40 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

40 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

40 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: San Jose
bus:  3​h
1
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Monteverde
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Playas del Coco
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 30​min
8
San Jose
— 6 nights
End: San Jose

4
nights
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz. Get in touch with nature at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Fishing Charters & Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Manuel Antonio side-trips: Birding Spots Manuel Antonio (in Quepos) and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena (in Uvita). The adventure continues: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, look for gifts at The Captain's Booty, and explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park.

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary builder website .

San Jose to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 3-hour bus ride. You can also drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Quepos, Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Fishing Charters & Tours

5
nights
Monteverde

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Escape the urban bustle at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Zipline. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Ecological Sanctuary and Sarah's Gallery. Get out of town with these interesting Monteverde side-trips: La Reserva Forest Reserve (in Tilaran) and Piedra de Fuego (in Esparza). There's still lots to do: admire the masterpieces at Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts, take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, take in the views from Santa Elena Skywalk, and shop like a local with Art House.

For other places to visit and more tourist information, use the Monteverde trip itinerary maker website .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sat) early enough to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Museums

Side Trips

La Reserva Forest Reserve, Piedra de Fuego
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

4
nights
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Visit Samara Beach and Barrigona Beach for some beach relaxation. Get in touch with nature at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) and Nosara Refuge for Wildlife. Change things up with these side-trips from Playa Samara: Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project (in Punta Islita), Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure) and Nosara (SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary & MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY). There's much more to do: take in the exciting artwork at Koss Art Gallery, identify plant and animal life at dondeJavitours, and kick back and relax at Playa Islita.

For maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Playa Samara tour itinerary planning app .

Drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Jungle Butterfly Farm, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project, Playa Islita
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

5
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
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 Tamarindo Beach and Playa Conchal. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Tamarindo Church and Lydia Beech Art Boutique. Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Flamingo (Adrenaline & Extreme Tours & Fishing Charters & Tours) and Garra de Leon Golf Course (in Playa Conchal). The adventure continues: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, look for all kinds of wild species at Monkey Park, and step aboard Kingpin Sportfishing.

To find photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Tamarindo road trip planner .

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Playa Flamingo
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Scuba & Snorkeling

4
nights
Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco ©
A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Get some cultural insight at Church of La Ermita La Agonia and Immaculate Church of Concepcion de Maria. Take a break from the city and head to Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playas del Coco: Costa Rica'n Art Craft (in Liberia) and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's still lots to do: meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, shop like a local with Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco, and explore the striking landscape of Rincon de La Vieja National Park.

For reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Playas del Coco travel route website .

Drive from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Liberia, Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park

7
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.
Visiting River Rafting & Tubing and Tabacon Hot Springs will get you outdoors. Get a sense of the local culture at Onirica Art Gallery and Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos. There's still lots to do: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), shop like a local with Wood & Art Gallery, identify plant and animal life at Proyecto Asis, and trek along Bogarin Trail.

To see photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Playas del Coco to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

4
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
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.
Explore Limon and Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visiting Cahuita National Park and Nature Park Walk will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Nature Observatorio, enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach, admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla, and shop like a local with Luluberlu Art Gallery.

For maps, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Manzanillo, Puerto Limon, Cahuita National Park, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach

6
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.
Get some cultural insight at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica and Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. Step out of the city life by going to Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and Irazu Volcano National Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Guayabo National Park and Monument (in Turrialba), Souvenir Museum (in Alajuela) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, get a taste of the local shopping with Galeria Namu, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and identify plant and animal life at Toucan Rescue Ranch.

Plan a San Jose trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can take a bus from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In September, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Cartago, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Souvenir Museum, Poas Volcano, Ruins of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

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