17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
2
Jaco
— 2 nights
3
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
5
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
6
San Jose
— 2 nights

3
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Visiting Nature & Wildlife Tours and Kayaking & Canoeing will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Off-Road Tours and Monkey Park. Change things up with a short trip to Playa Hermosa in Playa Hermosa (about 1h 20 min away). The adventure continues: view the masterpieces at Lydia Beech Art Boutique, kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip planner.

Philadelphia, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 11-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Philadelphia to Tamarindo is minus 1 hour. In December, Tamarindo is much hotter than Philadelphia - with highs of °F and lows of °F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Thu) so you can drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Kayaking & Canoeing, Playa Hermosa
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Fri): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour and then explore the striking landscape of Carara National Park. Here are some ideas for day two: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, thensee Off-Road Tours, and then browse the exhibits of Tico Pod Art House & Gifts.

To see reviews, maps, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Jaco trip planning site.

Drive from Tamarindo to Jaco in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors Nature Tours

Side Trips

Nature & Wildlife Tours, Carara National Park
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Carara National Park ©
Carara National Park
Off-Road Tours

3
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.
Visiting Playa Manuel Antonio and Walking tours will get you outdoors. Step off the beaten path and head to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store. Venture out of the city with trips to Uvita (Uvita Waterfall & Uvita Beach). There's still lots to do: take a memorable tour with Tours and stroll around Parque Nahomi.

To see reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio online day trip planner.

You can drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Uvita, Dominical, Parque Nahomi
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

3
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 off the beaten path and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Head to Onirica Art Gallery and Galeria Estudiofor some retail therapy. And it doesn't end there: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, and get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

To see other places to visit, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip builder.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs

3
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 hidden gems such as Playa Cocles and Punta Uva Beach. Get outdoors at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Nature Observatorio. The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, look for gifts at Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate, and pick up some local products at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita.

For where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca travel site.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Nature Observatorio, Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Tue): stop by Chieton Moren, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, thencatch all the local highlights with Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at Avenida Escazu.

Planning San Jose trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In January in San Jose, expect temperatures between °F during the day and °F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Golf Outdoors

Side Trip

Escazu
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Avenida Escazu ©
Avenida Escazu

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