53 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

53 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica Trip Planner

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Route & dates

53 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: New York City
+2
Fly + Bus + Taxi:  11 h
1
Monteverde
— 6 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 12 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
3
Nosara
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive:  4 h
5
Tortuguero
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
6
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 4 nights
Bus:  4 h
7
San Jose
— 6 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
8
Manuel Antonio
— 9 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
9
Jaco
— 4 nights
+4
Bus + Foot + Bus + Fly + Bus:  12 h
End: New York City

6
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.
Go for a jaunt from Monteverde to Tilaran to see Viento Fresco Waterfall about 56 minutes away. Spend the 9th (Tue) exploring nature at La Amistad International Park.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde sightseeing planner.

New York City, USA to Monteverde is an approximately 11-hour combination of bus, flight, and car. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

La Amistad International Park, Viento Fresco Waterfall
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
La Amistad International Park ©
La Amistad International Park

12
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.
Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos to go to El Castillo and see Butterfly Conservatory, which is approximately 42 minutes away. Spend the 14th (Sun) among the fascinating landscape of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal). On the 22nd (Mon), give your taste buds a day to remember with a local gastronomic tour.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) to allow time to drive to Nosara.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

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

3
nights
Nosara

Nosara ©
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Nosara: Playa Samara (Samara Beach, Barrigona Beach, & more). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, look for all kinds of wild species at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, and paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

For reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Nosara itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Nosara takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. In January in Nosara, expect temperatures between 91°F during the day and 71°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to take a bus to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Nosara

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Samara
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Llanos de Cortez Waterfall (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal).

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from Nosara to Tamarindo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In January, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 91°F, while nighttime lows are 71°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Wed) to allow time for travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Las Baulas National Marine Park, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

3
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Tortuguero National Park. Keep things going the next day: tour in harmony with nature at Tortuguero Adventures and then examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To find ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Tortuguero travel itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Tamarindo to Tortuguero in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Tamarindo in January, with highs in Tortuguero at 78°F and lows at 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Nightlife
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero Adventures ©
Tortuguero Adventures
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

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.
Spend the 4th (Sun) exploring nature at Cahuita National Park. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles, identify plant and animal life at Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, and take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Traveling from Tortuguero in February, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a bit warmer at night with lows of 81°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

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

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 out of town with these interesting San Jose side-trips: La Paz Waterfall Gardens (in Vara Blanca), Cartago (Jardin Botanico Lankester & Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles)) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). There's lots more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, relax in the rural setting at El Toledo Coffee Tour, and take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in February since evenings lows in San Jose dip to 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Cartago, Poas Volcano, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, INBioparque, Zoo Ave
Highlights from your plan
El Toledo Coffee Tour ©
El Toledo Coffee Tour
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica

9
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 Uvita (Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge & Uvita Beach), Dominical (Hacienda Baru & Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store) and Palo Seco Beach (in Parrita). Pack the 19th (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Rancho Tipico Don Juan. Spend the 20th (Tue) exploring nature at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.

To find photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip builder.

Getting from San Jose to Manuel Antonio by combination of flight and taxi takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in February, and nighttime lows around 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) so you can drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Uvita, Dominical, Palo Seco Beach, Jaime Peligro Book & CD Shop
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

4
nights
Jaco

Jaco ©
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.
Jaco is known for beaches, adventure, nature, classes, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take a memorable tour with Tours, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Carara National Park, and make a trip to Bridge Over Rio Tarcoles.

To see more things to do, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Jaco trip generator.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Jaco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: ride a ferry; or take a bus. You'll set off for home on the 26th (Mon).

Things to do in Jaco

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Dantica Gallery, Carara National Park, Tarcoles Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Carara National Park ©
Carara National Park
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Jaco Beach ©
Jaco Beach

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