38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Roanoke
Fly:  21​h
1
San Jose
— 5 nights
shuttle:  3​h 30​min
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
shuttle:  6​h
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
bus:  7​h
4
Nicoya
— 4 nights
bus:  8​h
5
Jaco
— 6 nights
bus:  1​h
6
Quepos
— 7 nights
bus:  9​h 30​min
7
Carate
— 1 night
bus:  9​h
8
Cartago
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  21​h 45​min
End: Roanoke

5
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Catarata Del Toro Adventures as well as Toucan Rescue Ranch. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Galeria Namu and Museo de Arte Costarricense. Escape the urban bustle at Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Next up on the itinerary: browse the eclectic array of goods at Central Market (Mercado Central).

For more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read San Jose online route maker .

Roanoke, USA to San Jose is an approximately 21-hour flight. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. In June, plan for daily highs up to 81°F, and evening lows to 67°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Toucan Rescue Ranch, Catarata Del Toro Adventures, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Poas Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Catarata Del Toro Adventures ©
Catarata Del Toro Adventures
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano

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 3rd (Wed) exploring nature at Tortuguero National Park.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Tortuguero online trip itinerary maker .

Do a combination of bus and taxi from San Jose to Tortuguero in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from San Jose in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Tortuguero, with lows of 73°F. You'll set off for La Fortuna de San Carlos on the 5th (Fri).

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

6
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.
La Fortuna Waterfall has been added to your itinerary. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

To find reviews, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planning website .

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. You'll set off for Nicoya on the 11th (Thu).

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Highlights from your plan
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

4
nights
Nicoya

Nicoya ©
Nicoya, a city on the Nicoya Peninsula of the Guanacaste province, Costa Rica, is one of the country's most important tourist zones; it serves as a transport hub to Guanacaste's beaches and national parks. Curu National Wildlife Refuge has been added to your itinerary. Step out of the city life by going to Playa Conchal and The Ara Project.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Nicoya online road trip planner .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Nicoya in 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can travel to Jaco.

Things to do in Nicoya

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project, Playa Conchal
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Curu National Wildlife Refuge ©
Curu National Wildlife Refuge

6
nights
Jaco

Jaco ©
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding and Jaco Beach. Explore hidden gems such as Tico Pod Art House & Gifts and Playa Linda. Spend the 21st (Sun) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at Neo Fauna, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, take in the exciting artwork at Zukia Art Gallery, and get great views at Mirador de Jaco.

To see ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Jaco trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Nicoya to Jaco by car takes about 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) to allow time to take a bus to Quepos.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Playa Linda, Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding
Highlights from your plan
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts ©
Tico Pod Art House & Gifts
Jaco Beach ©
Jaco Beach
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

7
nights
Quepos

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Escape the urban bustle at Playa Manuel Antonio and Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Jungle Avenue and Meli Melo Boutique. Explore Quepos' surroundings by going to Dominical (Parasailing & Paragliding, Dominicalito Beach, & more) and Palo Seco Beach (in Parrita). Make the 22nd (Mon) an awe-inspiring day at Naturalist Michael Araya Flores. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, stop by Jaime Peligro Book & CD Shop, and browse the eclectic array of goods at Farmers Fair (Ferias del Agricultor).

For maps, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Quepos trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by bus from Jaco to Quepos takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 29th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Carate.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio, Dominical, Palo Seco Beach
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Palo Seco Beach ©
Palo Seco Beach
Parasailing & Paragliding

1
night
Carate

Carate
Plan a trip to Carate easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Getting from Quepos to Carate by car takes about 5 hours. On the 30th (Tue), you're off toCartago.

Things to do in Carate

Nature Parks Zoos & Aquariums

3
nights
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. Get in touch with nature at Guayabo National Park and Monument and Playa Junquillal. Visit Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles) and Ruins of the Church of Carthage for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum (in Orosi) and San Gerardo de Dota (Parque National Los Quetzales & Dantica Gallery). And it doesn't end there: get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park, hunt for treasures at Cartago Central Market, and pause for some serene contemplation at Santiago Apostol Parish Ruins.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Cartago online vacation maker .

You can drive from Carate to Cartago in 7.5 hours. In July, daytime highs in Cartago are 80°F, while nighttime lows are 67°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cartago

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

San Gerardo de Dota, Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, Guayabo National Park and Monument, Irazu Volcano National Park, Playa Junquillal
Highlights from your plan

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