18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America travel planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Tamarindo
— 1 night
2
Monteverde
— 2 nights
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
4
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
6
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 1 night
7
San Jose
— 3 nights

1
night
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 16th (Sat), kick back and relax at Playa Avellana and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then stop by Azul Profundo Boutique.

To see reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo day trip app.

Seattle, USA to Tamarindo is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also drive. Traveling from Seattle to Tamarindo, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Find places to stay May 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Mon): take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve, get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and then surround yourself with nature on Monteverde Wild Hikes. Keep things going the next day: browse the exhibits of Arte Jaguar Gallery and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

For traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay May 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Monteverde Wild Hikes ©
Monteverde Wild Hikes
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
nights
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Butterfly Conservatory and Ecocentro Danaus. Get outdoors at Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. Take a break from La Fortuna de San Carlos with a short trip to Catedral de Ciudad Quesada in Quesada, about 58 minutes away. The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, take in the exciting artwork at Wood & Art Gallery, browse the exhibits of Galeria Estudio, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Catedral de Ciudad Quesada, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay May 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Ecocentro Danaus ©
Ecocentro Danaus

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): look for gifts at The Captain's Booty and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Sun): get the lay of the land with Mike’s Nature Tours.

For more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio vacation planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay May 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
The Captain's Booty ©
The Captain's Booty

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Mon): explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Tue): view the masterpieces at Magic Ananda, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, thenstroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, and finally stroll through Uvita Beach.

For maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Uvita sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Uvita takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Uvita

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Dominical
Find places to stay May 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Parasailing & Paragliding

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Wed): take in the exciting artwork at Luluberlu Art Gallery and then kick back and relax at Puerto Viejo Beach. Keep things going the next day: get interesting insight from Tours, thenstroll through Ara Manzanillo, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Punta Uva Beach.

To find maps, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip maker app.

Drive from Uvita to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Ara Manzanillo
Find places to stay May 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Ara Manzanillo ©
Ara Manzanillo
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Fri): view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, thenstroll through Toucan Rescue Ranch, and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Frogs Heaven. On the 30th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: catch all the local highlights with Top Travel Costa Rica and then sample the tasty concoctions at Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co..

To see other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In May, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach °F, while at night they dip to °F. On the 31st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Wildlife Parks Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Toucan Rescue Ranch, Frogs Heaven
Find places to stay May 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

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