48 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

48 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

48 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Sydney
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  28​h
1
Tamarindo
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Santa Teresa
— 3 nights
taxi + ferry:  3​h 45​min
4
Uvita
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Monteverde
— 6 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 5 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
9
Liberia
— 5 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Sydney

7
nights
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 San Juanillo Beach and Potrero Beach. Step out of the city life by going to Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Brasilito Beach (in Brasilito) and Los Piratas de Flamingo (in Playa Flamingo). The adventure continues: see what you can catch with a fishing tour, take in the exciting artwork at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, have some family-friendly fun at Bolas Locas Mini Golf, and look for all kinds of wild species at Monkey Park.

To see maps, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo attractions planning app .

Sydney, Australia to Tamarindo is an approximately 28-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and taxi; or fly. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Tamarindo is minus 16 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Brasilito, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Potrero Beach, San Juanillo Beach
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
San Juanillo Beach ©
San Juanillo Beach
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Church of San Blas and MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Horseback Riding Tours and Barrigona Beach. Explore Playa Samara's surroundings by going to Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project (in Punta Islita) and Nosara (SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary & Nosara Refuge for Wildlife). There's much more to do: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Playa Samara trip planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playa Samara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Nosara, Church of San Blas, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa ©
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Playa Hermosa and Playa Carmen. Get outdoors at Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve and Horseback Riding Tours. The adventure continues: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, view the masterpieces at Bri'ah Art Gallery, wander the wide-open spaces of Sunrise Ranch, and look for all kinds of wild species at Wild Sun Rescue Center.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Santa Teresa visit planner .

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Uvita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Montezuma, Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve, Sunrise Ranch
Highlights from your plan
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve ©

4
nights
Uvita

Uvita ©
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nauyaca Waterfalls and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Uvita Beach and Playa Ventanas. Go for a jaunt from Uvita to Ballena to see Nature & Wildlife Tours about 30 minutes away. There's still lots to do: ride a horse along Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Uvita trip itinerary maker app .

You can do a combination of taxi and ferry from Santa Teresa to Uvita in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Dominical, Playa Ventanas
Highlights from your plan
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Rainmaker Park and Zipline. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Palo Seco Beach and Playa Espadilla Norte. Get out of town with these interesting Manuel Antonio side-trips: Horseback Riding Tours (in Esterillos Este), Jaco (Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls & Tico Pod Art House & Gifts) and Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding (in Herradura). There's lots more to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Uvita to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Jaco, Parrita, Quepos, Horseback Riding Tours, Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding
Highlights from your plan
Parasailing & Paragliding
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park
Palo Seco Beach ©
Palo Seco Beach

6
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.
Get in touch with nature at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and Viento Fresco Waterfall. Step off the beaten path and head to Zipline and Spas. Step out of Monteverde with an excursion to Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa in Puntarenas--about 1h 05 min away. There's still lots to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Theme Park, take an in-depth tour of Historica Monteverde Museum, and trot along with a tour on horseback.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde travel route builder site .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Viento Fresco Waterfall, Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Viento Fresco Waterfall ©
Viento Fresco Waterfall
Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa ©
Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa

5
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Punta Uva Beach and Playa Cocles. Escape the urban bustle at Veragua Rainforest Park and Nature Observatorio. Step out of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca with an excursion to Nature & Wildlife Tours in Puerto Limon--about 1h 10 min away. The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Tarantulas Way, admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, experience rural life at Chocorart, and savor the flavors at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita.

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Puerto Limon, Nature Observatorio, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Coco Loco Art Studio & Gallery and Wood & Art Gallery. Step out of the city life by going to Butterfly Conservatory and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Change things up with these side-trips from La Fortuna de San Carlos: La Virgen (Tirimbina Biological Reserve & Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park). And it doesn't end there: trek along Bogarin Trail, stroll through Arenal 1968 Trail, take in the natural beauty of Los Lagos Hot Springs, and stroll around Cerro Chato ANC Park & Gardens.

To find photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planner .

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can drive to Liberia.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, La Virgen, Butterfly Conservatory
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park ©
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

5
nights
Liberia

Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
Explore hidden gems such as Playa Hermosa and Zipline. Get a sense of the local culture at Immaculate Church of Concepcion de Maria and ArtWood Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Liberia: Playas del Coco (Scuba & Snorkeling & Spas) and Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja). Next up on the itinerary: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the dramatic scenery at Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, get impressive views of Rincon de La Vieja National Park, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Palo Verde National Park.

To find other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Liberia route planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Liberia takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Liberia

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Province of Guanacaste, Playas del Coco, Rio Negro Hot Springs, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, Playa Hermosa
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park

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