42 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

42 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary planner

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Route & dates

42 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly + Drive:  11​h
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
bus:  3​h 30​min
4
San Jose
— 5 nights
bus:  3​h
5
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Monteverde
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
9
Playas del Coco
— 6 nights
Drive + Fly:  9​h
End: Newark

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 de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, parks, trails, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano, take a memorable tour with Tours, and stroll through La Fortuna Waterfall.

To see traveler tips, maps, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planning app .

Newark, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Newark to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

1
night
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.
On the 27th (Fri), paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For photos, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero online trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, plan for daily highs up to 84°F, and evening lows to 71°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

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.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is known for beaches, shopping, spas, parks, and adventure. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Punta Uva Beach, and take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (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

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Cartago (Jardin Botanico Lankester & Ruins of the Church of Carthage), Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Zoo Ave.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to San Jose fast, fun, and easy.

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 December in San Jose, expect temperatures between 79°F during the day and 66°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can catcht the bus to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Cartago, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Zoo Ave, Else Kientzler Botanical Garden
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica

5
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Jaco (Zipline & Canyoning & Rappelling Tours) and Horseback Riding Tours (in Esterillos Este). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, get interesting insight from Tours, and explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park.

To find reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio sightseeing planner.

Traveling by bus from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco, Horseback Riding Tours
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

5
nights
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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, nightlife, fun & games, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Elena Skywalk, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and admire all the interesting features of Ecological Sanctuary.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Monteverde itinerary 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. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Islita (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste), Nosara (Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara, Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), & more) and Barra Honda National Park (in Nicoya). There's more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach and take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Playa Samara trip itinerary maker tool .

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Nosara, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project, Playa Islita, Jungle Butterfly Farm, Barra Honda National Park
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

5
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal) and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, stop by Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, stroll through Playa Avellana, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo itinerary maker .

Getting from Playa Samara to Tamarindo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

6
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Playas del Coco: Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, & more) and Liberia (Souvenirs La gran Nicoya & Costa Rica'n Art Craft). Spend the 26th (Sun) exploring nature at Palo Verde National Park. And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape of Rincon de La Vieja National Park, kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Nacascolo, and tee off at Four Seasons Golf Club.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Playas del Coco road trip app .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Liberia, Province of Guanacaste, Playa Hermosa, Playa Nacascolo
Highlights from your plan
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Palo Verde National Park ©
Palo Verde National Park

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