38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

38 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica vacation planner

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.
On the 29th (Thu), examine the collection at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, relax and rejuvenate at Yoga Massage Therapy, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica. On the next day, take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Refugio Animal de Costa Rica, and then get in on the family fun at Parque Diversiones.

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

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 somewhat warmer in San Jose, with lows of 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Wildlife · 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.
Family-friendly places like Bogarin Trail and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) will thrill your kids. Discover out-of-the-way places like Frogs Heaven and Butterfly Conservatory. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around La Fortuna de San Carlos: Arenal Eco Zoo (in El Castillo) and Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park (in La Virgen). The adventure continues: soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs, ride a horse along Arenal Wilberth Stables, tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall, and hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica.

To find photos, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planning app.

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 6th (Thu) 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Parasailing & Paragliding. Bring the kids along to Playa Ventanas and Danyasa Eco-Retreat - Bamboo Yoga Play Studio. 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: admire the sheer force of Santa Lucia Falls, get a dose of the wild on Ultralight Tour, head outdoors with Cascada Pavon - Waterfall in Costa Rica, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Oro Verde Biological Reserve.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Uvita trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Uvita in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Playa Espadilla Norte and Marina Pez Vela. Kids will appreciate attractions like Playa Manuel Antonio and La Playita. There's lots more to do: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stroll around Parque Nahomi, kick back and relax at Playas Gemelas, and stop by The Captain's Booty.

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio road trip planner.

You can drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

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.
Bring the kids along to Off-Road Tours and Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Playa Bejuco and Horseback Riding Tours. There's still lots to do: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, stop by Fruity Monkey Poop, take in the views from Tarcoles Bridge, and enjoy breathtaking views from El Miro.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Jaco route planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Jaco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

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.
On the 17th (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Santa Teresa, 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. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the exciting artwork at Bri'ah Art Gallery, then stroll through Playa Carmen, and then head outdoors with Taboo Beach Club.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and tourist information, use the Santa Teresa trip planner.

Traveling by combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to catch the 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.
Family-friendly places like Samara Beach and Playa Buena Vista will thrill your kids. Step off the beaten path and head to Playa Garza and Belen Waterfall. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Guiones, get outside with Equisol Retreats CR, SRL, look for gifts at Nativa Gallery, and see what you can catch with Nosara Sea Saw Tours.

For photos, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Nosara visit planner.

Traveling by shuttle from Santa Teresa to Nosara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) to allow 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 visit kid-friendly attractions like Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates and Papaya Con Leche. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Off-Road Tours and Pura Aventura. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Potrero Beach (in Playa Potrero), Playa Danta (in Las Catalinas) and Pesca Deportiva (in Playa Flamingo). There's much more to do: step aboard Kingpin Sportfishing, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, push the limits with an extreme tour, and stroll through Playa Avellana.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo travel route builder app.

Drive from Nosara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) 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. Start off your visit on the 27th (Thu): relax and rejuvenate at Beach's Massage and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa. On the next day, take in the exciting artwork at Costa Rica'n Art Craft, experience rural life at Tio Leo Coffee Tour,a real cultural experience, and then look for gifts at Souvenirs La gran Nicoya.

For photos, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read our Playa Hermosa trip itinerary maker site.

Getting from Tamarindo to Playa Hermosa by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa

Spas · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to El Trapiche Tour and San Luis Waterfall. Family-friendly places like The Bat Jungle and Up in the Cloud Forest will thrill your kids. Change things up with these side-trips from Monteverde: Sustainability Demonstration Center (in Guacimal) and Life Monteverde (in Los Tornos). The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, surround yourself with nature on Monteverde Nature Guided Tours, experience rural life at Hidden Valley Permaculture Farm, and stroll through Finca el Rodeo.

To see traveler tips, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde trip builder.

Traveling by car from Playa Hermosa to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trips

San Jose

Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): 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 other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read our San Jose road trip app.

You can drive from Monteverde to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

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.