop by Souvenirs La gran Nicoya.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Playa Hermosa holiday planner.

Getting from Tamarindo to Playa Hermosa by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

Parks · Outdoors · Spas · Beaches

Side Trip

Monteverde

— 7 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 El Trapiche Tour and San Luis Waterfall. Explore Monteverde's surroundings by going to Sustainability Demonstration Center (in Guacimal) and Life Monteverde (in Los Tornos). Spend the 26th (Wed) exploring nature at Up in the Cloud Forest. There's still lots to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, ride a horse along Finca el Rodeo, experience rural life at Hidden Valley Permaculture Farm, and stroll through Aguti Monteverde - Wildlife Reserve.

Plan my day in Monteverde using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can drive from Playa Hermosa to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trips

San Jose

Start off your visit on the 1st (Tue): learn more about the world around you at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle and then take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica.

For reviews, ratings, photos, and tourist information, use the San Jose attractions planner.

Getting from Monteverde to San Jose by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Scenic Drive · Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors

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.