17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: London
Fly + Taxi:  16​h
1
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h 15​min
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
7
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: London

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.
On the 9th (Thu), admire the sheer force of San Luis Waterfall, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ecological Sanctuary, and then explore the world behind art at Chorotega Arts & Crafts. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Sustainability Demonstration Center, then look for gifts at Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle.

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde tour itinerary planner.

London, UK to Monteverde is an approximately 16-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 6 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can go by car to Uvita.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Sustainability Demonstration Center, San Luis Waterfall
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary
Nature & Wildlife Tours
San Luis Waterfall ©
San Luis Waterfall

3
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Uvita Beach and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Visiting Uvita Waterfall and Parasailing & Paragliding will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Playa Ventanas, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, look for gifts at Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Uvita visit planner .

Drive from Monteverde to Uvita in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Parasailing & Paragliding, Playa Ventanas
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Uvita Waterfall ©
Uvita Waterfall
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach

2
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've now added Jaguar Rescue Center to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): get in touch with nature with Jaguar Rescue Center, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles, and then admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. On the next day, stroll through Nature Observatorio and then enjoy the sand and surf at Punta Uva Beach.

To find maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca holiday planning website .

You can 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 16th (Thu) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Nature Observatorio, Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio

2
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.
On the 16th (Thu), pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, then take in the natural beauty of Los Lagos Hot Springs, and then take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs. On the 17th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Butterfly Conservatory, then get impressive views of Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), then browse the exhibits of Onirica Art Gallery, and finally browse the exhibits of Galeria Estudio.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Paradise Hot Springs ©
Paradise Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

2
nights
Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco ©
A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands and then cast your line with a fishing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Cata Chocolate, explore the galleries of Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco, and finally tee off at Four Seasons Golf Club.

To find reviews and more tourist information, read Playas del Coco trip itinerary builder tool .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Playas del Coco in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Fishing Charters & Tours
Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco ©

2
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): see Off-Road Tours, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Flamingo, and then kick back and relax at Playa Danta. Keep things going the next day: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf.

To see maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip planner .

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Off-Road Tours, Playa Flamingo, Playa Danta
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Off-Road Tours
Kayaking & Canoeing
River Rafting & Tubing

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Buena Vista, tour the pleasant surroundings at Werner Sauter Biological Reserve, then admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, and finally take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY. Keep things going the next day: browse the eclectic array of goods at Samara Farmers Market, then head outdoors with Water Dreams Costa Rica, and then view the masterpieces at Koss Art Gallery.

To see reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Playa Samara journey website .

Getting from Tamarindo to Playa Samara by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Shopping Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Koss Art Gallery ©
Koss Art Gallery
Playa Buena Vista ©
Playa Buena Vista
Werner Sauter Biological Reserve ©
Werner Sauter Biological Reserve

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