43 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

43 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Juan SantamarĂ­a International Airport, Drive to Vara Blanca
1
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive
2
San Jose
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Jaco
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Drake Bay
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive
9
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive
11
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive
12
Monteverde
— 5 nights
Drive to Juan SantamarĂ­a International Airport, Fly to Fresno

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Vara Blanca

— 1 night
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Tue): admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and then take in the dramatic scenery at La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens.

To find ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Vara Blanca holiday planner.

Fresno, USA to Vara Blanca is an approximately 13-hour combination of flight and car. Traveling from Fresno to Vara Blanca, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks · Nature · Wildlife
Highlights from your trip

San Jose

— 4 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.
Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to ZENfit 506 (in San Rafael de Escazu) and Cartago (Jardin Botanico Lankester & Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles). There's lots more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Irazu Volcano National Park, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, stop by Chieton Moren, and examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

To see more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose road trip tool.

You can drive from Vara Blanca to San Jose in 1.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. In January, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 78°F, while at night they dip to 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Tours · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Jaco

— 4 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.
Spend the 18th (Tue) exploring nature at Carara National Park. The adventure continues: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, get outside with Outdoor Activities, push the limits with an extreme tour, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Jaco trip planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Jaco in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

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.
Explore Manuel Antonio's surroundings by going to Uvita (Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge & Parque Nacional Marino Ballena), Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary (in Dominical) and Kokopelli (in Sierpe). And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio travel website.

You can drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Drake Bay

— 4 nights
Step out of Drake Bay to go to Puerto Jimenez and see Osa Wild, which is approximately 1h 30 min away. Spend a day of island exploring on the 24th (Mon) at Cano Island.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Drake Bay trip planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 4 nights

Walaba

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.
Spend the 28th (Fri) exploring nature at Cahuita National Park. The adventure continues: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stroll through Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla, and kick back and relax at Playa Puerto Viejo.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary app.

You can drive from Drake Bay to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 7.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

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 1st (Tue), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero road trip website.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In January in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 70°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Highlights from your trip

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, and skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

Plan my day in La Fortuna de San Carlos using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

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. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can travel to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

— 2 nights
On the 8th (Tue), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Santa Rosa. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands.

To find ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste attractions planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste by car takes about 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Wildlife
Highlights from your trip

Tamarindo

— 4 nights
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 (Playa Conchal & Garra de Leon Golf Course), Playa Nacascolo (in Gulf of Papagayo) and Hidden Garden Art Gallery (in Liberia). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and stroll through Playa Avellana.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our Tamarindo journey planner.

You can drive from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Tamarindo in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Playa Samara

— 3 nights
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa Samara: Nosara (Playa Guiones & Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach, stroll through Barrigona Beach, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Playa Samara trip app.

Drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Monteverde

— 5 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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Monteverde day trip site.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Monteverde in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites

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.